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Lower back pain and central disc protrusions

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I am a flight attendant who was involved in turbulence that saw me fall into an aircraft door handle. I am currently going into week 8 of WorkCover. Not being able to fly and having restricted duties that unfortunately do not allow me to even work on the ground. I had an x-ray and CT scan that could not explain the triangle of pain in my lower back and right buttock. At week 6 I was authorised to have an MRI scan which concluded the following:

Small central disc protrusions with associated annular tearing at the L4-5 and L5-S1 disc levels but no significant central canal or foraminal compromise. No neural impingement.

This pain is constant and I seem to be getting no where with it. My GP keeps saying "it should be better now" Shocked and a much more sympathetic Physiotherapist (and in my opinion more knowledgeable) says, "It will take time" and puts those life saving electronic currents on my back. This really is the only thing that helps with the constant pain and the relief from not feeling it is immense.

Having just spent Christmas in bed I am feeling considerably sorry for myself. I am not one to take sick days from work. In the last 14 months I had one sick day and that was a cold that I couldn't fly with (Flight Attendants are unable to fly with severe colds as it could result in bursting an ear drum). I know I am feeling this pain and I know it is a direct result of the accident at work. Alas, where to from here? Is a specialist just going to suggest operating? How much longer before I get better? Should I be in this much pain?
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replied January 1st, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Hello CallieMarie,

WELCOME to this forum and the New Year.

Sorry to read about your accident.

No, you should not continue to be in such pain. To be blunt - forget your GP and search out the best neurologist/spinal surgeon that you can find. Make an appointment with the spine spelialist and take copies of the Xrays, CT scans and MRI images to the specialist. In fact, see at least two specialists. Second opinions are ALWAYS a good idea.

NO, you may not need surgery. That of course will depend on the specialists opinions.

I wish you the best and DO see a spine medical doctor.

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