Herniated disc in lower back

Hi I lifted a basin of water over my head to bath and since then I have had a back ache which after 3 weeks has got so bad that I can't straighten my body. I also have pain running down my right leg. I am due for an MRI in 3 days and I am wondering whether I should see a physiotherapist or a chiropractor right away or wait until the MRI I am so shattered and helpless as I live alone with a dog and even the tiniest walk bent in two is difficult. I have also been told not to drive so cab fare is so costly and I feel I cann't afford cabls much longer.

Best to all, Sherini 52 yrs

10 Replies

  • Hi Sherini, poor you! It's no fun dealing with this alone! I'm having an acute spell myself and was so glad the pharmacist does drug deliveries! You must take some medication to try to get past the worst of this 'attack'. Glad you're having MRI. You really need some kind of anti inflammatory like neurofen or hopefully GP prescribed plus pain killer and Valium type muscle relaxant. Every few hours lie down and carefully try to bring your knees into your chest to gently massage your spine. Walk, rest, walk rest. Be patient with yourself. If you know anyone that can pop in for a chat then call them so you don't feel so alone. Rest, watching TV, read a book. Know that this will pass with time and care. X

  • Dear Boozybird Thank you so much for the tips Yes the ortho sur referred nervijen and pannedin the first is a pain killer plus vitamin. The pain is worse in the night. I went to a physio therapist today and he said looking at the XRay I have strained the area between the pelvis and spine to the right and that is why I feel the pain on the hip. He gave me two treatments and I immediately could walk straight up for a few mts but it is now back to being bent and in pain. After meeting him I cancelled the MRI but now I think I should rebook the MRI. Will keep you posted on progress. I used a cab today and didn't drive and it was nice chatting with the cabbie. Take Care and Good Night.

  • Definitely not a chiropractor until after you have got the MRI results. The last thing you need is an "adjustment" that could potentially push a disc further out of place and worst case, cause paralysis. If the MRI is in a few days, I'd probably wait and see what it shows. If you are having such bad problems with pain that your back is going into spasm, then I'd go to GP to get a few days of some kind of muscle relaxant. Might be a good idea anyway to get something like that for the MRI, as lying flat for 20-40 minutes won't be comfortable. I always take a dose of diazepam before an MRI to help stop my back muscles seizing up completely

  • Hi thanks earth...angel. I didn't go to the chiro but I went to a physio who held two machines - He felt from the Xray that the problem was a back strain moving to the hip so the machines were held there and amazingly I straightened up but only for a few mts. Now I'm back in pain and bent. So after cancelling the MRI I'm rebooking it as I'm getting a anesthetist it is double the cost. I tried going in without a sedative and ended up screaming after 10 mts. Will keep you posted on the MRI result. Take Care and Good Night.

  • Hi Sherini sorry to hear your having so much pain it's exhausting physically and mentally , can you feel your legs any numbness , any pins/needles type feeling? Firstly a decent analgesia would help . I would find a good chiropractor the best ones will know what's wrong and help relieve your symptoms while waiting for an MRI. Can I ask you who advised you not to drive? If you have a decent pain relief and you feel you can sit on your bottom using your feet at the pedals I'm assuming its a manual ? I would drive only if you can. You're dog , temporarily have you got a back garden he/she can use? I hope you feel better soon SA

  • Hi I got a bit nervous about a chiropractor as my brother said that he had a back pain and could not straighten up and without any MRI the chiro got him to hang on a bar and dangle his feet and my brother immediately straightened up. However to this day he has a back pain slight and the MRI shows nothing. As for me the Physio I went to see today said its back strain moving to the hip and gave me two treatments. but sadly the good didn't last long and I'm back to pain and being bent. So I'm rebooking the MRI. Driving it's not the legs but the strain and stress from managing the traffic and people who constantly want to overtake. Why is it that people always want to harass the car in front? I was so happy to be in a cab today and forget about the traffic Will keep you posted on progress. Take Care and Good Night.

  • Hi Sherini!

    How well I know this problem! Don't go to anyone other than your GP just yet Sherini. You may not have a prolapsed disc, but your back is certainly in spasm, which is an acute state and needs treatment before you have any sort of therapy. To help, as earthwitch has said, you need to get those muscles out of spasm. For one thing, an MRI is going to be very uncomfortable if you don't. And for another, it is very hard to cope alone at home while you are disabled by the spasms.Here are some things to try:

    Ibuprofen, with food or milk, as regularly and often as it tells you on the packet; keep it up, even if the pain goes.

    Diazepam. You can get this from your GP as an emergency (they will only give you a few). If they do not, tell them you will have to go to A and E as you will receive a muscle relaxant injection. If they still won't....go to A and E! I know its not ideal, but it WILL help, and they wont keep you long, it's a quick injection and off home.

    Heat and ICE, especially ice. Do you have a wheat bag? Or a gel pack? You can buy them from a chemist, could someone pick one up for you? A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel will do for the ice but ideally you need to packs, one for heat aswell which you bob in the microwave. Whilst in a comfortable position, put the ice on the place where it hurts most, and KEEP IT THERE for at least twenty minutes. If you are able, rotate heat and ice packs over a period of a couple of hours.

    Position. Lie flat on the floor or your bed (make sure you have your phone to hand in case you get stuck!) and place your bottom next to a settee, or a big pile of cushions if you're on the bed. Relax your legs over the settee/cushions; you should be in a Z shape. This relieves pressure on your spine and you can place your ice pack on your back at the same time. Sit "properly" with your back straight and your head, shoulders and pelvis in alignment on a firm chair which is the right height (your knees shouldn't be too high or too low) DON'T put your legs up to the side on the settee no matter how comfortable this is! When in bed, lie on your "good" side with one flat pillow under your head and a pillow between your upper thighs. Curl gently to open up the disc spaces. If you have them you can put a pillow behind you to prevent you moving to your bad side and a hug a pillow at the fron to support your arm and shoulder.

    Keep moving. Do not be tempted to lie in one position for hours on end, or to stand or sit for long periods either. Just gentle little steps from room to room. There are exercises on Youtube if you have a look- the pulling the knees up and rolling slightly one is good. but be specific if you search- "exercises for painful back muscle spasm".

    Tell friends and family you need a little help please! If you are REALLY struggling to get through the day you can ring the Duty Team of your local social services who should be able to provide you with some help.

    These are just things that work for me, others will have more ideas.

    Hopefully the MRI will give you some answers and I hope you are pain free very soon. X

  • ZedT thank you so much yes I'm on pannedin 3 times a day and nervijen twice a day. The pain is a tiny bit better. You are quite right the physio said I only have back strain on the pelvic and spine area and he did mention back spasm. However his treatments have not given lasting results. So I'm going back to booking the MRI and I will be getting an anesthetist. The house has a garden but the dog knows I'm in pain so she spends all her time with me. Isn't that sweet?

    Take Care and Good Night

  • For me, there are a number of things to consider. Firstly, what are we dealing with? From what you have said it appears that your back has gone into spasm or you have slipped a disc from the activity that you described.

    If you have not done so, maybe see your GP first before going through with the MRI scan. Even 'open scanners' are quite enclosed and you maybe need to consider the pain / gain question before undergoing such a procedure. Will knowing that you have a slipped disc or bulging disc change how you are treating it now?

    As a back pain sufferer for the past 7 years, I suggest that you try what has been suggested before, especially the hot and cold. Pain killers will enable the signal to your brain to be blocked and therefore the muscle will start to relax. You have to keep the painkillers going so that they reach a level to be effective. Do speak to your GP though if the over the counter stuff does not work.

    Be cautious about taking anti inflammatory meds as prolonged use is associated closely with stomach problems such as ulcers. Some pain meds will cause constipation so that brings on different complications.

    Give yourself a break and give your back gentle movements. It will tell you when it is not happy. Brace yourself when you feel a cough or sneeze coming on. Sounds amusing but it won't be if you don't.

    At the end of the day, you are the expert on you so go with what your instincts are telling you to do.

    Best wishes.


  • I was just told I have a herniated disc n I can't hardly walk without pain or stand up straight it hurts soo bad should I join the gym any advice from anyone just want this pain to go away

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