In late May of 2015, I distinctly remember laying on the floor of my condo watching Youtube videos on my iphone. I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t really move without horrible nerve shocks shooting down my right leg into my ankle. And while I lay there I just kept watching self published videos of people recovering from a discectomy. These videos gave me some comfort in knowing that surgery could stop the excruciating Sciatic pain I was enduring. So, I would like to thank these five people who took the time to tell their story of overcoming herniated disc pain through surgery.
Author - discpain
I just passed the 6-month mark of my L4/L5 Discectomy so I thought now would be a good time to discuss my progress. Just a quick recap before getting into how things are today: In early June 2015, during a routine tying-of-the-shoe I badly tweaked my lower back. By the next day, a crippling Sciatica had set-in which confined me to a bed for weeks. Luckily, I had an up to date MRI so an Orthopedic surgeon quickly diagnosed a herniated L4/L5 and I was wisked off to the operating room for a lumbar Discectomy. Fast forward six months and here I am, resting fairly comfortably typing out an update.
Some professions come with a much higher risk of physical injury and often the wear and tear endured by top athletes is centered around the spine. It’s not surprising then that many pros that have had back injuries undergo surgery of some sort – especially Micro-discectomy. Here are some of the more high profile pro athlete with herniated discs and various other back related injuries.
Treating back pain with painkillers has become a controversial topic. And there’s a particular stigma against people that regularly use opiates to treat back pain. The media reports on the use and misuse of drugs such as Oxycontin and morphine almost daily, backed with statistics of rising rates of overdose.
On the recommendation of a neurologist, I began epidural treatments for back pain in early 2013. These were injections of Depo Medrol used to reduce swelling, and inflammation in my lower back. After several treatments that were largely ineffective, I stopped with the injections and looked for other forms of pain relief.
I was traveling through India in early December 2010 when ye ol’ back starting acting up again. The years of backpacking across the globe had taken it’s toll on my spine, and somewhere between Pune and New Delhi, I was hammered by pain in my lower back radiating down my leg. It began with a dull ache and a few days later I was in a familiar position; laid out on a bed, this time under a ceiling fan in Chandhigarh. While visiting my grandmother in the city that I was born, I was suffering through another bad flare up and wondering how I would make it back home.
In 2011, as my neurosurgeon was explaining the results of the laminectomy, he casually mentioned that I had condition known as Spinal Stenosis, most likely congenital and most likely the cause of my Sciatica. Of course, this was all news to me and I wondered why it hadn’t been noticed on the MRI scan. Regardless, I had a new back ailment to add to the list and one that laminectomy should partially fix.
Exercise is an important step towards recovering from any injury. When you’re dealing with herniated discs it’s particularly tricky to find the right routine to get your strength and flexibility back. And if your lower back is as temperamental as mine, you’re constantly reminded that one wrong twist or bend could land you back in bed for or worse, the operating table.
For every operation I’ve had, I’ve encountered an unforeseen complication like numbness in my foot or inflammation around scar tissue. For every pill there’s been some side effect especially pain medication that alters digestion and forces my liver to work much harder than it should. For every therapy there’s been some muscle soreness or overstretched ligaments. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best I can hope for are back pain remedies that keep most biological systems in check, and that’s how I came to acupuncture.