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Bulging discs / back spasms - treatments that work?

wordomr

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Anyone else suffer from bulging discs and back spasms? What non-surgical & surgical treatments have works for you?

Currently dealing with l3-l5 bulging discs that acted up over the weekend (ended up in the ER as I tried to lay down during the episode but couldn’t get back up). Doc prescribed steroid pack , methcarbomol, pain pills, but it’s not really treating the root issues as it’s been a week and still hurting.
 

Blazed_Noob

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Stretching every morning when I wake up and intense stretching and warming up on gym days.
Doing this routine everyday helps immensely, I notice the pain and discomfort way more on days I do not follow the routine.

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maldorf

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Stretching and using an inversion table. I also get decompression on a table at the chiropractor's. I use a teeter hangups for the inversion table at home.
 

pickapeck

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Stretching every morning when I wake up and intense stretching and warming up on gym days.
Doing this routine everyday helps immensely, I notice the pain and discomfort way more on days I do not follow the routine.

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Ditto that too.
 

need4tren

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Massage work for the back spasms. As bodybuilders we should be getting this done. I went 10 years without getting any. 1 year of getting regular massage work and I have seen a huge improvement in physique.


Back spasms are the worst. I get them so bad I’m thinking I’m having a heart attack and I can’t breath. Can’t help about the disks tho. But I heard those chairs that flip upside down are amazing. But I can’t share input. Me personally would go to a chiro
 

mayan

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https://www.shockwavetherapy.eu/subpage

Find a chiro or therapist who uses this machine. It is mind blowing how effective it is...I am 40 and have (almost ready to say HAD!!!) a lateral pelvic tilt. One hip higher than the other, which means my entire structure has been out of whack for years. I identified this about 6 years ago and am 99% of the way balanced now. It's every waking minute that I'm aware of my posture and where my hips and rib cage are, walking, driving, training, all the time. But if it weren't for my therapist recently beginning to use the shockwave, I would still be back around 80%. It has been a godsend.

Best way to describe it is like when's a massage therapist finds a knot and you tell them to get it out, and it's one of those that brings tears to your eyes as it takes ten minutes or more of painful pressure to get it to release...well the shockwave taps it two or three times and it just lets go like nothing, and pain instantly leaves. It's just unreal. Good luck finding a practitioner, if you do it will be worth every penny.
 
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Biggerp73

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Do a Google search for Dr. Stuart McGill. He is far and away the leading expert in lower back pain.... On the planet. When the white house doctor needs help, he calls Dr. McGill.
 

gotgame

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Back pain isnt all that difficult to understand and the field isnt so complex that anyone really considers anyone else a leading expert in it.

You have two options. Treat the source or treat the symptoms.

Having a "bulging disc" doesnt mean much and certainly doesnt mean its causing your symptoms. What matter is what is it doing...is it not doing much of anything, is it encroaching on a nerve root, abutting a nerve root, contacting nerve root or is it exerting mass effect.

Is the disc hydrated? is that a fissure?

How are the facets...the facets are a very common cause of local back pain.

If you can treat the source via nonsurgical means like inversion table type decompression ( yes i do believe it can be useful in certain pathologies), anti inflammatories, time, or even surgical then good.

If its not a good easy source fix then you treat symptoms on the muscle level by decreasing the pathway stimulation via say stretching, massage, ice, or medication like flexeril etc.

if you have an MRI report please post up results and ill comment on whether its lkely from the disc(s) or other cause which could be useful in determining how to treat it if you are going to attack the source. If you dont wish to go after the source then u just go muscle level.


back pain sounds really complicated. 99% of the time its not that challenging well ok...95%... the other 5% is patients who have perfectly normal test after test year after year complaining of back pain... some i believe have pain others im not so sure as a lot of work comp patients or patients who are already on like 9 psych meds or other types of chronic pain fibromyalgia types which never have a postive test anywhere.


As an aside 2 years ago I was part of study using experimental tractography MRI in a research setting looking at pain. we could successfull identify ton of known pain sources very clearly.... but certain groups of patients, like previously mentioned, never showed anything abnormal on scans..hmmm lol. Study is still ongoing due to the significant implications from a legal and ethical standpoint... but i believe in my career lifetime this type of scan will be implimented for better sourcing a patients pain allowing for better treatment but also used for people who claim pain in a work comp setting.
 

thethinker48

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Back pain isnt all that difficult to understand and the field isnt so complex that anyone really considers anyone else a leading expert in it.

You have two options. Treat the source or treat the symptoms.

Having a "bulging disc" doesnt mean much and certainly doesnt mean its causing your symptoms. What matter is what is it doing...is it not doing much of anything, is it encroaching on a nerve root, abutting a nerve root, contacting nerve root or is it exerting mass effect.

Is the disc hydrated? is that a fissure?

How are the facets...the facets are a very common cause of local back pain.

If you can treat the source via nonsurgical means like inversion table type decompression ( yes i do believe it can be useful in certain pathologies), anti inflammatories, time, or even surgical then good.

If its not a good easy source fix then you treat symptoms on the muscle level by decreasing the pathway stimulation via say stretching, massage, ice, or medication like flexeril etc.

if you have an MRI report please post up results and ill comment on whether its lkely from the disc(s) or other cause which could be useful in determining how to treat it if you are going to attack the source. If you dont wish to go after the source then u just go muscle level.


back pain sounds really complicated. 99% of the time its not that challenging well ok...95%... the other 5% is patients who have perfectly normal test after test year after year complaining of back pain... some i believe have pain others im not so sure as a lot of work comp patients or patients who are already on like 9 psych meds or other types of chronic pain fibromyalgia types which never have a postive test anywhere.


As an aside 2 years ago I was part of study using experimental tractography MRI in a research setting looking at pain. we could successfull identify ton of known pain sources very clearly.... but certain groups of patients, like previously mentioned, never showed anything abnormal on scans..hmmm lol. Study is still ongoing due to the significant implications from a legal and ethical standpoint... but i believe in my career lifetime this type of scan will be implimented for better sourcing a patients pain allowing for better treatment but also used for people who claim pain in a work comp setting.
Don't afferent nerves become deconditioned to constant APs from chronic pain patients? So it doesn't even show up on scans?

Spoke to my A&P professor who is a chiro (I know, don't bully :) ) about this, and she said something docs had trouble deciphering when trying to treat certain issues.
 
Last edited:

great

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Does anyone have recommended stretches that have worked for them?

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gotgame

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Don't afferent nerves become deconditioned to constant APs from chronic pain patients? So it doesn't even show up on scans?

Spoke to my A&P professor who is a chiro (I know, don't bully :) ) about this, and she said something docs had trouble deciphering when trying to treat certain issues.
They show up on diffusor tensor imaging just fine which is used for tractogrophy. basically there are two ways of assessing it..one is straight up diffusor tensor tractography looking at what is referreed to as microarchitectural changes which occur in pain patients and the other was using post processing and in pain patients which was what the study was. We had plenty of chronic pain patients who lit up like the 4th of july... no problem.

One guy had a disc herniation x 10 years not treated and the related nerve pain we could clearly see.

Another person had no visable MRI findinds but said they had chronic pain but we couldnt find another abnormalities on the tractography post processing.

Another had no MRI findings but showed an abnormality with one of the nerves and allowed us to then go back and do a focused scan at one part of his lumbar spine with a 3t MRI and tailored research sequences and we found out what was causing it.

This was two years ago and its still an ongoing study. I am no longer involved with it.
 

gotgame

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lol thethinker knows my general opinion of many chiros lol. but there are good and bad in every profession.

I work with some really great chiros and some really bad. I also work with some really good physicians and some really bad. I consider bad chiros or physicans who dont full understand or appreciate anatomy, physiology or medical advances and how to best care for patients.

Any chiro who tells me or a patient they can adjust someones spine by moving it or changing alignment i immediatey write off as an idiot. if i chiros tells me they are focusing on changing how a muscle is firing, working on alignment resulting from patient posturing/muscle imbalances or if they use traction to help certain types of disc pathology but not all then I respect htem for knowing the scope of practice and doing there best to help patients.

A good chiro will know when they can potentially help a patients vs they need to see someone else ( like ortho).

I speak to chiros every day, some i can have an intelligent conversation with regarding mRI findings and anatomy some dont have a clue but that goes for all walks of life and all professions.

none of the good chiros i know would EVER "adjust" someones neck without imaging first. If you go to one who does that then leave. That is dangerous, ive seen people get perm injured from that and have on two occasions testified during a deposition to that effect.
 

thethinker48

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They show up on diffusor tensor imaging just fine which is used for tractogrophy. basically there are two ways of assessing it..one is straight up diffusor tensor tractography looking at what is referreed to as microarchitectural changes which occur in pain patients and the other was using post processing and in pain patients which was what the study was. We had plenty of chronic pain patients who lit up like the 4th of july... no problem.



One guy had a disc herniation x 10 years not treated and the related nerve pain we could clearly see.



Another person had no visable MRI findinds but said they had chronic pain but we couldnt find another abnormalities on the tractography post processing.



Another had no MRI findings but showed an abnormality with one of the nerves and allowed us to then go back and do a focused scan at one part of his lumbar spine with a 3t MRI and tailored research sequences and we found out what was causing it.



This was two years ago and its still an ongoing study. I am no longer involved with it.


The more you know [emoji846], ty!

One wouldn’t know these specifics unless they had years of clinical experience as an ortho or radio with a genuine interest in finding answers. I have a friend whose a 3rd year gastro who says the real education begins when you can’t find the bleed...

But thats also what separates the good docs from bad ones.


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Fa Seeshus

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Try and find a gym with a reverse hyper. Doing those regularly has really helped for me (bulging at l4/l5). I prefer the dual pendulum model where you can do the legs separate.
 

Gravyv

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They show up on diffusor tensor imaging just fine which is used for tractogrophy. basically there are two ways of assessing it..one is straight up diffusor tensor tractography looking at what is referreed to as microarchitectural changes which occur in pain patients and the other was using post processing and in pain patients which was what the study was. We had plenty of chronic pain patients who lit up like the 4th of july... no problem.

One guy had a disc herniation x 10 years not treated and the related nerve pain we could clearly see.

Another person had no visable MRI findinds but said they had chronic pain but we couldnt find another abnormalities on the tractography post processing.

Another had no MRI findings but showed an abnormality with one of the nerves and allowed us to then go back and do a focused scan at one part of his lumbar spine with a 3t MRI and tailored research sequences and we found out what was causing it.

This was two years ago and its still an ongoing study. I am no longer involved with it.
With these changes in technology are we going to be seeing changes in how surgeries or non-surgical treatments performed anytime soon?

It's been a few years since I got another mri. I've only seen two neuro's one suggested a disk replacement and the other a fusion if I couldn't handle the pain. I've been sticking to trigger point and cortisone injections instead. The pain isn't too terrible but my ability has diminished by a lot. I can't run or do any meaningful leg work. More often then not, doing several sets of bodyweight squats makes my lower back and legs feel raw and unstable.

I'll do another surgery if there's a low risk of failure. I don't want to potentially end up worse since i've already had a lumbar discectomy.
 

jeroendebleser

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With these changes in technology are we going to be seeing changes in how surgeries or non-surgical treatments performed anytime soon?

It's been a few years since I got another mri. I've only seen two neuro's one suggested a disk replacement and the other a fusion if I couldn't handle the pain. I've been sticking to trigger point and cortisone injections instead. The pain isn't too terrible but my ability has diminished by a lot. I can't run or do any meaningful leg work. More often then not, doing several sets of bodyweight squats makes my lower back and legs feel raw and unstable.

I'll do another surgery if there's a low risk of failure. I don't want to potentially end up worse since i've already had a lumbar discectomy.
I've had both (L5-S1 artificial disc and later a fusion) and the artificial disc basically failed. Fusions are much sturdier and I wish I had done the fusion immediately instead of wasting so much time on an artificial disc that wouldn't last long anyway. Just my opinion but if you intend to keep on lifting, I would definitely go for the fusion.
 

chinaboy

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Not trying to be smart, but we could use a sub-forum on here for spine issues alone. Its about every week someone makes a similar post and a lot of good info sinks to bottom never to be seen again.
 

bench529

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I use the reverse hyper machine. Prior to buying and using 2x per week I could not squat for years. Foam roller and stretching also has helped. CBD oil also has helped a old guy like me. Been in the iron game for 48 years and still going strong.
 

texoutlaw

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Yoga and pilates worked for me.

I've had two spine surgeries. First was an attempt to fix the broken vertebrae (L5), second was to repair/salvage the first fix as it did not heal correctly and ended I up with a L5-S1 fusion.
After the second surgery I continued to get way worse. I spent everything I had on a lot of quack chiros and snake oil. Broke and giving up a friend recommended a hippie yoga vegan therapist that used yoga and Pilates as a therapy modality. I was completely disabled by that point, functional for about 2 hours a day then on my back in horrid pain. Took her a couple weeks to do what the best PT's I could find could not do. I play league basketball and lift whatever the fuck I want now.
Yoga and Pilates is the bees knees for back issues. Keeps the postural strength up keeping the spine aligned and pain free. Assuming you have no structural issues, find a practitioner that understands spine issues and you should be on your way.
 

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