Degenerative disc disease

I have been off work for 8 months with a bulging disc with nerve stem cell compression. Apparently as a result of dengenerative disc disease. I have completed several physio and chiropractic programs and surgery involving fusing of the two discs, L4 and L5, was suggested. This injury occured at work and is a culmination of 19 years of working in a physically demanding profession that requires me to bend, twist and lift. I have had loewr backpain and sciatic previously to this injury but was told by medical practioners that it was muscular and was given anti-inflamatory nedication and returned to work. I am in constant chronic pain, including burning sensations in both feet, stinging in my buttocls, pins and needles in both hands and lower back pain. I am on strong pain relief. This injury has affected my entire life and I am desperate to find some relief.

Comments for Degenerative disc disease

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Jan 16, 2013
Clearing it up
by: Anonymous

Thank you Sarah for your response. To clear up a few of your questions, I am still in the same job and employer that I have been in for over 19 years. Workers compensation have assessed me at 5% permanent disability and are ready to write me off. I recently have been watching your video exercises and completing these daily and have enrolled in your back in a week program so I am hopeful that some success and relief will occur in the very near future.

Jan 14, 2013
a complicated picture
by: Sarah says

What will I do?

There’s rather a lot going on here. For example I don’t know whether you are still in the job you have been for the last 19 years (is a Workers’ Compensation claim pending) and I’m not clear what you want to know – although I’m assuming you just want to know how to get better, out of pain and how to avoid surgery - which is fair enough. I totally sympathize.

It’s also rather hard to comment without seeing your scans. Remember, you can upload a photograph or two of these on the ‘Ask Sarah’ page. (Don’t send me gazillions; the most important is a side view if your spine showing me the disc height at your lower lumbar levels).

You sound as if you are under a lot of worry and anxiety and I know this because you are now getting symptoms in your arms as well.

I hope this doesn’t sound like a fob off, but you really do have to start at square one here. There’s no quick fix. I can’t give you glib answers here in ‘Ask Sarah’ box because you need much more than that. You really need to read and watch and listen to as much as you can of what I'm saying, including reading the small eBook ‘Think Seriously About Spinal Surgery’.

Let’s keep in touch. You obviously need help and this is what these websites, all the books, videos, iPhone apps and this site are all about


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