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Heriated Disc Recovery w/o Surgery?


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#1 Yosef

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 02:40 PM

I've been diagnosed with a herniated (not ruptured) L5-S1 disc. I've been doing PT and seeing a chiropractor, had 1 injection and am still in pain.

I'm kind of at a loss of what to do, I've seen other threads here where most end up getting surgery. I'm only 27 and want to steer clear of the knife as long as possible.

Has anyone made a full recovery with non surgical methods? If so what helped you? I'm about 3 months in, I know it takes time but am getting frustrated, just want to play golf again. Thanks for any help/advice!

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#2 Johnny T

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 04:06 PM

Sorry to hear about the injury.  It is amazing how a back injury just debilitates you.


I had the same injury a couple of different times.  Usually a few weeks off mixed with some stretching and some leg/core exercises had me good to go.  This last time was different.  In August 2016, I lost my balance while doing squats and injured my lower back again.  Could barely walk for a week or so and another month or so of limited mobility.  Tried the same thing I had done before - stretches and some leg/core work but I seemed to hit a plateau...could function day to day but couldn't run because when I extended my left leg during my stride the pain would be intense.  I could swing a club but slow it way down had to really watch myself.  And I definitely didn't have the speed I had before the injury.  Probably not the smartest thing but I really wanted to play at times.  


I finally sought professional help (primary dr) in February 2017.  I didn't get an MRI as I pretty well knew what I did and what I injured.  Dr agreed with my diagnosis.  By this time, the pain was manageable with ibuprofen so I didn't want or need anything stronger.  I asked for a referral to PT which she gave me.  I did PT for about 5 weeks (one visit per week with me doing the exercises 4-5 days a week on my own) and got to a point where I was virtually pain free.  I say virtually because I would still be stiff in the mornings but after getting up and moving I would be good to go.  I continued the exercises the PT gave me for another month or so and finally got to where I was back to normal (or as close as I thought I would get).  I was able to start running again around May with minimal discomfort.  I think about June or July was when I started doing virtually anything athletic without really thinking about my back.


So the non-surgical route worked for me but the road to a full recovery was long. I think I could have sped up the process had I sought professional help sooner but I still think I probably would have been limited for about 6 months or so.
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#3 Yosef

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 10:07 AM

Thank you so much for the reply Johnny!

My pain is not really improving, similar to you though I can get thru the day ok, but anything athletic or bending over (especially a golf posture) has me cringing. I think I'm going to get another shot and continue with mobility/core exercises. Thank you again for your response, it definitely gives me hope!
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