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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi everyone,

I just started reading on the site here and find it most helpful. I've been a long-time back pain sufferer over the last 15 years -- bulging L4/L5 disc -- 2 herniated L5/S1 discs -- several bulging cervical discs. I had microdiscectomy surgery in 10/2000 for the 1st L5/S1 herniation. While recovering at home a few days later, the same disc re-herniated [as luck would have it]. I thought I would die from the pain. Instead of rushing back into a 2nd surgery, I decided to wait it out and miraculously within 2 months, the pain vanished.

Had my 1st baby in Aug. 2002 -- everything going well with my back through pregnancy and afterward until I believe the stress of carrying a very big and growing boy started to wear on my genetically weak lower back [most of us in my family have back pain and disc problems]. On New Year's Eve day 2003, something went out again and I coudn't get out of bed for 3 days. The pain this time is on the opposite side -- the left side -- whereas when I herniated before it was on the right side. The following 6 weeks were horrible -- lots of spasming, on lots of pain meds -- basically crawling around the house. I started physical therapy after that and have been going for over 2 months now. I've had 2 MRI's, which show no new herniation [much to my surprise] but show DDD at L5/S1, and breaking apart of disc [surprise, surprise after 2 herniations!]. Doctor is recommending a discogram and then, depending on results, a disc replacement or fusion.

I'm currently not on any meds. I don't have pain all the time -- some days are good days. It seems I have a good day, and then a bad day. Physical therapy does not seem to help me. I'm not in agony, but sometimes I am pretty darned uncomfortable. It's hard to sit for long, and it's hard to lie in bed sometimes -- I wake up often in the middle of the night in pain and have to reposition myself. I think that beside the DDD, I do have some type of muscle problem going on because I always carry my son on my right hip [it's my stronger side] -- I somehow think this is what might be causing my left side to be aggravated. I used to have pain going down my leg, and infrequently I do get it, but that's gotten better. My pain is primarily lower left adjacent to L5/S1 and in my left butt. I find that I can handle this as long as I'm not too active. In other words, I can't go to the gym and work out like I used to. The minute I get on the treadmill, the pain starts and I pay for it later. This is the hardest part for me.

I'd obviously like to avoid surgery. I'd like to have another baby, and soon -- my time is running out [age-wise]. I will be really upset if my back problem prevents me from having another child, although I can't imagine having a pregnancy while being bedridden -- I have a toddler already to take care of. I don't even have enough time to have surgery, recover from that, and try to get pregnant. I'd want to give myself a year for all of that.

I guess what concerns me this time around is that this thing doesn't seem to be getting better. I'm shocked that I don't have a disc herniation -- because the pain is pretty chronic. I was really concerned that I would have a lot of back pain in my 1st pregnancy but I was very lucky. However, going into a 2nd one with chronic pain is probably setting myself up for problems, and this is concerning me.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I sure do appreciate any advice at all.



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