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Complex Disc Herniation, bulges and anterior pelvic tilt

Started by drummer1 on 09/10/2015 6:12pm


I'm new here and wanted to describe my summer. In mid May I had a locked up lower back and felt the onset of a bulge and/or herniation. The day progressed and my assumption was correct. This is not my first run around with this injury. Noticeable differences were no lifting or bending this time. I was walking. After an L5-S1 LESI, I began chiropractic care for my symptoms rather than maintenance. The symptoms subsided and rehab started to take place around the end of June. During the rehab my back flared up again and it was off for another injection. The MRI findings were indicitive of mild herniation at L4-5 and a bulge above and below. The usual annular tears accompanied the findings as well as nerve root compression, thecal sac compression and all on the left side. I underwent chiropractic care on a daily basis until last week. There has been little progress towards my mobility. The inflammation has decreased and the muscle spams have gone away. I have mild nerve pain in the leg. It is more central to the thigh than shooting. There is also muscle pain from the anterior pelvic tilt on both sides. This radiates pain down the left leg in a deep and dull sensation. My spine leans to the left and I am getting conflicting reports from everyone that I see. I stopped seeing my current chiropractor when his treatments were increasing the pain more than treating my symptoms. It seemed as if he was going through the motions until I either gave up or had a miracle. I switched chiropractors and received a different diagnosis. The prior felt that it was time for surgery and the current does not. An acupuncturist felt that surgery was not the solution while a PT took a look at my MRI and said surgery on the first visit. The reasoning is due to the nerve root compression. The PT was conflicted as the report read mild herniation and nerve root compression where as he felt that it is not possible to have compression with mild symptoms. The doctor that completed the injections didn't seem to think twice at the MRI and felt conservative treatment was the best option. I am conflicted, confused and scared to death of surgery. I'm so confused as to how everyone has a different opinion without a real solution. My biggest concern is that my left hip likes up and thus causes a difference in leg length that wouldn't normally exist. I also lean forward a bit and my hips can rotate to where the right hip will stick out instead of the left hiking outward and upward. I am told that this is the disc and it's normal by one and muscle by another.

I should mention that deep tissue massage and acupuncture were not as successful due to me not being able to handle the treatments. I am extremely sensitive to the touch and deathly afraid of needles, also knives and the works with surgery.

I am wondering if anyone has experience or insight with this? Does anyone have suggestions? Can anyone relate to what I am experiencing?

Thank you!

32yrs old.

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4 Responses


Aside from my neck surgery I have had L5/S1 surgery. And waited too long and had a hack surgeon do it (since I was desperate in pain and just wanted relief) and now have permanent nerve damage in my leg. I suggest seeing a good neurosurgeon. Do your homework. Talk to doctors, nurses etc and ask "who would you have do surgery?" A good neurosurgeon will not do surgery on you unless he is sure he has at least an 80% chance of success. Otherwise they can also do nerve ablations and other treatments to alleviate your pain if surgery is not the best answer. I now have bad ruptured discs at all levels of my lumbar spine and my neurosurgeon won't touch me. He said he would do more harm than good. So I must live with the pain. But don't be afraid to see a neurosurgeon. And BTW I would not let a chiropractor touch me. They can do more harm if you have not been properly evaluated by a neurosurgeon or orthopedic doctor.


Thank you for the helpful insight! I am so sorry to hear about your injuries and wish you the best as you continue to push forward. I am still fearful that the surgery won't do much, however your insight really put it into prospective in regards to if I would be a candidate. I am still convinced that the pelvic tilt is the root cause and not seeing how disc surgery will correct that. I guess that is for the surgeon or a group member who is experiencing the same or already travelled this path.

I have to say that I was a fan of chiropractic care and still am for the most part. It is like any medical field; you have to shop for a good one. I have had two that were exceptional and two that were sub par at best. I am paying dearly for the failed treatments of the last one, both monetarily and physically. We can add mentally to this list as we all take a toll on every front from pain.

Thank you again for the insight and I am sending me best! If you ever need someone to chat with, drop a line here.



Drummer, I am now at a place where I am starting to do a little bit of everything. More PT, anti inflammatory diet, pain management including epidural and trigger point injections, and I even have an upcoming appointment with a pain physcologist. It takes a lot of work, and you know your body, but get as much information as you can and see as many specialist as you can afford to figure out what choices you have ahead. If you don't have nerve compression that is damaging nerves (because they don't get better) then try everything you can.

Massage and acupuncture have not worked for me either and I was recently told that massage would make me worse since I am already hyper mobile and relaxing the muscles just makes things move around more in ways they shouldn't. He just validated my intuition.

Thanks for the offer of support. I do get really down sometimes, but try to pick myself up and keep going so I can savor all the sweet little moments life has to offer. The saddest thing is I am applying for disability because I can no longer work and I love my job and people I work with, so hoping the pain physcologist will help me deal with that. You are not alone, but it is surprising how many friends you will lose because you can't function anymore like your old self.

I hope you will have better days ahead. Forums like these are very helpful!


One more thought. I have been to good and bad PTs and if you can find a good one they may be able to help balance out your strength and kilter. Find a doctor of PT (DPT) and one that doesn't pawn you off to an assistant. I have read plenty of medical journals and herniations do heal themselves over time, not the annular tear but the gel from the disk gets reabsorbed by the body. But if you do something to the disk again more of the disk material comes out and according to my doctor when it comes in contact with nerves it sets them on fire (pain) and causes inflammation.