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Suggest treatment for herniated disc in my back

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Posted on Mon, 28 Apr 2014
Question: Hi, I have a question about a herniated disc in my back (L5 - S1) MRI confirmed about a year ago. I went to physical therapy, the pain resolved, and I continue to do the exercises for 10min every other day. No more pain though. The thing is even before the pain (years before) and still now after the pain is gone, I seem to have a slight numbness or... I guess I wouldn't call it a numbness but rather I have less feeling on the left scrotum and penis area in comparison to the right side. Maybe 25% less. Could this be from the herniated disc?... it was there years before the pain and is still there now after the pain from the herniated disc has resolved. I've also noticed other parts of my body have more sensation on the right side as apposed to the left. The more sensitive the area the more of a difference there is... up to 25%. Is that normal? Is it possible to have a herniated disc only cause slight numbness for years without any pain at all? Also it should be noted this sensation of lessened feeling on the left side compared to the right presented itself a few months after I had a varicolectomy on the left side. Maybe the incision caused a little nerve damage? Thanks. I would hate to think that this lessened sensation was getting worse over time at such a slow rate that I didn't notice it until it was too late. I don't think its getting worse. Should I worry about this? Attached is a pic of my MRI from a year ago while the pain was happening. Also, now that the pain is gone does that mean that the disc is back where it should be or did the exercises only get rid of the symptoms? Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal (5 hours later)
Brief Answer: Suggestions made, clarification requested Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXX I am Dr Mittal, MD I have been working in the area of backache for 5-6 years now. I have reviewed your MRI picture.The herniated disc in unmistakable and No, I dont think it would replace on its own. The only way to replace a hernia of this extent would be surgery. And that wont be recommended in your case since you are comfortable on conservative management. A couple of things. You said you have numbness on one side of the body. Are you sure when you say 'body' or did you just mean the lower leg. This herniation cannot cause numbness in whole side of body. Do let me know cause if its whole body- upper and lower limb- then more tests may be needed, namely MRI brain, and cervical spine. If its just leg, that can be explained by the MRI, and you need not worry. Exercise should resolve it slowly. Alternatively you may try the tablets pregabalin and methycobalamin. As for the scrotal feeling, both the conditions can cause it- MRI as well as surgical trauma. Its difficult to comment which. The aforementioned tablets should help you with that too. I will also suggest NCV test of the affected (numb) limbs, sugars and thyroids, if not already tested. I hope that helps. Please feel free to ask a follow on query Best of luck Dr Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Saumya Mittal (12 hours later)
Its not really numbness. Its just that I notice I can feel some of the more sensitive parts of the right side of my body more than I can feel them on the left side. The difference ranges from "no difference" in non-sensative regions all the way to "about 25% more sensation" on the right side when I compare sensitive regions of my body. Maybe I'm just focusing on it because I'm worried about it. I tend to be a bit obsessive when it comes to worrying about health issues. Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Saumya Mittal (37 minutes later)
Brief Answer: tests and medicines as I suggested Detailed Answer: I think tests and medicines as I suggested will help you for sure Best of luck Dr Mittal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Saumya Mittal

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Practicing since :2004

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Suggest treatment for herniated disc in my back

Brief Answer: Suggestions made, clarification requested Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXX I am Dr Mittal, MD I have been working in the area of backache for 5-6 years now. I have reviewed your MRI picture.The herniated disc in unmistakable and No, I dont think it would replace on its own. The only way to replace a hernia of this extent would be surgery. And that wont be recommended in your case since you are comfortable on conservative management. A couple of things. You said you have numbness on one side of the body. Are you sure when you say 'body' or did you just mean the lower leg. This herniation cannot cause numbness in whole side of body. Do let me know cause if its whole body- upper and lower limb- then more tests may be needed, namely MRI brain, and cervical spine. If its just leg, that can be explained by the MRI, and you need not worry. Exercise should resolve it slowly. Alternatively you may try the tablets pregabalin and methycobalamin. As for the scrotal feeling, both the conditions can cause it- MRI as well as surgical trauma. Its difficult to comment which. The aforementioned tablets should help you with that too. I will also suggest NCV test of the affected (numb) limbs, sugars and thyroids, if not already tested. I hope that helps. Please feel free to ask a follow on query Best of luck Dr Mittal