nerve root pain

Hello, I have had 3 micro discectomies on the same disc in the last 5 years ( L5 S1). After spending many months of feeling that no one believed me and wondering whether the pain was imaginary and all in my head! I have had confirmation from the pain clinic that scar tissue is attached to the nerve root. The Dr's are quite vague and wont give a straight answer to anything, all i know is, there are no treatments available that I can have, they've ruled out epidural injections for fear of making matters worse. I'm working 3 days a week and Im really struggling , I need to work but haven't managed to do a full month yet. I've always worked even right up to all my ops but this is horrendous. I've been doing physio now for a year which has helped a little. No one actually seems to listen hence I thought I would try this. Do I just suck it up and carry on working, Is pushing myself to work causing damage to the little bit of disc i have left? Is this regarded as painful or am I just a wimp? Honest answers gratefully received. Thank you

3 Replies

  • give yourself a break hun.Take some time out to think things through.Why do you need to work?Money isn't everything and there are benifits to claim if you have illness and mobility issues.Have you tried alternative pain relief ie.tens,acupuncture,devils claw or just better pain pills from your Dr.Please don't worry about addiction it doesn't happen to everyone.I really feel for you sweetie.Good luck.xx

  • Hello,

    Having read your post, my first answer is you know your own body. Therefore, if you feel pain then that is real. For me, it is then about managing the symptoms. You do not have to suffer from pain. There are medications and interventions that may help you.

    So if it were me this is what I would do:

    1. Go and see my GP and discuss the pain that I am in. Come to an agreement as to what treatment to try. Maybe it would be applying a heat pad to the affected region or wrapping a frozen bag of peas in a towel and applying it to the spot. Cold can be just a effective pain control as heat.

    2. Have a think about what makes my pain worse and see if I can stop doing it. Alternatively, think about what makes my pain better and do more of it.

    3. Give yourself a break, you are flesh and blood. if you need to have a rest then do so.

    I have a TENS machine which I find quite useful. They are relatively cheap to buy and easy to use.

    I wish you the best of luck and hope that this information is of use.

    Best regards,


  • Hi, I really feel for you as I am in a similar position. I have only had two decompression ops on my back. The first one at L5/L5 was very successful and I was back to working full time after about 12 weeks, the second one was 3 months ago and I am still in a lot of pain whenever I do anything so obviously not back at work which makes me feel so guilty.

    Your pain is not imaginary and as others have said you know your body and need to do whatever is necessary to feel better. If that is having time off work then you need to discuss with your GP just how bad you feel. I find that no matter how I explain my pain to the professionals they just don't understand just how much pain I am in. I have had comments like 'well you will get a few aches and pains' arrrgghhhhhh!

    Until someone has experienced the same pain I do not believe that they cannot truly understand and hence the reason why they cannot really empathise. My pain really frightened me on Christmas night so much I didn't want to go to bed and so I built a wedge of pillows and cushions so I didn't lay flat and a friend lent me a Tens machine. Between these two things (and my meds) my pain has reduced enough for me to be able to move about indoors. I have never used a Tens but have really been surprised by the outcome of only 5 days use and will certainly be buying one.

    I hope that some of the comments from everyone can help you.

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