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Bulging discs

(12 Posts)
alwaysswimming Wed 17-Oct-12 18:15:33


I was hoping someone else might have some experience/advice on how i can help my daughter. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with 2 bulging discs one of which is pressing on the sac surrounding the spinal cord and has a narrowed nerve exit. This was after being admitted to hospital (where she spent 2 weeks) with severe pain and being unable to move.

However some of the health care professionals think that the pain is all in her head and nothing to do with the discs. But i do not agree with this as the pain she has is directly over the level of the vertebrae that have the bulging discs. And we don't seem to be getting anywhere.

Please help, i dont know what else to do.

racingheart Wed 17-Oct-12 20:14:56


I had that in my twenties. Was in agony for weeks. Then someone suggested a sports physio. He showed me some very simple physio exercises that took the pain away almost immediately. I remember walking to the clinic, hobbling so badly that I was overtaken by a woman on a zimmer frame! On the way out of the clinic I was walking normally.

The exercises squeeze the disc back into place. I still use those two exercises if the disc hurts again, as once it has bulged, a disc is more vulnerable to slipping out again, so it's useful to know what to do at the first sign of pain.

I strongly recommend a physio. Mine was a private sports clinic but you could probably get one on NHS. Hope it works so well for her.

racingheart Wed 17-Oct-12 20:16:11

Should have added - no one on NHS suggested this, so if it isn't a usual referral they'd make in this sort of instance, you may need to push for it. Or pay.

OohMrDarcy Wed 17-Oct-12 20:18:28

agree with racingheart

I also suffered with bulging discs in my 20's... unfortunately my sports physio advised that I was basically doing everything bad for my back - sitting at a desk all day, long drives, lugging laptops around - meh

Had problems on an off for about 3/4 years - the physio was ace, and over time the back problems eventually occured less often and now haven't had it for years.

a private physio will often charge you less than they would a 'proper' private patient - think I was charged £20 / £25 per session, instead of at least £10 more for people who went through insurance


alwaysswimming Thu 18-Oct-12 10:36:30

Thank you.

I have researched some sports physio's so will ring around in abit. She hasn't had any physio on the NHS despite a referral as she is just being passed from department to department saying she doesnt meet the criteria for treatment (as they believe its all in her head).

racingheart Thu 18-Oct-12 16:06:34

Can you go back to your GP and ask for an urgent referral. If you get palmed off with 'all in her head' you could always ask them to at least give physio a chance before dismissing it, as it is the best cure and subsequent prevention for what she has.

alwaysswimming Wed 30-Jan-13 22:41:15

Thank you for all your advice. I found her a sports physio to see who said she needed seeing at the hospital. We managed to get the GP to refer her to a neurosurgeon at a different hospital. She saw them today and there is something wrong with the spinal cord. He said there was altered electrical activity in the spinal cord at the level where the bulging discs are. Does anyone know what this means?

Toughasoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 22:46:38

It sounds as if the nerve might be compromised . Has she had a recent MRI?
I also had this and it was not taken seriously, I ended up paying for a private MRI and being operated on that evening. I have significant nerve damage and will always regret not being more assertive.
It sounds as if they are going to consider operating if she has been referred to a neurosurgeon- which is positive.

alwaysswimming Wed 30-Jan-13 23:02:14

The only MRI shes had was when she was in hospital originally in August, that is what the neurosurgeon was looking at so i do not know why the original hospital could not pick it up.

She is still walking with a crutch and can not fully use her arm. She is angry with the original hospital for not picking it up when the Dr she saw yesterday spotted it straight away.

Sorry to here that you also were not listened too and i hope that you are now recovered. I hope you don't mind me asking but how much did it cost to go private?

I am just glad someone is listening and she will finally get the care she needs because it is really hard watching her go from being independant to not even being able to cook herself a meal/make a drink or do her hair.

Toughasoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 23:07:09

It was £500, I just called up the Nuffield and got it the next day. I understand her anger completely. Does she have numbness anywhere? There are certain warning signs which means that time is of the essence.

alwaysswimming Wed 30-Jan-13 23:15:03

Was the £500 just for the MRI? Yes she has had numbness since august, she has it in her thumb, forefinger and little finger. She gets shooting pains across her shoulder and down her arm into her fingers and across the bottom of her back into her hip and down the outside of her leg to just below the knee. When she gets this pain the numbness is worse and takes about an hour to return to how it was before. She describes it as her arm and leg not doing what she wants them to do. She also has a near constant headache at the back of her head.

Toughasoldboots Wed 30-Jan-13 23:43:18

Yes, just for MRI. I would be wanting something done quite quickly in that case.

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