Everyday back pain: a bulging disc

1. Details

  • Name   Elaine Farrelly
  • Occupation  Professional Writer / Accountant

2. When (how long ago) did you first have back pain? About four years ago 

3. How did your back pain start?  My back pain has been caused by a bulging disc pressing on the nerve. I suspect it was caused by decades of sitting at a desk with poor posture.

4. What sort of back pain do you get? It started as a niggling and constant dull pain in my lower back. After a weight lifting session at the gym one day it turned into a severe shooting pain down the back of my right leg.

5. For the couple of months after you started getting back pain (if you’ve had it this long or longer), how did you deal with the pain? My pain onset was quite acute so I visited a sports physician and physiotherapist. Eventually an MRI revealed a bulging disc pressing on nerve. I was given a steroid injection into the spinal area guided while in a CT scanner. It was very effective for a couple of weeks but the pain subsequently resumed. Apparently this procedure works very well for some people but it’s not a guarantee in all cases.

6. How has your management of the pain changed from then until now? I took prescription anti-inflammatories and pain killers until the nerve compression pain was reduced to a manageable level. Over the four month period of worst pain I either stood or lay on the floor, but did not sit at all.

 7. What is most effective for you? Standing instead of sitting, lots of walking and a daily stretching routine (Sarah Keys method).

 8. If you use standing as a pain minimizing strategy, how have you incorporated it into your daily routine?  I have a sit / stand attachment on my desk and I stand most of the day while working.

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