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Proplapsed disc and then another back accident

(7 Posts)
twiglet59 Thu 25-Jun-15 07:51:32

A week and a half ago I picked up a heavy bag and felt a twinge in my back and carried on as normal because it did not feel that bad at the time. I went to a body pump class on the Saturday and a spin class the next day. Later that evening the pain started. I barely slept all night and went to the GP next day. She said that I had pulled a muscle and best to carry on as normal with that type of back pain. Anyway after getting to work on the Tuesday I had to go within half an hour as the pain was unbearable. I went back to GP to ask for stronger pain killers. She gave me Co-Dydramol and 2mg Diazepam. Went to work on the Thursday which was agony and went back to GP again Zapain, 500mg Zaproxen and a strong laxative Lapido because of the Codeine making you constipated. All this time waking up at least four times a night because of the pain. Over last weekend I got numbness and a tingling sensation in my left thigh. I then went back to the GP again on Monday of this week and she the have thought that it might be a prolapsed disc. I work for the NHS so she suggested that I contact Occupational Health to see if I could see them quicker than waiting for an NHS appt for Physio. I have done that but don't have one until next month. The pain in my back started easing a bit just pain in the leg. Then on Tuesday of this week I was hanging out the washing and a step we have in our garden broke and I fell back onto a stone plant pot. I lay there crying frightened to move, but eventually managed to get myself up. I phoned for an ambulance as DH was nagging me to. Even thought I didn't want to. They asked me a series of questions and thought it was ok for me not to go in. Anyway since then I have had a few embarassing accidents because I think the medicine has upset my stomach so much. I feel like an old lady. I am so frustrated because I am normally so active. I can hardly move. Yesterday GP suggested I phoned for a telephone appt she asked me about the second accident and suggested that I try Tramadol as the pain killers weren't working. I tried walking to the end of the road and was in too much pain. She also said that if the pain became unbearable to go to A & E which I did. They took an X-ray and luckily there are no fractures. But I was wondering if you can ask for an MRI. Also, does anyone else have this experience with the drugs and not being able to control themselves. And anyone's experience with Tramadol. Sorry its so long.

MatildaTheCat Thu 25-Jun-15 11:46:44

Hi Twiglet, sorry, how absolutely grim. Sorry to be personal but I assume you are talking about bowel or bladder control? And has this developed since you were last reviewed at the hospital?

There is a condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome where the nerves to your pelvis become compressed, usually by a bulging disc and control is lost. This is a medical emergency and needs an MRI and a neurological review to exclude it. The nerve damage can be permanent.

I suggest you call 101 for advice but if you are concerned about sudden loss of control in conjunction with severe back or leg pain then it's better safe than sorry. There was a thread on here recently called something like 'back pain and can't wee' which might be helpful to read. But do seek further advice. If you need to go to A&E find out which hospital has a neurosurgical unit and go there for the best opinion.

Good luck.

demoska1 Thu 25-Jun-15 11:57:03

Hi. I strongly suggest you seek further medical help. I had this last year. I lost the use of my right leg and control of bladder/bowel within days of waking up with a back pain. I had no injury or history of back pain. I was diagnosed with cauda equine syndrome, was in hospital 2 weeks and had major surgery. I'm back on my feet now but have permanent damage to my leg, walk with a limp, can't run or jump, leg tingles and have pins and needles, have slight numbness "down below" but can control myself. My specialist says I'm as good as I will ever get. So....please don't hang around before you seek another opinion.

twiglet59 Thu 25-Jun-15 18:46:52

Hello Matildathecat and demoska1. You have both given me the confidence to ask again. I phoned one of my colleagues at the hospital and he said that I should go back to my GP and request an urgent MRI. I am going to phone tomorrow and speak to GP. The problem is just with the bowels and and not bladder. The hospital did not seem worried about it yesterday and it seems to have eased off a bit this afternoon. I think it is more the medication really upsetting my stomach. GP did test for Cauda Equina as she mentioned it last week. Thanks again.

ThatIsNachoCheese Thu 25-Jun-15 19:07:59

What test did she do? I was under the impression that the ONLY way to rule it out is an MRI.
Which it sounds like you need as soon as possible.

twiglet59 Thu 25-Jun-15 20:12:10

She got a tissue and lightly touched on the area around my bum and down my legs. My colleague at work said that I should demand an urgent MRI which I'm going to do tomorrow. It's so frustrating because the last doctor I saw at the hospital yesterday made me feel as if it wasn't that bad. You just feel you are being a nuisance.

hellomynameis Fri 26-Jun-15 12:24:38

Often GPs cannot access MRIs directly from primary care and needs referral to a hospital specialist.

I would suggest you pay for some private physio sessions until the hospital physio kicks in.

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