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What is a Bulging Disk?

J. Beam
J. Beam

A bulging disk is a condition related to the spine, usually the lumbar, or lower back, that occurs when a disk bulges through a crevice in the spine. Disks are the soft, gelatinous material that cushions the vertebrae of the spine. A bulging disk occurs when the disk shifts out of its normal radius and most often occurs simply as a result of age.

A bulging disk is different from a herniated disk in that a bulging disk typically occurs gradually over time rather than suddenly. A herniated disk is often the result of an injury or trauma to the spine. In the majority of patients who experience a bulging disk, there is no pain unless the disk becomes herniated or protrudes into a nerve.

Man experiencing lower back pain from a bulging disk.
Man experiencing lower back pain from a bulging disk.

In many cases, a bulging disk may be diagnosed as a condition secondary to another problem. Because a bulging disk does not always cause pain, it may only be found during a routine or diagnostic imaging test such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Typically, a bulging disk is not a problem unless it begins to cause pain, becomes herniated or ruptures.

A healthy spine and a spine with a bulging disc.
A healthy spine and a spine with a bulging disc.

Treatment for a bulging disk or even a herniated disk is relatively conservative in most cases. Rest and lifting restrictions are common, and a doctor may recommend a combination of heat and ice therapy and anti-inflammatory medications or cortisone injections. Medication may be prescribed to deal with any associated pain.

Though usually a condition affecting the lower back, occasionally, a bulging disk may occur in the neck area. Usually, pain that radiates to the shoulders and arms indicates that a nerve in the neck may be pinched or pushed upon. In the lower back, pain may sometimes radiate to the legs.

A bulgiong disk usually affects the lower back but can occur in the neck area.
A bulgiong disk usually affects the lower back but can occur in the neck area.

A physical examination by your doctor will help determine where your discomfort may be coming from and whether the problem arose gradually or suddenly. In most cases, conservative treatment relieves the problem. Back surgery, though not as common, can relieve severe pain caused by compression on the nerves from a bulging disk that becomes herniated.

Discussion Comments


My father's age is 54. He feels pain in leg, and when he is in pain, he feels his skin is cold in the painful area. His leg remains cold while he is in pain.

He had and MRI, and the report results are below :

"MRI of the lumbosacral spine reaveals subtotal disc dessication at L3-L4 to L5-S1 levels with posterocentral disc bulges at L4-L5 to L5-S1 disc levels with evidence of minimal neural foraminal narrowing on either sides".

Please reply with detail whether this is any serious disease or is normal.


I am a 45 year old, active woman who likely hurt her back as she pushed herself despite some lower back pain. In June 2013, I went for a 5K run and the next morning, was struggling with quite a bit of pain in my lower back, which later resulted in moderate sciatica on my left side.

My doctor prescribed niproxin, although it didn't seem to help much. Two weeks into it, I sneezed and felt a tightness in my lower back. I couldn't walk and felt like an invalid. A CT was scheduled for late July (three weeks wait time) so in the meantime, I did what the doctor said and rested. I slept on the ground for two weeks, with a pillow between my legs. The first three days, I spent in total rest on my back, walked (more like shuffled) when I could and the rest of the time until my CT, I tried to do stretching for the periformis and lower back. Every day seemed a little better than the previous one.

The CT revealed two bulging discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1. Physiotherapy combined with acupuncture has been a godsend. I did my physio exercises two or three times a day, and they usually took about 20 minutes to complete. It is now early September and I can cautiously say that my sciatica appears to be completely gone.

From mid-June until now (roughly two and a half months), I can say that I am likely 98 percent healed. My back still feels a little weak though, but I finally woke up this morning suspicious that my pain appears to be gone.

Be vigilant about what the physio says and do what he/she recommends, provided they are good. I didn't lift heavy stuff, was cautious about my posture, and tried to walk when I could. I don't ever want to go through that pain again and will take up a low impact sport as opposed to running. Good luck everyone. Only someone who has gone through it can understand the pain and how debilitating it can be to the mind and body.


I have two bulging disk, in my lower back. I have been put on muscle relaxers and pain killers. They help for a few hours and then the pain comes back, I had an epidural shot which only helped for two days, and I had to use an ice pack. The Epidural shot made me nauseated. I would rather just have surgery then take a shot that lasts for only two days. I need something more permanent.

Along with grade 1 anterolisthesis of L5, over S1 is present with associated chronic bilateral spondylolysis of L5. The L5-S1 disc space demonstrates mild flattening with associated endplate sclerosis and small marginal osteophyte, representing moderate spondylosis. Moderate posterior disc bulges are seen at L4-L5, and L5-S1, with suspected moderate-severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, more prominent at L5-S1.

All I want is my life back.


I was in a serious car accident with a drunk driver in 2009, and have since been diagnosed with bulging discs and degenerative disc disease. I can lightly jog a few feet, but it's hard due to severe nerve damage in my neck and arms. My advice? Stay as active as possible, see doctors, and take care of yourself.


I can't believe how many people have this issue. I have a herniated disk in my neck from a car accident. It's been over a year and now I feel better than I did. I went through physical therapy, heat pads and acupuncture and a chiro adjustment for six months. It helped a lot until I stopped going due to legal issues with insurance.

Ever since, I have taken care of myself. I do light stretches and I started doing yoga. I also have two bulging disks in my lower back from childbirth. My pubic bones separated and the ligaments connecting my pelvis all tore/ripped apart. It took me about 10 months to walk normally, and it's been almost two years and I still deal with minor flare-ups here and there.

I have recovered and healed, thank God. But I am not 100 percent myself. I still have hip and lower back pains at least once a month. I lost about 60 pounds and it took a lot of weight off my spine which has helped me feel lighter and put pressure on back. I have also corrected my posture and I strengthened my core. Yoga and pilates have helped me tremendously. It is something that has worked for me. I would suggest everyone to not give up on yourself. Be aware of your body and take care of it. Be aware of all the muscles of your body and use them properly.

I have learned how to lift properly how to walk, turn my body and do daily tasks in a ergonomic efficient way. Before you begin any surgery, please try to heal your body by strengthening it. I know it may seem impossible. I couldn't walk, pee, poop or lift my legs after giving birth but staying active and strengthening the basic muscles that hold up my torso and pelvis made me recover.

I would cry myself to sleep wondering if I would ever walk and now I am fit and conscious of my body. I eat well, maintain a low BMI and practice yoga. I wish everyone the best. It is hell to wake up in pain and sleep in pain but for some of us there is hope. Don't give up! Much love and peace!


I'm a 34 year old woman. My back problems started some years ago, I think in high school. I remember myself studying for school and feeling pain in my lower back and my father telling me I should sit properly. I wish I had taken his advice to my heart!

Then I started the university so I had to study a lot and I just sat without any physical activity. Moreover I suffered from depression. I sometimes didn't go out of my house for two months! Instead, I found an Internet friend. I just lay in bed or sat by the PC chatting with my computer friend.

After finishing the university my depression stopped, but my backache got worse. I ignored it or sometimes I took some physiotherapy treatment like massages. I was also recommended simple physical exercises but it seemed boring to me, so I didn't perform them. Since I found my first job I have enjoyed my life better and got out of the circle of depression. I have made friends with real people. I wanted to change my life and be more active. I started doing physical activities every day: running, jogging, going to the gym. I felt really well both physically and mentally and was full of energy but my spine had already been damaged and couldn't bear such pressure.

I had no sports accident or obvious injury, but one day I started to hear a buzzing and ringing in my ears. After a week it stopped, but now I have a strange pressure in my head like behind my ears, I have a stiff neck and I have numbness in my little fingers.

To lessen the pain in my neck when I am walking, I can only wear very low heels. I had to give up my sport activities. Now I do only nordic walking. It is great for my neck and shoulders. I feel that my lungs, muscles and heart need something more challenging, but my spine is wrecked and it can't do more demanding sports.

My doctor told me I have a spine of a 50-60 year old woman. Sport is a good thing, however I didn't start with it wisely. I have hypermobility, my body core was extremely weak and it is the worst that you can do is to go from a physically inactive person into a sport lunatic.

Now my whole back hurts, but the biggest problem I have are with my neck. An MRI of my neck showed herniated disks at C5 and C6. He advised me to get an appointment with a neurosurgeon.


Last year I was in a car accident where I was t-boned and slammed across the road into the gutter. About an hour after the accident, I was in agony with my back. When I got to the hospital, I couldn't sit and I couldn't stand. They told me it was just whiplash.

I went to my doctor two days later and she said it was just whiplash and sent me off to Physio. The Physio told me it was just muscle pain and it would heal over time. Nine months after the accident I went to see my lawyer's doctor and he believes there is something wrong with my L5 disc, but is unsure of what it is.

So today, just over a year after the accident, I still suffer daily. I can't do the normal household things or clean my car. If I run or jump, I feel a sharp pain when I do that. What annoys me the most is I'm only 22 and what is going to happen when I have children. I can't even hold my four-month-old nephew.


I hurt my back and neck at work three years ago. I was diagnosed with bulging discs in my neck and lower back. Since that day i have lost my ability to live a normal life. I lost my job, my wife, my confidence; I lost me.

The doctors and insurance company make life worse by stuffing me around at every opportunity. Friends and family try to understand but they can't really know what it's like to go to sleep in pain, to wake up 10 times a night in pain, to wake up in pain. I can't play with my kids, can't play sports, can't work. My sympathies to all of you who understand what I'm going through.


I am a 21 year old college basketball player and I was diagnosed with a herniated L4-l5 and L5S1 about 5 weeks ago. I see that majority of people take a long time to heal from this injury. I am wondering 1. Will I be able to start playing again within the next month? and 2. If not will I ever be able to play again. Basketball is my passion. I just can't give it up. If anyone could answer my question that would be awesome.


I’m a 31 year-old woman who, since 2007, had been in an excruciating amount of pain due to a ruptured L3 and L5 S1 discs. At the time of my first flare-up, I had to be taken to the ER in an ambulance because I could not even move without screaming in pain. I was scared because I had no idea of what on earth was going on with me. I was healthy and active. I was given prescriptions for lots of heavy painkillers, muscle relaxants and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which helped for a while, but didn’t take all the pain away.

A few months later, I had another flare-up, which was just as debilitating as the first one, but this time it came with tons of pain in my left thigh, all the way down to my toes, which, by the way, I could not feel anymore. Simple things, like taking a shower, were absolutely horrible to go through. I could not stand for more than two minutes, could not sit, unless I was on my side, and reclined. Lying in bed was impossible. In essence, it was a total nightmare!

When my primary care physician referred me to an orthopedic surgeon, the guy had no appointments available and I was only able to have a consultation with the nurse practitioner, who didn’t think the doctor could help me and ended up referring me to a clinic where I could get an epidural shot to help me with the pain.

At that time I had no clue about any of this, and thought that I was going somewhere just to get a pain relieving shot to get me going for a while, until the next flare-up hit me again.

What I didn’t expect to find at that place was an incredible team of doctors who knew exactly what I was going through. They were caring, supportive and stopped at nothing to get to the bottom of why I was feeling all that pain. They took it personally.

After I had my first epidural shot, I had an MRI done, where they found herniated L3 and L5 and S1 discs. The epidural helped me stay almost pain free for a few months, and then I had to go back to have a nerve test and a discography to see if any of the herniated discs had ruptured. It turned out that both discs were ruptured. If I had gone to an orthopedic surgeon, the only recommendation would have been to have surgery, which I was not up to.

The recommended treatment was a Disc Regenerative Therapy (DRT), which triggers the body healing mechanisms to relieve the pain and fix the problem.

I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly well that worked for me. It was amazing how I could see the improvements after the first treatment, and after the second one, I was almost pain free!

There’s still hope out there for some of us who have been given only one answer about what can help you heal, and that it not surgery. I know a lot of people who did get a fusion and are worse off now than they were before. Some old school doctors believe that DRT and PRP are scam treatments, but trust me, people actually were healed through these treatments. They do work!

There are a few other places around the country that do offer this treatment. The best of luck to all of you!


I had a discectomy seven years ago after putting off the operation for over a year. I was scared of anything going wrong, so saw a chiropractor for months to no avail. The operation was a miracle and I was up and about the next day. The pain from the wound was nothing compared to the pain I'd been having from my herniation. If you're hesitating don't.

I've been pain free since then and have talked four other people into going for the op, one of which had surgery four weeks ago and can't stop thanking me for giving him the push he needed. The operation is very routine and will give you your life back.


Has anyone ever tried a nucca doctor for a bulging disc and did it help?


I am so sorry for all the people who have posted how they are suffering with so much pain.

I too, am one who suffers with severe pain. I have four bulging disks, two in my neck and two lower lumbar, my spine is completely misaligned and c1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and T1, 2 and l1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and S1. I go through every pain you can imagine, from pain, numbness, swollen nodes,tingling, and pain in my chest, face, ear, legs, hip, buttocks, arms and just everywhere!

I pray that the God that heals would answer you all for healing and me because with God, all things are possible if we believe! God bless you all. I pray for you all, also!


I'm a 15 year old female and I have a herniated disc in my lower back which has resulted in sciatica and problems with my hips, knees and muscles in my legs and back as well. I've had it for over a year now and there's nothing can be done about it. Painkillers don't work and physio is unbearable.

I have never been sporty and no one can tell me what caused it. I have exams coming up and I can't sit in the same position for the amount of time needed. Can anyone give me any help?


I am a 36 year old mother of two very young kids and have been in pain for a year. I ignored it for six months and then went to my GP who recommended physical therapy after an x-ray showed nothing.

With no diagnosis, I ignored the pain for two more months as it worsened so I could work a 9-5 job for eight weeks. I then started PT after eight months of pain and had no relief and the pain worsened. I got an MRI approved after 12 weeks of PT and was diagnosed with an L5/S1 herniated disk. The pain has been excruciating.

I was referred to a neurosurgeon, who wanted to operate immediately but said I wouldn't be able to pick up my kids for eight weeks post surgery. I can't do that, as I have zero help and my husband works seven days a week. I was prescribed neurontin, which has done nothing, and naproxen (aleve) which gave me awful heartburn. They would not give me anything stronger.

In the morning, I can barely walk for an hour. My three year old has to help me put on my pants. I dropped my one year old son and couldn't pick him up as he cried. I started chiropractic and therapeutic massage.

I see the chiro six times a week and do one 30-minute massage once a week. I feel slightly better, but I still need to take daily hydrocodone and I still have one or two days a week I am screaming in pain and want to die. I know that sounds dramatic, but I can't live the rest of my life like this. I can't take care of my babies. I feel useless.

I am getting the epidural injection next week and I am terrified. Everyone tells me not to get surgery, but if that is the only way to be rid of pain, even if I have to get another surgery at some point, so be it. There are days I'd rather be in a wheelchair than be in this pain.


I am 25 years old and this is my story. I am so glad I don't feel alone and that I am not the only one. Last year, October, 2010, I was fully stopped at a red light and a drunk driver rear-ended me. I then slammed into three cars in front of me. He was going nearly 50MPH Talk about whiplash by three times, if not more! I have had several X-rays and two MRI's on my back and neck. The results are my mid-back T10 and T11 bulging disks and my sciatic nerve is damaged and I have been suffering severe pain.

I have gone to the chiropractor, physical therapy and acupuncture, and to several doctors who prescribed me pain meds and send me on my way. That all hasn't been effective.

After a year of stressing on what's the next best thing, I am looking into going to Interventional Pain Management where they do cortisone injections and massage. I hope this works, because I hate the idea of getting surgery. I feel like this is the one last thing I can do to help before surgery. Any suggestions?


It can also be defined as a degenerative disorder in which the vertebral bone or the intervertebral disc becomes soft and loses shape. As a result, the spine loses its flexibility causing acute pain in the back. Women are very vulnerable to back pain during pregnancy. I really appreciate your information, and utilize it regularly as a reference when researching or answering others' questions. Thank you very much for your invaluable information.


MR imaging of the lumbar spine was performed using spin echo and fast spin echo pulse sequences. Serial T1 SE and FSE T2W images were obtained in the sagittal and axial planes supplemented by FSE coronal images.

The lumbar vertebrae are normal in height and marrow signal characteristics.

Disc at L1-L2 is partial degenerated.

Schomral nodes are seen at multiple levels.

There is mild bulge at L4-L5 causing bilateral neutral foraminal narrowing. It is abutting bilateral exiting nerve roots.

Pre and paravertebral soft tissues are unremarkable. Conus is normal in position and signal intensity.

AP diameters at vertebral body levels are L1 (15.5 mm), L2(13.6 mm), L3(12.5 mm), L4(12.6 mm) and L5 is (13.9 mm). No evidence of body canal stenosis seen. AP diameters at disc level are L1-L2 (14.0 mm), L2-L3 (14.0 mm), L3-L4 (13.3 mm), L4-L5 (13.5 mm) and L5-S1 (12.5 mm).

I am 17 years old and my weight is 94 kgs. My BMI is 29.4. Obviously I am obese. But this is worrying me a lot. It has been more than a month since I have taken medication but whenever I try to jog it starts hurting again. Please advise me. I will be very grateful to you.


I'm 26 years old and I have been waking up with a severe stiff neck. Finally I decided to go to the doctor. They performed an X-ray, proceeded with an MRI. The results were that I had two herniated discs in my neck disc c-5 and c-6. The doctors informed me that I need to see a neurosurgeon and most likely have surgery this week. The pain even with the pain meds, steroids and muscle relaxers isn't subsiding.

It literally feels unbearable. I'm unable to do any of the activities I enjoy. Whether I sit, stand or lie down the pain is constantly there. It literally feels unbearable. I'm terrified of getting surgery and have read that a lot of people still feel pain after the surgery. I am scared and feel very alone through this. I can't seem to find anything to subside the discomfort I am having. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. --Jessica


I'm now 26. I was diagnosed with a bulging disc at lumbar 5 at the age of 18 after a really bad car accident. A few years later I was also been diagnosed with degenerative bones under that.

I have had two kids since then and let me tell you: each pregnancy has been hell on my back. When I first got diagnosed I had a cortisone injection and I was in so much more pain that before. I was laid up in bed for two weeks.

I have gone to physical therapy umpteen million times and it didn't help so they finally stopped suggesting it. In 2003, I was put on flexeril, muscle relaxer and codeine (tylenol 3). It worked wonders.

Since then I have been put on vicodin and anti inflammatory meds and off and back on and back off. I went back to the doctor this past year and they are sending me to the chronic pain people to see what to do. Most likely I'll be told to try a back brace and different drugs to manage pain. If not, I'm thinking I'll have to have surgery.

I have been dealing with this for almost 10 years. It has ruined my life. I have to be careful with everything I do. I can barely do any activities that include standing. I'm only able to stand for ten minutes, sit for 30 and I'm most comfy lying down. Having two little kids is literally very hard on me.


I have three bulging disks. I am seeing a PT and the exercises make me feel worse. She recommended Aquatic Therapy. Has anyone tried this?


My experience was very similar to one posted below. Eight years ago, I developed pain in my left hamstring during a period when I was mountain biking three times a week, 10-15 miles, and running 20 miles each week. The pain was most pronounced when getting up after being seated for an extended period, and when getting out of bed in the morning. After being referred for a leg injury, the pain was identified by the physical therapist as the result of a bulging or irritated disc at L4-L5 and/or L5-S1. Being more careful about my posture and the duration of seated periods improved my pain level immediately, but not completely. Rest (one year of no running or biking), and physical therapy (three months, focusing on core strength and back/leg flexibility) allowed me to return to normal. I kept up with the PT exercises for the first year after injury and was pain free by six to 12 months after the start of treatment.

Recovery was complete. Since that time, I was able to take up road cycling (75-150 miles per week), and resumed running up to 20-25 miles per week, and completed a couple of 5k races in 19:30 with no trouble.

More recently, though, I had a recurrence of pain after training (running 30-35 miles per week) and completing a half marathon. When returning to running about one or two weeks later, I recognized the pain in my left hamstring/glute from my previous injury and took off a week, but the pain persisted. Rather than taking more time off, I attempted a short and slow run to see if the pain would be reduced by warming up a little. Instead, I became very stiff and the pain in my leg/glute intensified over the rest of the day. By the next morning, I could barely get out of bed, and was unable to stand or walk for more than one minute before needing to lie down for relief.

A doctor and a physical therapist (a different one, since we had moved) tentatively diagnosed the pain as a disc problem at either L4-L5 or L5-S1. The pain, which was sharp, shooting pain in the hamstring and glute, plus numbness of the outer toes of the left foot, was much more substantial than the first episode. I could only tolerate one minute on my feet when I woke, but the pain slowly dissipated over roughly an hour if I forced myself to stand or walk in intervals. Ultimately, an MRI showed a 1.5 cm bulge in the L5-S1 disc, which was impinging on the nerve root.

Initial treatment involved rest, alternating ice and heat in the lower back, walking (later in the day, once this was not painful), and ibuprofen (600mg every six hours) for a week. It has been roughly four weeks since the initial injury, and the pain has lessened substantially. At the moment, surgery is not imminent, and I have been cleared to start an exercise program with the physical therapist as an alternate to surgical treatment. I do not expect to be able to run or bike for at least six months, and I have accepted the possibility that I may not be able to tolerate any running in the future.

The lessons that I learned from this:

1) Full recovery may be possible and surgery may not be necessary, but it depends on the severity of the injury. In any case, discs heal slowly, and recovery takes time.

2) I was lucky: my body gave me a warning. However, I paid a price for being short-sighted: choosing not to rest led to injury and to being forced to take a (much) longer period of time off.


OK, here's a more optimistic outcome: I was an avid runner: about 40 miles per week at eight minutes, 30 seconds per mile pace. I started to feel pain in my left buttocks around Feb 2011. Onset was gradual, not sudden. There was no lifting accident or sudden pain or anything like that. I thought it was something with my hip joint. It hurt mostly when I sat, and also hurt when I started out a run, but the pain lessened as I ran.

Weeks went by with the pain getting gradually worse and worse. It also extended down the leg towards the outside of the knee and down further along the outside edge of my foot (classic L5-S1 pain map, I was to learn later).

Finally I could barely walk from the pain. I struggled to even get down the hallway to the exam room when I finally went to see a doctor in April. He did some movement tests and achilles reaction tests and pretty quickly determined it was something to do with a disc. He scheduled an MRI for me which I did two days later and got the results back the next day. The doctor called and told me I had an "extruded ruptured disc at L5-S1. The size of the extrusion is a very large 1.7cm". OK, the good news is that I knew I was not crazy. The bad news is that it still hurt very badly.

The doctor put me on Vicodin, three Advils four times per day, and a muscle relaxant (can't remember the name). Hearing the scary word Vicodin, I only took a half dose of it, four times per day. That cut down the pain to a bearable level (maybe a 5 or 6). I spent seven or eight hours per day lying on the sofa. For some reason, it hurt less than lying on a bed. I did tons of research on the internet, and read many, many forum posts. Most of the posts focused on drugs, steroid shots and surgery as the recommended treatment routes.

I went to see a specialist neurosurgeon -- a real hotshot "type A" personality who came rushing into the exam room in his scrubs as if he had just saved another life. He looked over my MRI on the computer screen (seemingly for the first time) and declared, "So, let's get in there and get this taken care of", i.e., surgery. I hemmed and hawed and asked a few questions and finally asked, "Could we maybe, uh, try to avoid surgery?" He then suddenly flip-flopped and replied, "OK, sure, let's wait and see what happens. Come back and see me in three weeks." I got the impression that if I had asked to try taco-eating therapy, he also would have agreed. His position seemed to be "schedule surgery or get out of here so I can see my next patient." Clearly, I was not impressed. I started my own treatment process (see below), and made an appointment with another neurosurgeon.

While waiting three or four weeks to see the next neurosurgeon, I happened across a medical research paper which concluded that most extruded discs will eventually be "reabsorbed" by the body over time with no other treatment. The larger the extrusion, the better the results. A sequestered extrusion (split off from the disc, thus lacking in blood flow, had even better results. Those conditions described mine perfectly. So now I had a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. (I can not find the link to the research paper, but you should be able to google it and find it somehow. Just be sure to include the weird word "resorption" in your search).

I then put myself on the following treatment routine: Vicodin half dose, four times per day for one week. Then I stopped. Advil three tablets, four times per day for one month. Then I stopped.

Muscle relaxant: It seemed to make my pain worse so I stopped taking it after three days. Not sure about this one though.

Ice pack on the L5-S1 area 5 times per day for 15 minutes per time. (Not on the buttocks or leg or anywhere else; be sure your doctor shows you where the L5-S1 area is located on your back; it's higher up than you probably think since your butt is hurting so much! Mark it with a permanent felt pen.) In my case, at that time, I had no pain in that area. So why put ice there? Because that was where the extruded disc "jello" was pressing against the nerve and causing inflammation and the pain I felt elsewhere. The goal of the ice is to minimize the inflammation and thus the nerve irritation. I continued this icing process for one month after stopping Advil.

Physical therapy: I did not do any physical therapy because I felt it would aggravate the nerve too much at this point. My goal was to focus on keeping the area "calm" via ice and light exercise (i.e. blood flow) in order to speed the resorption process. Also it made no sense to me to do physical therapy for an extruded sequestered issue.

Walking: Very slow at first. I could barely swing my left leg forward which meant I was taking small steps at first. The first week, I could only walk three minutes three times per day and I was in great pain (8). I gradually increased this to 25 minutes one time per day after one month. After another month, I kept increasing the speed and distance. Now, three months after the MRI, I can walk 50 minutes at a good pace and have only light pain (0-1) when walking. My stride is back to normal as well.

(Somewhere during that period, I saw the second neurosurgeon mainly to confirm that what I was doing was not dangerous or a waste of time. She totally agreed that I should stay away from surgery and keep doing what I was doing already.)

Summary: Current pain level when walking is 0-1. When lying down on the sofa, it is 0. Lying in bed is a 1. Sitting in car is a 1-2. Getting out of the car and walking a few steps is a 2-3. Sitting in restaurant seats is a 0-2. Sitting at my desk is a 0-1 but a 1-2 when I stand up after 30 minutes. My back has a slight "grinding" feeling from time to time when I turn to look around or get out of a chair. It's probably the bones rubbing a bit since the disc is now very "deflated" and not creating enough space between the L5 and S1. I will keep following this daily walking regime until the pain totally goes away to a 0 at all times. My guess is that it will be a full year before I reach that goal. Maybe I will start running again then, but have not decided this.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. You really helped me get through a tough time in my life. Hopefully this post will help some others as well. Good luck!


I am currently 18 but i was diagnosed at the age of 16 with disc desiccation disease and a bulging disk at my L6. oh yeah, and i have an extra vertebra.

It was injured due to a gymnastics vault, landing straight up and down. I've tried many medicines, i have reduced my physical activity quite a bit and sitting in class really stinks. i know what you guys are going though.

Does anyone have about the same thing and finds relief?


I am 40 years old and have two bulging discs at L4 and 5 with an annular tear at L5. My doctor initially started me on a anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxer. They do not help.

The thing that helps me the most is Neurontin, a.k.a. Gabapentin. This helps control the nerve pain. I am about two weeks out from the onset of my excruciating pain and now the pain is tolerable. The spine doc I seen told me to play with the dosing of the medicine to see what works best for me.

I hope some of you ask your doctors about this drug. The pain that we feel the most is nerve pain.


After reading some of your stories I don't feel so alone anymore. I'm only 25, and I just had a baby girl last July (2010). Ever since she was born I have had bad back pain. Growing up I never had this kind of pain. First I thought it was because of the epidural I received during labor. That was given more towards the center of my back, and the pain I feel is my lower back. Well my gyno sent me to get an MRI. I got a phone call yesterday stating it looks like a slightly bulging disk.

I don't have any more details as of right now because I am waiting to go see a neurospine doctor this month. I'm scared, but mostly because I don't want this to affect my relationship with my daughter. It hurts to bathe her in the tub, and to pick her up out of her low crib. Thank God I have a sweet husband to help me.

I feel for all of you! May we heal and heal quickly!


I am 46 and was backpacking through Thailand. That's my life. I travel and I'm an adventurer. While up in near Laos and Burma I got an overwhelming back pain. I had to carry on for a week with the backpack and the pain until I could get to a hospital in Bangkok. The hospital was great but I was only given strong paracetamol and tiger balm. I was told to stay in bed in a hotel for two days and then fly home. I flew 18 hours back to Seattle. The pain was unbearable. Airlines don't care and neither do hotels. In fact, no one makes life easier for you when you are in pain or with a disability. It's your issue.

I got home and went straight to my doctor. He got me on meds immediately: Naproxen and Endocet. I started water therapy immediately too. I was extremely bent over because of the back pack, the week delay and wrong care. I couldn't stand upright at all. I had trouble going to the bathroom. Couldn't even reach around to wipe my butt after going to the bathroom. I put a shower stool in my shower to sit on because I couldn't stand long enough to have a shower due to the pain. I live alone. I'm independent. Now I think I should have not been so stubborn and got married so someone could help during the "during sickness and in health" part. I did physical therapy every day and was so excited when I could stand somewhat upright. I got an MRI and was diagnosed with a bulging disc between L4 and L5 when I was able to lay flat on a table. Prior to the MRI I wasn't even able to lie flat. I slept with three pillows under my knees, four behind my head, one on my side, heating pad, and ice pad.

I never got correct info on where I should put what. So my pain goes from my lower left side, across my thigh, and deep deep into my knee. I had an old knee injury and have some fluid on the top of my knee. It feels like the pain settles there and the pressure is extreme. However if I heat or ice my back, the pain in my knee goes away. It's all connected. I was then sent for an epidural. I had it yesterday. i felt relief. I felt my back was great except last night the pain in my knee and the pressure was awful. I couldn't sleep and took my Naproxen and surrounded myself with pillows. I have always slept on my stomach in the past and with the back pain gone I was so excited to get back on my stomach and couldn't because of my knee. Ugh. I don't know what will come in the future. I'm depressed. I travel for a living. I lead an extensive life. I love walking and traveling. I can't even walk down the road now. Some of you say it goes away. My doctors say I'll be back to normal in no time. Some of you say it stays forever. It just can't. I hate this.


I am 35 years old and due to an old injury in my neck, and now have degenerative disc disease, arthritis and stenosis, along with two crushed bulging discs in my neck. I have tried physical therapy and a chiropractor along with many different pain meds, but nothing helps. PT only made it worse.

I have symptoms all over my body, from my head to my toes and the specialists say my discs are bulging and pushing on my spine and nerves and are cutting off spinal fluid in my neck.

Today I went grocery shopping with my husband. I was pushing the cart, the cart got heavier and I didn't notice fast enough. Then, I heard and felt a pop in the front of my neck. By the time we got to the car, my neck had swelled on the left side, by the time we got home both ears had blocked, numbness had started to spread across my face, nausea set in, and it felt like someone was hitting me in the back of the neck with a lightening bolt. As I type this my fingers are going numb.

My question is: is it possible to do more damage to an injury like this one by pushing something?


I was diagnosed with a bulging disc at L5/S1 with major nerve impingement (talk about pain!) just over a year ago, and after six months of agony, pretty much thought my life was over. I was a serious athlete with a very strenuous job, and suffered constantly.

I had a cortisone epidural after a year and was in such bad pain I couldn't move for days. But, I also had the support of incredible PETs who brought me through it.

My best advice is to find the right PT for you (manual worked wonders) - I have been to over 15. Surgery has been proven to cause more trouble - even orthopedic surgeons will say so. Do your home exercises. Use a lumbar support - all the time, everywhere. No one cares.

Remember not to sit for too long - you can always find an excuse to stand up, even on 18-hour flights or long conferences. Find a strong support network, and remember that flare-ups and awful days are temporary, even though they seem like the worst thing in the world when you're in the middle of one.

Prednisone helped with major flare-ups, and I've been on many NSAIDs for normal maintenance, mostly Naproxen 1000 mg/day. Water therapy is great for taking the pressure off your spine and has helped me build strength quickly. I was just discharged from PT and have almost returned to my normal workout schedule. That's not to say I don't still have bad days, but I know how to handle them.

I remember reading these boards when I was first diagnosed and feeling such a sense of despair at what awaited me. It is not easy. But don't give up. You can and will get through it.


i have two herniated discs since January. They have gotten worse. I get shots in my back but do not help. I take meds for pain but they only last about one hour. my back down hurts and goes up my back and to my neck. i walk now with a limp. i do not think i can ever do work again. I am 57 and an hvac tech. will i ever be 100 percent again to work? this is all the work i know how to do.


Aim 68 years young and have two bulging discs at L4 and L5, also arthritic inflammation deterioration at S1 This problem started three years ago in the beginning I could not walk 15 feet because of the intense pain. I refused to quit doing stretches, on the bed and then on a Matt, after three year I now walk two miles a day work out on nautilus three times a week do deep water aerobics twice a week, I live with some discomfort, yet I'm now able to do my 20' by 30' garden, what I'm saying is do everything most of all don't get depressed, I can't sit long periods at a time but hey you compensate by standing and laying down for a bit. Where there is a will there is a way. God bless. --Ray


I have spinal stenosis in my neck along with bone spurs. I am 35 yrs. old. Pain management helped me a lot. I had an RFA done over a year ago and have been pretty much pain free. The epidural injections didn't work for me but the Radio Frequency Ablation did. Ask about it; it works!


I am 25 years old and have had back pain for eight months now. Although it is not severe enough for me to not perform normal activities, I am nevertheless hindered in enjoying life. I have been diagnosed with a bulging disk, and I am miserable for it. I used to be an avid runner and overjoyed with life. Now I don't want to get out of bed as my pain has led to depression.


I am 44 year old fit male. I have been having off and on lower back pain for 22 years. My first attack was at age 22 from an ice hockey check into the boards. Since then, the lower back pain rears its ugly head so randomly it is annoying and depressing. I go years without issues then bang! An attack. I cannot walk, move or even sneeze.

I have been hospitalized up to five days due to the acute pain. The MRI shows bulging disk(s) and minor spine disease. Over the years I moved away from high impact sports like hockey, soccer, tennis, and jogging to swimming, walking and yoga but still get attacks.

I have come to the conclusion that aging plays a huge role. I cannot stop aging, so must accept that my spine will weaken more as I age. The disks already bulged will bugle more or new ones will be created due to my weak spine.

When an attack occurs I rest and take pain medicine. Then after a few days, I start moving my body despite the pain. The body is designed to move - use it or lose it, I believe. So keep bed rest to a minimum. To date I have avoided surgery but maybe one day it will be needed. But until then I plan to work through my attacks with pain killers and movement.

I wish everyone all the best in dealing with the pain and mental stress back problems cause. It is tough but be tough back and work through it.


I have just been told that i have spondylosis on my L3/L4, and bulging disk left side from L3 to S1. I'm in constant pain, and my GI doctors have taken me off of all opiates, because of my gastroparesis. What in the heck am I to do. Depression is my daily buddy.


I am 40 and just got an MRI stating I have a bulging disc in C5 and C6. It has caused me migraines since I was 18. I tried the neck exercises described above where you put your chin down, hold it down, and press your head straight back. It provided immediate relief. Thank you!

Also, I will be prayer for you all, especially you #4, chhaya05. God bless you all and may you all find your sources of help and healing. Keep your thoughts positive and never give up. You are all worth it.


I am 42 years old and have had back pain for about 5 or 6 years now. I also have pelvic pain, right sided abdominal pain, pain in my butt, my right hip and leg. I finally had a CT scan that showed I have a bulging disk at my L4. I went yesterday for a cortisone injection and I have to say that even though I am feeling pain from the injection, most of my other pain is much better.

My doctor says I may have to have a couple more injections but if the results are as good as this time then I am all for it. I sympathize with all of you that are going through this pain and I hope and pray that you find a solution that helps you.

I know what this pain can do to your life and it makes you miserable and so depressed. Good luck to you all on finding a solution for your problem!


My name is Casey, and I am 15. I've been having pain in my lower back and leg for two weeks now. I got two ultrasounds and they haven't found anything. I just had an MRI and they found that I have a bulging disk. It hurts so bad to sit, stand, walk, lay down.

There is a position I found that seems to help when lying down. Lie on your side and cross one leg over the other so it hangs off the side of the bed. It takes the pain away almost instantly. Soma also helps with the nerve pain. Hope all of you get better.


About 10 months ago in june i injured my back pretty bad from squatting at the gym. I had an MRI done and i have a big disc herniation of the T-11 T-12 and I'm only 19. The pain is excruciating and it effects my legs greatly. Surgery is too risky for my disc herniation, and physical therapy actually hurts my condition, and cortisone shots were ineffective.

I get meds for the pain and spasms but does not eliminate all the pain. Any advice on what to do next?


I had a herniated disk that was hitting my sciatic nerve. My lower back and right leg hurt so bad I could hardly take it. I went ahead and had Micro Endoscopic surgery on my back to fix the herniated dick and was amazed when I woke up pain free. I only had a one inch incision and only missed three days of work. This was amazing!

It has now been seven weeks and the doctor says I can do whatever I want. I do still have a little pain but I think that is just degenerative. I am so happy to have that sciatic pain gone and would recommend this to anyone that can have it done.


I am 15 and will be 16 in a little over a month. I have been having horrible back pains since friday. I didn't do anything to hurt it. I went to urgent care the next day and they took several x-rays. All but one came out to dark to read. They put me on Motrin 600s and they aren't helping at all.

My mom, who happens to be a nurse, thinks it is a bulging disc in my lower back. I haven't been able to do anything without pain. So I have been lying in my bed on my heating pad since friday. What do you think this could be?


I'm a 47 year old male with two herniated discs in my neck with spurs and arthritis in the same area. I suffered the neck injury five years ago, but my Doctors say some of the issues were pre-existing. As a remodeling contractor in my early adulthood, I hung sheetrock single-handedly by holding it up with my head (a common practice), for example, probably didn't help.

I've tried some of everything and being active, within my limitations is great, but I work at a computer now and that can aggravate my condition.

One of my best reliefs comes from traction. I bought one of the simple devices online that consists of a head strap that grabs your chin and back of head, cable, and a bracket holding a pulley that mounts on top of a door and a heavy duty bag you fill with water for the weight.

This contraption helps but is a pain to set up and use. First thing I did was put wedges under the door to keep from sagging, then I switch from the water bag to a heavier dumbbell.

Now the only thing I use from my kit is the head strap. I mounted a heavy duty hook through the ceiling, into a wood truss, above a chair where I can see the tv or computer. I connect a strong bungee cord the hook and use a short piece of chain I got at Wal-Mart (chain is easily adjustable) and connect that to both sides of the head strap and hang my head about 15 - 20 mins every other afternoon.

You won't believe the relief. Be sure to start with light tension and only about five minutes, and build up gradually.


The sheer number of patients here with HNP pain that have not been treated with a series of three epidural corticosteroid injections is shameful. It is expensive, yes, but the cost of suffering endless pain in life saps the joy from each passing moment, as you are all verifying.

You will never really be the same one a disc herniates, but you will get better with the above treatment (typically given by an anesthesiologist in a 'special procedures' environment, same day surgery. Get your primary care Dr. to see to it that you have current contrast MRI and then get a referral on an emergency basis if necessary. Stop suffering!

I am a medical provider who has had this procedure acutely in 2006 for three consecutive procedures in the course of three months. Now - I go once or twice a year IF I need it (and I usually do). Good luck to all.


I'm 17 years old and just found out that I have three bulging discs in my lower back: 3, 4 and 5. Haven't fallen, never in a wreck, and not too big in sports. I don't understand why. My mom and I think it might be the scoliosis playing a part in it somehow. But they haven't given me any pain medicine, or even an answer to what they do.

I've dealt with migraines for the past two years and pain in my neck and back. Going from one medicine to another for migraines was awful. Haven't had one day that I didn't hurt somewhere or go numb. So this is a big let down for me, especially when we don't have too much money to spend already.


This is my healing story. I am 26 years old and have extreme lower back, hip, and leg pain.

I own a gardening business and have always been extremely fit, however I fell while rock climbing two years ago and my back hasn't been the same since. I have a dent in my back on the left side of T4 which, my chiropractor has told me, has caused T3 and T4 discs to bulge into my nerves. I don't have insurance, so finding a cure, much less what's wrong with me has been quite a journey.

I've been to a chiropractor, multiple acupuncturists, massage therapists, yoga classes, inversion tables, and the emergency room all without much change. The emergency room was a complete waste of time, one acupuncturist made my pain even worse, yoga = pain, and I was running out of energy.

Because I don't have insurance, I was bartering with most of these people for gardening work, but knowing that I would have to do manual labor to be healed just kind of adds a bad flavor. So I decided once day that I had had enough. I needed to be able to heal and apparently I needed to be able to heal myself. So I decided to become certified in Reiki. It's an energy healing method that's relatively easy to learn and has no negative side effects.

I've been certified for a year and find it really helps in dealing with the pain, but after moving last month it got really bad again. Like really bad. After two months of crawling around and crying and sitting out of my favorite activities I decided again that I had had enough. I called my Reiki sister Dee and asked her if she would come over and we could do Reiki on each other (once again having to barter to be healed). I decided to do Reiki on her first, leaving me for after.

On this particular day I felt the flow like never before. I was determined it was going to be a healing day for both of us. I was open, listened to her body, felt her breath, wiped away some negativity while keeping the positive in its place. She said she had never felt my energy like that before and neither had I. So after an excruciating 45 minutes it was finally my turn.

My boyfriend was coming home in 30 minutes so we had to make it a power session. Right from the get go I felt the need to cry. I felt very passionate, that I had a mission today-and that was to heal. With every deep intense breath I called upon anything and everything to assist me in my healing. God, Jesus Christ, Rafael, Buddha, my breath, the maker of everything, please, I beg of you, if this is my moment to heal, please let it be so. I'm ready, I'm open, please help me release.

Every breath that I took in I concentrated it into my lower back or my hips or my left leg-it was excruciating. It hurt to let the fresh air in to expand, but I kept my breath in the pain and held it there as long as I possibly could then with each exhale felt my body relaxing deeper into healing. The 30 minute session was the most intense 30 minutes I've experienced since being robbed at gun point in South America!

The Reiki practitioner was breathing intently, and I have never breathed so intently and with so much focus for so long. All the while invoking anything and everything I could to aide in the healing process. This is my time to heal, I thought. It's time, I'm open, I'm ready to be done with this-just relax already! Just relax! With each breath I could start to feel a shift of energy flow. At least the pain with each breath let me know I was activating the area, so I kept pushing deeper into it. My left leg would twitch sometimes, letting me know currents were flowing. Things were happening and I was determined. My boyfriend came home and the session soon came to a close. I started to get up off the table, but my body said no! Just lie here and let this soak in.

I got up to go to the bathroom and felt pain and tightness in the back of my leg and down through my calf, not my hip and side leg like before. This was strange. By the time I got done I was feeling light headed and felt an all consuming need to just lie down. I couldn't move. It was a little scary. This was either really good or really bad. I moved back on the massage table hoping to gain my bearings again but shortly my friend had to leave and I had to walk her out. So, I slowly started to slide off the table and before my feet even hit the floor, I felt two huge pops in my lower back – right inside the pain zone. I froze, not knowing whether to stand or lie back down, or just keep still floating half on the table half off.

I looked up at Dee. It was obvious she had heard it, too. Both of our eyes were as round as silver dollars. As I started to stand, I felt different. I had no pain! I was still feeling light headed. My body didn't know what to think. It felt good but I needed to lie down. After walking her out. I took my rightful place on the couch and didn't move all night. Just breathed and let the shift settle. When my feet hit the ground the next morning I could tell the shift took. I got up and stood up straight! I noticed that my attention didn't go to my back! I could stand without pain! I was scared to even say it. Could it really be true?

I didn't want to jinx it and further, and I still didn't feel like moving. Didn't feel like bending, like stretching or really moving my back in any way. It still had some sinking in to do. So I grabbed a book and headed back to the couch. I read, I took notes, I laughed, I cried, I breathed, I kept healing for the next eight hours. I felt different. I felt better. I felt my back open and release. I just thanked the world and let it sink in. I bowled four games that night with a straight back and very little pain.

Your breath is an incredible healing tool. Use it! Reiki! Reiki! Reiki! Be open to healing! Allow yourself to be helped! Just relax and breathe into the pain!


I feel your pain so badly! I went for MRIs to rule out MS after suffering in pain since the summer, panic attacks, chest pains (think I'm having a heart attack,very scary- went to cardiologist, heart seems to be OK but getting second opinion), stomach pains, pelvic pains, arm pains, finger pain, shoulder pain, headaches, leg pain, and of course back pain.

Went for MRIs to rule out MS and tumors and they found a bulging disc in my neck and two in my Thoracic.

I can't believe how much referred pain these bulges can cause. I want to comfort people who are going crazy thinking they have a serious illness because I had severe health anxiety for 6 months! I am still going to Dr.'s, but if I keep getting negatives on tests and I am going to chalk it up to these disc bulges.

I am able to function, thank goodness, and I feel for those who can't, but some days the pain is so bad my heart races, my muscles spasm and I fear heart attack. My ribs feel like someone is squeezing them and they are very sore to touch.

I know a T bulge is very rare, so if anyone out there has one and is going through what I'm going through, hang in there. This pain can come mimic many serious illnesses.


I'm a 49 year old female and for the past nine months, I have had back pain. The doctor says it's a bulging disc. The pain has gone to my hips and groin area and down the back of my legs. These drugs are quacks. Here they are doing nothing about my pain. I do not want to pay $2000 for injections that last maybe three days. I'm not sure what to do. any help?


I am male, 32, and have had back pain for the last six years and I know what it's like. The best thing for me is staying active.

I go for a 40-minute swim four times a week and it's great because your back is horizontal and your body weighs less in the water. I also use the pullboy which I hold with my arms and use the lower back and thighs to kick to move forward. It's instant relief after you get your fitness up. Good luck for everyone in finding relief and consult with your doctor before trying anything.


My name is lori. i have cervical spine problems in the neck and my pain has been referred to my ears. i have suffered for months, and most doctors haven't helped.

at first i thought i was losing my hearing so i began praying to God that it not be my ears and he answered by it being my neck instead! I do have to have surgery because every disc in my neck is bulging and i have a lot of spurs, but i find it as something of a blessing that at least it's not my hearing!

i do take that as a blessing. so i will have the surgery and be thankful for what God has given! i will pray for all of you that your pain be eased. and as you look for doctors, take a moment and pray to the greatest physician of all. he does still work miracles! i really believe he worked one for me. good luck to you all!


I never realized how fragile the back is, and how many people are affected by this pain. It is so life-affecting. I cannot make a move without thinking it through, and if I do, I suffer for it. I was never an athlete, never in an accident, always felt great. Now, here I am, 49 years old and feeling like a bleeping cripple.

My life is on hold until I find out what the surgeon can do for me. I've already had one surgery to shave the bone from my sciatic. I thought I was fixed and felt great for two years. Now, back to the drawing board, and so soon.


I'm 16 years old. Not very old at all, right? well i was just told today that i have two bulging disks in my back. It sounds like nothing but every day it hurts, although some days are worse than others. They gave me like two different pills for the pain and yeah, they are not doing anything to help the pain.

I want to be like i was a year ago: able to play sports or sadly even just gym without feeling like an 80 year old woman. I don't know what to do. Any advice?


Wow I'm glad to know that I'm not alone! I have been a dental hygienist for almost six years now and within the first two years of my career I started to have pain in my thumb and left shoulder but it was not constant. I tried physical therapy, but unfortunately i felt more pain after the physical therapy sessions. My doctor recommended that i get an MRI.

The MRI revealed 3 bulging discs in my neck C5, C6 and C7 with C6-7 being the worst. For the last year and a half i have been working in a periodontal dental office and working four days a week with old equipment and non ergonomic operator environment. Since then i have been having some extreme pain that starts with my neck, right shoulder, entire arm all the way to my index and thumb.

My index finger feels stiff and it cramps. I can't even cut vegetables or drive for a very long time without terrible pain. I have had five episodes of vertigo and i have tried a chiro but unfortunately after the second visit he did something to my neck and ended up with bad vertigo for three days.

I'm very fit, not overweight and eat right. The chronic pain I'm in every day sends me over the edge. I don't want to live anymore like this. I want to quit my job but can't afford to. I feel trapped and in pain. I don't know what to do. I have been thinking about maybe going back to school and studying something else. Unfortunately, a lot of other jobs require use of a computer which i can't be on for more than five minutes and the pain sends me over the roof. Please anyone out there help me. I feel your pain everyone, literally!


I am 25 years old, My MRI report is saying mild disc bulge at L4-5 and L5-S1.I would like to know whether it is a serious matter or it can be easily treated and cured. Please reply.


I just wanted to add to the long list of pain suffers. I'm 33 and my L1 and L2 are bulging and pushing on nerves, causing me excruciating daily pain. It hurts so bad. I've got depression problems and when I hurt this bad, the depression is harder to handle. I just want the pain to end so I can be normal. Feeling sad but what can I do?


Just a thought as an alternative treatment - has anyone tried Kinesiology?

If you do some research in your area, you should be able to find a good, reputable Kinesiologist who can assist with pain management in a natural, non-invasive way simply by rebalancing the bodies energy systems. It's heavily based on traditional Chinese medicine, without the needles.

It uses non-invasive techniques to detect and correct any imbalances with the body's energetic systems and then gently rebalances them. Hope this is of some help.


OK, here is my story: i am 35 years old, a designer (used to work 10 hours on chair without any troubles) not any more. i have been doing body-building for 15 years,never squat or dead-lift in my life as i am taking care of my spine.

one day i had Moroccan massage with a jungle man who pulled my back in a wrong way and my tragedy started with lower back pain with numbness and tingling in my left foot and above all, i can't work anymore, as my work requires sitting for long periods of time.

An mri showed l5 l4 disc protrusion pressing the nerve. I've done pt, ch, stretches every day, with two injections, but nothing worked. i am trying my best to avoid surgery as it's a 50-50 chance and things can get really worse.

i have seen some workstations online and might buy one of them. i have not worked for one and half year know and i am still having hope that i can beat this problem and carry on with my life. God bless you and i wish every one of you a pain free life!


Yeah I'm 18 years old i have two bulging discs in my L4 and L5 and iv had pain for about one or two years now. I recently started going to a chiro and i want to join the air force so i don't want to go with surgery, i have pain every day and this stinks.


I feel this pain! I have two bulging discs in the L3 and L4 parts of my spine, and it causes pelvic pain, hip pain, pain in my butt, thighs, legs, abdominal (lower) and feet. To make it an even weirder concept, I'm only 19!

My doctor believes that I did this injury when I was only 11 through a bad sports injury. This pain seems so weird to me and I wanted to know if abdominal and pelvic pain was normal with this sort of injury? Thanks!


I just want to share this little bit of information with you. I'm only 19 years old and about a year ago i was suffering from a bulging disk in L5 (lower part of back) It was sleepless nights, over and over for a year.

I couldn't cough, sneeze or even laugh the pain was that horrible. I felt tingling all throughout my legs. I couldn't lie on my right side at all. The pain was excruciating.

So i made an appointment to see the back specialist here in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He gave me appointments with physiotherapy and chiropractors. Neither of them worked. So then he suggested surgery. I went through with it, and it was the best thing i ever did. He done a great job.

I know it sounds scary talking about surgery, but what you have to keep in mind it's only for a couple of weeks; every day gets better and better. If you've had a back problem for the last year or so, it's probably not going to get better. So I'd suggest surgery. Stay positive everyone!


I am a 35 year old male, on the heavy side. Picked up a waverunner out of the water about 10 years ago and shifted 3 vertebrae, PT and Chiro helped me get back to working within a month.

Fast forward 10 years later and I am on a program, dropped 30lbs, mind you feeling great the whole time. I am working out and now, 30lbs lighter, my back is twisted. I have five bulging discs in the lumbar with one severe and a slight tear in the l5.

I've been dealing with this pain for over six weeks, mind you working and trying to help with my two young children. Chiro, PT, stretching all help a bit, sometimes have to pop an Aleve or Advil to help take off the edge, but the pain is bad, worse than the injury 10 years ago, and it won't seem to go away.

Picked up an inversion table, had some cold laser therapy and again, some relief, short lived, maybe a day or so. Headed in the direction of at least one steroid shot, possibly more, but the key is to resist going back to my full blown workout schedule.

Plan is to strengthen the core area as much as possible, keep up with some low impact cardio (I love running, but it's high impact) and keep my head up.

I am fortunate that I have only missed one day of work so far, but know the reality is that more may be coming. I get the shooting pains down the legs, the tingling in the toes and lower leg, sometimes feels like something is going to burst through my ankle. Ouch.

Keep the faith, know that the body can heal itself and listen to all your doctors, do your research, and then choose the path that's right for you. Good luck!


I am 29 and stand on my feet for five hours a day for work! I started having back pain four weeks ago and after getting an MRI was diagnosed with L4 and L5 bulging disks. My pain has been incredible. Sent me into tears many times over the past 4 weeks. Going to an ortho doctor in two weeks. Can't find a sooner appointment.

This crap stinks. If I cannot work, I lose my health benefits. If I keep working i hurt my back daily. If i stay at home and quit my job I will lose my mind quickly to depression.

Found good stretches on this page that i am going to start doing tonight. Glad/sorry to see all these posts.


i have to say to all of you: When I was 21 I got some serious back pain, sciatica, shooting pains down the right leg. I was limping around, so depressed and miserable because I was in so much pain all the time.

The doctors were no help, just gave me anti-inflammatories, then I tried physio, acupuncture and osteopathy, with no major help. Then I tried yoga about a year into my back problems. I could tell pretty quickly that this was going to be my way through the pain. And it has been.

It has been a long journey, but there is a lot of light along the way. Yoga gives you the tools to heal yourself, and you can. you just need perseverance. Now I am 37 years old (a yoga teacher too!) and I have healed myself.

I strengthened my body and realigned my physical structure, so I could lengthen my spine and relieve the pressure on my nerves. I straightened my core muscles so I could take the pressure off my back.

It has been a journey, but I have learned to appreciate what pain can bring you, if you face it. Pain is an opportunity to transform yourself, to go deeper within and discover who you really are and what you're made of. Try yoga and stick with it. It will change your life forever!


OK Cowboy or Cowgirl up a bit! (quit talking about suicide, Geese). These docs tend to treat rather than cure. Surgery is no cure. I have heard nothing but bad things from surgery, scary. Pills lose their luster in their ability to help, so slow down on them. You do not know how long you will need to be taking them.

Back pain stinks. I have six disks in the ditch and I have my dramas but I won't bother you with them. Listen to the positive here. Try to be positive.

Hell, I hurt myself at work and found out they haven't had insurance since 2001 and the state looks at me as the bad guy. Go figure. They represent the employer who has been breaking the law for years. Funny how bad people have become. Does anyone know right from wrong anymore?

They try to comfort me and tell me "that is just the way it is done" and I say "Not in my book", but I doubt they get that. Good luck with yourselves and be stronger then the pain and learn to laugh at it. it is a life experience.


I fell in a Kroger store three months ago and the pain has been killing me. I went to Chiro and after I would leave the pain was worse. I had an MRI and found out I have three bulging discs and I am going to pain management today.

My pain started in my back then arms fingers tingling and hurting and yesterday it started down my left leg. I am depressed. I cry from the pain and not being able to do my usual things in life. Good luck to everyone. Let's be healed.


I am 30 years old and female and most of the doctors I have seen have told me that I am too young to have in the lower back L5 S1:

1. bulging disk

2. Bulging and herniated disk

3. Extrusion pushing on Sciatica nerve

Boy, they are wrong! Over 100 of the posts are teens or in their early 20's! I feel your pain, and I'm sorry! I have been on bed rest for a month, still cannot walk more than five minutes or sit at all!

Overall, I have come to the conclusion that to heal:

1.Ice; 2.Rest (months to possible years); 3.Walk every day if you can (one or two minutes) and bounce (gently) on an exercise ball to get your blood flowing.

4. Spinal decompression (I'm considering because it's non-surgical).

5. Get fresh air, surround yourself with loved ones, so you do not get depressed!

Don't: 1. over stimulate yourself. You may re-injure yourself.

2. Cortisone shots (unless in absolute pain, which I am considering to do) because it only relieves your pain temporarily.

3.Surgery, because you will always have more than one and your back will be more fragile than it was.

Hope this helps! After reading everyone's pain I realize I am not alone in my pain. Praying for healing for everyone!


I am 43 years old and just got diagnosed with two bulging disks in L4 and L5. Its been three months of terrible pain and I am getting worse.

I now have tingling in my legs and feet and cannot stand for more than five minutes. I can barely make it through the grocery store. It's been a very overwhelming experience. I will see my doctor to find out what my treatment will be but am hopeful that rest and prayer will heal my body.

I am so sorry for all of you who are so young who are having to go through all this. Please keep your thoughts in a positive place to help get you through this. Be aware of your thinking so you don't fall into depression. My heart goes out to all of you suffering with this as I know what you are going through!

I will post back when I find out what the doctor says. Until then, be strong and know that I am praying for you!


I'm 14 and i have bad pains in my back and I don't know what it is. i have had it for about a year now and i just want to know what it is.


two years ago i was playing football for my high school, at the end of a play, their inside linebacker snuck up behind me and got me with his helmet right in the lower back.

Ever since then, I've had problems with my back. i went to the doc and find out that both L4 and L5 and bulging discs. I had therapy and shots but neither worked. I am now 18 and can barely get out of bed in the morning. Can't wait until I'm in my 50's.


anon109764: The 19 year old female, comment 248: I too, was rear ended (by a drunk driver) while stopped at a red light. i was 19 at the time. I am now 22.

I have done physical therapy four times and have been on countless medications. They've offered me shots into my spine that I've declined but am now reconsidering.

I now may have a bulging disc in my neck (and I'm pregnant so there isn't a whole lot they can do) but to answer your question: It will temporarily feel better after a bout of physical therapy.

you will probably get lots of movement back. but you will never be 100 percent. Just try to enjoy what mobility and any time of low-pain that you can because as you get older- it will get worse. I don't mean to be negative but the doctors aren't going to be straight up with you. I hope you sue the person that hit you for everything they have. Good luck.


I am 26 years old and have a bulging disc L5 S1. I am going for surgery in a couple of weeks. I have had my back issues since 2008 and it has not gotten any easier on me. I have been off work since January of this year. I might not even be able to go back to my job because of my back.

I am going to have to find a new profession (I currently am a day care teacher). Talk about life changing. I can relate to the parents with younger children. Unfortunately though, if it is not treated probably it could be a huge issue later on in their life.


i am 50 years old and when i was 17 i fell out of a tree. nothing hurt then but oh my god I'm in pain now. i just found out i have two bulging disks at c1 and L1 and my hips and legs. and i can't walk more than 15 minutes or drive. i hate my back.


Dear Joane, (anon91646): My name is Bonnie. I am a 43 year old female, with degenerative disc disease. I have always had lower back pain since I can remember from the time I was about 15 or 16. I was diagnosed with two bulging disc"s in 2008.

I tried all the usual methods for pain relief from injections into my spine, to pain medications etc. Well needless to say, nothing has helped. I was at work fixing some cords behind my computer, standing up looking down and when I went to look up, it was over. I couldn't move, walk, take a step; all I could do was cry in pain.

Well to make a long story short, I had two bulging discs removed at L4 L5, and cages put in, two rods, eight screws, plus fusion.

I have had a few surgeries in my lifetime (three to be exact) and I have never felt the debilitating pain that was associated with this type of surgery! I literally wanted to die, because I couldn't handle the pain. Well two years and one spinal stimulator implant (for pain) later, I am about to have another back surgery because one of my screws fell a bit and is pressing on nerves causing me horrible pain.

I'm not working and waiting (hopefully) to be disabled by Social Security. I will be having all my hardware pulled out, two more discs removed and two more cages placed above the already present two, and a two more (new) rods and fusion again!

I also have to get my spine stimulator removed because they say it will be damaged with part of the operation to stop the bleeding. So my back muscles will be cut in two separate areas, old scars reopened, and my battery that's in my left upper butt cheek will also be cut to take that out as well.

Well I swore I would never ever ever go through this type of surgery again because of the severe pain I had, and well here I go again! I am so incredibly freaked out and stressed because I know the pain I am going to have to endure.

So for me nothing got better only worse. I haven't heard any "good" stories of anyone who has had to have this type of procedure done. As I get older the worse I feel and the less movement I have in my back.

If I could do this over again, I would look into other or "new" procedures before you have to go through this type of back surgery. Get second and third opinions, which I did not. Good luck!


I have read each and every single person's plea for help with their back pain, and it brought me to tears,

I'm currently a 16 year old male and weigh about 170 and around 6.2. I hurt my back in a weight lifting accident and have been diagnosed with: three broad bulging discs; one herniated disc; and one disc protrusion.

My life is almost completely over and I would honestly rather be dead then dealing with this at my age. While my friends are out and at school I'm stuck in a bed waiting for my neurosurgeon to call me back. What a life.


I'm 15 years old, soon to be 16 and while reading all of your comments I really feel your pain.

I myself am currently experiencing bulging disc pain,

I have been diagnosed with the following:

1. Bulging disc between l2 and l3

2. Excrutiated disc (ruptured disc) between l4-lS.

Surprisingly I don't have much pain, except when walking for longer then a hour. I believe i hurt myself at the gym during a deadlift exercise, I wish i could go back in time.

For individuals with no back problems reading this, you have no idea what a back problem does to your mental state, it hurts me physically and emotionally


I'm 15 years old and have 2 bulging discs in my lower back, L4 and L5.

i have sport on almost every day of the week and my back has stopped that. they tell me strengthening muscles will help me, but i find it hard to believe and so far there not working. I'm sick of being upset and missing competing. How long is the healing process?


I'm a female and I'm 19 years old. I was recently in a car crash and the other car hit me from behind without braking at 35 mph while I was stopped at a red light. I quickly went to the hospital and was diagnosed with two bulging disks in my lower back. I want to know if it's a pain that will last forever.

My neck is killing me but it's too swollen for a CAT scan or an MRI and my right knee hurts as well. i just want to know if you can tell me if this pain will be with me forever or if i will get cured with time. I'm frustrated and desperate.


I am a 45 year old woman who has had severe pain in the lower part of my back for years. To the point that when I walk or stand too long, the pain would become even more severe.

I had an MRI done last year and found that I have bulging discs. So yes, bulging discs do cause pain. I have had shots and pain meds. I stopped both because nothing really worked. the pain meds made me sick and put me to sleep. So with those I was able to get a good night's rest. I don't now.

Now the pain is really getting worse. the tingling that goes up and down my back is also kind of painful. I have numbness all in the upper part of my left leg, but its a numbness that i can fill. Kind of hard to explain. I have pain all up and down my left leg, which is also going to the right one now. I can hardly walk or even do housework without becoming so breathless because the pain is so bad. I need to do some surgery I'm sure, but I am terrified. I have had plenty of other surgeries but nothing so close to my spine.


I am 50 years old and i was diagnosed with two discs bulging in my neck. i had fusion surgery at c4, c3 and it helped with some of the pain.

Now i have lower back pain that won't go away. my neurosurgeon said it is lumbar stenosis after viewing mri. this pain is unbearable. I can't walk or stand for long, and haven't worked for a year now. All am doing is hoping and praying to God for healing. nothing seems to work. my prayers are with you all.


I'm 37 with six children. i hurt my back at work in 2007 and having to deal with workman's compensation for help is a joke.

I have seen three doctors and after epidural injections, therapy and lots of meds, they each said surgery would help. well I'm here waiting over a year for workers comp to get me that doctor. This has put a big hold on my life as a mother. I cannot work; I'm in too much pain.

I have a disc bulge in the L4-5 and L5-S1. Now I also have degenerative disc disease. Can it get any worse? Will I be able to find a doctor who will be honest and help me and not working in workers' comp best interest? Where do i go from here?


I am a 69-year old woman, who is physically active. About 4 years ago, I experienced severe lower back pain while teaching a tennis class. The pain was centered around the right sacroiliac joint. I had chiropractic treatment, which helped, but the joint pain persisted. I had two epidural shots (cortisone) in the joint. These helped, too, but the pain returned.

I have had to pretty much stop playing tennis, because the forehand stroke produces a lot of pain.

I have been having chiropractic treatments again, for over a year. I think they help.

I have scoliosis in the lower spine, and it looks like it is getting worse. I went to a new MD this week, and he said I may have a bulging disc. I will be getting an MRI.

Some mornings when I wake up, my back is very painful - actually, my whole body is filled with pain. The only medication I take for the pain is Tylenol.

It seems like what helps my condition the most is staying very hydrated. I think when I am not hydrated is when I experience the most pain.

I have been doing yoga for about four years, two to three hours per week. I think it helps, but sometimes it is painful.


In 2008 I had spinal fusion surgery for a herniated disk at L5-S1. It was very successful, with little pain afterward and I was back to a normal life.

Just recently I developed a bulging disk at L4-L5 right above the fusion and full blown sciatic symptoms with muscle spasms in my right foot, stabbing, burning pain, etc. I went from a normal life to being an invalid again within a couple of months.

The only thing that has helped me is a home TENS unit. I wear it all day long and it keeps the pain way down, even stops it.

It doesn't heal the problem but at least the pain relief lets me keep working and get out of the house to do things.

Ask your doctor for a home TENS unit--no need to go to a physical therapist for treatments; you can do it yourself. Try it out first, though, to make sure it works on you. It doesn't work on everybody. Hope this helps someone. --TH


Well, I'm 43 years old and am just beginning the horrific journey of lower back pain. It started when I was on vacation in Montauk, NY. There was no trauma, no accident just bang! And I ended up spending my entire vacation desperately trying to find a comfortable position in bed. There was none.

I've been going to a chiropractor for five weeks but it has not helped much. I might feel better for a few hours but that's about it. I have not had an MRI yet but I'm pretty sure that if this continues I'll be getting one.

I think the first thing that I'm going to do is to get as much weight off of my body as I can and build up my core muscles. I could probably stand to lose a good 25 pounds and I figure that can only help.

In a lot of posts there has been a lot of talk about how terribly depressing this pain is and without question, I've gone through that myself. The thought of going through this for the rest of my days is a daunting one. With that being said, I'm determined to be proactive in getting myself well because personally, I like my left leg and I want to be able to feel it again. I would also like to roughhouse with my son who's only three years old and needs to be able to tackle his father whenever he wants.

I will say this: if it comes to surgery for me it will be the most research that I have ever put into something in my life. I don't want a good surgeon or a great surgeon. I want the best surgeon.

To all who read this, good luck to you and may your future be pain free and happy!


I have a mild disc bulge at L4/L5 and at L5/S1. There is disc degeneration and disc desiccation with a mild to moderate posterior central disc extrusion, the disc extending behind the vertebral body of S1. It was caused by slipping on a steep, wet driveway 6-7 years ago.

Since then I've been in severe pain 24/7 and have to take hospital grade pain pills. Physio doesn't help and i can't afford repetitive visits anyway. My left leg also goes numb, pins and needles, doesn't respond properly. I've had nerve conduction studies but they say the nerves are fine. So the neurosurgeon has declared that a mystery.

They don't want to operate on my back saying that at 27 I'm young for them to do so and there is a chance the surgery would make the pain worse and not better. I haven't worked in almost three years and have been told that children are out of the question since it's my lower back. Anyone have any suggestions?


I have been diagnosed with a severe bulging disc ant L3 and L4 pressing on the nerve. I have another bulging disc at L4 and L5 to the right. Then when they did the MRI they found that something has fractured off and is also pressing on the nerve.

This is very painful and relief is non existent for me right now. No matter what i do, i am in constant pain. I am scheduled to see a neurosurgeon this month and will find out what can be done.


I had three herniated/ruptured discs in 2007 which i had surgery for. I obtained incredibly positive results except that because I waited i had some nerve damage so I had some pain.

Recently I experienced a slip and fall and again ruptured a couple of discs. the MRI results were given to me yesterday and I have an appointment for surgery on monday. Don't wait get help. If you need an incredible doctor in california, let me know.


I know it's hard to enjoy life when you're in pain and it makes me especially mad because I want to live life and be happy.

Well, as much as I want to yell and scream and shake my fist at God for my condition, I have to admit that I haven't always taken the best care of myself and my body.

I went camping in Colorado for a couple months and did some sleeping in my car and on the ground. A pressure started in my neck (c4-c5) and it progressively turned into a pain over the next couple months.

What I have come to understand that my poor sleeping habits, poor eating, being a smoker, not exercising and using full range of motion, and sitting at the computer 12 hours a day just didn't help any. Plus drinking alcohol every day and drinking sodas, going days without water.

Well, I had enough when it got to the point where I am so tired I can't stand, but I can't lie down because I'll wake up in pain five minutes later. I am being forced to sleep on a sleeping bag on the carpet using a folded up blanket as a pillow to stay as flat as possible. Also, I have been trying to eat as many fruits, vegetables, nuts and oats as I can.

I'm drinking as much water and juices as I can. I also have my computer monitor propped up on a box so it's even with my eyes. I'll also stack it on a shelf so I can stand straight and work on my laptop so I'm not sitting all the time.

It's really the little things that are so obvious that make all the difference. Like walking around barefoot in the yard. Breathing fresh air and laying down in the grass. The clothes that I am wearing make all the difference. Getting proper sun light and stretching.

What keeps me going: Progress not perfection; Moderation in all things, even moderation; Be like a child; Eat the rainbow every day; Don't forget where we came from; Experience all that life has to offer.


i have a l5 s1 ruptured disc (recurring) and had surgery in 2000. I have a sex drive but having problems ejaculating. what can I do? is it related to the disc?


i woke up two years ago with a sore back, by that afternoon i was in the hospital because i was unable to walk.

I have a protruding disc in s1 and L5 and i have been in the hospital already 12 times in 12 months.

I have no feeling in my legs and collapse quite often due to not knowing where my feet are at. Last year i had an operation to try and put the disc back and ended up with a fluid leak which landed me back in hospital for a further seven weeks.

i have tried all the injections including the blood patch block, which is extremely painful. now seven months later, i am now going for another surgery because the disc has come back out again which i am terrified of because of all the pain i had after the last operation and all the complications from the last surgery.

But i have to do this for my children. i am a 37 year old mother so i need to be fit for my children, but this time they are going to remove the disc and place a plastic disc in and then put two rods on either side of the disc to stop this from happening again.

I just need some feedback on this operation as i am terrified and need to get the feeling back in my legs as they are numb because the nerve is very damaged. So please, any advice would be good. thanks, joanne


Surgery's usually one of the first things that come to mind as a healing procedure. I would suggest giving natural healing a try first - what do you have to lose, right? There's information online about this.


- anon38676 - I am totally with you. Been on pain killers for 1 1/2 years and there not even working now. Let me know if anyone responded to you.


I have a bulging disc in L1 and L2 (so far) and a degenerative thoracic. I am in such pain since accident that I can no longer function and hardly drive more than 10 minutes. Considering the injection but afraid of needles in spine. Has anyone had it, and how bad is it?


I have suffered with back pain for the past 45 years. An MRI just confirmed that I have problems with L1 to L5. The gel in between my discs are dried out & shrinking. My G.P has suggested an array of injections to alleviate the pain.

I'm concerned as to whether the injections will help or hinder my back. But I'm willing to try any thing right now to be able to live a normal life again. Has anyone had any injections and did they help?


I want to say that I sympathize with each of you suffering from a bulging or herniated disc. It brought tears to my eyes as I read your pleas for help and relief because I have been suffering from hip/pelvis pain since September, and have been treated by several doctors, specialists, chiropractors, physical therapists, etc.

I have felt desperate because I've been unable to run, ride my bike, dance, hike -- anything that is physical in all this time. I started seeing an osteopath who does manipulations a couple of months ago and he prescribed a course of PT that seemed to help but did not entirely remedy the problem. When I thought I'd had enough and would take a break from PT, I went to the D.O. and he did another manipulation which then caused me more pain that I'd ever been in and numbness all the way down both legs, and sharp pains in the back.

So, he sent me to have an MRI. I did and the results indicated I have a bulging disc. So now I am undergoing another course of PT. The PT tells me that one can heal a bulging disc, but it can take up to a year to fully recover. I am persistent and refuse to give up so I know I will be better.

For anyone who wonders what they should do:

First, find a good MD who is an expert on the subject.

Second, I would not let anyone do a chiropractic manipulation!

Third, find a good physical therapist. I trust mine implicitly. He is a doctor of PT and knows his stuff. He has taught me how to do exercises at home which I do twice a day.

Fourth: You must stretch (go online and find out which exercises are good for a bulging disc and which are'.)

Fifth: Cobra pose. It's a yoga pose that is the absolute best thing you can do for your disc health. It creates space between the discs so the bulge can move back in place. This is a gradual process so be patient.

Sixth: Have faith! Have a positive attitude! You will get better. According to what I've read on-line, which my PT has also said, one in three people has a bulging disc. Most are just asymptomatic. And, unless it is an extreme case, they are treatable and we will all be back to enjoying our lives again.

To move things along more quickly, I also bought an inversion table. I use it a couple of times each day and will continue for the rest of my life. The point is to take the pressure off the spine/discs and open them up to allow the soft gel to move back into place within the discs.

I also got a large exercise ball to sit on and work on my posture and strengthen my core.

Just please have faith and don't despair, but believe that you will get better. know that you have control over this situation. know that you will get better. be patient and listen to your body -- it is an amazing powerful machine and wants to be well. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


I am a 24 year old professional dancer and I love to run. I am very fit and active. Three months ago, I suddenly experienced severe back pain and couldn't get out of bed. I was diagnosed with a bulging L3 and S1 disk that was pressing on multiple nerves and causing a lot of pain and inflammation. An MRI also showed a hairline fracture on my L4 vertebrae.

Today I am much better, I took Celebrex, rested a lot and did a lot of yoga and stretching. I still experience pinching/burning and pain in my back and upper backside. Physical therapy isn't helping just yet but I am still hoping. I am going to try acupuncture soon.

This article should be corrected to offer some help rather than just saying "Mostly, elderly people get this and its harmless." After reading these comments I think some better info could be provided that could at least help all of us on here.


I will be 23 in July and I have had back issues since I was 15. I have seen too many doctors to count. I have had three children. They are 4, 1, and three months old. When I was pregnant with my last one, my legs would give out because of a sharp pain in my pelvic area.

I now know I have a bulging disk in my L4 and L5. They want me to do therapy but I have five kids altogether and don't have time or the money. Both my legs are numb, my lower back and my butt hurts all the time.

Don't let the doctors do everything but what fixes the issue. You will spend tons of money and time and it will not fix it the way you need. I cry myself to sleep because I can't play with my kids and yell at them because they want something to drink and I have to get up and get it.

i love them very much and I'm ready to feel like a 23 year old not an old woman. Push for shots in your back and if they don't work, make them do surgery. They will tell you that you might have to do surgery when you get older anyway. Thanks.


I am an anatomy lecturer who has a bulging disc at L5/S1, with nerve root irritation into the left buttock and lateral calf.

My advice is to go to the chiropractor. I have tried everything and this works much quicker and more effectively than anything else. If you can avoid surgery you must!

I quiz all my health professionals and find my chiro knows her stuff better than anyone. They do five years study just on the spine, and they know it better than anyone. Chiros treat disc bulges all day, everyday, so they really are the best.

I like the fact that they put the disc back in (off the nerve) rather than just symptom relief. I go to a female chiro who is great because she explains everything she does and talks me through it.

My GP just gives me anti-inflams and says to rest which makes it way worse. I say the chiros know their anatomy of the spine the best and they fix you quicker than anything else. Cheers, Jasmine.


i am 21. i have a severe disk bulge in l4 and l5 and minor bulge in l3. i have no idea how i got them but then again, i have done plenty of stupid stuff.

i got to a point that laughing hurt my back and i couldn't sit for too long. i went to the chiropractor and it was a failure. i couldn't afford physical therapy, so i treated myself. i worked out ran, ate healthy, did plenty of sit ups. everything, but the most effective exercise was stretching.

the key is keeping yourself at a comfy weight and your body strong. i can now laugh. i still have discomfort but it's a small amount of pain and i only get it when i sit for over an hour. wish you all luck. remember we can't get a new spine but we can make it better with posture. walk around like a solder at attention. it helps.


I have been suffering with headaches and some eye blurriness. doctors say all this is the result of a bulging disk in my neck lying on some nerves. i never know when i will feel horrible. what can i do?


I am a 28 year old and i was just in a car wreck in april. I am now having pain in my lower back, down my right leg and my foot goes numb.

I also have three small children and i am a single mother with no family or friends here. Now i can't work. i have had x-rays done but nothing else. The doc i have been seeing has been popping my back but it's not working. Also i take way too many otc pain meds. i can't sleep, stand for too long or sit, or lie down. Help me please!


I am 34 years old and 16 years ago I was in a car accident. I was ejected from the vehicle.

These were my injuries: crushed left elbow, crushed my left foot, broke my left leg, broke my back, T7, bruised my heart, and had collapsed lungs.

I had steel harrington rods put in my back which two years later were removed due to my body rejecting them. Several years later, I have had two children, and now am experiencing several symptoms.

Since having my daughter a year and a half ago, I have had muscle spasms in my legs, pain on the outside of my legs and a numb-tingly sensation in my legs. I also have had my right hip hurting, and now within the last few weeks, I have also included a burning sensation in my legs all the way down to my toes, and also in my arms to my finger tips. I have had some headaches and neck pain.

My chiropractor has advised me that I may have to have an mri because it may be an injury from the accident that has occurred later. What would he be looking for? Disc problem, nerve problem? I want to play with my kids and not be crippled in any way. Please help! --mel 76


I have been dealing with back issues for the past eight years. Too much time with the computer at work. My MRI I took years ago said I had three bulging disks. I have managed my pain with the help of chiropractic care, mild exercising such as yoga and walking.

One of the therapies that helps is a "wobble" chair and a "Vibe" plate which I use at my chiropractors. I am going to buy the Vibe for home use because it really helps.

My pain is in a flare mode right now, but I have gone without back pain for over a year and it's awesome. I wish everyone the best.


I'm 19 and female and was told i had a bulging disc by my doctor three months ago. i haven't been for a scan or anything; they just sent me to physiotherapy? it comes and goes. One day i can be OK and the other can hardly walk. do you think i should be going for a scan before carrying on with any treatments?


I am Nasir. I am 26 years old and I am a teacher. During last year in September I felt paralyzed in my lower part of body when I woke up one morning.

When I consulted the doctors, they said that I have a muscles problem and they started treating me. Their treatment continued for at least three months, but I could not recover from the pain and paralysis.

Then I consulted another doctor who scheduled me for an MRI test. So I had the test. After the test doctors told me that I can fully recover only by means of surgery. I cannot afford an operation and secondly I am the sole earner in my family.

I am so worried these days I don't know what to do. I have attached my MRI report below. Please help me and tell me about its treatment.

I shall be thankful to you greatly. reply to me as soon as possible.

Department of Radiology

Age and sex: 26, male



Spin echo T1w axial and sagittal,fast spin echo T2w axial and sagittal images were obtained.


Disc herniation central and paracentral at L4-L5 with bilateral nerve root compression.

Mild bulge at l5-S1 with left lateral recess narrowing.

Thinning of disc space between L4-L5 with disc desiccation changes.

High signal are also seen beneath PLL representing fluid.

Vertebral heights are normal.

No bulging disc at L3-L4.

Conus seen at level of L1.


Herniated disc at L4-L5 with thinning of disc space and disc desiccation changes.

Bulging disc at L5-S1.


I'm 18 and experiencing tingling in my thighs that ends above my knee. This all just suddenly happened, and the pain doesn't get any better when sitting or laying down and seems to get worse when bending backward. I have had a pinched nerve in my lower back last year, but never had pain like this. Any thoughts?


I am a 45 year old woman and I have been experiencing groin pain on my right side, sometimes in feels like a strain on my lower right cheek muscle too.

On a good day that is all that bothers me, but on a bad day the pain can be felt on my right side pelvic area, to the groin, the top of my thigh and ache in my hip. What the heck!

I work out 4-5 times a week, weights and cardio! Anyone have these types of symptoms?


i am 28. when i was pregnant i started getting terrible pain in my lower back and leg.

after i had my son i found out i had spondylothesis and spondylosis. with disk bulges and herniations, i feel like i have to live my life around my pain.

Instead of playing with my son, i spend my day trying to get out of bed, get up and down stairs and trying to clean a portion of my house every day. Not to mention how crabby i am at the world that i have to live in this much pain.

my doctors don't believe that surgery is the answer but i don't think a life of pain meds is the answer either.

i have to be able to function for my son and all they want me to do is mask the problem. is anyone out there going through this as well? i agree i need meds but how will we know if surgery will help if we don't at least try?

i tried the meds and it's proven it doesn't help that much. i mean come on, whats next after upping the mg on my meds, just comatose me or what?


I am 41 years old and about three weeks ago I was diagnosed with a bulging and herniated disk in my neck at c4 and c5 it has been very painful.

I have been shifted from doctor to doctor for the pain. I am seeing a neurologist and all he has done was prescribe me pain me flexeril and mobic it has not worked. He gave me an injection in the neck exactly where I was experiencing the pain and it did not work.

I was injured at work lifting a heavy box of stock. I am in physical therapy but it only keeps me very sore. Once I leave therapy, about 30 minutes later the pain returns. I have never had any problems with my neck or back so all this is very new and very painful for me. The doctor I am seeing seems to brush it off as nothing really but I am in pain, can't work and needs some relief.

I really want my lifestyle back so I can plant my flowers, put up my pictures on the wall, fish, jog and do all the exciting things I used to do. Could someone give me some advice on a new doctor? I have had one x-ray, and one mri which I feel was probably not clear enough to really tell the whole story of my problem.

Thanks. -relief1


I'm a young 40 year old who woke one morning with a sore neck. Then over the next two days, i had pain going down my left arm and tingling in my thumb and next two fingers. After weeks on pain killers I saw a neuro and was advised that an op was the way to go.

Six weeks after the pain started i had surgery and as soon as I woke up the pain was gone! Now i have feet problems and believe it's stemming from L5, S1. I know I need an MRI and if it's the same story I will be booking in for an op asap.


i am 16 and female. i found out that my sport has caused me to have disc desiccation on my L5 as well as a bulging disc, pinching my nerve. i'm a gymnast and my lower back hurt very bad to bend backward. I deal with the pain every day, and after doing gymnastics for 10 years i won't be able to compete my senior year.


I am 16 years old and i have a bulging disk. i got it by lifting weights in football. I am taking physical therapy and spring football is around the corner. i can't do as much because it hurts, so i can't run or do anything. I am trying to find help or how could i get well so i could do what i love -- play football once again without pain.


I am 40 years old male and have pain in lower back and also too much pain in leg almost in my thigh. my mri report is (at the level of l5/s1 there is moderate to large left paracentral disc prolapse causing pressure on thecal sac and exiting nerve).

Two doctors advise me to get an operation, that there is no other way, but two weeks back when i went to another neuro doctor. he advised me for medicine and physiotherapy and some exercises. I feel a little better, but not good. Can anyone comment on this matter?


I'm a 16 year old female with a herniated disc at my L5 and Spondylolisthesis (a fracture to the pars) which happened when i was around six years old. my spine specialist informed me that because of this my L5 had evolved forward and he's going to try conservative treatment.

I'm experiencing sciatica through my left leg and tingling from my mid-calf down. I'm not allowed to do physical therapy and I'm getting steroids and an epidural injection. my mother also had the same issue but when she was in her 40s and required surgery. and also my great aunt had the end result in surgery.

what are the chances that my disc herniation will resolve without surgery?


I've been diagnosed by MRI with a very large herniated disc at L5 S1. I cannot use my left calf muscle now for 5 1/2 weeks.I am 51 years old and female.

I began with severe muscle spasming on both sides of my lower back six weeks ago while working out at the gym. I had already been modifying my workouts due to a stress fracture in the third metatarsal of my right foot.

I am very athletic, exercising three hours a day, primarily lifting weights and doing high intensity interval training. After the muscle spasms started I immediately went for massage, and chiropractic, and after three visits, which would relieve the spasm and pain for that day, I was in so much pain I couldn't sit, stand, lie down or find any tolerable position.

My chiropractor told me he felt I needed to go to my medical doctor and get an x-ray, that something serious was going on. Thank goodness he insisted I do, since that is what prompted me into getting the MRI and finding out about the herniated disc.

I have a very strong core and work hard to keep my back muscles strong. Most of the back pain is now gone, the pain down the left leg comes and goes. I am also numb in the left foot and back of the left calf and the knee and part of the thigh for five and a half weeks now. I too, have been given pain pills and muscle relaxers. I also tried oral prednisone.

I read that once the disc ruptures, your back pain goes away, but then it puts pressure on the nerve and you will begin to have neurological symptoms such as I am having. Everything I have read tells me surgery is about my only option.

I had an appointment to have an epidural of cortisone but when I asked the doctor if this would change my condition any, he honestly told me no, it only would give me some symptomatic relief. So I chose not to have it.

I have an appointment with the neurosurgeon later this month. I have read everything I can and I do not see how anything but surgery can remove the disc material that is compressing the nerve.

The longer I wait the more possibility of permanent nerve damage. It's been hard going from an active person to doing nothing overnight. Just doing regular errands is exhausting because my right leg has to do the majority of the work.



I'm 21 years old, and just over a year ago I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease, compression of L1-L5, bulging of L5 and S1, and some narrowing.

I've been on Tylenol 3's for over a year as well as Novo-Cycloprine. I'm in constant pain. I can't straighten my back, bend or lift and am always stiff.

The pain goes from the middle of my back to lower, right across the lower back, into the buttock and leg as well. I've been to my doctor numerous times, trying to explain that the medications aren't working.

I'm always in pain. I feel like I'm 21 stuck in a 90 year old woman's body. I should be out having fun, but instead I'm stuck at home struggling to get out of bed. More recently I've developed shaking and numbness in my hands. The shaking gets so bad sometimes i can't hold a fork to eat without dropping it. I don't know what else I can do.

My family doctor who is just a general doctor says i don't need surgery (yet), that i don't need a specialist, that he can handle my case but I don't feel like he knows what he is doing.

I don't know if anyone else has ever felt like that, but it would be nice to find someone else who knows what I'm going through or can relate.


I was in a car accident. Made it out alive, thank god, but walked away with two herniated discs in my L5 and L6 region.

I am 23 and have back pains and my right leg gets pains too. I was on medical leave for nine months from my job and bed bound. I tried to do fun things like swim and yoga, as suggested by my chiropractor, but it felt bad after it was done and i got home.

I'm scared of injections and surgery. I'm just struggling day by day now and can't take meds since i operate machinery at work and it would make me drowsy. Any help? Sara


A lot of times when you have a bulging disk they will prescribe muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs. The thing is that your body will get use to these drugs and they will not work anymore.

Start thinking about your bulging disks as a swollen eye or some swollen body part. When something swells or before it swells you put a cold pack on it of some sort. This reduces swelling and if in time prevents swelling. The same thing will work for your back.

The bulging disks cause swelling in your lower back area or upper back depending on where the bulging disk is. Don't just worry about the bulging disk but also put a cold pack on the muscles around it. They are under a lot of strain because of this too.

So try a cold pack or try switching anti-inflammatories. That should help some of you.

I know what you all are going through. I've had a bad back since i was in seventh grade and found out i had scoliosis and then last year I found out I have lordosis and then the other day i found out that i may have a bulging disk.

Anti-inflammatories helped me but i can't say they will work for everyone. Another good thing for lower back bulging disks is sitting indian style with your butt away from the back of the chair but then lean back and it will curve your back a little and that may help.


I found out i have a herniated disk in my back as well as a couple of bulging disks and also a pinched nerve. i have had steroids and several different pain pills and i am still in pain on a daily basis. i can no longer stand all the way up. My wife has to help me put on my socks and even has to assist me with wiping myself. I sleep in a recliner most of the time also.

I am 48 years old. Does anyone know if my pain will get worse as time goes on,or if you have any ideas that help to deal with the pain, please put them on here. after today i will be checking thanks. t.Hail


This is Aarti. I am 39 yrs old. For the last five years I've been suffering from leg pain. I got a severe back pain last year. After getting an MRI done, I found that there was a bulging in my L4,L5 and S1.

Eventually my condition is getting worse and now my pain is spreading all over my back and leg. Will my condition keep on getting worse or, is there a cure for my condition? Please reply!

thanks, Aarti


I am 58 and have a bulging disc in my neck that is extremely painful. The pain goes all the way down my arm and leaves my hand tingly and about 20 percent useful. I am a mechanic by trade and would like to know if there is a permanent cure?


I am 19. I just had two car accidents within a month. I took the MRI and the doctor said I got a bulge disc in L3-L4, L4-L5 and L5-S1. the doctor said they are small and wouldn't hurt my nerve. However, I feel pain all the time while standing, siting. I am so confused of what should I do. The doctor says it will be fine. But I feel so pain about that..





I've had lower back pain that went to my buttocks and down my right leg for approx two years on and off and I've been to see my doctor several occasions and told it was sciatica then was sent away with painkillers. Three months ago the pain suddenly got severe to the point i was bent over and couldn't stand up straight.

i was sent for an mri and the result showed i had a disc bulge in my lower back. the pain is getting worse and is constant. i have been given morphine tablets that i take twice a day, as well as diclofenac and Lyrica.

I have also been given diazepam which i try not to take unless i have had no sleep for a few days through the pain.

i have an appointment to see a neurosurgeon but that isn't till the beginning of may. I'm 40 years old and i work part time. i have two young children, a husband and a house to take care of. i would say that i have a good pain threshold but the constant severe pain I'm getting is the worst pain ever and its making my life hell.

i feel like i don't want to go back to my gp and let them know the pain is getting worse in case they think I'm overreacting regarding the pain going worse. the pain is that bad it makes me cry and to be honest and I'd rather give birth than have this pain. I'm weary and finding everyday tasks nearly impossible.

Can anybody suggest anything that might help before i rip my hair out?



I'm 28 years old and have experienced lumbar bulging disc for the past 3-plus years. It is severe to the core. PT worked out for 15 days, but the pain came back.

i sit in a hot water tub for 15 minutes which gives me relief, but i have people saying hot water treatment is not good, that I should go with cold water treatment. i'm really confused. please tell me which treatment is correct.


I a 14, have a couple of bulging discs in the L1-2, and L4-S1 area which have been giving me pain for quite a while. I was wondering what I can do on my own to help this: rest, exercise. everyone seems to say something different. Thanks, Anna


I am 18 years old and have been diagnosed with arthritis in my neck, along with a disc bulge and scoliosis in my lower back about a year and a half ago. I've been in pain throughout my high school and middle school years but never known what the reason was.

I've only gone to a chiropractor and don't want any shots. I am thinking of getting surgery soon because they say I am only going to get worse. They gave me muscle relaxants but need more pain relief.

If any of you know of any good surgeons in the New Mexico area please let me know. May God help all of us. -Kenna55


I am a 43 year old so far healthy woman. I found out last week the 2 years of pain in my lower back at the L4-L5 L5-S1 is from bulging discs,tearing of the outer disk, bone spurring and narrowing of the nerve canal.

I have a very high tolerance for pain and pain medicine so it has taken me this long to seek help for my pain. I have to say the pain is getting unbearable. From reading all these stories I feel doomed to pain for the rest of my life.

I have lost my full time position and will find out Friday what the surgeon is going to do. What kind of a mess have I gotten myself into now? I would like to just be able to take a small walk with my husband, do a load of laundry or even take a shower without pain and numbness in my legs.

PT isn't working because they seem to think I have something called Dystonia. Strong muscle spasms that stop me from completing the simple tasks they have for me. What does my future hold? I am very scared and confused.

I guess I just needed someone to hear my pain. Thanks for listening.


I was just diagnosed with L4 and L5 disc desiccation and disc bulge at both locations. Haven't seem my doctor yet. I had the MRI due to sciatica. Any helpful hints? Thanks, Allie


I am 33 years old and was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) last year. I am a very active person - I love sports and being outdoors. I played college basketball and maybe that is why I have this problem.

I have two children and would love to have one more, not sure if that will happen and I don't want to make the pain worse by having another baby. I had no accident, just one day I leaned over to pick my child up out of the baby pool and was in extreme pain.

I have had some medicines and shots, but nothing has helped. Doctors have suggested physical therapy. My pain doesn't sound as great as most of you, but it is depressing that I can't be more free to play with my kids how I want to. I have to be careful in picking them up; they are two and five right now. I just read about the Computerized Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression and I have some hope!

I am going to look into it and hopefully end my pain! They call it Disc Ease Therapy. Disc Ease Therapy has proven to be a successful treatment for low back pain due to disc herniations, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, arthritis, and posterior facet syndrome.

I have a bulging disc in the lowest part of my back which causes pain in my butt and legs. I used to take walks for fun and now I do not take walks unless I am running around shopping or stuff like that.

I am still able to play softball in the summers, but eventually I am sure that will start to bother me as well. Anyway, I am going to look into this Disc Ease Therapy (DET) and maybe some of you will too. I just happened to run across this site today and I had just read about this new therapy yesterday and that is the main reason I wanted to make this post. Hopefully it helps you out.


anon70971 #183: Twice been disable from work because of bulging disc. only an ice pack directly over the disc has helped me.


To - anon65427 #174: Had met an old man on a job about six years ago after I recovered my second time of being disabled from a bulging disc in my neck. He had, from what I remember, two or three bulging discs in his neck and been through bunch of doctors and surgeries until he went to Laser Spine Institute in florida.


Do any of you with constant neck or back pain go to a chiropractor. I've been going for 30 years, to fur years ago had c6/c7 problems. I've had severe back pain, pain shooting down left arm and fingers tingling. then I heard about decompression therapy. Do some research and decide for yourself.

I will say that four years later I have had no pain on that side. I've recently developed some of the same issues on the right and getting decompression done which is already helping.


well, interesting how we all have similar symptoms.

i am 37 years old and a firefighter in miami and i just had an mri for back pain. the mri came back with disc bulging in my t5 and t6. it would be safe to say that i have this due to the job.

i will be meeting with my fire dept md and private md for suggestions. from what i've read so far, we all don't like the surgery option. for me it would probably end my career (hopefully not).

i'm used to helping people with medical problems, extricating them out of their mangled cars after an accident or putting out the fire in their homes, and to have this problem now at my age is kind of depressing! one step at a time.

most of my back problems started when i hurt my ankles at work. then later, about a year ago, my md told me i had plantar fasciitis (did i spell that right?).

i have had days i can't even walk and then the back pain. i'm wondering if this injury is related to my back pain? it wouldn't surprise me.

getting older sucks! --mike


I have been trying for 10 years to recover from a bulging L4-L5 disc putting pressure on the nerves. Tried the "non invasive" laser surgery-didn't work-and took me a year to get back to where I was before the surgery with complications I never had prior.

Tried another surgery-laminectomy/discectomy sevne months ago and I feel exactly the same as before surgery.

I've had a lot of bad experience with doctors and even had doctors tell me my pain/leg weakness/numbness could be in my head! Unreal.


Do you guys ever have periods where life is normal? Are we stuck with the same pain for good? I have one child and I want another but not with the way my c5 and c6 are. It goes away and then comes back. The pain around my shoulder area is shocking.


For the c5-c6 disc problem I have, I train my neck every hour with a simple movement that I found helps with the pain (sore shoulder, arm, fingers). I sit in a chair, head and back straight, then draw in my chin, push straight back as far as I can. I do this for 10 reps, slow and easy.


do you think that using heat pad for bulging discs is a good idea or would make it worse on the long run.


Anon 6792: Sadness or depression regarding injury is totally normal and I've been a lot in the last two years. Particularly for someone who had, at one point, very high athletic abilities. For me: avid crossfitter and rugby player.

Although I'm a bit older, 38, my participation in athletic competitive sports through two injuries in the last two consecutive years. Before my recent back injury occurred I had major shoulder surgery.

It was very difficult to come to terms with the fact that I had to limit my activities and that, well, I was getting older. I recovered from that tremendously and got to better than pre-injury status for my upcoming rugby season when I hyper-extended my back. This too has been very difficult to deal with but I have come to terms, mainly through the rehab process of my shoulder, that my body has limitations and when I go beyond those I am in a lot of pain.

I empathize with you situation greatly. My advice is that however you need to do it, realize that you have particular limitations which prevent you from doing things that may.

The sooner you are at peace with this realization and start living within those restrictions, the better life will get. Hope that helps.


i am 27 years old and just found out that i have four bulging discs in my cervical spine c3, c4, c5, c6. i had been dealing with my headaches for about three months now, going to sleep and waking up with them there seems to be no end to the tension it causes. i actually thought it was tension from falling asleep wrong and a pulled muscle. figuring it would only get better over time.

Boy i thought wrong and this is the result of falling asleep the wrong way and i woke to this and have been for a while now. i don't want to go through the surgeries. It seems that most are better off without it. or at least feel better before it. its depressing knowing that i will always be affected by how i fell asleep one night and i hope you all have the best of luck in your pain management. even being heavily medicated, there seems to be no end to the pain.


I'm 20. after years of leg pain while standing and walking and after the spread of the pain further up the leg and the starting of weakness and decline in reflex response I was diagnosed with L4-L5-S1 disk herniation\rapture. the disk was totally dry and the liquid was pressing on the dural sack which was the cause of the pain.

According to the doctor I seem to have been born with a narrowed spinal canal from L2 to L5. (spinal stenosis). so what could have been just normal part of aging as the article says was slightly worse. I went through surgery six weeks ago. It was a discectomy which no one really must under go, it's just a way for the surgeon\doctor to minimize recurring problems in the future.

They also did a Laminectomy which took the pressure off the nerve. I still have pain but much less. The leg fatigue will pass and strength will again be gained in a few months if the nerve was not permanently damaged which I hope not.

Before the surgery I went through three epidural shots which didn't help. no anti inflammation drugs could help my pain so I didn't take any.

I was a very active before this happened doing long runs,lifting wights and eating a healthy diet but stuff happens.

This thing has totally put me down mentally. I guess I was prone to it and the "sport addiction" was my natural antidepressant.

I'm trying to get back to living again.

If you need the surgery, get it, because I delayed it and it only makes recovery longer and harder.

If your pain is really bad speak to your doctor about medical marihuana. I heard from some people at the pain clinic where I got my epidural that it really helped them with nerve related pain.


After reading many of these posts and through my own experience, I have concluded that this whole concept of "recovery" is a hit and miss process. Each therapist says something different.

Most general practitioners seem to know very little about the spine. It is extremely difficult to get honest advice. I am a 53 year old Australian woman. I tore my L5 S1 disc when I was 28. I was then a fit and active young woman.

Considering how long have been dealing with this issue, I am doing well, with no other health problems. My disc is now completely degenerated -- it is bone on bone. I no longer suffer with sciatic pain, but I have constant muscle spasms, which, at its worst can keep me bedridden for a week or more.

I have tried every possible therapy and have consulted an orthopaedic surgeon who said I "could be" a candidate for fusion surgery. I have decided to soldier on with part-time work and am hoping to retire in two years.

There are no ready answers. Each case is unique to some extent and every individual has different circumstances. I feel for everyone who suffers with these difficulties.

One of the biggest hurdles is being taken seriously, by health practitioners, friends and family! I hope some answers can soon be found. --Toby


I'm 21 years old and got two herniated discs in my lower back from an accident back squatting. It's been nearly seven months since my pain started.

The first doctor I saw found my hamstrings to be very tight, but could not explain the pain in my leg. He got me to do stretches that may have made things worse.

The next doctor realized I had symptoms of herniated discs, but I was not older, did not smoke, was very skinny, had a very strong core, and did not meet any of the normal traits most people with herniated discs have.

Today I am in more pain, and I wonder why it is not healing quickly. I walk to classes. I have not done any other exercise besides walking. I have a cart with wheels that I roll my books and things in.

I am on anti-inflammatory medication and pain killers. And I do conservative stretching. Stretching tends to cause my pain level to spike. I cannot touch my left toes. And my hamstring is abnormally tight. My doctors can't figure this one out besides it being a defense mechanism.

This has really opened my eyes. And in some regards it is a blessing, in that I have become much more responsible. I am in bed nine hours a night. I eat well and am very careful about my activities. But it doesn't feel fair.

I have learned new skills with the time I save by not going to parties, or playing sports, or lifting weights. But I can't go drinking with my friends, and I cannot play sports, run, or engage in the more vigorous romantic activities.

Before this accident I thought I knew how people with back pain were feeling, but I was wrong. And I hope everyone who suffers from back pain gets better and finds some way to relieve their pain.


If you can't get rid of the pain toughen up and increase your pain barrier.


Anon24423: I would love to find out about your therapy exercises. i have the exact same problem.(L3, L4) I just found out from MRI after a year with off and on physical therapy for my neck. I think some of the neck exercises hurt the L3, L4 condition. Good luck!


I am a 24 year old female. I have five children, ages 7, 3, 2, 1, and three months old. I was in a car accident when I was 19 (the other driver died) and fractured four of my transverse process. (Those are the "wings" that come off of the vertebrae that connect your spine to the muscles, etc.)

I have had pain for years, and have just been given pain meds for so long that they don't work anymore (and haven't for a year or so). I finally said "that's it!" and went to a specialist.

The MRI showed five bulging discs ranging from L1-L2, L2-L3, L3-4, L4-L5, to L5-S1. I also have arthritis in all of these same vertebrae and something called Spinal Stenosis, where my spine is compressing my spinal cord and nerves.

I also (lasts for days on end) have charlie-horse like cramping in the muscle of my middle back -both sides- that they said they can't find anything wrong there. The specialist recommended the epidural shots and then said if they don't work, we will do surgery. All I am asking is for the pain to at least be bearable.

My kids are my whole world, and it kills me to not be able to do anything with them. I can't hold them, I can't get down on the floor to color or read with them. I have also worked throughout this whole time. I am so frustrated with my family who for all of this time have said that it's not as bad as I make it out to be and I'm being dramatic.

Does anyone know what can help me? I am tired of pain meds (perocet 10/500 4x daily) that don't even work, which my family has also said I am addicted to because every time they see me I have run out and I'm hurting and the pain I feel is withdrawal and that nothing is wrong with my back (so they say). I spoke to my doctor about this and amazingly enough, I have no symptoms of (probably because I usually take too many and run out every month two or three weeks early and go the rest of the month without). My husband is the only person who has believed me through all of this, and I thank God for putting us together.

He is the main caregiver of our kids most times (He just won a Father-of-the-Year Award from Kansas's Early Head Start Program - well deserved!) and I know everyone has to think I am a horrible mother for sitting back and letting him do a lot of the work.

Honestly, I don't think my doctor thought that much was wrong because I always go in there with four kids in tow (one is in school), I am smiling, bending, lifting, and chasing, because I know that is what has to be done. (he about fell out of his chair when he read the MRI report and saw the Spinal Stenosis).

OK, so I know it was my choice to have that many kids, and the pregnancies surely didn't help, but I just wanted to lead a normal life, and I really thought that the pregnancies were what caused the pain -that's what my family kept telling me, and they said everyone who is pregnant has lower back pain and to shut up - that's life.

I don't have time for physical therapy, or being out of commission after surgery! The pain just gets so bad that I can't stand, sit, or lie down. Nothing helps! I have heard so many horror stories about surgery, and I am terrified of going under anesthesia or coming out of surgery feeling even worse. Any advice?


I am 52 years old and have bulging discs at L3-L4 and L5-S1. I have done acupuncture both laser and traditional, bowen, massage, PT, and Chiro. I have been out of work for three months now. Three years ago I had the same and out of work for six months. I finally found a doctor that is helping me. He does Spinal Biomechanics, the Pettibon system and Ayurvedic medicine. It seems to be working.

I will be doing this system for the rest of my life. It is a series of exercises that you do at home and pre adjustment and some lifestyle changes. You can look it up online and get lots of information. It just makes sense that if your whole back is not in line then it will shift the rest of the vertebra.

Hope this helps some folks as the pain is bad. I have left leg numbness and muscles spasms. It is getting better with this system.


I am 39 and have been suffering for about two years with this pain. I had an MRI done and it revealed five bulging disks in the cervical spine and five in my lumbar spine. I am miserable. There are many days I do not want to get up to go to work. I am looking for some comfort. Any suggestions.

Thanks Maritza


I am 42 years old, and the MRI says I have a bulging disk as L5/L4. My right hip, leg, and foot have cause me the worst pain I have ever experienced.

I went to Urgent Care after receiving a sturdy blow to my right hip, and they gave me muscle relaxers and pain meds and sent me home. After a couple of weeks I went back, and they just increased the dosage. It was not improving at all.

I then started going to a chiropractor. After two months of physical therapy and adjustments, I started to feel much better. Then, one night, everything reversed. I awoke to the same right leg pain that I had started with, and two months' worth of hard work left me right back where I started.

I decided to get an MRI to see what is really going on, and it states that I have a bulging disk that is putting pressure on a nerve that causes the pain. My doctor has given me pain meds and nerve desensitizers, and I have an appointment for a cortisone shot next week.

It has now been four months since my accident, and while I felt much improved during the third month, the fourth month feels just like the first month. Has anyone completely healed from this before?


I had my first back surgery at 35, my second at 39, a third at 41 -- all on L5 S1. It all was a short term success.

Now I have bulges at L3, L3, L4, and L5. I don't know what it is to be pain free; it has been 11 years since I had no pain.

I'm a Mom and am thankful my children are grown now but now I'm having Grandchildren and I'm mad that I can't be the kind of Mamaw I want to be.

My doctor said my prognosis was fair after the last surgery -- not good but fair.

Which means I'm not supposed to lift 20 pounds, squat, bend, run, ride a horse or do anything that normal people get to do.

My life completely changed forever and I haven't always handled it well. My whole life I have done anything I wanted to and now I feel like a shadow of my former self. So good luck to all of you with similar troubles.


I'm 52 years old. I have been suffering with pain for 18 months now.I just learned I have a bulging disc in my neck C6+ C7.

I have some neck pain shoulder pain, sometimes right arm pain. I also have tingling and electric shocks in my feet, hands, face, and occasionally in my legs. I have pain in my left abdominal area. This pain has been very debilitating.

I now take Lyrica 300mg. a day. I top it up with advil, but now think I should increase the Lyrica.

I have had laser therapy and it didn't work. I have been doing physical therapy, too. I have had two treatments from a Bowen Works Therapist and I have had some relief.

I have found I can't do any lifting, pushing, bending. So my life is quite limited. Yoga is good. I was going once a week in the fall, but my instructor went away. I have tried to do some on my own, but haven't found a beginner dvd that I like.

Of course I'm not working. I was an aide in a nursing home. So I am continuing my journey to get well, more bowen treatments, Going to go to a new physiotherapist soon. I have an appointment with new specialist to investigate the ab pain, which I think is referred pain? Maybe acupuncture as well in the future.

I'm trying to rest more. Trying to stay in a happy place, but i have some rough days. I hope we all find some kind of pain relief. Surgery is not an option for me yet.


I'm 16 years old and have two bulging discs. I have never been in so much pain in my life! I have done chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and two cortisone shots. The doctor is now suggesting surgery! Are there any other options?


Last July I found out I had a ruptured disc in my neck. I had severe pain down my right arm.

I tried the injections with no relief. I decided surgery was my only option. I still had pain after the surgery, but was told by several that it could take up to a year to heal all the way.

It has been five months and the pain is mostly gone. When I do have pain (not as bad), I do neck exercises and it helps. I just found out I have a bulging disc in my back that started hurting in my hip and leg last December.

I have an appointment with a surgeon (have been told by a friend he thinks surgery should be the last option) to see how bad or whatever it is. It scares me to read how people here have decided pain was going to be with them forever from this.


i got hurt at work on dec 15. i was unloading a truck at work and got a sharp pain in my neck. i now have pain in neck, shoulder and down my left arm and numbness in my fingers.

i had my mri the other day where they found diffuse disc bulging and possible posterior bony bar formation which causes a pancaking of the cervical cord from c3-c4 through mid c6 the area of concern is a 4x7.4 mm disc fragment, extending to the left and displacing the c-7 nerve root.

i am in so much pain they have me taking strong pain pills like eight a day. that only helps a little, and the bad thing is my boss gave my job away and i have been a good worker for this company for five years and have made him a lot of money. i am so depressed and hurting.

anyway i see the neck doc in the morning. let's hope he can fix this pain. any one have any advice? thanks Raychel


I am 32 and I injured my lower back two years ago. I had to take three days off work, took Advil and iced my back. The pain got better with time, but then about two months after my injury my right foot started to go numb. I didn't have insurance so I didn't go to a doctor.

Fortunately the chiropractor where I live is affordable. An x-ray revealed DDD at L5 S1. I went three times a week for a month for decompression therapy and went pain free for about a year.

About eight months ago my lower back was sore and stiff. I went to the chiropractor and the lower back pain subsided. Six months ago I started having unusual pains in my left and right foot.

I started to go back to the chiropractor once a month and this was not helping. The pain in my feet ranges from numbness to feelings like their is an electrical charge moving slowly along a path in the ball and big toe of my left foot.

I was afraid of permanent nerve damage so I went to an Orthopedic surgeon. He told me that my back was not causing my feet problems and to take Vitamin B supplements.

Them I went to a NP, she set me up for an appointment to have an MRI done. Before my appointment time I went to the ER because I had numbness all down my right leg and hadn't slept in a week. The MRI revealed only a slight bulge at the L5 S1 disc.

I have been to five doctors in one month. The physiatrist and orthopedic doctor say it is not the bulge that is causing my problems. And they frighten me by asking questions about MS and diabetes.

My feet hurt so bad at times I can hardly walk. I was referred to a podiatrist and he diagnosed me with neuropathy and seemed convinced that it is the bulge that is causing my problems.

So for post #81 I know what you are going through. I would recommend trying decompression therapy, that worked for me in the past. I am currently undergoing decompression therapy and hope it will be as successful as it was the last time.


To anon64061, post 163: I have gained a lot of knowledge on this little site. I promised myself that I would keep posting and trying to help people even after I was better.

I had a doctor who was totally against surgery of any kind. He said the surgeon's motto was, "We may not be able to fix all your pain, but we can make it a different kind of pain." Everyone told me not to do surgery and it scared me to death.

I tried the epidural (around five shots) it helped for about two to three weeks each time. I tried pain pills and a chiropractor Dr. Crespo (one of the best in Florida). He does spinal decompression and I have heard great things and many success stories about that type of treatment.

He took one look at my MRI and told me that I needed surgery. I said, "Yeah but your spinal decompression seems to be-" He cut me off and said, "You need surgery." He then encouraged me to find the right surgeon. Long story short, I had a microdiscectomy. This was in July. No more pain now. I have even done some light running to see how it felt. So far so good.

Things will never go back to being perfect with a back problem, but I think this is as close as one can get with my condition (L5 S1). My calf muscle was unusable before the surgery and now I can use it but is still needs to be built back up.

They told me that the calf would never have that nice horseshoe shape again but it would get stronger -- just never match the other calf.

So I look a little funny in my board shorts. haha!

My advice is try everything you can and make surgery your last choice. If it has to be done, it has to be done. Good luck! -G


I'm 34 and had an mri that says i have two bulging discs and two tears. my left leg is starting to have pain.

i've been seeing chiropractor for 1.5 years and i don't believe its working. i tried therapy twice. and now saw an orthopaedic. He basically said we all have back pain. your back lumbar, if you compare it to tires, yours is not the high performance, shiny new tire, it's the Kmart generic special. talk about a shining moment.

He said do shots and if you get tired of that we can do surgery, but the insurance won't pay for it. depressing day


I'm suffering from disc bulging towards the right side with bare minimum root contact. The discs affected are between L3-L4 and L4-L5. I have a pain on my right hip with sometimes going down till my knee. If anyone has any advice to improve the condition, please let me know. I will greatly appreciate any suggestion for my injury. It's been nine months now since this problem occurred. -- harpreet.


I hurt my back really bad in a gymnastics accident. It's been about ten months since it has happened. I had many tests done and have gotten blood taken. They finally found that a bulging disk is whats causing me such horrible back pain. i can't do much of anything without being in pain.

I'm only 13 and i just want to be active and not be in pain for the rest of my life. That's all I'm really asking for.


I had surgery two years ago at the c5-c6 level. t helped me, but it didn't solve everything. The problem is i have a couple more herniations in the neck that the emg picked up. Obviously there is nerve damage.

I saw the neurosurgeon last week about my lower back and he said i have three bulging discs/herniations. I am not sure what course of action he is going to take but i do realize whatever happens, maybe nothing, i am going to be living the rest of my life in pain.

I have been forced to sell my business, have been out of work for about two years. I am only 32 years old. I want my life back.


I was in an auto accident six months ago. I've been suffering from bad back pain ever since. I've already done 16 weeks of PT with not much improvement.

I had an mri done and the doctor told me today that I have a couple of mild bulges. But, he said that there is no way that those bulging discs would be causing the amount of pain I am having. How can he know that they aren't causing my pain? I can't bend over, can't pick up anything.

I have pain in my legs almost all of the time. I ran errands for about two hours yesterday and that was too much for me. I don't know what to do!


I'm 39 and have been diagnosed with two bulging disks in my neck and a pinched nerve. My case is not too bad compared to what I have read here.

I'm in some pain but was continuing to lift weights until weakness on my right side developed. Then to the doc and an MRI.

I had planned to keep working through it but after reading this I will rest for a few weeks and see if it goes away. I will update here later. Good luck all.


Hi everybody, I'm a 43 years old male had little back pain for many years. My doctor found out 7 months ago from CT i have L5/S1 herniated wasn't very bad that time but about a month ago get worst, I had very much pain in my leg,butt and my hill got numbness.I went back to my acupuncture,receiving treatment for 2-3 weeks,a lot better now, no more pain, and can walk easily,only still have numbness in my hill. Oh, my surgeon recommended surgery first time he saw the CT but I do not want to take yet.I'm going back to europe in april and will pay 3 weeks treatment, my friend told me there is some people got the same and had good results.


i have had three herniated discs at L3-4-5 for for nine weeks now. Nine weeks ago, after very strong and deep coughing due to bronchitis, i herniated the three discs and i was immediately stopped in my otherwise active life at 44 years old. i thought i was the picture of health as i worked 45 to 50 hours a week and did yoga.

I had no idea that severe coughing could do this much damage and trauma to my spine and affect my life so much.

i have been to the chiropractor for nine weeks which is intense twisting, pinching and popping two times a week and applied constant ice therapy. (my doctor says that heat can further inflame so strongly suggest ice over heat) moist heat is better than dry heat and advil -- and calcium with D3 to improve bones. I sleep with a pillow under my knees and use lumbar pillows for chairs. I also take hot baths. I have had some improvement, maybe 60 percent of my normal activity, but now have started to think that this is as good as it gets.

i just don't think i will ever resume my normal fun, active, happy, pain-free life. I'm hoping in one year i will be better. the standard four to six weeks is not true because this is a painful and life altering experience.

Before this i could walk 10 to 12 hours per day and now i can maybe walk one hour. i can't bend over to get anything off the floor without pain. you just don't realize how little you can do with this back pain. it has been helpful to read the journeys of others but also disheartening to realize the pain of others.

i send my hope to all that suffer and hope we all find relief.


Reply to Dusty M. Post #33.

I read your post and i'm interested in how the neurosurgery went. I am considering it myself.


I am responding to the person worried about getting the epidural injections. I have had two so far.

I got hurt at work almost seven years ago. I am in constant pain no matter what I do. I am on pain medicine and also heavy duty muscle relaxers. I hate taking medications for so long and am at the point where I am ready to get off of them.

I had my first injection a few months ago when it got to the point where I was in so much pain that I almost couldn't walk anymore. The first injection took more than a week to work, which they say is not normal but who knows? It helped me so much I can't even tell you. Unfortunately I have two bulging disks so I just had another injection for the other one but unfortunately it has not helped me yet. I am still hopeful, though, because it has been just over a week.

I don't know what to tell you to do, it is a personal decision. But when you have been in pain as long as I have you begin to get pretty desperate. Best of luck to you.


I am 29 years old and I had an accident in July. I got rear ended while sitting at a red light. Totaled my vehicle and left me with a bulging disc at c5-c6, spinal stenosis, muscle spasms in my neck and down the middle of my back and shoulders.

I also have occasional pain and numbness down both arms and runs to my finger tips. This has caused me to drop things because I can't control my hands or have no feeling in them. I have a four year old that I can't even pick up or play with most of the time. I can't even cook dinner without sitting and crying afterward.

I'm currently on medications and have had eight trigger point injections in my shoulders and upper back. I have done physical therapy three times a week for the past six or seven weeks, and it has improved my range of motion but only improves the pain while I am there.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to discuss epidural injections and I'm terrified of the potential risks. Are there any good outcomes of the procedure? Every comment I have seen is negative.


I am a 47 year-old fitness instructor who has suffered from neck pain and neck pain-related headaches for several months now. The pain has gotten so severe that I had an MRI this week that revealed a bulging disk of my C2/C3. My doctor wants me to see a pain management specialist for an injection. I do not know anything about this type of stuff.

While I am relieved to know the source of my pain, I am worried about finding pain relief and whether or not I should continue teaching my fitness classes.

I teach pilates, zumba, and a resistance training class. Will this type of exercise exacerbate my problem? My doc/internal med has advised me to continue exercising but I do not want to make this worse.

Any advice is appreciated and my heart goes out to all of you that have pain!

Thanks, Laurie


I'm a nurse and hurt my back turning a patient. I had a CT Scan which showed i have five bulging discs. From L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1. And S1-S2.

These bulging discs are compressing certain nerves like the sciatic nerve which is causing pain down my left leg as well as numbness. Has anyone fully recovered from this awful pain? I'm a mother of two and I can't even pick up my own children anymore. Any treatments that helped with the pain completely?


first of all I'm glad to read the comments here because i don't have anyone in my group of friends to relate an injury like this to. thanks to all for posting.

my injury was originally an L5 herniated disc. its almost completely gone. my most recent MRI reveals that my S1 disc is protruding a lot and i will most likely need surgery. to be completely honest I'm freaking out.

I've healed up from a lot of things as I've been a skater since i was 16 (i am now 28). i haven't been skating since the injury and I'm losing my mind. hopefully the next check up with the docs will give me good news.


i'm only 16 and I have a bulging disk in my L5. Legs always sore and a bit numb. Normal things are much harder to get around to doing. Not to mention rowing is totally awful.


I've been going through this for 7 1/2 years now.. due to a head on collision on the hwy that I was passenger in (wasn't my mother's fault).. But I braced myself as I saw it happening.. Of course many other issues.. but I ended up with 9 slipped discs.. 4 in neck, 1 in lower back, and 4 in mid back (one touching my spinal cord which can cause paralyzation).. I'm 34 now.. in the past 2 years i somehow ended up with another slipped disc in lower back.. and the disc that was abutting my spinal cord is now herniated. I've breastfed and pregnant for the first 2 years (was 3 months pregnant in accident).. so not many docs doing anything for me.. I'm off all medications.. (soma, flexeril, vicodin, lyrica, percocets, etc)due to them wanting me to have morphine.. since nothing really worked with my pain, including the valium that didn't do anything to me. I have heard of laser treatments.. and am looking into that now. Of course I also have arthritis that is all up and down.. as well as nerve damages/pinches, etc.. but I'm still walking (most of the time). lol


I am 34 and just had an MRI of my lower back. L-4/L-5 bulging disk and degenerative disk disease. Kind of a downer, seeing as I'm only 34.

I am an athlete and a mother of four small boys. I cannot live with pain/discomfort and cannot afford the luxury of 'resting' my back. I am full of anxiety about any/everything that I do, from picking up a basket of laundry, to running to pick up my kids from the bus.

Will this make my back go out? I ask myself constantly. I went to a chiropractor--now six months. I seemed to do well for about three months, now it's worse than ever. Physical therapy? I just don't think I can do back surgery. I'm not there yet? Any suggestions?


I am 19 and have two bulging discs. I'm not sure how or why but it stinks! I am now going to pt but it hasn't helped yet. My legs are like they are always asleep and the pt therapist said i have to stop running. But Robin the doctor said i am too young for this and he doesn't know how a 19 year old could have bulging discs so i would assume the 15/16 year olds are also too young for this! goodness.


I am 34 year old woman. I have degenerative disc disease. I have surgery on L4-L5 nine years ago. I have had pain off and on since then. In a recent MRI it was found that I have four bulging disc L2, L3, L4 and L5. They also found osteoarthritis in all the facet joints in my lumbar spine. For the last six weeks I have been in some of the worst pain in my life. A neurologist suggested a lumbar spine fusion, but my PCP has opted to put me through PT, again, and spinal injections. All I know is that I need some relief fast.


anon55341 post 139: My doc told me that if I started losing control of bowel movements that I was really in the danger zone and there could be permanent damage to the sciatic nerve and the longer it was being irritated that more chance I had of having that happen.

Get a second opinion obviously, but make sure you do something to take the stress off the nerve (strangely enough icing it 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off worked pretty well for me). What kind of procedure did your doc recommend?

Neurosurgeons want to cut first regardless so exhaust all other avenues (quickly) and make a definitive decision. Good luck!


My mother has this problem of bulging disc. her L4, L5 discs are creating the problem. The doctor asked to get physio therapy and medicine and he said if things don't work out we will go for surgery. she is 56 and i don't want her to go through this pain of surgery and i will be honest: i don't trust Pakistani doctors. i have lived all my life here. and though the neurosurgeon is the best surgeon i still don't trust them with this. what should i do? is there any cure for this? Regards, NA


I have two bulging/degenerative discs, L4 L5. i saw a neuro specialist just last week who told me that i was not a candidate for surgery. i have suffered for years (took them three years to do a scan) i asked what was the solution. he couldn't say, as some people have a stronger pain threshold than others. It made me think i was weak in the pain side of it, but the pain is so bad that i can cry for a couple of hours.

I am going into hospital next week for a "spinal epidural." Not sure if this will work. i have already had my facet SI joints done and had no relief from that. i am at the end of my tether.


i am 37 years old, working as lecturer in a medical college. recently i had an MRI that shows i have L4-L5 bulging disk. The doctor is suggesting I have the surgery. Actually i have a problem in passing urine and constipation for one year. My KUB, KUB Plain scan and ultrasound show no stone. i am very worried about it. please give me some suggestions. thank you


i am from bangalore, india i have back pain and left leg pain (zoam) for the past two months and i went to the doctor and had an MRI scan. It shows that L4 and L5 have mild disc slip so please help me.


anon53286 (post #130): You are a carbon copy of what I used to be in high school (except I could only get a 4.5 40) 5'10" 180 lbs, could dunk a basketball, bench about 330, long jump 22' (you got me again on that one)etc. I feel your pain, but not until I turned 30. I played football in high school and college and the years of abuse took a toll.

I am no doctor, but from my experience (L-5 S-1) it will not get better by waiting. I tried that route and it felt better then the first time I tried to play a little flag football or golf. Bam! I was right back where I started. I then decided to tackle this head on and do something about it.

I tried everything to give me my normal life back and after all the epidurals, doctors, inversion tables, stretches etc. It was the last option to do surgery. Microdiscectomy was my choice. Minimally invasive and a fairly quick recovery. The thing is, I waited too long to get the surgery. I had some permanent damage to my sciatic nerve and that caused my calf to diminish to half the size of the other one.

Since the surgery it has grown back to a decent size but will never be the same. I can run, lift (no squats or deadlifts), and do most of the things that I was able to do before with little to no pain. Even considering joining a rugby club -- maybe.

You are young, you will recover faster, and you don't want to baby this thing the rest of your life. I found myself letting my back pain make my decisions, instead of doing something active I would just sit on my lazy butt and play PS3 for an hour.

My advice once again is to get it taken care of. Be done with it and go win that scholarship back! Let me know if you have any questions on my experience, brother. Feel free to post me back! Good luck!


in reply to my previous post. i have been in therapy for two weeks and i have had significant improvement. i am using a tens machine and lots of moist heat. i feel 80 percent better.


I am a male 42 years old now and having lower back pain for last 20 months. I also take a car commute of 80 kms daily which I feel aggravates the pain.

I have undergone two MRIs and Dexa scans, with a time gap of roughly 17 months. The MRIs revealed mild diffuse disc bulge at L4-L5 level.

The dexa scans revealed osteoporosis in the lumbar spine. Doctor said the pain could be related to low bone density. I am currently on medicines/supplements and mild exercises at home for two months, to improve the bone density and to see if the pain improves.

After that the doctor has advised injections for pain relief.

Anybody who has experienced both disc bulge and osteoporosis? Any suggestions? --SKM


I am a 45 year old female. Why is it they stick you on pain meds and want to give you injections? I will not do the injections. I tried them once and the PT. No help there either. Neither did anything for me.

I am going on three years with herniated disc at L4 and L5. My knees give out on me causing me to fall. I do take Vicodin when it gets bad which is happening more lately.

I have had to walk out of a grocery store and other places and sit in my car for 15 minutes to an hour for the muscle spasms to subside enough to be able to drive home. I am ready to try surgery. But they say I am not a candidate. So what am I supposed to do -- keep living in pain?


I'm 37 and evidently I've had bulging disks in my lower L4 for quite some time, and for two years its been pinching the sciatic nerve in my leg. hurts like hades, and the pain hits out of nowhere when I'm walking and almost drops me to the floor.

I do martial arts and have temporarily stopped, but this will not hold me back. I will achieve my second degree (i want to lose 25 pounds before i test). To midterm i had to get pain injections because i couldn't do a roundhouse without pain.

Oh well, I'll give my body some time to heal, then we are going to achieve our goal and kick some young butt along the way.


i am a 34 year old female who has been suffering with a bulging disc for four months. after three steroid injections and physical therapy, i have felt little improvement.

I'm not sure what the next step is. I met with the doc and he offered me several steps: more therapy, another shot, a meeting with a spine specialist.

All i know is that it sucks getting out of bed in the morning. i too used to be fit and run 5-6 times per week. Now, I'm 15 pounds heavier and can't even walk around the block.


I am a 30 year old male. Doctors found my disc bulging at L3, L4 and L5 about three months ago after an MRI scan. An orthopaedic and spine doctor said it was not necessary for me to undergo a surgery. Either physiotherapy or injection may cure the pain.

However, I have had my physio about two months but there seems to be no improvement. My back will start to hurt whenever it likes. The doctor advised all sports are prohibited except swimming.

I have stopped playing football and badminton for almost two months. Maybe some of you can try swimming, as it is one of the physiotherapies. Hope this can help everyone here.


I'm 19 and i have had a bulging disc at my l-4, l-5 that happened with i was only 17. i had a bright future but since the accident it has ruined my life, and my future.

i lost my scholarship. and i can no longer run, or jump or do anything athletic like i used to.

i played football for my high school and ran a 4.4. i also did long jump and jumped 23 feet, i could dunk a basketball and lift triple my body weight. i was a freak of nature at only 5'9 and 160.

now I'm 175, out of shape and can barely get out of bed. i feel depressed and that my bright future is gone forever. i hope there is some sort of treatment soon, something with stem cells or disc rejuvenation. i want my life back.


I was only 23 when i was having major lower back pains. I have been having these pains for approximately two years when i went to a different doctor and she told me about my l4 disc was bulging, pinching nerves, causing my right leg to go numb and was also causing my very sharp, dulling pains in my lower back.

I am now 25 and about to have the surgery to take out the disc that is bulging and they hope that the l5 disc which is trying to slip will go back to place with no problems. When they remove the disc, they will be placing a rod in place of that disc which will fuse the two vertebrae together, making one larger disc in return making me shorter.

Does anyone know about how long this will take for the surgery and about how long the healing process will take?


i have a bulging disc in my neck. i've been suffering for six months now. i did therapy but have had no relief with motrin, flexeril or naproxen and i had three epidural shots and no relief. i have spasms all the time and pain constantly. i have a tens unit and a neck cervical unit, but still get no relief.


I, like you, all have had the same problem but have found relief with acupunture. it's really worth a try.


After an MRI, the doc tells me I have two bulging discs, L4 and L5, and degeneration of the disc. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow, with hopes of getting some relief. He has set me up for three times a week for six weeks. He said he would see me again in two months. I asked him was I going to have to suffer like this for two more months, and he said PT should help.

He is a well known spine doctor and I trust him, but all I take is Robaxin 750 mg every eight hours and to be honest it doesn't always cut it. I am allergic to codeine, or I would take vicodin. I don't understand how he thinks robaxin, a muscle relaxer, will help my lower back pain that over the last few days has radiated into my hips. has anyone else taken robaxin? I had a heart attack in May so I was told taking somas was bad for my heart. Please help. I am 49 years old and becoming depressed because I can't even walk around the grocery store without being overwhelmed by pain


my mother age 53 has been suffering from severe lower back pain, pain in hips, up to her knees and lower abdomen. The MRI suggests disc bulge at L4-l5, level, and the right kidney is shrunken. The doctor suggested it is not working and failed due to hypertension. Please someone help me to get rid this problem.


I was diagnosed with a mild bulging disc (C3,C4,C5). I had major back surgery 12 years ago. At that time i was diagnosed with spondylothesis, lower back problems, had surgery, a bone was taken from my right hip and put into my lower back. In 2007 i had neck surgery for a disc. I was home the next day and did fine. Now i have had this neck pain for about a month. it comes and goes but when it is there it is very painful and wakes me up in the night at times also. I had an mri and as i stated at the beginning of this, they diagnosed me with a bulging disc and are suggesting i do therapy. does anyone think that therapy will help? I hate the thought of surgery again but am tired of the pain.


I'm 22 years old with three kids 4, 3 and 2. I'm a CNA and last December i had this 200 and some pound lady fall on me and i weigh 100 pounds. since last year everything got worse. i have a bulging disk. i've been to a neurosurgeon and a orthopedic doctor. i have to get shots in my back and stay on my meds which is lortabs 10's and somos 360. i sometimes get relief but other days nothing helps. do the coridone shots help? i hope all of you get better and God bless!


i am a 49 year old female suffering from back pain for five years or more. Today after having an MRI I found out I have 3 or 4 bulging disks and arthritis. I had major back surgery in 1974 and have a harrington rod in my back. I have shots 3 or 4 different times and no relief. I am going one more time for shots next week. I have been working and exercising up until a month ago when the pain took over. I find lying still helps me out more. I get up and do small walks but the pain is worse when walking or standing. Numbness started in the right side buttcheek and thigh going down into my right foot and last month it has started in my left side too. I also have been on pain meds for years now and find myself taking more every day to get through. I have a lot of other medical issues too, so this is almost to much to bear any more. I hope everyone finds relief somehow and can maintain an active lifestyle. I am just hoping I get some relief soon.


I am a 41 year old male. all i was doing when my back went was picking up some paper. I phoned the doctors who said phone back in six weeks if it has not improved. so i did that. since then i have been on tablets that have not worked. i am now on morphine. i had the cortisone shot in my back and then couldn't walk at all. is there a cure for this as this has been going on now for 18 months? Help!


I am a 59 year old female who is in otherwise pretty good health - I have been very active and busy. After suffering for six months with severe low back pain and "sciatic" pain radiating down the left leg as far as the ankle, I had an MRI and the doc told me I have a bulging disc in the lumbar region of my spine. I don't know if this is related to a car accident a couple of years ago when I was rear ended (and my car totaled) as I was stopped at a red light, *or* a couple of hard spills I took on the ice last winter, *or* degenerative disease of the lumbar region - *or* all of the above. My doc wants to refer me to an ortho doc and for pain management. The pain is worst in the morning or after sitting for any length of time and can be extremely debilitating. The only thing that really helps is sitting in the bathtub with warm water from the faucet directed to my lower back. If only I could conduct my life from the bathtub! I do not take pain killers even though the pain is excruciating at times. Sleeping is always an adventure and going up and down the stairs, especially with heavy packages, is a challenge. I live alone and I have no one to do these chores for me. I'm not sure what my next step will be but these posts have been pretty discouraging. After a 21 year teaching career I have earned a degree in nursing. Now I am wondering what kind of nurse I will be if I have to deal with constant pain. Hopefully, an empathetic one, at least! Good luck and God bless all my fellow sufferers!


Glad to see I am not the only one. I am now 42 years old and have been suffering with back pain for 20 years. No one seems to know what the problem is. I can bend over just to pick something up and then I am laid up for a week with severe back spasms. I had my second MRI done this week and just got back from the doctors who told me that I have three bulging discs in my lower back but that I should not be in that much pain from just that. She is sending me to a spine specialist. Who is she kidding anyway, there isn't any way that I could possibly make up this much pain. My husband had to help me up off the floor two times in the last week because I collapsed due to severe spasms. I have tried many things but seem to get nowhere. I am so tired of dealing with back pain and no one to help me or even figure out what is wrong. Now I know that I am not crazy after reading everyone else's posts.


I have some bulging discs in my lower back -- possibly herniated or has protruded into a nerve. i am in constant pain. a 9 on a 10 scale.. have trouble sleeping and wake up during the night and have a hard time getting back to sleep. i am wondering if it is possible to be prescribed medicinal marijuana.


Hi. I suffer from sciatica and bulging disc in my lower back. I thought I would share what works for me. I find that consciously relaxing the muscles around the pain site (in my case my butt muscles) in combination with anti-inflammatories usually sets me right within a couple of days (until the next flare up). I find that pain makes you tense, which often makes the pain worse. I find it helps if you can try to consciously relax your muscles while moving (eg walking) because this is often when you are most tense. There are many resources on how to relax. Hope this helps. Cheers.


I been having lower back pain for past eight months. The MRI showed i have a pinched nerve and bulging disc L4 and L5. The pain is very extreme and i just started chiropractic treatment. she tells me i will never be the same and wants me to buy an inversion table. I need help with this problem.


I have back pain for years. Last year got a breast reduction and the that helped my upper back. The last 6 months I have been in so much lower pain. X-ray showed arthritis and MRI showed bulging disc in L2-5 with tear. I am in so much pain some days. I am going to see a spine specialist soon. Massages feel good, love my chiropractor but can't deal with the twisting and turning. Tried physical therapy but it did nothing. I can relate to all of you. Why should we be living on drugs? I am only 40.


I have just been diagnosed as having bulging discs at C 4-7. I also have degeneration at C6-7. I want to know what are the medical options for me. I have been in severe pain for about 6 months. I am taking Lyrica, Lorcet Plus, Tramadol, and corticosteroids which make me nauseous. I am a heart patient on Coumadin and I don't want anymore surgeries if possible. Any suggestions?


I can vouch for using personal trainers. Having prolapsed a disc in April my physio suggested a PT to help my core strength. Six months later I am now able to play netball, lift weights and lead a practically normal life.


Yes, I was in a car accident about 6 months ago. Soon after, I had a MRI done and I found out that I have two bulging disks in the L5 Region and a separated joint in my lower back! I am in lots of pain. I don’t understand where you doctors are coming from with saying that a bulging disk isn’t painful because I am having some of the worst pains in my life. I have numbness in the right side of my leg and sharp shooting pains in the lower back! I am very young for all of this to be happening. I’m only 21 years old and I am hurting the worst I have ever hurt before. My doctor has ordered me to have a cortisone shot? I am terrified of needles, and I have never had to have this shot! Is it really painful and will it hold out! I know some people that have had this and they say it lasts about six months and then the pain is right back. Is this what I am going to have to look forward to? Am I ever going to be right again? When I decide to have children, will it affect me? *Help!*


#66 update. It's been a few months and this is what I’ve learned about 2 bulging disks L3 L5, Degenerative Disc Disease, and slight narrowing, all of which I have. PT did nothing except hurt, doc was great but this is a nerve problem. the pain is internal (inside) not external, building up your core is not the answer but might help some people, not me. I saw a chiropractor, again great doc, but this is a nerve issue, internal (inside) not a muscle issue, but the massaging felt great. Anti-inflammatories, pills, steroids were no help, except the tramadol does help on the sleepless nights. Good luck.


Today I found out that I have bulging disc C6/C7 in my neck/ I found this website to read about it and I'm glad that I found this. I have been having this pain on and off again for the past year and just didn't bother with it, now the pain is 10 times worse. I called a neurosurgeon's office to make an appointment and the nurse will call me on Wednesday. I don't understand why I have to wait three days to get an appointment but it's just two more days. I have a four year old and its hard to handle her with the playing and running around. My regular doctor gave me loritabs 5/500 and they do not help.


Hi all. thought i had bad luck. wow, some of your stories are scary. I was like most of you. young, active. that all came to a screeching halt with a bulging L5 disc. I don't think anyone has an answer for us. everyone seems to have tried one thing or another with no good results. that sucks. hope someone comes up with something soon. we are all too young to be couch potatoes. good luck to all of us.


I am 45 years young and have been diagnosed with a bulging disc in my neck. I have had two epidurals and the relief lasted no more than three weeks. I am and always have been very active. I teach spinning, ride my bike, run, lift weights, pilates, yoga etc. For the past year I experienced awful pain in my neck, shoulders and it radiated to my arm and turned numb along with my hand. I am at my wits' end because my quality of life has changed drastically. Headaches, numbness, stiffness. Just miserable. The pain doctor referred me to a neurosurgeon whom I'll see next week. I don't want surgery but I want my life back. Has anyone had this surgery? My orthopedist told me I'm far too young for it therefore he referred me to the pain relief doctor for the epidurals. Like I said: they were good for about three weeks and that was it. Any help or feedback would be appreciated.


I have been diagnozed with herniated disc in L5 and now getting the same symptoms at the bottom of my back. Does anyone find they have problems with their ears blocking?


I am 18 years old. i am currently attending a technical college. i messed my back up when i was 10 years old in an accident with a tree limb. i have been on naproxen and oxycontin and now vicodin tens with somas. i am constantly in pain all the time but most times i can deal with it. i have two bulging discs at L5 pinching my nerves in my back, along with sciatica of the right leg. I try and take it easy most times but sometimes i over do it and hurt really bad. i was asked by my docter to go on disabilty and quit work but i want to be a diesel mechanic being it is my passion. What can i do to help ease my pain without the use of meds?


Lyrica is a fantastic drug for bulging disc pain. I take 600 mg daily with Oxycontin. Yes, you feel completely drained and extremely tired some of the time, but it has done wonders for me. I would recommend Lyrica to anyone although it is costly.


Your poor people, good luck! I am 40 years old. i have been suffering for 20 years. i am in so much pain. I have tried everything that the law will allow me to do. i am ready to pull my hair out! I want to be pain free! for number 85, stop. don't pay any more. you are wasting your money. if it doesn't work don't do any more or pay any more!


I am a 36 year-old male who has just managed to lose 60 kilograms as the doctor had instructed for my health when i was involved in a car accident about nine months ago. Since the accident i have been suffering from headaches and migraines constantly. I have been taking large amounts of panadol and migraine medication to ease the pain, and just recently i was diagnosed with a bulging disk at c5-c6 that was caused by the car accident. can anyone tell me if they have had the same type of injury and if there was a cure or treatment that helped as i don't want this to stop me going to the gym or being able to live life normally.


can vertebroplasy work on a bulging disc?


hey all. i'm in the minority here. i have bulging discs in c4-c7 from a head-on car accident. the pain is so severe sometimes that i can't sleep or even move. i have sciatica running down my left leg from the pain and left shoulder and neck pain that causes migraines. i was miserable until i found a wonderful pain specialist. i had tried therapy prior to the specialist and only had relief for a few weeks before the pain came back. i also had facet injections which helped immensely but only for about 4 days. i'm now on percocet daily and couldn't be happier. nearly pain free and can get back to a normal life.


To all of you out there trying to find another answer to your pain I have a suggestion that helps take the edge off my pain: Toradol shots. My doctor gives them to me for the muscle spasms and pain I have from my car accident. They don't make the pain disappear but they definitely help. The biggest benefit is that they don't mess with your head like pain pills. Good luck to all of you!


Interesting to see I am not alone; now going on four weeks and being shuffled from doctor to doctor. I am still in extreme pain from my lower right back around my hip to right front thigh and knee. One doctor sent me for an MRI. My MRI said L3-L4 disc bulge, degeneration; was given pain pills which only take the edge off, some anti-inflammatories (did nothing) and muscle relaxers. I was to go to pain management; I ended up one night in the hospital because the pain was so intense I couldn't walk. ER gave me more pain meds, sent me to another doctor who sent me to a neurosurgeon. He said he thought it was a pinched nerve but wanted me to re-do the MRI because he said it was blurred; I said no. He has now referred me to pain management. No one is available until the end of the month and that is only for a consultation. This is a brief summary of what I have been going through. I am in pain and depressed. I am an active person and this has just shut me down.


I'm so glad I found this site! My boyfriend and I were in a head on collision about a month and a half ago. A guy was going the wrong way down a one way street we were on. Hitting us at 40 mph and coming around a blind curve, we only had milliseconds to react. My left knee crashed into where the center console meets the dash and my back twisted, not to mention all the internal damage done. As a result I have severe nerve damage in my knee and bulging discs at L4/5 and S1. My back hurt after the accident, but my knee and internal injuries hurt more so the docs focused on that. As the weeks went on, my back started to hurt worse and worse and I started to get severe spasms in my back and knee. I started to lose feeling in my toes and now battle numbness in my left foot. I'm in PT right now, but I leave each treatment hurting worse than before I went in. I'm pretty much at the end of my rope. I slather on biofreeze almost every day, as well as take naproxen like they are candy. Muscle relaxers don't help much either. Now the simplest things that I enjoyed like watching tv on the couch with my boyfriend are interrupted with spasms so severe I shake the entire couch. It feels like bugs are running inside my body and all over my skin. I also have lost my appetite from the pain. I just want to say to all of you out there, you're not alone. I just want the pain to stop. I want my summer back. I want my mobility and health back. I still have flashbacks from the accident. Thank you to all of you out there who posted. Be well.


I have bulging disks in my lower back in L3 and L4 L5 and S1 and I am in a lot of pain. The doctor gave me muscle relaxers but I do not want to get to depend on them. I am a custodian at a school and I don't know If I can keep doing this kind of work. My job is a lot of heavy lifting and moping. What do you think? I am going for physical therapy tomorrow. I hope it works. When I sit for a long period of time I start getting muscle cramps in the upper part of my legs. Does anybody else get these cramps? When I go for a long drive my muscle also cramps up.


I was in a car accident 4 1/2 months ago and have been in pain everyday since. (I'm 27) I recently found out I have a bulging disc in my lower back from the accident. I keep reading that other people with bulging discs in their lower back can get pain going down their legs. My problem is that my pain is going up through my back into my shoulders and neck. Usually once it's in my neck I get really bad headaches. My doc gives me shots to help the pain but is it also known for lower back problems to work their way up your body? I have had MRIs from my head all the way down to my lower back and they didn't find anything else. Please help!


Hi there, Sorry the last response was to #86, not #83! In response to #87, I have done acupuncture, physio, chirp, massage, rehab, pretty much everything in the book with no relief! I know that acupuncture has worked for other people, wish it would help me! Thanks though!


Hi there, this is reply to #83, I know exactly what you mean. I was best in British Columbia for Javelin and had to give it up because of my back when I was 16! Someone just told me to look into Prolotherapy. They had constant pain, and it worked for them, just a thought. I am just starting to do a bit of research on it


hi. i do recommmend acupuncture to help with bulging dics. let me tell you why.

1. it is purely safe and natural

2. it is effective because it helps relieve pain through triggering the release of your body's endorphins and through activating your body's self-curative potential which everyone has, but are dormant under normal circumstances.

3. it helps relive nonbacteria inflammation

4. bulging dics is a chronic disease. you cannot rely on anti-inflammatory drugs all the time because it damages your digestive system and your blood as well.

5. steroid injection is just temporary. it has lots of adverse effects. steroid is like drugs. you will get addicted to it and the side effects are enormous if you check medical dictionary.

6. surgery is almost unacceptable to most patients.

then why not try acupunture? it has solid scientific grounds to back it. if you look at UTS, UWS and many other universities you will find there are phd degrees in acupuncture, meaning it is a science.

however you need to find a real acupuncturist. he or she must have a degree in acupuncture. there are lots a quack acupuncturists around without a degree.

even GPs claim they do acupuncture but they have no degree, only 3 months or so time of training then they come back to add acupuncture into their practice. that is why acupuncture has a ruined reputation by lots of these people.


i have been out of sports since 17. i had a college scholarship, a bright future and a belief that i could represent the USA in the 2012 olympics in the long jump. but while doing dead lift at football one day i heard a pop and severe pain has been with me for 2 years now. i lost my speed, my explosiveness, agility, power, strength, my scholarship, and i lost my future. i pretty much lost everything because of this injury. i don't want to get surgury and opt to do chiro and physical therapy. they help a little, but i can never run again because it gets sore and it hurts. i've recently been looking into stem cell research as a hope in the future. i just don't think that at 17 years old anyone should be told to retire from playing anymore sports. does anyone know of anything that could help? i want my life back. thank you.


Hi there. I am 29 years old and have a 5 and 7 year old. I am unable to do anything with them! I have 6 bulging discs with tears as well as sponylotheisis. I have been suffering in chronic pain for about 10 years, and it is just getting worse! I am taking the max dose of Lyrica, have been on this drug for about 9 months with little impovement. All the doctors say is try this drug and that drug, and I hate taking anything. I have recently started decompression therapy and chiro together with a bunch or exercises, but so far have found it not to be helpful. I have been doing this for about 2 months! Does anyone know how long I should wait with no relief before I stop this as it is costing us $700 per month! I am going crazy, all I want is to get my life back and to enjoy my kids (I feel sorry for my husband who has to do all most everything!) Let me know if anyone has any thoughts!


hi i have been suffering with pain in my rght leg and hip for over a year. i have had 2 steroid injections for 1st tendinitis then 2nd trochanteric bursitis. these injections didn't last for long. finally i had an mri on my back 1 month ago. my consultant has been on holiday for 3 weeks. i rang his secretary and spoke to a colleague of his. i was told i have a bulging disc. that's all i know so far. i see my consultant tomorrow. my doctor reckons with rest i should be better in 6 to 12 wks but reading this it sounds doubtful. i will let you know what is said at the hospital.


An update! Like most of you I am/was a very active person (love to run, bike, lift weights, and am a former college football player). I am now 34 and paying for all those activities including a car accident in which a drunk driver rear-ended us at a red light totaling our car.

The pain was nagging and at times unbearable (I was unable to get out of bed for 2 days at one point). L5 S1 and a piece of the inner disc (think of the disc as a jelly filled doughnut) had squirted out and was lodged between my spine and the sciatic nerve (at that point they say it turns to the consistency of a boiled shrimp). Chiropractors wouldn’t touch me after they looked at my MRI. I tried 3 epidurals and they gave me some minor relief but I didn’t want to have to keep getting them every time I had a recurrence. I had some tingling and loss of muscle in my calf (it wouldn’t support any weight and I had no reflexes). I wanted to try everything. I could not get surgery so I waited it out for two years and I was very good to my back and didn’t do anything crazy. I got feeling back in my leg and was finally able to put weight on it and do some normal easy things like mowing the lawn. Then I took a long road trip and a day after I arrived at my destination it was unbearable pain again. I was right back where I started. It was then that I decided to get surgery and be done with it. I chose a Microdiscectomy. Basically they shove a cylinder in your back, chew through some bone, move nerves out of the way, and then pull out the piece of disc that is protruding. The day after your surgery it feels like someone took your back muscles out, stomped on them and shoved them back in. It also feels like the incision will split open at any moment. They are very ambiguous about what you are able to do. They just told me to do as much walking as I could (lucky I have a chocolate lab that loves to go for walks).

I am now 2 months post surgery and feeling a bit of a change, but in no way shape or form feeling like a new man quite yet. Still some dull nagging pain in my butt and down the back of my leg. I have my final follow up appointment this month so we will see what happens then. I will update! Good luck everyone!



Hello, I'm 27 years old and was recently involved in a car accident. The MRI shows I have bulging discs at L2/3, L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1.

I'm in constant pain and find it very difficult to make sudden movements or sit/stand for very long. I work a 9-5 where I sit all day and work on a computer. I'm usually very active and love to skate. Now, I have to get up every 15 minutes at work to release the pressure from sitting down. I am no longer as active as I used to be. Also, I plan on having children and the thought of me not being able to carry them around is kind of depressing.

I want to know what I can do? Does surgery hurt or help? Is this permanent?


I'm so glad I found this site! Yes, I too feel like I'm going crazy. The way the 3 doctors I've been to looked at me made me feel like "it's all in my head" because the MRI showed only "mild" bulging, (1.9mm) between L4 and L5. I found more on the Internet than what doctors are willing to share. I got Tramadol and I'm already doubling the dose after 2 months. Also taking meloxicam for inflammation. They all said swim and get exercise, but after riding my bike for 30 minutes yesterday I had to sleep on the floor. A medium hot bath and then cold packs help me the most. Sometimes nothing takes the heel pain away, what's with that? Let's all send positive thoughts to our backs right now!

Thanks! Lois


I was in a motorcycle accident recently. We where rear ended while sitting at a red light. I recently had an MRI done which showed a slight bulging disc at L3-L4. Currently I am attending phyiscal therapy once a week which consists of tens unit, ultrasound. I do my exercises at home and walk on my treadmill 8-10 minutes a night. Is this the appropriate treatment?


I am 30years old recently diagnosed with a bulging disk in my neck. I had pain in the neck and shoulders for six months.Muscles relaxers were given prior to the diagnose which did not help. I am scheduled to see the neurologist again and talk about possible injections to the neck.I am afraid any suggestions?


Hi! i had been diagnosed with a bulging disk a year back. i have read you people also suffer exactly the same way i used to. i went for a 10 days physiotherapy called TENS or IFT. it really helped me. i was perfectly fine. exercise is the best option to get rid of this problem. it works wonders. i stopped my pain killers in 10 days.


Treatment for bulging disk: a decompression table. some chiropractors have this treatment. It is non-invasive and is the only thing that has given me relief, maybe even recovery. Goggle decompression tables. I have 3 bulging disk in the neck. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


Hi, Im am a 20 year young male with 2 bulging dics in my lower back. I work full time as a motorcycle/atv technition, as well as ride aa sportbike. I have not let my docs prescribe me any meds cause of the dangers.. duhhh. Anyway, I'm about to get a steroid injection in my spine in a few days. Are these thing safe. I am nervous as hell because of the risk of paralysis. I got my whole life ahead of me you know? Are there any ways to help the sharp lower pain without the use of meds, because I really need to be able to use my mind when I'm at work.-- Shane!


i'm 34 years old and i have a bulging disk. i've been to pain treatment for six months, had the shots and nothing seems to be working for me. i'm in pain everyday. some days are very painful, some days after waking up i can't move -- it's too painful. are there any suggestions out there? *Please!*


Comment to Blog 73 -

My mother was also taking Oxycontin (30mg) and was also taking Oxycondone (which I believe is also known as Endone). I believe you when you say this does not work. Narcotics are the worst for a bulging disc. They are addictive and only work for a short time, until your body 'no longer accepts them'. I believe Endone is a short term pain reliever, not long term.

Once my mother's diagnosis was complete, we saw a rehabilitation specialist for more effective pain control. I can suggest the drug Lyrica, also results can vary!! I hope this helps. Good luck


i am 39 years old and suffer from serious side effects from a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. they are so painful but just recently i got my mri results. i have a bulging disc in my neck and one in my lower back. i am on 80 mg of oxycontin and 30 mg of oxycodone four times a day for my prior chronic pain and i am telling you it does nothing to relieve these bulging discs. if anyone can give me any suggestions i would be ever so grateful. god bless and help us all. -- sincerely TLC


Kris, your input is very helpful. I discovered that regardless of rest, sitting, standing, walking the pain will do what it pleases and when it pleases. The worst for me seems to be when I am forced to sit for long periods of time (work). And although heat irritates the sciatic nerve, the only comfort I have found so far is a very hot bath at the end of the day-sitting on a washrag to buffer the tailbone. It relieves the burning legs and knees all the way up the spine. Sounds crazy but it works. I begin a series of cottleblocks (spelling) this week which are cortisone with a pain reliever that are delivered right into the spine so we will see. I will not take narcotics -- it doesn't take care of the problem and only makes you delirious and/or sick. I have found comfort in this website in that I have learned that the symptoms are real and I am not crazy while the medical profession scratches their head and that apparently this medical issue knows no age. I am blog 70 and appreciate your help.


I'm not sure how helpful this will be to some of you...

I have watched my mother go through this pain for weeks now. Her mobility isn't the same, she can't get herself up from a chair, go up and down stairs alone and generally needs help with most things.

I'm pretty sure her bulging disk was L5 and maybe L4. She has received 2 selective epidurals over 2 weeks which were absoutely fantastic for the first 2 days - then the pain returns. She takes pain killers 3 times a day and they completely wipe her out. She takes Lyrica which does help, but still gets a little pain throughout the day and night.

Her Doctor seems quite good - he suggests *no rest* except of a night. Basically, she was told to stay on her feet as much as possible but not to over do it. To go about her normal lifestyle. Movement is the key to healing. This seems to have helped as she used to find walking worse for her pain, but now seems to ease it. I have always read that rest is a great form of healing but my mothers doctor says no to this. We have also been using ice management. We were using heat, but I hear it's the worse management for a bulging disk. Apply an ice pack or real ice to the back area - even if there is no pain in the back - and apply ice to the painful area in the leg. Apply directly to skin. Do this for 15 mins every hour. Consistency is the key. It helps my mothers bulging disk a lot so hopefully this might work for you. Apparently, heat aggrivates the nerve at the bulging disk. You never know what to believe or try these days, but personally, this has offered some relief.

As the epidural shots failed, her doctor has now suggested surgery...I'm not keen on this idea as I have heard it doesn't help. Any comments on this?


My pain started gradually with a sciatic nerve and received cortisone shots and pills that eased the pain. Three months ago, the leg burning and extreme pain behind the knee in the left leg then the right with no relief from aspirin or ibuprofen. I was given an EMG (nerve) and passed with flying colors. The MRI just came back showing a bulging disc but no herniation or spinal trauma. The pain is now rising up my back making it hard to breathe at times and causing neck pain. So from the neck down to the heels of my feet I am in chronic pain and no one can tell me why. When I sit, my tailbone is on fire, and the pain starts radiating up. I can't find a comfortable position to sleep!


I was told after an MRI I had 6 ruptured discs. As most of you guys they doped me up and didn't tell me much. Now my right leg is numb and has been for over 2 weeks now.I fall a lot when I try to step down from any thing and now my lower back is burning very badly. and my discs are located in my lower back. it's the last 6. they said they would have to put rods in my back to fix it.The bad part is I'm only 29yrs old. thanks Lee


Hi. I was diagnosed with a mild bulging in my L4 and L5. I have numbness in both legs. I also have shooting pain down my leg and then up my back. I was also diagnosed with RSD (Regional Sympathetic Dystrophy)in my right knee. It hurts to walk, it hurts to lie down, more or less it hurts to even breathe. Last October I was paralyzed for 3 months and they kept telling me it was all in my head. On 7/07/2009 I ended up in the ER and they did a CT Scan and found the bulging disc. They never explained what it is and what I should do. They doped me up and sent me on my way. I can't even sleep and I am getting very agitated with the doctors on this situation. All I want is for the pain to go away and someone to listen to me instead of giving the cold shoulder. What am I supposed to do so I don't further damage my back?


I was told I have mild disc bulging after MRI was done. I have lots of pain in my waist. bending, sitting for a few hours causes more pain. what is the solution for this. The pain is very severe sometimes and very light when i take rest.



After my MRI I was told I had 2 bulging disks,L3 and L5, also arthritis and calcium in my thoracic. Im going to a pain specialist next week to learn more about what they found. Im 33, been in a couple bad car accidents, and a decent snowboard accident ware I landed on my back after falling 2 stories onto the ice below. This was all in the mid 90s { 15 years ago or so} where I had no back problems after any of these incidents. Around 2002 I started having back pain, just soreness, aces, and maybe some weakness, about 3 months ago I lifted a heavy object in an awkward position and went paralyzed for about 6 seconds, and was hit with the worst pain i have ever felt, worse then tooth pain. since this has happened I've done 2 months PT with no results, still having the intense sharp pain in my back and shooting down my right leg, numbness and weekness in both my legs, can't bend over at all,can't sit for more then 3 min,pain killers have no effect so i stopped taking them. wondering if this is from the recent lift or was this the past coming back to bite me? probably going to try injections, scared of surgery. thanks for listening


I have been diagnosed with c-5 c-6 and c-7 bulging disks. i have been on pain pills, muscle relaxers and went through phyical therapy. Nothing helps. My dr can't give me any injections because "he wouldnt know where to put it" and last time the cortisone only helped for a week. What do i do next?


My mother has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in the lower back which gives her immense pain - so bad she can barely walk, sit or lay in bed. She has been unable to do most exercises, stretches etc as she is overweight and other medical conditions make this more difficult. Her doctor recommended an epidural injection. How effective is this? She has also been prescribed Lyrica. The doctor also recommends surgery as a last resort. She cannot bare this anymore, it has effected her entire lifestyle, caused depression and basically confined to the house.

Another doctor she had seen previously told her not to 'over do it' and rest. Not to bend, walk up and down stairs etc. Although, we have heard different from the doctor who has recommended the epidural, saying that movement is a good way to heal and she should keep 'up and about' but not too over do it. If the shot doesn't work, we don't know where to turn...


About a year ago I had an MRI done and was diagnosed with two bulging discs and a large schmorals node. I am being treated with pain killers and they seem to be working for now.


I am 42, and never had a physical ailment in my life. I feel like I'm 20. Today, I was diagnosed with multiple bulging discs in the lower back and I'm afraid! My friend had back surgery 12 years ago and the doc messed up. He now has permanent nerve damage from the waist down and his life is ruined.

I have been setup with the best back surgeon in my area. He does back surgeries on most of the docs that need it, but I'm still scared.

It's nice to have this site to come to.

I will keep you updated on what I have to do. So far, I have to wait 4 wks to see the surgeon.

I still can't see how PT will help me. My main pain is in my upper right calf. It's like a biting pain.

oh well..Thx for letting me share.


I was diagnosed with this today, after an initial diagnosis of "lumbosacral strain" twice. Muscle spasms have been bad for the past week. Cortisone shot today, and a steroid regimen for a week. Cortisone has eliminated the pain. I work in a warehouse, lots of heavy lifting, any chance I can keep doing that kind of work?


reply to anon24423

Can you still participate in cheerleading?


I have had an MRI scan after back pain for 2 years, diagnosed with a small bulge next to a joint and degenerating other discs, I have had 2 facet joint injections which gave me some relief for about a month each time. I have a neighbor who had the same problem and an epidural worked for her. I am currently waiting for a denervation, I am in agony and it is also making my right knee extremely painful either side 24 hours a day, pain killers do not work, I have to wait around 3 months more for this treatment, have already waited 2 months.

If the animal welfare found someone keeping an animal which was in so much pain they would be fined, and the animal taken away and treated, why do humans have to wait so long??


I have just had an MRI scan and been diagnosed as having a bulging disc and have an appointment with a specialist soon to discuss my options. I am in my 20's and been suffering with a very painful lower back for 7 months, and been off work for this long too!! My back seizes up and is always very achy and painful. I was pleased when I was told what it was, but after reading all your posts am not that happy with what I read- am I really going to be stuck with this for the rest of my life without any cure?? My job is very active and involves lots of bending and crawling around and it worries me that I may not be able to do my job any more!! any advice or experience you have would be welcome.


In response to 24423 or anyone w/L3-L4 bulging disc

problems, please share your exercises. The PT I went to had me doing the yoga "bridge" (laying down, feet flat, push up against shoulders to strengthen lower back.) I'm usually handling my back with care but two days ago my left hip started hurting to the point I have to start slowly whenever I move. Any ideas?


Bulging discs hurt bad, but pain killers, physical therapy and not doing any heavy lifting has worked 4 me.


is there anybody out there with broken hardware ...such as screws from surgery? i do.


I have a bulging disc in C1 and i've had it 4 years, pain for 6 months and pain free for 6 months. I tried everything, physio, acupuncture, laser treatment, chiropractor, walking and back exercise. Finally I tried Amatsu - it is a form of Japanese physiotherapy, involving very slow movements done by a qualified practitioner and it is the only thing that has ever worked for me. I would advise *anyone* who is suffering with any ailment to try Amatsu. It was my life saver and I'm still having it done to keep healthy. Seriously, my pain was so depressing and painful I would have given one of my arms to feel better and Amatsu really does work. It takes about 4 treatments to work, but well worth it and very relaxing alos.


I have been diagnosed with moderate diffuse disc osteophytic spurring at C4-C7.(Bulging discs in the lower neck)I have undergone physical therapy with no relief, three nerve block injections with only 12 days each of relief, and now am going through chiropractic measures to get relief. It was suggested that I take Vitamin B6 to help with the healing of the inflicted area.

Between the chiropractor, some exercises and the B6, something is finally giving me relief.

I work in retail and do everything from stocking to sweeping the floors. My activity at work has been less than normal since the neck pain began. I'm also an avid gardener and this is really going to cramp my gardening activities.

I don't know of any miracle drug or procedure, but give it some thought to try to get some relief from a chiropractor.


I have been diagnosed with a bulging disk and I am feeling pins and needles, numbness, in my left leg, hip and tailbone. Also my back is very sore. This all happened from a fall off a chair.

I was just wondering if the numbness and pins and needles are directly related to the bulging disk? I was also wondering if there is a good chance of this getting better?


Kudos to anon24651 for the exercises that strengthen the core abdominal muscles.

I'm a 60 year old female with a bulging disc in my L4. I suffered with it for about 5 years before finally getting into PT -- 2 months worth -- and following PT did the recommended exercises every day for almost a year before I had one morning without pain. It happened to be the same day that I went to a specialist who ordered an MRI (that's how I finally found out about the bulging disc and what to do to avoid aggravating it).

When the Dr. says "no lifting, bending at the waist, and no carrying" -- believe it! Get in touch with your "inner diva" and ask people to help you carry, lift, and tote. That's been the hardest thing for me to do. I've not been able to mop the floor or run the vacuum for over 5 years without pain being the end result. (Is a clean floor worth all that pain?)

I do feel sorry for those of you who are young and battling the same condition. At least I have the excuse of advanced age! (trying to inject a little humor here... hope it helps) My thoughts and prayers are over all of you with the same condition. God bless!


these are very simple exercises that you can do, but if it hurts your back then stop doing them! i'll try my best to explain :)

so the most important thing is doing a thing called an "abdominal set".. basically lay on your back with your knees bent and your arms at your side.. then you have to kind of push your stomach down and pull up so that your back is flat on the ground.. never ever arch your back while doing an exercise.

then hold both arms straight up as if you were trying to touch the ceiling.. lower one down above your head (so that your arm would be almost flat on the ground beside your ear!) and then back to where it was before.. then do the other arm, then you can do each leg.. hands at your side and then bring your knee up so its 90 degrees to the floor, then back down.. and the other one.. do them all very slowly and always do you abdominal set before move your limbs.. how many times you do these differs depending how severe your injury is i'm sure one other one is in the same position, do your abdominal set, lift one arm up 45 degrees instead of straight up to the ceiling, then raise the leg on the same side so that your hand and knee are touching, and lightly press on your knee.. you'll feel it in your back a little bit.. do it with the other leg as well.. always make sure your back is flat on the ground and NOT arched.. you can also do it with both at the same time but raise one leg at a time.. you hold your hand to your knee for about 5 seconds each time i hope those help, they're very simple and physiotherapists can surely show you a lot more!


To: anon 24423 - you mentioned that if anyone wanted to hear about the exercises that you are doing to help strengthen your core, to let you know. I am very interested in learning these. Can you explain them?


Hi anon24423!

Looks like we are in the same boat. It is hard having these bulging disks because it has almost been four months. But the worst part is that I am now being homeschooled because I can't sleep because of the pain, and I am also missing cheerleading. If you have any exercises to help ease the pain please let me know!


I'm 18 and I cheerlead for my university team. I had severe pain 3 months ago, went to a couple different doctors, had x-rays and no one could tell me what was wrong. Then i finally went to physio back home and they told me i had a bulging disc between L3 and L4. I was advised not to bend over so that the disc wouldn't bulge more as well as sitting up very straight in chairs using a lumbar support (i use a towel in the small of my back). this alleviates some pain while I have to be in class or doing work. Laying on the ground with your feet up on a couch also works very well to alleviate pain. My physiotherapist said that physio won't do much to cure the problem because its not something they can snap their fingers and fix. I was given numerous but simple exercises to strengthen my core and so far they have been working. If anyone wants to hear about them let me know!


I am 17 and I have a few bulging disks in my lower back. Most of the time the pain isn't too intense, but every once in a while the pain is almost too much to handle. It takes me about 5 minutes after I lie down in bed for my back to relax and get comfortable. I found out I had them a few months ago. I was sitting at my sister's house and all of a sudden my back just started aching. It hurt to move. I didn't bother with it because I figured it would go away. About a week after that it hadn't stopped yet, so I went to my doctor...she did x-rays....sent me to an orthopedic specialist....he sent me to the hospital to get an went on and on and on. It felt like I was at different doctor's offices more than I was home. I wish I could reverse it and make the pain go away, but all I can do is take pain reliever, exercise and hope it doesn't rupture or herniate.


Hello im 18 i have two painful bulging disks in my back. (l4 l5) i was 16 at the time of the injury and they get worse. Sometime the pain goes to my leg and if i crack my back the pain goes away. i was wondering if you had any suggestions that i could do to help my back. Thank you.


heya, I'm 15 and female!

I've got a herniated disc between L4 and L5. My L5 and S1 are completely fused together (sacralised)! I have something called bertolottis syndrome which is basically just problems from the fusion at L5 and S1.

I've been having lower back pain and shooting pains down my legs and around my hips for about 8 months now! I visited the GP after about 5 months and he referred me to a spinal orthopedic surgeon. I had an MRI and CT which diagnosed what was wrong. I started off with some physio which has no effect on the pain even though the physio said we had made good progress. I am now having a spinal injection in the disc which'll reduce the pressure on the surrounding nerves and should stop the pain. however there is only a 60% chance of this working!

I'm usually very active. I do gymnastics recreationally and a lot of dancing in my spare time and dancing shows. I also like to take part in new sports and just generally be active. So of course when i starting getting back pain and got told to rest i was very frustrated. The worst part is when your friends are all taking part in the activities and talking about them while you either sit and watch your friends enjoy themselves while you can't or you're not involved at all! I hope my back problems are sorted soon i'm starting to feel very sorry for myself! Fingers crossed! Susie x


I have had severe hip pain for just about three months. At first, we just thought it was growing pains, but there is no way those are this severe. I have had five x-rays on my pelvis/hip and two MRI of the pelvis and the spine. After returning to my orthopedic a few weeks after the second MRI I found out I have two bulging disks in my lower back. Now, my parents are wondering if there can be a pinched nerve, because lately I have had some new symptoms: extremely cold feet, tingling in hands and feet, migraine headaches, and nausea. I am now going to see a neurologist. I have missed so many days of school, and now I am going to become homeschooled because the pain has not gotten any better. Do you think this pain in my hip can result in hip pain?


I just received results from my MRI. Disc bulging (L4, L5 and S1) and Athropathy.

I am in constant pain in my lower back and at times down my right leg. I bought a treadmill for exercise. My concern is how extensive and

what types of exercise should I do? I don't want to do anything damaging. Stretching seems to help sometimes. Please advise. Also when I got my results I had a choice of a neurologist or

orthopedics. I don't know which to choose. Help!


I have bulging disc's in my NECK. From gardening last started with a pinched nerve in my shoulder/back, then I found out it was 3 bulging disc's in my neck. They are the "C" disc's. I'm so depressed....It is now winter here in Chicago and I'm not able to help my husband shovel the sidewalk....and that brings me to you.....I'm looking for answer's and hope from someone that surgery for bulging disc's works!!

I am 56, love to work out and be outside. Any neck movement aggravates it. Even something as simple as driving and looking both directions for traffic (pretty soon, I'll have to turn right only) or shopping aggravates it to, (to much neck movement).....I'm hoping to find answers for help so I can get my life back to normal. It's embarrassing and I feel like I'm handicapped. I'm ready to undergo the knife to get my life back.

Anyone had neck surgery for bulging disc's?


I am a 28 year old female. I was just a month ago diagnosed with a bulging disc in my very lower spine. Could this cause my tailbone, hip, and all the way down my leg? I got a cortisone shot in October and can't get another until January...has to be 90 days. Somebody please tell my if this pain is come from my bulging disc b/c I don't know what to do?



m 20 suffering 4rm disc bulging in L4 L5...diagnosed in mri scan very recently.. dunno hw i got it!! am not involved in active exercises like most of u... am a doc in the making and hate to be a patient when i have just started wit such a beautiful career.. i had just played cricket in the beginning of this year!! am on pain killers and its too painful... ny advice by ny1 how to reduce dis pain coz i hate taking pain killers


I have a bulging disc in my lower back with started to cause pain suddenly down my right leg to nearly my ankle. I've had two steroid injections that have helped quite a bit. I also take Diclofenac (that might be the generic name), which according to the doctor, is an anti-inflammatory good for arthritis. It really seems to help. Ibuprofen does nothing for my pain.


hi, i heard about a machine called DRX9000 that they say can do miracles to your LBP.


For credibility purposes you should go inside the website and correct your spelling of disk which correctly spelled is disc



Bradford pa... I'm a 26 year old male (certified welder) i've had 3 herniated disks for about 5 years now.. the last 3 months i've had back pain like you couldn't imagine. I can't stand, sit, lay, walk, run, anything without being very very very uncomfortable. It's bad real bad. I got laid off from my job which helped me a lot. I couldn't quit obviously due to financial reasons, but am getting unemployment. This is great, gives me a chance to go to the docs and testing to see what's up. I had an mri done a week ago and I've got 1 herniated disks and 2 bulging. my sciatic nerve in both legs is affected, both of my legs hurt BAD my left foot is numb and tingly i'm seeing a neurosurgeon in a few weeks. Oh the funny thing. When I originally went to my doc I told him how much pain I was in and how bad it was and exactly how i felt. He told me to take ibuprofen.. I bitched and bitched so he gave me prescription strength ib profin wow.. woohoo...

well after my test results the other day, he had no problem apologizing and wanting to feed me all this crap.. muscle relaxers, oxycontin 40mg with 5mg vicodin in between..


Well I thought I was indestructible. Guess I was as dumb as my wife said I was. I recently have been diagnosed with 3 bulging discs. More pain than anything I can remember. The only thing I found to alleviate the pain in my legs was a medicine called tramadol. Other than that my therapist has me doing some pretty cool stretches combined with some heat and something electrical that vibrates my lower spine. Good Luck, Rich


I am 14. When I was 13 I was diagnosed with two bulging disk in my lower back. If you have a son or daughter or you personally have a bulging disk do what ever it takes to help it! trust me! I have missed a lot of school, my parents have spent a lot of money on me and I feel horrible! So if someone you know, love, or care about or even you, please do what you can to help them or yourself!


I am 50 years old and have 2 bulging discs at the lowest lumbar and the first saccral disc. I have been fighting the pain for 2 years now. The doctors think my problem is a result of weakened vertebra from chemotherapy I rec'd in 2005/2006 and I believe it because there was no pain before that. I have tried Lortab and Percocet and now I do have a regimen of Lortab with a small dose patch called fentanyl (25mcg i think). This is working wonders along with my heat and ice application and PT exercises that were given to me. I am able to work. Yes, the pain can breakthrough but somehow I get through it. You can find what will work for you.


For the person with ankle problems, my son in law had ankle replacement done in bologna italy at the rizzoli institute. He is doing well,,long recovery but better than fusion surgery. Check into rizzoli institute italy.


i want to know why doctors refuse to treat certain people and lie to them about their conditions


i am a 32 year old female with a history of several injuries to my back and neck over the years (car accidents, horse accidents, etc). also have a family history of back trouble arthritis fybromyalgia among other pain causing conditions. i myself have been diagnosed with arthritis fybro carpul tunnel chronic migraines and chronic back pain due to the injuries. i recently had a new mri done and was told i have 2 bulging discs in my neck. i was also told that it couldn't be causing me pain or my migraines. well if that is so then how come im in pain daily and have migraines more than not???? and also why won't these doctors i see treat me? i was given cymbalta (a antidepressant) for pain and was told to take it at bedtime well i have. and im havin nightmares from it but yet they want me to continue the med. i didn't sleep much before because of the pain no im not only not sleeping because of pain but nightmares from the meds too.


I have had back pain for eight years. I just had an MRI done stating I had a bulging disc at L5-S1 and a nerve pinched at that location. I've got pain radiating down both legs and can't even stand up straight. I'm starting college a little late (I'm 29 years old) as I will be a freshman this year. Hydrocodone, Ultram and the common NSAID's don't even touch the pain. Anyone have any idea if there's a better approach to this? My doctor suggested something along the lines of Oxycodone or Oxymorphone...though, I want to be able to study at the same time.


I am a 20 year old female. I have had 2 ankle reconstructions; 1 @ 15 & the other @ 18. I was diagnoised with a slight bulging disk as well as Sciatica & degeneration of the spine in March 2008, My local GP feels its due to the ankle reconstuctions... its now August 2008 and I have unbearable pain in my lower back and down my right leg. I am in pain all the time... No pain killers help @ all.. In all this time it has been getting worse. My local GP has referred me to a rheumatologist but i'm not sure if this is going to help... Does anyone have any suggestions?


I was diagnosed with a bulging disc in my lower back last week. I have had 2 physical therapy sessions where they used traction as part of the therapy and I am already doing so much better - I could not even stand up straight 4 days ago! I am almost to a full upright position. I definitely would recommend checking out PT and asking about traction method. I am still taking ibuprofen but that mixed with PT is allowing me to do more.


I am a physical therapist assistant and where I work, we have a machine that's called "Traction." It pulls the vertabraes and it creates a vacuum in a way to pull the disk back. It relieves pressure and I have heard it works wonderfully. Just a suggestion.


pitiform syndrome can cause sciatica too. YouTube has some videos about it.


I went through an Indian Ayurvedic treatment called Kati Basti after the MRI report showed that I had a bulging/herniated disk. The result has been phenomenal. My pain is gone, I am back to my normal self.


I am a 29 year old female nurse. I have a protruding disc at L5-S1 and I have had 3 epidural injections. I had pain that radiated into my right leg and down to my ankle. I have had some improvement with the injections. Before the injections I could not sleep or do normal daily living activities without assistance from my husband. The pain from the disc is now where it is bearable and goes no further then my knee. The thing to remember is not to over work your back, but to also not to completely rest it. It is better to keep moving then to have complete bed rest.


I am a 40 year old woman with bulging disk in my neck. I was told that this is something they would find in a 60 year old woman. I had an MRI and went to a doctor he said I could do cortisone shots or maybe surgery. My question is will I need to do surgery any way if so why should I do cortisone shots if it's just for a short time. I'm already having numbness in my right hand, leg, and foot. I'm taking anti-inflammatory medicine and it's not helping. Trying to find another doctor for a second opinion. What should I do. Surgery or shots?


Regarding Donavin's question.

Call tricare or your MTF and tell them you want a second opinion by a civilian specialist.


My 24 yo wife has had back issues for at least 3 years and was just diagnosed with bulging disc in the L5 area. She's going in tomorrow for 2 epidural shots. From the other comments I've seen posted, it doesn't seem like it's going to work. My wife's concerned about the shots. My mother (nurse) said she's heard of new procedure that's being conducted where they blow air into the disc which pushes it back in to place. Has anybody ever heard of this? and has anybody had resolution through the epidural shots?


I am in the military and I have had severe lower back pain(I can barely walk upright) for 2 and a half years. I have tried chiropractor, physical therapy, and have been on limited duty. My mri says i have minor bulging in l3, l4, and l5. My Doc doesn't seem to think i need surgery because there wasn't any nerve protrusions so their just going to kick me out. What do you think I should do.


Regarding ANON8598's question.

Did you get any advice on your question about exercises you could do. What you should and should not do. I was very active and now I am afraid to do anything that might mess it up again. I have to be active. Is running bad, would riding a bike be better etc. Thanks.



I am 16 years old and my spine is fractured on both sides of the L5S1 region (isthmic spondylolysis), and i also have a bulging disk there as well because of it. I have been inactive for six months, and that is a long time in high school athletics. I am still almost always in pain, but i still continue to play soccer, run track, and do competitive cheerleading. Does anyone know of a treatment that has a quick recovery?


hey im 21 years of age and i went to go have a MRI because i was having back pains in my lower back and i was told i have a bulge disc in T11-T12,L1,L2,L3,L4,L5-S1 i've been try to find out just how bad is this for me if you have any info. for me please post it my name is Big B. Thanks for any help, May God Bless us all.


I'm 15 year old female. I have 4 bulging disks, i want to say L5 L6 L7 L8, its something of that sort. i have not yet seen a a doctor other then my pediatrician, but i don't know if anyone knows the risk of playing on this. i have important games coming up. Does anyone know the possible risks?


I got into a car wreck on 2-9-08 and have been seeing a chiropractic and a D.O.(bone Dr.) and I had been having pains (sciatic and lower back)... my x-rays found nothing after a month I went to have a MRI and they found a mild bulging disc between L5 and S1. My D.O. said that there is no way that it could be causing me any pain. If that is so, how did I know where the bulging disc was located before my MRI??


I am a 17 year old female and have 2 moderate bulging discs in my lower back, (L4 and L5). I have had an MRI and been to a specialist and have been told to stop all physical activity for 2-5 years. I am very involved and passionate about athletics and running so I am wondering if there is any alternative... exercises or treatments? I can try rather than giving up my future career..? I have tried to start running again and it does get sore, so i am concerned that I may be doing more damage any info would be appreciated, thanks.


I have been told I have a bulging disk by my chiropractor. Bikram yoga is the only thing that I can tolerate as a form of exercise and it is supposed to help strengthen your body (back specifically) through continuous practice. It is done in a hot room so your muscles are more flexible and you can ease into the movements without any pressure. My injury is still very recent but I can say that I would do this a million times over doing any regular exercise. Good luck to you all. I hope this helps.


Hello to all with spinal pain. Here's some educational info I hope helps all of you out:)

My disc L5 S1 (4-6mm bulge) ruptured to the point I was almost paralyzed. Pain like you can't believe! No medication, cortisone shots, etc. were taking ANY pain away. I too, was really active.

Elected to have surgery. GO TO A NEUROsurgeon. No amount of physical therapy "gets rid of it". Went to Dr. Sylvain Palmer who teaches all over the world, how to do "painless" back surgery - I was scared to death, but scheduled the surgery. 45 minutes later (after having been in severe pain for over 4 months) after the surgery (yes, that's about all it takes) I WAS NOT IN ANYMORE PAIN! MIRACLE surgery at it's best. He's an experienced Neuro doc with years of education. Teaches a lot of other docs about current pain management surgery. He's very interested in patient well-being and pain free surgery. I NEVER needed any pain meds AT ALL! Unbelievable. My back is great and I'm still active!

Here are educational sites to do your research on - Hope this helps all out there who are looking! Neck and Back pain. palmer


My son is 21 years and is a college basketball player. he had to sit out this year due to a bulging disc. He went to a chiropractor which did not help. Now he's seeing a doctor for the back pain. He had an MRI taken and one epidural shot. He's still in pain. The doc told him just to stay out of exercising to see if the inflammation will go down. Need help and assistance.



I was recently diagnosed with bulging disk in the L5 region of my back. My doctor has me doing PT and advised me to take up swimming. I am a high level figure skater and skating is something that he told me I couldn't do because it causes pain. I have been following everything he told me and I am still in pain five months later. Is there anything I can do that would ever let me skate again?


my husband has been diagnosed with a slipped or herniated disk, as well as a bulging disk. the doctor is waiting to see how things go before he does surgery. what kind of exercise or physical therapy is good for a herniated disk? he's had one or two bouts of severe pain and sciatica due to it, and refuses to go get the epidural the doctor recommended. having had 3 of them myself in childbirth, it seems that one little epidural instead of days of debilitating pain is a better trade! from what i've heard, the epidural works wonders, but only temporarily.


I have very severe canal stenosis in my neck. Dr. say nothing can be done about this. I will be paralyzed one day from the neck down, which will result in my death. I am asking is there any help out there for this?


Robin - Try a pain management specialist. They have different procedures than Orthopedic doctors.

My daughter has been diagnosed with a bulging disc at L5S1. It has caused some pain. She is a gymnast who was staring at a full ride until the disc issue. She has been to several doctors including a pain specialist who has done the series of 3 epidural injections. The next step could be discography or surgery. I am not sure we will agree to those. Has anybody had this situation? 16 Seems too young for a kid to retire from sports. Thanks


My 15 year old son has been diagnosed with 2 bulging disks in his neck. He has always had 2 HUGE bones at the bend of his neck where it meets his upper back,any comments/help would be appreciated. I am under the assumption that this is kind of young for this to be happening, is this correct?! What does the future hold for him?

Thanks, Robin

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