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Pregnancy with a prior herniated/slipped disc?

(15 Posts)
tothemoon Tue 23-Oct-12 00:34:49

We have just started ttc with our first and I'm really worried about my back and how I will cope with the extra strain. I have a herniated disc in my lumbar spine, had issues with it on and off since I was 14 (10 years!). It will be fine for months then I will over do it and end up on crutches with little feeling in my right leg and a lot of pain, even Naproxen doesn't take the edge off.

I don't know anyone else that's gone through pregnancy with it. My GP said I will just have to wait it out and see. Any experiences??

tinyshinyanddon Tue 23-Oct-12 02:40:23

I have degenerated discs in my back - around L4/L5. No bony spurs and with stretching and ice, the pain is manageable. I have 2 children but no back problems during those pregnancies - my problems started when DC2 was an infant. So far, this pregnancy is going OK. I am 19 weeks and the pain is no worse than normal. I check in with my PT once a month, I take a pilates class to improve core strength and I spend some time at the gym also working on core exercises. I have not gone through the phase where my pelvis goes all wobbly getting ready for delivery yet - usually late 2nd trimester that happens for me. Interested to see how my back copes with that. Good luck and I hope you hold up well!

tinyshinyanddon Tue 23-Oct-12 02:42:06

Oh and I also am quite aware of not gaining too much weight - I try to eat healthy and gain a reasonable but not excessive amount. Only 2lb at 19 weeks.

Longtalljosie Tue 23-Oct-12 04:31:06

I had a herniated L5/S1 the year before getting pregnant with DD2. I was very worried about relapsing but it didn't happen. Like tinyshiny I kept up the Pilates religiously - my class off as long as she'd have me and then after that the Pilates for Pregnancy book.

I actually found my sciatica better during pregnancy! To my disappointment it's now back... I also gave birth on my side which allowed the spine a degree of mobility as the baby descended - I do think doing it flat on your back would be a very bad idea.

spandau1980 Tue 23-Oct-12 08:46:22

i have same probs and im on baby no 4 you ll manage but believe me no pain relief if it pops out is no fun! i did mine couple months ago through violent morning sickness... so was throwing up with a slipped disc... childbirths gonna be a breeze lol ;)

Weenugget Tue 23-Oct-12 12:25:00

I would be interested to hear any experiences. This is my 1st pregnancy (17 weeks) and I've had a lot of back problems in the past! I've had surgery twice for herniated disc L5 S1 prior to the surgery I was completely immobile due to the pain. I've had no recurrence of symptoms since my last op 4 years ago but I'm still worried about slipping a disc again! I've been doing Pilates for a few years and will continue throughout pregnancy. I'm also seeing a chiropractor regularly. My GP and midwife don't seem overly concerned and said that slipped disc during pregnancy is unlikely though I might suffer from other back and hip pain.

tothemoon Wed 24-Oct-12 00:03:46

Thank you all for your responses! Mine has shown up on an MRI as L4-L5 and it really effects everything when it flares up. We had to get those handles for disabled people put in the bathroom because I couldn't get up off the bog!! DH works abroad and is worried about me enough as it is lol.

I have been doing a lot of yoga on and off for years, but since recently deciding to ttc I'm determined to keep as physically fit as possible and keep my weight healthy. I will look into pilates smile I am on a waiting list for physio on NHS.

It flared up badly 3 weeks ago and I was on crutches for the week in impossible constant pain, I dragged myself to Asda and begged the pharmacist for morphine. She thought I was kidding!! I said to my mum, "I'm NOT f-ing giving birth if it's more painful then this" she replied "It's probably as painful but luckily it doesn't last anywhere near as long!".

I suppose you're subconsciously more careful when your pregnant and don't over do anything to aggravate it. I hope you all have sciatic pain free pregnancies x

Longtalljosie Wed 24-Oct-12 07:26:30

The pain is very similar to childbirth - but of course with childbirth it comes on gradually and you'll be offered proper pain relief.

Yoga is a good thing but I do feel Pilates is more what you need - you'll build up a network of core muscles which will support your back. You'll also learn to stand correctly while pregnant (keep hipbones to ribcage, don't stick your lower back out to compensate for your bump etc).

Have you had cortisone injections? Be aware these can bugger your menstrual cycle...

tothemoon Wed 24-Oct-12 13:53:40

Thanks Josie, I am definitely looking into Pilates. Trying to find a local group.
No I've not had injections yet, Thanks for the tip about it.
I have just dealt with it over the last 10 years but since I fell on my back in Feb this year I am spending 1 week out of 4 immobile. I HATE taking painkillers or drugs of any kind much to my doctors annoyance.
If it's the same pain as labour, I think I will be well prepped to deal with it!

Longtalljosie Wed 24-Oct-12 15:22:55

You really need to take the drugs, in my view. Because if you hold yourself in the way a person in pain holds themselves (ie slightly skew-wiff) you'll impede your recovery.

Purplecatti Wed 24-Oct-12 15:48:02

I hairline fractured my L5 and herniated both the discs between 17 years ago with scar tissue left behind and have had back problems flaring up repeatedly since then.
I am 40+5 now and I haven't had anywhere near as much trouble as I thought I'd get. I have had little bouts but pilates has helped as has using a tens machine

tothemoon Wed 24-Oct-12 21:22:31

Longtall - but they don't make the slightest bit of difference to the pain. I'd rather keep flexible with yoga and save my organs lol.

Purlecatti - Thanks, it has put my mind at ease. I have been so worried about it. You must be fit to burst now! Best of luck smile I'm going to buy a tens machine this week.

Longtalljosie Wed 24-Oct-12 21:57:10

Then you need much stronger ones... What have you been prescribed?

tothemoon Thu 25-Oct-12 15:48:11

Cocodamol, Naproxen and Paracetamol lol. I had an allergic reaction to Tramadol - I honestly thought I was going to die. Awaiting physio - which will only tell me to sit properly and give me a leaflet (that's what they do for everyone I know who has been). It's not bad enough for surgery apparently and they wont take it any further unless it effects my bladder control.
I have a friends that's waited 3 years to be taken seriously. In North Wales there are no spinal specialists, the nearest is The Walton in Liverpool and it's impossible to get an refferal. I even turned up at my local A&E unable to walk, they kept me in over night and a was discharged the following day after the "consultant" called the Walton for advice. I told them I wasn't leaving until they booked me an MRI scan, and that if my disc goes whilst driving and I kill someone, It's on their conscience. Got my MRI 4 months later where they found one disc worn and another herniated.

It's been getting worse though, I now have the pain down both legs when it flares up, weakness and I have to crawl to move. Touch wood though, it's good at the moment!

Longtalljosie Fri 26-Oct-12 00:47:39

I sympathise, cocodomol did nothing for me either. It was actually my Physio who was the biggest driver of getting me effective pain relief - she sent me back to the GPs twice telling me to say that still wasn't strong enough. In the end I was on codydromol, diclofenac and diazepam.

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