I have major lower back pain. My Dr. Hasn't ran any test, he said it was a classic back strain and sent me to physical therapy. The therapist said she thinks it might be disk related. I did get my Dr. To agree to run some test if I am not any better by the 17th.
I have been going to therapy 3 times a week for the past 3 weeks. I do not feel any better. I was told that I am not a canidite for surgery because I am over weight. I weigh 260lbs I am 5 foot 9 inches. Do I have any other options?? I am scared this therapy is not going to work.
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replied September 3rd, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
Hi there.Therapy/exercise has helped me greatly.I have degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine.Keeping active and moving is essential.If you can,losing weight would be benificial to you.The extra weight will not help you ,painwise.Surgery is not always the answer and should be considered as a last resort.Some people are no better or are worse after surgery.Help yourself and keep trying the therapy.The doctors are there to help,but you need to help yourself as well.Back pain is not easy to live with,but you need to do your part as well.Good luck to you and keep moving!!Patty
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replied September 4th, 2004
surgery would be the very last option.
Try other things first. I have two herniated back discs and arthritis in hips, back and sacroiliac joints. My doctor told me if I lost 5 pounds it would help. I am 5'4" and weigh 120 lbs. I never thought I needed to lose weight. He explained that every pound adds 5 extra pounds of pressure on a joint. So 1 pound is 5 pounds of pressure, 5 lbs. Is 25 pounds of pressure, and 100 pounds is 500 pounds of pressure.
Imagine the relief you would feel, just by alleviating some of that pressure!

I don't understand why your doctor is waiting to get tests done. I would want to know right away. An mri would show if you do have a disc problem.

One word of caution, if you do begin an exercise program, do not lift weights without being shown the proper way by an instructor or you could do more damage. (that is how I hurt myself) walking, biking are good ways to start. Start slowly.
Good luck.
Hope you find relief,
keep us posted.
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replied September 10th, 2004
Back Pain
Hi, what did you do that brought the back pain on? Doc is correct about weight. Just remember, you can't take the weight off overnite. It is one day at a time. It comes off the same way it goes on essentially. You don't need some hyped diet plan - just plain sensible eating - portion control and yes, calorie counting. Surf the net or go to your library and check out nutrition section. Are you semi-active - like working and if so, consider the type of work you do. It all matters both diet wise and back health wise.

Second, watch what your insurance company will allow on therapy. My first company allowed only 20 visits. That was it. After that, it was considered not medically necessary! I took 40 and ended up paying for 20 out of my pocket. The worst part is that I got worse. Began falling down (foot drop), wasting leg, severe low back pain. Xrays showed "slipped disc". It was worse than that when I insisted on mri. I went 3 1/2 yrs this way. I know how fustrated you are. Been there, done that. I cried in private.

Mri showed my disc was basically shattered though I still "functioned" for so long. I ate excedrin like candy. Muscle relaxers did nothing but give a little sleep.

Got the surgery for l4/l5 for fusion. No choice - narrow canal. The disc could not be absorbed. Don't rush to surgery. God no. I didn't and wished I had had more choices. If you have any choice, try the least invasive. Golden rule. You just don't heal like they like to tell you. My doc tried to force me back on a production line at 3 wks when I couldn't even stand for more than 20 minutes! I had no post op therapy - I kept walking every 2 hrs - 24/7. Had to. Had to learn to walk all over again because of severe nerve damage down one leg and foot.

After surgery, the back pain is worse. It has been 6 yrs to the month and now i'm appearing to drift back to the old pain mode again but down the other leg.

Get you a second opinion from a specialist who is not in association with your practice group.

Don't laugh but what kind of mattress do you sleep on? The more firmer the better. Don't sleep on your back or stomach. Sleep on your side with knees bent.

Insist on mri if you have insurance and if you still have pain after about 4 wks therapy and if the pain is still just as bad! I have not regretted getting one done. It proved I wasn't crazy! Exclamation
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