Bulging disc L3-L4 with excruciating pain in right knee and tingling in leg

by Charmaine

I have been flat on my back for six days and been diagnosed with L3-L4 bulging disc but my problem is the constant pain in my right knee - I am on painkillers and ice packs and gentle exercise- I have been told that I will probably need ozone injections.

My question is how long should I wait for it to heal naturally and is there anything I can do for the pain in the knee I’ve been told not to attempt walking.

Hello Charmaine,
This is a real misery, I've treated hundreds of cases, and had it myself. Pain with a capital P.

You're between the devil and proverbial deep blue sea. All the research suggests that prolonged bed rest will only worsen it, but standing and walking is very painful. And sitting verboten. So what do you do?

Firstly a little disclaimer. You need to be very careful of disregarding your doctor's orders, and listening so some unknown Dr Google. I recommend you discuss what follows with your doctor first.

My compromise of this conundrum is to do those gentle exercises every 15-30 minutes lying on your bed; and then every hour get up for a short while. Go to the loo, make a cup of tea, walk about and stay away from stairs; your knee is likely to start buckling. Perhaps perch for a while on a the arm of a couch or stool. Then return to your bed of woe. Use ice twice a day. Stay out of the bath. See our slipped disc rules at Chiropractic Help.

I'm presuming there's nothing wrong with your knee, it's been examined, right?, and it's all referred pain from your back. The 'femoral nerve stretch' will confirm this; and probable loss of the knee jerk reflex.

It's up to you to decide whether to consult a chiropractor; certainly find someone with a lot of experience; this will be tough. In my own case, a particularly bad one, I needed 18 treatments over a period of about a month, and it remained weak for another three. But now I can do everything, but you absolutely must continue with back exercises every day for the rest of your life, before getting out of bed, or it'll come back. In fact it probably will anyway, whether you go for chiropractic or surgery. This condition is not 'curable' and requires maintenance most of which is done by you.

Those who do their exercises faithfully are far less likely to have a relapse, and if you do it gets better faster.

Feeling for you, I have the T-shirt. Let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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