Advice / suggestions please

Yesterday I got my MMR results. As suspected I have a slipped disc hitting the sciatic nerve. This is what is causing the pain. I ma on strong pain meds but got an appointment at a pain clinic next month.

What should I say / ask?

The results recommend an appointment with orthopaedic specialist. My gp is unclear what the benefit of that would be. I certainly do not want an op near my spine!

My dad wonders if disc moved why it can't be pushed back into place?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


12 Replies

  • Hi I suffer with nerve ending pain in my lower spine, no painkillers work for me, I ask for a cortisone injection but was denied, they said it's too risky, so I will deffo not have any surgery on my back, I love my freedom of my two feet not a wheelchair,please consider and look at more options, good luck.

  • Discs do not move as such, the pulp, which is in the center of the disc is like thick jelly, and it leaks or bursts out pressing on the nerve hence the awful pain. There are a lot of treatments out there for this condition, surgery is always the last option. I'm afraid that after so long suffering facet joint injections are unlikely to have any effect I had two, one had no effect and the other made it worse. I did have a local anesthetic/steroid injection right into the disc space, this helped me for a short while, but I have a different problem to you, my husband had the same treatment done and he is mostly pain free two years later. It really is horses for courses, the no surgery option means a very extended if not permanent life of pain, discs do occasionally settle down, but it isn't common. You do need to see the Orthopedic consultant, it's up to him to suggest treatments not your G.P you really have nothing to lose.In most cases f surgery would not help no surgeon would put you through it.

  • I had much the same problem at L4/5 I had steroid injection where the disc had ruptured, no good so opted for a discectomy, this failed when the disc re ruptured, I'm told my only option is a further operation well that or continue as I am. I take pain relief everyday and have a patch this helps to a degree but means I can't do my old job, exercise, walk down my garden or drive my car for any length of time. Back pain/ injury is soul destroying I hope you have loving friends and family to help and support you x

  • Look up the NICE recommendation regarding chiropractic treatment. Take them to your GP and see if you can get a chiropractors opinion on the matter.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks to all for your helpful suggestions.

  • I have two bulging discs in my lower back, one of which impinges on a nerve and causes sciatica. I discussed a discectomy with my GP. We looked at some research in the states. It showed no difference in the long term effects of having an operation or not. I would do your homework about the condition. Questions that I would be asking the surgeon would be things such as: How much experience do you have of doing the operation? Success rates? Recovery Time? Risks? What does success look like I.e. Will the pain definately go? Re-admission and infection rates for the hospital? Non surgery options? Research the best surgeon in your area. The NHS has a scheme called choose and book. This means you can chose where you go to have the treatment. Remember that knowledge is power. Good luck.

    Best regards,


  • I had a partial discectomy, it eneded up just rotting away, but compared to the screaming and i do mean screaming most days it was well worth it!

    Even with all the medication the best thing i found was accupuncture, through the doctor you should get a few sessions, then the pain clinic can give some more.

    My surgery was years ago, my mum now has the same problem and was told surgery is a last resort now

  • Keep exercising, pilates is good at strengthening your core which helps hold your discs in place, if you are offered an op remember people who have had and not had the op are the same after 10yrs, so there are no long term benefits - your body will either heal or I'm afraid you may continue having bouts of sciatica - maybe ask your doctor for anti inflammatories which can help - I really hope you get better

  • That interesting and a little sad. Assumed an op takes disc away hence no more pain. Wonder why that not the case?

    Don't want to go down op route because of risk of damage (accidental) to spine.

  • Because when disc taken, its bone on bone. Best try and keep disc of possible. Even fragments help, like little shock absorbers.

  • Discs can be manipulated back into place by an experienced chiropractor, sports physio, osteopath. I had mine done (L5, L6) about 13 years ago, and L3 and L4 about 6 years ago. Have not had any pain in that area, or pain relating to these discs at all. Never taken pain medication for them either.

    Wish my other pains could be sorted so easily :)

    Even if it's not something you are considering or for any reason it's not suitable for you, it's worth getting the info so you can compare with other options. It will not make you any worse having alternative treatments, but you do need to find someone experienced. The treatments do cause extreme after pain and you are advised not to take medication so you can read the pain and report back for the next session. How your body reacts to manipulation has a huge effect on subsequent treatments. they may only work for 5 mins on you but that is as much as they want to do at one time. They tend to work on your whole body and fix that too, not just the discs.

    The first discs took about a year starting with 2 days a week an tailing off to 6 monthly, I also got all the compensation pain removed, my pelvis realigned (it was tilted up and forward on the left and rotated to the right, my sacrum was rotated too) My legs were evened out (one was shorter than the other) and if I over do it, this is the position I find my body in.

    The second ones were about a month of weekly appts, and a lot less painful between sessions.

    I continued with various alternative therapies as that is what my body needed but you may have enough with manipulations.

  • Some disc go back in place on their own over time, it depends how far out the disc is and if it touching nerves or causing bladder and bowel problems. They will try and treat the pain in hope that it will go back on it's own (medication, injections, physio, etc. ). Unfortunately if the disc doesn't go back in the only option will be surgery, a discectomy and maybe a decompression. You will need to speak to a consultant to get the full idea of whats going on, the Pain Clinic treats pain and can only help with that side of the problem. Make sure you know what all the side effects are for the medication and the ups and downs of surgery if you have to take that path.

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