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phaedryx's avatar

Herniated disc sufferers: what has worked for you?

Asked by phaedryx (6104 points ) September 26th, 2011

I have a herniated disc in my lower back that is pinching my sciatic nerve. It hurts a lot.

I went to the doctor today and he prescribed some oral steroids for the pain, which have actually worked great, but I’m wondering what my next step should be: yoga? physical therapy? chiropractics? leave it alone? walk around? different drugs? injections?

Surgery is the ultimate option, but I’d like to avoid it if I can.

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9 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Yoga. I am not telling you to ignore your doctors…but they all failed me miserably and I needlessly suffered while they ordered more tests. 2 months later I was not better off until I found Yoga. In 3 days I accomplished more than 2 MRI’s, 3 X-rays and an army of doctors and Chiro’s could….I healed with Yoga. And 11 years later no pain what so ever.

Dog's avatar

Cold and hot compresses. Then yoga and anything that gently strengthens core muscles. Be sure to go slow and steady.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Physical therapy and core strengthening.

picante's avatar

I’m in exactly the same situation, @phaedryx. Herniated disc on L5 pressing on the sciatic nerve root; pain and numbness in my left hip/leg/foot.

I’ve now had three epidural injections of steroids, and those do provide (temporary) relief. The cause of this herniation is key to a good recovery. For me, the months of physical therapy to align my pelvis have only made the pain worse. I’m now attacking my unequal leg length with a shoe lift. I’ve only been wearing the lift for a few days, so I can’t really report any success or failure at this point.

I’ll continue the exercises to stengthen my lower back and abs and loosen the muscles in my hips/pelvis.

I tend to agree with Crusier on this—the doctors may not be the smartest people in the house on this particular issue. You know your body—and I think you need to find your “chicken” and your “egg” in this mix and take the appropriate steps. I’d postpone surgery until all other options were exhausted.

Here’s wishing you (and me) a speedy recovery!

Rarebear's avatar

Yup. PHysicial therapy.

zqell's avatar

Yoga has really helped me a lot. Of course every case is different and making sure you’re doing the exercises the correct way is important. But that has really helped me!

MissAusten's avatar

My brother had this same problem. He went to a chiropractor several times, but for months and months had no relief. He finally switched to a different chiropractor who suggested he try an inversion table. My brother was skeptical, but after only using the table once he felt drastically better. In only a short amount of time, he had almost no pain at all and is back to normal activities.

Rarebear's avatar

I have an inversion table also. They do provide significant short term relief. They don’t affect outcome though.

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