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Have deterioration in the lumbar discs and getting constant pain. Will it be cured without surgery?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9094 Questions
I have the starting signs of deteriorating disks in L5 S1. MRIs have been performed and I am in constant pain daily. My primary dr doesn't seem to be too concerned and the surgeon I've seen says its not bad enough to operate on yet. I am glad no surgery is required as I am only 36 but the pain has become too much!!!! What do you suggest?
Posted Sun, 24 Mar 2013 in Osteoporosis
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 14 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
The deterioration in the lumbar discs is usually an age related degenerative change which can be aggravated with bad posture or a history of injury to the area. At a young age like yours, it is good to start on the medicines instead of considering surgical options. The main treatment of such pain is bed rest along with pain killers and muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants can help with your symptoms if used in appropriate dosage in combination with a potent analgesic.
You can get the appropriate drugs prescribed from your Orthopedician after examination.
Meanwhile you can follow these measures:
- If the pain is severe, you need bed rest till the pain resolves.
- Get some analgesics prescribed and apply analgesic spray or ointments.
- While resting, keep a pillow under your knees if it doesn't bother you.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Back strengthening exercises and stretching exercises for your hamstrings daily as advised by a Physiotherapist.
- Avoid exercises in times of pain.
- Improvise your posture while sitting.
- Using an LS contour belt of appropriate size might be helpful in providing support to back muscles.
Also, maintain a proper posture while working, sitting and standing. Keep your back straight. If you work for long hours on the computer, the following link will tell you the posture to maintain while working:
WWW.WWWW.WW Back strengthening exercises will also help.
Physiotherapy is also plays a major role in treating such conditions. Epidural steroid injections have been used if oral pain killers are not very effective and surgical treatment is not considered. Discuss with your orthopedician and an appropriate treatment can be planned depending on the response to medical drugs.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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