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Back Pain From A Bulging Disc (diagnosed)

Discussion in 'Other Health Conditions and Diabetes' started by Jenny15, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, I've had this recurrent lower back problem for years and it always seems to resolve after a while. If it's bad enough I see a physiotherapist 2 or 3 times and it gets better faster.

    The first time was caused by an injury and most of the other times were, too. Being overweight doesn't help, and I'm working on that, but it's also happened when my BMI was 26. It seems to be a very common problem out there. Not surprising, given that around 2/3 of our body weight is carried at the lumbar spine. (Source: Every book or website I've read about it in the last 25 years)

    If you have had a similar problem I'd like to hear about your experiences managing it. Is there any link between this and diabetes? (ie anything to take into account with managing the disc problem).

    I have found doing certain stretches the physio gave me help a lot. And using a wheatbag or other heat source. I take a maximum dose prescription anti-inflammatory medication every day so I'm unable to increase that for acute problems. I take an extra pain relief pill now and then when it's at its worst. Medical cannabis is illegal in NZ for all but a handful of patients, so that's not an option for now.

    Keen to hear any experiences and ideas, thanks.
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
  2. Australiadiabetic2

    Australiadiabetic2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes i had this problem last year ,i had so much pain i overdosed on painkillers

    I went to everyone chiropractors ,and i mean not one but a few and physio and masseurs and even a exercise physiologist,then i got sciatica nerve pain down the leg, i paid chnese herbalists , acupuncturist visits no one cured it,they promised though if i kept coming back

    I was in pain having time off work, layed in bed like a fat lazy old hobbling man

    I thought im going on holiday for a mnth so i went overseas and in the resort they had a spa pool ,i cant swim so three times a day looking like an idiot i exercised my back in the spa pool,there were some laughing at me in the pool but they got used to seeing me 3 times a day they didnt bother looking anymore as i exercised.

    I would lay on the surface of the water and then bring my legs to the top then i would lay on my back on water and move my legs back so im laying flat again, the water was warm

    Its not easy ,i think i must if made my abs stronger because i could only do 3 knee raises at first in the water but after 2 weeks i got up to 30

    You can do exercises in the water for your back that you cant do in open air, eg grab the rails and move your legs up and down strengthen your lower back ,bring your knees up to your chest and down again


    I know you wont do this but please consider, hydrotherapy or water exercises , I know u will be like me and say thats not gonna work but the other stuffs not working either , find a pool somewhere

    After 2 weeks of that everyday my back pain went away ,i think i must of either put it back in place or strengthened it ? Or maybe the abs ? Buts its gone ,it was hard though, wasnt easy doing knee raises and such but i kept doing it
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Jenny15
    From reading I understand that back pain can be of several forms and that may influence the best treatment.
    I use heat for cramping back pains which I recognise as muscle spasm.
    Gentle movement and care with lifting is paramount for me.
    Shooting pain in legs and tingling are something I rarely encounter but I gather there are different medications other than painkillers for this.
    The stress of pain can push my BSLS up as well as the need to not exercise as much as usual. I find use of a heated pool is magic.
    Best Wishes for a speedy recovery !!
     
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  4. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My husband has scoliosis. He uses a TENS machine to help with the pain, and exercises in the water too. He sees an osteopath every 6 weeks as well, to keep the bones moving.
     
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Yes, I have been through all this, from being in my late teens to mid 30s, initially caused by too much gymnastics.

    Cutting a very long story short, the lumber disc bulged then went back, bulged then went back intermittently over the years until it would no longer go back. The back ache went but the sciatica down one leg arrived, and stayed, as the disc wrapped itself round the sciatic nerve. Unable to walk some days, unable to sit comfortably bla di bla. Treatment (physio, ultra sound, cortisone injections) didn't work, so I had the disc removed surgically as this was the only option left. That was in 1985. I was pain free and fully mobile immediately, and have been ever since. Nothing whatsoever to do with diabetes.
     
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  6. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @Australiadiabetic2 and I'm so glad you found something that worked! I'm certainly open to trying it, and have found using a spa pool helpful in the past. I have been a keen aquajogger in the past - I find it is way better than walking, running or cycling if you have sore joints. Walking is better for women to reduce the risk of osteoporosis but that's about the only thing aquajogging doesn't give you.

    From my experience with back pain, muscle spasm has been a big issue for me. Anything that can relieve that spasm and help the muscles around the spine relax and function more normally can help, so maybe that's what happened for you. Strengthening the muscles is key, too.

    Thanks again my Aussie mate!
     
  7. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks @kitedoc, what you say there is spot on for me. Muscle spasm is a biggie and is probably why my trusty wheat bag works so well. During an acute episode I become super careful with lifting, twisting, reaching or transferring to and from chairs, the car, and beds.

    Always good for me to be reminded to reduce the stress of pain for the sake of my BGs. I am still getting used to taking that into account. Thank you.
     
  8. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the reminder, I have been meaning to get one of those machines, having tried them before. One of the few things that relieves my back pain. So cheap and easy to use, too.
     
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  9. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear you went through all that, I can really empathise. A number of times when it was worse I would fall to the floor and just stay there because at least it hurt less, lol. I even spent the night there in the living room once, with a 3cm camping mattress under me. Felt so much better than lying on a bed.

    If it came to that I would have the surgery, but at the moment it's much less severe than it used to be. I'm so glad the surgery worked. So often other back surgeries don't, and it can be a gamble.

    I just wondered if I needed to update my understanding of the bulged disc problem in light of now having been diagnosed with diabetes. Thought maybe if doctors had found that high blood glucose affects the muscles in some way for example that would be interesting to learn more about. Getting my BGs under control has had a positive impact on how I deal with chronic pain, stress and fatigue, so that's the main thing.
     
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  10. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    I’ve got three rupturesd discs (since I was 17), and I’m on 300mg pregabalin a day, with top-ups of tramadol if needed.
     
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  11. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    this is purely ancedotal, and my husband is not diabetic but - he has found that joining me in us having lower carb meals has seemed to help with his inflammation.
     
  12. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    I'm not convinced this is purely anecdotal. High carbs = high insulin. High insulin = inflammation. Cut the carbs, cut the insulin, cut the inflammation.
     
  13. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sounds anecdotal to me. The level and type of inflammation involved in diabetes isn't the same as the level and type of inflammation due to an acute injury like a bulging disc.
     
  14. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Legend

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    Perhaps not. I have no idea. All I do know is that high insulin promotes inflammation. I can mention another anecdotal piece of information - my arthritic knee has gone in to remission since I went low carb.
     
  15. Jenny15

    Jenny15 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Anecdotes are great. I also like research based on large numbers of patients.
     
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  16. LindiePops

    LindiePops Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jenny15, sorry to hear of your back issues. I've had a couple if bulging discs in my back for over 10 years now. When it was at it's worst, I cried umpteen times a day due to the pain. Hydrotherapy does help so give it ago if you can. Although the likes of Ibuprofen reduce inflammation, you should note these can cause kidney problems. I had to come off of these as my kidney function isn't the best due to my diabetes. It's just something to bear in mind if you take these. Hope you feel better soon
     
  17. Mep

    Mep Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I currently have 3 bulging discs in my lower back, although the L5/S1 disc is a central bulge leaning on my sciatic nerve sheath. I get pain down both legs, although left is worse. I also get numbness in my left ankle and foot... plus lots of foot pain from it... getting it in right foot now as well. It's all to do with my sciatic nerve and I've been diagnosed with sciatica as a result. It came about for me after a car accident. I had 3 car accidents within 8 months, last one was a year ago. The 2nd car accident though was when my lower back was very painful (it was in the first as well but not as bad as the 2nd). I've been getting physio for over a year now... still no better. I'm sorry I don't have any tips to get better. I wish you the best. :)
     
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  18. kirstyboo79

    kirstyboo79 Type 2 · Member

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    Agh, it's painful, I hope you're hanging in there. I have a torn disc in my lumbar spine so fairly similar symptoms. Have had it since 2009, am on MST, Oramorph, gabapentin, and amitriptyline. Also use cannabis (illegally). Have tried physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, mindful meditation, body scanning. A mixture of those last two, plus my meds, gets me through - but sometimes the pain is unbearable and that's just a ****** fact. The thing to hold onto is that it always passes eventually. The trick is to make the bad times shorter, and get the good times to last longer. It took me about 4yrs to start to believe that was possible. I've also had to shut out all the questions and good intentioned suggestions, and just go through it. Painsomnia is sometimes a *****, and when I have really bad pain it can make me an absolute monster, especially if I'm hangry at the same time! Try to get a good support network around you, and let them know what you need. I hope you get through it relatively quickly and are able to have a big happy smile on your face soon.
     
  19. Naff-Off-Sugar

    Naff-Off-Sugar Don't have diabetes · Active Member

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    I ended up having a microdiscectomy in 2011 and needed revision surgery last year.
     
  20. sunny_alice

    sunny_alice Family member · Member

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    I still suffer with constant pain in my hands and feet. But it seemed to be a diabetic neuropathy since I've improved my bg level and it reduced my chronic pain as well.

    So sorry that you have to deal with bulged disc. I have been in your situation and it is absolutely miserable.
    I first started having pain down the back of my left leg in Jan last year, my job is desk bound. In May last year it became too uncomfortable to sit for long periods of time so my doctor signed me off, I then had an MRI scan which diagnosed me having a herniated disc affecting my S1 nerve. I was scheduled to have a microdiscectomy (as Naff-Off-Sugar did) and would definitely recommend this option.
    The consultant said if I re-herniated (quite rare) then he would then and only then recommend a spinal fusion.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
    #20 sunny_alice, Apr 5, 2019 at 6:14 AM
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
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