Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Back Pain Forum

Herniated disc and such. 23 years old very nervous.

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Hello everyone I've been a lurker for a while now. I've had on and off back pain for about ten years, when I was 14 I fractured a lumbar vertebrae, and was also diagnosed with spina bifida occulta, which they believe will never be of large clinical signifigance, i.e. I am very lucky in that regard. As per recent studies, the fracture is healed. I try to fix my posture but it's still kind of bad so I guess thats why I've been prone to back pain for all these years, perhaps muscle imbalances who knows.
My job is Emergency Medical Technician. That means repeated heavy lifting. I am also very active, or at least I was. I either hut my back lifting or working, I'm not sure. My diagnosis as per and mri are as follows:

The vertebral bodies are normally aligned. The vertebral body heights are preserved. A schmorl's node is seen within the left inferior lateral L1 endplate. There is associated hypointense T1 and marked hyperintense t2 signal without surrounding edema. There is loss of height at the l1 l2 and l5s1 disc space levels with loss of signal of the disc at these levels. The conus medullaris is normal in signal and terminated at l2.

l1 l2: There is a mild bulge without canal stenosis or foraminal narrowing.

l4 l5: there is flattening of the dorsal aspect of the disc withuout canal stenosis or foraminal norrowing.

l5 s1: There is a central disc extrusion with disc material migrating inferiorly without canal stenosis. There is not significant foraminal narrowing.

CONCLUSION: l5 s1 disc herniation and l1 l2 mild disc bulge. There is no canal stenosis or formainal narrowing to result in nerve root compromise.

It hurts when I run and sit the most. I get a weird feeling down my left leg, usually no pain. My left calf gets cold sometimes. Always back ache at the least. It usually doesn't go into the right, but sometimes it does.

I'm still waiting to see a specialist. SHould I continues to work and what are the risks of working? I know noones a doctors that is more of a what would you do kind of question. Is loss of signal degenerative disc disease? If so, can they rehydrate? Also, can a disc herniation heal? I want to be one hundred percent again I haven't even come close to meeting all my goals in life, so I'm very nervous. I am only 23 years old and have already overcame cancer as a teenager. I constantly have had health issues since, including hepatitis c and a blood clot in my heart. I want to stay in and progress in the medical field and help people. Thats what I was meant to do. I ordered an inversion table but didn't receive all the parts so I'm waiting on them, I heard they can help. Considering an epidural too. Thank you so much all of you.
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First Helper myopracticworks

replied May 8th, 2012
Active User, very eHealthy
It hurts when I run and sit the most.

Don't run - walk instead for about 2x longer than your runs last to get the same training effect.
Try kneeling on a knee pad instead of sitting. Squeeze your butt to thrust your hips forward.

Is loss of signal degenerative disc disease? If so, can they rehydrate? Also, can a disc herniation heal?

Not a "disease" but unless you relieve the compression (MUSCULAR compression) you can get accelerated disc degeneration.
Can rehydrate but you must stretch out your hip flexors (psoas muscles). Like the "lunge stretch" "Front splits" or "Progressive groin stretch"
I've been told discs don't heal, they toughen up FWIW
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replied May 9th, 2012
I've found the psoas stretch really help. Thanks! I've had to take off work so I'll try to get better before I have to go back I feel a little better. No worse at least.
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replied May 10th, 2012
i just got diagnosed with 2 herniated disks. My dr was actually surprised I was walking when he got the results - said normally people he's seen in my condition are in traction in the hosptial for a few weeks laid up! Anyways starting a physio routine with my chiro - includes NO manipulation - just manual traction stretching and he told me get into the pool - don't excersise in the pool just let the gravity take the stress off my joints. Also NO bending forward or any knee lifts. He says physio 2-3 times a week for a few weeks should fix it. Good luck!
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replied May 20th, 2012
Thank you that makes me feel a lot better. Good luck to you too. I recently had an epidural on my left side because I"be had te pain for a whole and it hurt more for maybe a day and then I started to get some relief. Not a whole bunch but now it's more on the right side, because the actual herniation is just posterior not to a dominant side. So I guess I'm just feeling the right more.
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