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Pain Management/L5/S1 disc protrusion

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Question
Dear Patricia,
My clinical view: Strong pain in the right leg only during some activities (bending or sitting for long time)
The finding of my MRI was as follows:

Right posterilateral disc protrusion at the L5/S1disc level with moderate compression of the right descending S1 nerve root.

I am 2 months after the origin of the problem and i am following the conservative method of treatment with laser and electrotherapy.
The worst situation is when i am trying to drive. The pain is very strong and that is why i stopped using the car, but i want to find a solution on this.
My question is how long it takes for a disc like this to be healed? Any tips?

Answer
Adonis,
Every few months I like to follow up on patients who have written to me for help. I wanted to check in with you on your disc protrusion and see if there has been any improvement with the pain you were experiencing. If you tried chiropractic, I'd love to hear how it went. If you decided to opt for surgery, then I hope it alleviated most of your symptoms. In any case, I was just following up on some of my patients with the more serious conditions. Feel free to get back to me if you wish, or if I can provide further help.

Patricia M.
Email: plmorrow27@att.net




Did your doctor suggest surgery at all? With a "moderate" compression of the S1 nerve root, including the pain you are experiencing, especially while driving, it might be worth thinking about surgery. See what the doctor suggests. In any case, I do have to admire a physician who doesn't immediately want to perform surgery but rather try conservative measures. If you haven't tried a chiropractor yet, then I urge you to do so. They specialize in problems such as this, and they have many modalities which they can provide for you that might be life-changing, such as massage therapy, physical therapy, heat, vibratory or ultrasound therapy, all of which may significantly improve your pain. Many chiropractors nowadays are trained and licensed to provide acupuncture, which can work better than surgery. Some even provide acupuncture without needles, so it is painless. NOTE: My son had a painful soft tissue back injury, so I took him to a chiropractor who provided acupuncture without needles. Within 3 weeks he was pain-free. I realize your problem is much more serious, and involves a herniated disc, however, I was once skeptical about chiropractors, but this has made me a believer, especially in acupuncture.  Give it a few weeks to work, however. It won't work overnight, but anytime you can avoid surgery that is preferable. IF this doesn't help then you could ask the doctor about surgery. I do feel that consulting a chiropractic physician would help immensely, so give that a try. They are usually covered by insurance, so it would be affordable too. If I can help further please let me know.

Pain Management

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Patricia M

Expertise

I welcome questions from people who may want a "nurse's perspective" on the subject of chronic pain and pain management. I am a nurse, NOT a physician (MD).I can answer questions on medications, alternative approaches, and the various organs and body systems. There are many avenues to explore with chronic pain. I am against seeing patients suffer simply because healthcare professionals might suspect they are "drug seekers". There are methods of identifying true pain, and this makes patients feel as if they are taken seriously, which they should be.

Experience

Over 25 years working experience in Internal Medicine, Adult Cardiology, Post-Surgery care, Cancer, psychiatry and some experience as a lay-counselor in addictive medicine (dependence to alcohol and/or drugs, both legal and illegal drugs).

Organizations
I am an Expert with AllExperts in several areas: Pharmacy, Internal Medicine, Medical Errors. Feel free to check my Q&A history as well as my ratings, which are very high.

Education/Credentials
Diploma from hospital-based nursing school. Additional courses in pharmacology. I keep current in continuing education. Am currently working as lay-counselor which can lead to my certification as Substance Abuse Counselor.

Awards and Honors
Dean's List while in college.

Past/Present Clients
Internal medicine patients, cardiology patients recovering from heart disease and/or open-heart surgery, cancer, as well as recently working as a lay-counselor to individuals dealing with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. NOTE: Just because I attempt to help patients with addictive diseases, I have over 25 years in Internal Medicine, have nursed patients with great deal of pain, and I am compassionate. I never label anyone as a "drug seeker". I have seen that done for years, and am against it. All patients should be evaluated for pain in a fair and comprehensive manner. Am an Expert with AllExperts in three other medical categories; feel free to check my ratings, which are high.

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