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  • dan121
    Post count: 1

    Hello doctor,

    I’m Dan. I’m a 27 year old medium-built guy. From a month or so, pain in my lower back is bothering me much. I started to feel this pain during my routine work out in gym. The pain sharpened when I bend forward or lift weight even as low as 3 kg dumble.

    Feeling scared, I rushed to Orthopedic in my hometown. X-Ray revealed I had narrowing disk in between L4 and L5 vertebral. I was told that the problem is a minor one and I have been advised to be on bed rest until I feel fit.
    By looking at the X Ray I also noticed the gap between my L 4 and L5 vertebral has comparably got reduced.

    It has been a month since I’m on Bed rest. Now, the pain has reduced to almost 50%.

    What I worry is, this is the second time I’ve got this problem. First time, it was 6 years back, for the same reason of lifting heavy weight in gym. Back then, I took a couple of months rest and thought the pain had gone for ever. Although it was true, until few months back when I felt the pain again.

    I’m scared of thinking, is this a life-long problem? My doctor says nothing can be predicted about back pain. It may or may not occur again. What exactly is my problem. Will I be able to be normal again, without any surgery.

    Also, to mention my work involves sitting for long hours (7-8 hrs a day). Do I have to give up this sitting job?

    Please guide me. Looking forward for your valuable advice.

    Donald Corenman, MD, DC
    Post count: 8455

    Your pain is most likely from the degenerative disc at L4-5 but an MRI would be more specific for diagnosis. I do not believe in bed rest for longer than two to three days as muscular deconditioning results which increases the biomechanical problems of the spine.

    You have had two episodes of incapacitating pain in six years. Each episode has apparently lasted 2-3 months with this last episode finally clearing. What it sounds like you need is management when these episodes occur to short circuit the length of time to recovery.

    Management type treatment to reduce the intensity of these spells includes epidural steroid injections, oral medications including oral steroids, a physical therapy rehab program or chiropractic program, a corset or lumbar belt and time.

    Is this a life long problem? The answer is yes and no. The disc will alway remain degenerative and flair-ups can recur. However, with proper training and ergonomic education (how to lift and what activities are more detrimental), you can reduce the number of flair-ups and control them when they occur.

    If this program does not work and these episodes become more frequent or disabling, a surgical work-up can be undertaken. See section on the website under “Treatment”- “When to have surgery” for further explanation.

    Dr. Corenman

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