Suggest treatment for reinjured L2L3 herniated disk

Posted on Tue, 9 Jun 2015 in Back Pain
Question: Hi,

About 8 months ago in october 2014, I started a new workout. The workout was a series of short exercises (handstands, pushups and so on.) every exercise for about 3 to 4 minutes long (20 pushups..). I did this for a week, and of course, I started experiencing pains. The pains, which I thought were muscle pains, were bearable (I did not get it checked). AFter about a month, I still had pains, but there were more in the back around the lower spine. During that time, I had also tried reaching for my feet while standing but could not as I would experience pain at the back of my right leg.

In december, I went to my personal doctor and told him about my pains/problem. He was not able to figure out what the problem was and gave me pain killers. About a month later he suggested I go for therapy (I did not go) after which in Mid-Jan he suggested I go for an MRI and required me to go for Therapy. He almost ruled this to be a nerve damage, but I believed he was wrong. Around this time, The pain was unbearable. I could not sit for more than 20 minutes or lie down without killing pain in my back and down the back of my leg. I also had tingling at the edge of my toes in my right leg. I still did not go for therapy or the MRI (The reason being, I contacted another doctor who was a friend of my dad's, he told me to wait for him and NOT go for therapy or MRI.)

In the first week of February I met with the new doctor who, in under 5 minutes and a few joint tests, said that I had a herniated disk in my L2/L3 bone (I think these were the bones) He also said that due to the herniation, I was having problems with my Sciatic nerve. He gave me three medicines two of which were ibuprofen and one paracetamol. The dosage were quite high. He claimed that my problem would be gone in 6 weeks as there was an inflammation, he also gave me some exercises to do. Now in about 4 weeks, The problem did disappear (80% pain was gone, I could bend my leg and so on.) But then I fell. And the problem did come back. I did all the exercises again and well, It would get better and bad again.

I should've contacted my new doctor again but he has left the country for another assignment and I have no one to contact in the mean time. 4 days ago, I accidently tripped when a sibling stepped on my shoe, and now I have an unbearable pain that I am currently controlling with ibuprofen (I take 400mg in the morning and sometimes at night too) But the pain is not really going. I apply ice on it every day or sometimes I skip a day.

Could you suggest me what I can do in the mean time while I wait for a response from my doctor?
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert 27 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Reinjured L2L3 herniated disk

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns

You explained very well the course of your back pain. It sounds like you have re-injured your discs. .As you have already tried all that was done prior without success I think you need to be seen by a physician for stronger pain medication until you can get the MRI. You will need an MRI to determine if the injury is bad enough for more aggressive therapy like surgery or injections.

In the mean time try Ice, heat Massage or acupuncture.

Good luck

I hope this answers your question. Please contact HCM again with your health care questions and concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ronald Schubert 16 minutes later
Thank you for the reply.

The pain I have been having is unusual, The pain comes and goes (Of course, I have been taking medicine which lessens the pain instead of finishing it), but, at the moment there is no pain.

Other than that, Could you explain to me how the herniated disk is related to the sciatic nerve? I cant seem to understand this at all. Is the inflammation in my Spine or is it in the nerve? Also, if the inflammation is in the nerve why is the leg muscle affected, why am I not able to bend my leg?

Also, since I am not allowed to exercise (my orthopedist has restricted me from exercising or lifting anything above 5kg.) my body has been killing me due to the lack of exercise. Am I allowed to get regular back massage? Or would that affect my inflammation in any way?
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Sciatica and Herniated disk 2 different things

Detailed Answer:
Sciatica is actually a pinching of the sciatic nerve in your buttocks. The sciatic nerve pierces through the piriformis muscle and when the piriformis muscle spasms it pinches the sciatic nerve. stretching the buttock muscle and relaxing the muscles help to get the sciatic under control. I usually recommend a good massage therapy who can get deep into the tissue to relieve the muscle spasm does help

The herniated disk is injury to the cartilaginous disk between two vertebra. This inflammation bulges the disk up against the nerve running down your back. This nerve will cause pain and with the pain muscle spasms of the back muscles. Massage may help again here.

Massage will not interfere with the herniated disk as it is deep inside your back.

I highly recommend the massage therapy to help both your HNP and the sciatica

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Ronald Schubert 11 minutes later
I see. So my situation is not Sciatica. right?
I will get a massage then :)

Regarding the medicine, Is taking 400mg ibuprofen 2 times daily safe for long periods such as this one?
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Increase ibuprofen

Detailed Answer:
Yes I recommend getting a massage. You can also increase your ibuprofen to 800mg three times daily to get maximum effect of the medication.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Ronald Schubert

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 2407 Questions


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