re Herniated disc
Hey All, recently been diagnosed with a slipped or herniated L-5 disc, trying to manage it through strethching and exercise, looking for any experiences or suggestions thanks, also has anybody remained in full duty status with this or a similar injury?
I am a 5 yr FF with Portland Fire and Rescue ( the oregon version) as well as a 15 yr PT. I recently had a FF off 5 months on light duty with a herniated disc. Traditional PT did nothing to relieve the pain. The docs were talking surgery. I saw him for 7 visits in 3 weeks and he returned to work 85% better and 4 more weeks of follow up and he is 98%. Surgery has been avoided.
The system we implement is to re-establish the body'e proper posture and muscular tension to relieve the pressure on the discs in question. We do this through a progressive series of exercised routines. It isn't the ususal mickey-mouse exercises, these are meant to make permanent changes in the body. It requires 100% participation/compliance but it works. Take a look at the site and feel free to contact me for more info.
Thanks, send me the web address, I will show it to my trainer she is always looking to her program..
It goes over the phylosohy but not the routines since every client is so individual. feel fre to contact me fo tips at the address on the site
I worked for several years with a herniated disc. After exhausting all or at least most therapy and exercise options, my Doctor and I decided to go with surgery. I underwent an experimental procedure known as a percutaneous discectomy wherein the fluid within the disc was removed in a process similar to liposuction. This procedure was far less invasive that the standard discectomy and as a result the healing period was reduced to about 3 months as opposed to 8 months for the regular prodedure.
The good news was that for me the procedure was very successful and I returned to full duties after 3 months and I remain on full duty over 20 years later. I'll never be 100% but I am 100% better than I was.
The bad news is that the clinical tests on the procedure did not produce the same success rate in most patients and was to the best of my knowledge discontinued.
I am not recommending surgery, as that is something that is between you and your Doctor. I do recommend that you first exhaust all non-invasive strategies before concidering other options, consult with your Doctor and become as knowledgible you can about your condition and the options available. Check with your Doctor and Therapist and determine if there may be supportive appliances, such as a velcro belt, that may be helpful.
There is no such thing as a slipped disc. That is a misnomer, an antiquated term that Doctors used in the old days to explain away something they did not think their patient could understand. If your doctor actually used those words to explain what was going on- RUN! Get someone who is more of a muscolo-skeletal expert!
If you have a disc protrusion, that is where the disc actually sticks out posteriorly, or posterio-laterally. This can cause efacement of the central canal or intravertebral foramen. This would cause referral down one or both legs, pain on coughing, and maybe even cauda equina sydrome- causing loss of bowel and bladder control, plus foot drop or other leg weakness.
Or, disc protrusion can just be a finding on MRI. Many people have disc bulges (protrusions) and have no pain FROM THAT. Other people have lots of pain that is not relieved even if they do have surgery.
ogomez is right, this is probably due to a muscular imbalance in the body. It was a long standing problem, and the actual injury was just the straw that broke the camels back. Neither he nor I could figure out exactly what that is, or how to relieve that imbalance unless we examined, and maybe even poked around in your musculature.
The exercises he might give you and the body work he might do may be unilateral, or different/opposite on 1 side than the other. Giving you some simple exercises over the internet without thuroughly checking out exactly what the problem is would likely be ineffective, and possibly harmful. Giving them (without diagnosis) to a personal trainer would be like giving a chemistry problem/reaction to a 1st grader and expecting them to balance that equation in 10 minutes. It just won't happen. That is no reflection on your personal trainer, it's just the honest truth. They are not equiped to handle your case.
If you have a disc prolapse, then part of your nucleus pulposus has extruded into the space behind the disc, and in front of the cord. The symtoms can be severe as well: (foot drop, cauda equina syndrome, radicular pain, hypo or hyper reflexia) Lots of times this warrants surgery.
HOWEVER: I had this happen to me. I (with all I know about training) was doing something unsafe, and caused a partial extrusion of my L5-S1 nucleus. My ortho recommended surgery, and I refused. I had learned a whole ton of stuff from a very smart phyiscal therapist (named Geoff Gluckman) about muscle balancing, and another physical therapy technique called McKenzy Extension exercises. I analyzed myself, and applied both these techniques, and the extruded piece of nucleus migrated away from the cord, and or was re-absorbed, and I am 100% again. I still think it was a miracle!
I would not mean to suggest that many chiropractors know these techniques, though. But, I am pretty sure most PT's do know them. And, if they are good, you might get lucky like I did, and get a full recovery!
Speaking of Chiropractic: many chiropractors would treat this case. I WOULD. But, I would not side posture the person, and I would apply techniques that did not require rotation of the low back. I would apply heavily what I had learned from my Physical Therapist Brothers- like Ogomez.
I hope you get the help you need.
Thanks Dr. Jen, appreciate the advise, I begin physical therapy tommorrow e
I spent close to 9 months trying to repair what I thought was a pulled muscle in my glutes. Some pain down the leg, in retropsect all the signs were there.
Ice, Ibuprohen, rest, stretching, chiropractor, etc.
Chiro thought it might be a piraformous (sp) muscle problem.
Finally (!) my MD scheduled an MRI.
Apparently, since I couldn't pinpoint a specific date/time when I "injured" my back, no one thought it was a back injury.
After a handful of steroidal injection, which provided temporary relief, but no lasting relief, I met up with a neurosurgeon.
He laid it on the line for me: either get it fixed, or live with it.
Many of my ff friends were terrified of back surgery, lot's of horror stories, but it was great for me.
Day surgery, micro-disectomy. Under general anesthesia.
Very painful for a few days, then gradual recovery.
I was off entirely for about 2 months, light duty (very light) for another 2, then back to work.
I'm now about a year post-op, feeling great, 100% recovery.
Focused much more on alighment, lifting carefully, etc.
Bottom line, in my opinion, get an MRI to see if there is a problem. If there is, don't be afraid of a discectomy.
Try the non-surgical fixes, but if you aren't getting anywhere, talk to a surgeon.
I spent almost a year in pain, and I kick myself often for waiting that long!
Well, I, as a doctor, reviewed this topic about herniated disc carefully. Replies to this post are quite professional but manofire2's reply is just brilliant! I agree with manofire2.
herniated disc surgery
I have been a career firefighter for over 12 years and have suffered a herniated disk the whole time. In 2005 the pain became so bad that I went to the doctor and he prescribed pt. For 4 weeks I went 3 times a week with no relief. The pt finally tried traction and I felt immediate relief. No problems until last summer. I could set down and when I stood up I could not stand up straight. I went back to the doctor and he recommended pt, so we tried pt and traction and it made my pain worst. I had another MRI and was referred to a neurologist and told me shots would not be the best decision, so I opted to have minimally invasive discectomy. I was out of work for 8 weeks after surgery and went back to the firehouse and approximately a month latter I was on a two story house and had to throw a roof ladder up so we could check the chimney flue out. I re herniated L5-S1 disk. I tried shoots and they made my pains worst. I had a second surgery (open discectomy). Now after reading NFPA 1582 I am not sure I will be able to return to work. My suggestion is do everything possible to avoid surgery. I believe it is our job that makes these surgeries not so successful.
Is it possible to get hired as a firefighter with a herniated disc in the past.