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Degenerative Disc Disease

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  • Degenerative Disc Disease

    Anybody have this or know much about it? I had an MRI the other day on my lower spine and thats what I have. Right now I am in the worst pain I have ever had. The Dr. said there is nothing they do about it. I am thinking of getting a second opinion.
    What does a dog do on it's day off?

  • #2
    Get a second opinion. My doctor didn't think mine was bad either, and it was. If you are seeing a GP doctor you need to see someone else. You may be able to help it with physical therapy or a chiropactor, but you need to find out just how bad it is first. I had a procedure called an IDET first, where they put hot needles in your back and cauterize the disc. That helped on one of my discs. I had a lot of physical therapy and ended up having a discsectomy.

    My mother has had a lot of surgerys, even with 6 plates in her back. That was a very bad thing as she has had a lot of infections from the plates. She just the other day had a very new procedure that is turnning out real good for most patients, is they are putting a cushion in the discs and it takes the pressure off the nerve and the pain is relieved. It seems to have worked for her, as her disc below the plates was giving out and the pain in her leg is gone, and she was in the hosp. one day and out the next.

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    • #3
      luvpups -

      my sister has this ... she's 36. we have a lot of back problems in my family. at this point she is doing more preventative things ... such as lifting correctly- bending at the knees, keeping your back straight. she's a preschool teacher, so i think incorrectly picking up kids everyday, combined with genetics did a number on her back. she's very much in shape ... does triathalons and bike marathons, but now at the gym & through PT is working on strengthening her back muscles. (and abs, which will help to support your back as well - women in my family are lacking in ab muscles too!).

      good luck - keep us updated!

      -sheila

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      • #4
        Get a second opinion. If possible go to a back pain clinic where you can see doctors of different disciplines all at the same place. I went to one and, all on the same day, saw an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, a physical therapist, a chiropractor, a nutritional consultant, and a social worker. Then they all got together and developed a plan of action. In my case, the plan of action was surgery.

        If your discs haven't ruptured, a chiropractor may be able to open up the disc spaces. A physical therapist can teach you exercises that not only strengthen your core (very important), but also help to pull the discs back, so they aren't pressing on the nerves. For immediate pain relief, try accupunture.

        Last of all, if you can find one, try a practitioner of the Alexander Technique. Among other things, they teach you how posture affects your body. They will also teach you how to use posture to improve your movement and reduce pain.

        Remain pro-active. This is your body and your health. Don't take "There's nothing we can do" as an answer. There are people who can help, even if it's just help in relieving pain.

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        • #5
          I went to the Chiro yesterday and it seemed to help a little. I also got a massage. I go back agin today. Thank you for your responses an I'll let you know how it goes.
          What does a dog do on it's day off?

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          • #6
            what about taking glucosomine and chondroitin. i thought that helped with replacing the fluid between the bones that has been depleted. the way i understood it this would help the bones not hit each other when you move because the fluid would be there as a buffer??

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            • #7
              Alexander technique

              You never cease to amaze me with your encyclopedia brain. I had a few A. techniques, but it was a man and it felt odd.He showed me how to stand up from a seated position. Not to lean forward, just stand up. I did it to help with horseback riding and balance. It was expensive and i did't stick to it long enough. You can find books on it and practitioners in the English riding section of Book stores....oddly enoufgh. Or, no doubt, the internet. I say, don't giver up hope and take those Calcium puills. Does resistance weight lifting help? In the pool it can. As soon as it gets warm., I will be exercising in the pool.i think I will call helly, Doctor Pill. My granny called my aunt that, cuz she knew a lot of medical stuff.

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              • #8
                For anyone who's interested in learning more about the Alexander Technique, what it is, what it can do for you:

                http://www.alexandercenter.com/

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                • #9
                  Well, I went to the neurosurgeon today and I have a herniated disc. I am going Friday to get an epidural steroid shot and have to go to therapy 3 times a week. Hope it works! I am glad i got the second opinion and know what the heck the problem is. Thanks guys!
                  What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                  • #10
                    I have back issues as well. Two herniations and a couple of slipped discs, as well as facet joint things going on. I see a pain management dr and would recommend this to anyone who takes time to ask. I also firmly believe in conservative treatments.

                    I also had that IDET...it didn't do anything for me. Mostly now I am doing radiofrequency nerve treatments and injections every several months. I also get a massage once a week.

                    Many drs will throw out surgery as the normal and accepted treatment. Please do much research and get different opinions first. Surgery does work for some people, but it may not be successul and it often makes things worse. This is not an area you want to be messing with. The recovery is also very long, hard and restrictive.

                    If you have disk herniations, slipped disks or degeneration, you need to be very careful in limiting your weight that you lift. Anything over 25 lbs can lead to injuries that may REQUIRE surgery...like if your legs become weak or you become incontinent, the nerve involvement is such that there is no choice but to go in with surgery. You need to prolong your life without surgery for as long as possible.

                    The fact is, there is no such thing as "routine surgery". Odds are meaningless if you are the one in 100,000 that something goes wrong on. My best friend bled out on the operating table during a laproscopic "routine" procedure. I have a nerve injury in my hand from getting "routine" blood work. Anything invasive is a risk. Do every thing you can now to limit further injury and do everything you can conservatively to ease your pain and increase your mobility.

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                    • #11
                      I went to thr emergemcy room last night cuz the pain was so bad. I had another MRI and it showed the disc doubled in size from the last one. I had to have the surgery on the disc. I will go home on wednesday. I can't wait/The bad news is I can't groom for one month.
                      What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                      • #12
                        Sorry to hear of this hopefully the sugery will solve the problems. I just came off of 2 months of brutal lower back pain (I already have DJD/arthritis in my spine and I'm 39) and I stressed everything on vacation. Bed rest and cortisone shots etc but I seem to be rounding the bend. It is amazing once the pain goes away, just DO NOT do anything that will hurt your recovery. Keep us up to date and try to enjoy your free time!

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                        • #13
                          Well, I am home recovering and feeling much better, just a little sore. Can't wait to get back to work!
                          What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by luvpups View Post
                            Well, I am home recovering and feeling much better, just a little sore. Can't wait to get back to work!
                            That's good! Don't push it to get back to work. Don't want to mess it up. I know I thought that I ruined mine, but as time goes, it seems that my back is getting stronger and stronger, and it has been 4 years now. Best thing I did was having the surgery.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bearmtn View Post
                              That's good! Don't push it to get back to work. Don't want to mess it up. I know I thought that I ruined mine, but as time goes, it seems that my back is getting stronger and stronger, and it has been 4 years now. Best thing I did was having the surgery.
                              I know I feel the same way about my back surgery. It was the best thing I could have done. I wish I could have had it done sooner, before I had permenant nerve damage. But half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. Numbness and tingling I can live with. Feeling like my butt and leg was on fire is not something I could live with.

                              I also agree; don't push it. I was off work a lot longer than a month. I wasn't even allowed to drive for 6 weeks. I know you want to get back to work ASAP; I think we all feel like that. But better to take a little extra time now than mess things up and end up in worse shape.

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