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Bulging discs, anyone?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've had back pain for a few years now (TTC did it) and had been diagnosed with a bulging disc. I do a few stretches, the stiffness goes away, and we're good. Until the past 6 months or so, when the stiffness didn't go away and things got worse. I just had an MRI to confirm the extent of the damage, and I have no idea what to expect. (I'm waiting for my dr appt to see what he says, but wanted to hear from some who've BTDT in the meantime.)

We definitely need a new mattress -- I haven't slept a full night in months and wake up stiff every morning. Any recs? The more natural, the better, too...

Anyone have any tips, exercises, stretches, commiseration, or treatment options that are more natural/less medicinal? Can you repair/rebuild this kind of thing, or just try to stop further degeneration?
post #2 of 8
i have them and i have for about 7 years. you can't rebuild them the pain comes and goes for me. back yoga helped alot also if you can afford a chiropractor that has helped the most so far because they can straighten out your back which puts less pressure
post #3 of 8
A bulging disk means your vertebre has been out of alignment for a while and has also had a lot of pressure put on it. You can fix the alignment by seeing a chiropracter; he will help.

To stop further degredation you need to ask yourself: When does it hurt the most? If it's when you wake up it means you need to adjust your sleeping position; sleep on your back with something under your knees like a wedge or a rolled up quilt (you should feel the pressure being taken off of your back).
If it's when you are sitting at a computer or in a chair, you need a better chair. Go to a back store and buy a seat cushion/wedge thing.
If it's when you are out walking around or doing something, stretches/yoga will help a lot.

Besides that, you need to get inverted! Use an inversion table or hang from a monkey bar or use one of those workout balls to stretch your spine. Do it for a few minutes (start at two minutes, work your way up to ten minutes) right before you go to bed. (The inversion will decompress your spine. If you lay down right afterward, your spine will saty decompressed all night!) That will repair all that can be repaired.

Just FYI, back surgeries are only successful 1/4 of the time, so try to avoid it. Good luck!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Don't have access to an inversion table (although that's been a long-running joke/desire of a friend of mine, so maybe I'll poke him and see if he's any closer to getting one), but I do have a big exercise ball. What exactly do you do with it? I've tried lying on top of it, and it relieves the pressure a little bit, but not much. So maybe I'm not doing it right?
post #5 of 8
Oh, I did! I experienced back pain every so often in that area for a few years, then one day I was sitting on the toilet, I moved to get some toilet paper or something and suddenly I was in excruiating pain! I couldn't move at all. All I could do was sort of fall / lower myself onto the bathroom floor.

Luckily I had my friend coming round and she pretty much stayed for the day because I literally couldn't even move. Thankfully, her husband is also a physio, he came round that night, gave it a massage, acupuncture and did some stretches on me, plus prescribed some hard core anti-inflammatories. He said to keep moving, stretch and strengthen my lower back. After a few days of hobbling around with walking sticks it sorted itself out and I haven't had a problem since.
post #6 of 8

just wanted to see how you're doing....I"m in the same boat.  Terrible pain in the morning and bought a new bed, but no help.  Just checking for an update. 

post #7 of 8

I have two bulging discs (the two lowest discs) a bone spur and curvature in my low back.  I have chronic pain at night, if I sleep on my back, the pain radiates to my heels, on my sides and it radiates to my hips, on my stomach, it hurts my back.  During the day, the pain refers down the side of my leg and into the bottom of my foot.  After an MRI 2 years ago, an ortho MD recommended cortisone shots.  I opted for chiro care because it seems to me that chiro addresses the structural issues while the cortisone shots would only address the inflamation.  As long as I go in regularly, I feel pretty good.  I got really busy about a year ago, have had some budget issues, and my chiro stopped taking insurance.  So I went about a year without any adjustments.  And boy has my body been paying me back. Without chiro care I'm in pain pretty much 100% of the time.  I recently started seeing a new chiro.  There are some things he does that I like and some that I don't.  He is a little more aggressive with his adjustments than my last chiro.  So I've been kind of sore (the kind of sore you feel like after you've done a hard workout).  But, I have noticed a much quicker improvement in my overall pain level.  He does a floating disc decompression that has really worked wonders on my low back.  We're talking an immediate difference.  He has also done some auricular therapy (that I don't like... I need to talk to him about it) and some trigger point injection therapy that has helped the tightness in my muscles (even though it hurts during the therapy).

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Wow, I'd forgotten I'd started this thread! Thanks for the replies. I am doing much better now. I did some physical therapy and those stretches really helped a lot, but the best thing that ever happened to me was that I ignored my plantar fasciitis (really, who cares if my feet hurt when I can't be upright b/c of my back, anyway?) and ended up with a heel spur and excruciating pain in my feet. That has been the best thing for healing my back pain b/c since I couldn't walk/run due to my feet, the only exercise I could do was water aerobics. My friend invited me to a class and it was amazing -- it was in the deep end of the pool, so no standing on my feet, and the water helped me move enough to strengthen some of my core muscles and keep my back in line. I still can't do a lot of the twisting motions they do in the class, but I do everything else and always make sure my hip flexors get stretched. I haven't had much pain since the beginning of the summer, when I started the class.


I have also started taking fish oil 3x/day and I think that is helping quite a bit too. (Not sure how -- lubrication for the joints, maybe? Is it anti-inflammatory too? Whatever it is, it's working!)

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