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Herniated Disc/Lower Back


GaDawg

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No advice;  just hope the surgery goes well. 

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I feel for ya.  Been through that with my L4 & L5 but managed to avoid surgery......so far.  

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Sounds similar to what I went through,  just on the left. I ended up in a wheelchair for a month before surgery, and was only able to sleep with heavy opiates. Surgery wasn't a totally perfect solution, but it was near enough to be called perfect. I have some small issues with soreness in the muscles overlaying my disc site, but overall it's been a remarkable recovery. My golf handicap is now the lowest it's been in 20 years. You'll get there too! Best of luck.

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Moose, my cat, is Siamese

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9 minutes ago, Siamese Moose said:

Sounds similar to what I went through,  just on the left. I ended up in a wheelchair for a month before surgery, and was only able to sleep with heavy opiates. Surgery wasn't a totally perfect solution, but it was near enough to be called perfect. I have some small issues with soreness in the muscles overlaying my disc site, but overall it's been a remarkable recovery. My golf handicap is now the lowest it's been in 20 years. You'll get there too! Best of luck.

Thanks for your response.

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My wife has had back problems since she was in her early 20's, but they didn't have the technology and skill they have today.  She waited.  She said "It's why they call it a practice and why they call us patients, because we have to be patient while they practice."

She finally had an L5-S1 fusion in 2008.  She was on mega hydrocodone and 100ug/hour fentanyl patch before surgery (and her golf game really sucked).  Now she takes maybe one 5/300 hydrocodone or half of one a day.  She still has some pain in her hip, but at 65 that's kind of common, isn't it?  Her golf game is the best I've seen it at a 14 index, and I know she could be even better with a little more practice.

These surgeries are quite common, and the results are good for most people.  Hope is all goes well, and keep up posted!!

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We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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Best of luck with the surgery! I too have lower back issues with my L5/S1 and will most likely have to go the surgery route at some stage.

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Hope all goes perfectly and you heal up quickly!

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Good luck I hope it all works for the best.  Back pain blows, my L4-L5 are bulging but as long as I stay on up with stretches and work out as well as keep weight ( haha major struggle) down I’m ok. 

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Sorry to hear about this @GaDawgand I hope you are on the mend real quick.  I do know a handful of folks who have had surgery to resolve back issues and they went very well.  Be thankful we live in the time we do as it pertains to the amazing advances in medical treatments.  Tell ya what, I'll root for Georgia from here on out through the Championship... only switching sides if a miracle happens and they play my Irish 😆.

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Ugh. I feel for you @GaDawg. I’ll say a prayer for the surgery to go well, and for a great recovery too! 

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I have issues from L2-S1, yes my back is a disaster, however I am putting off surgery for as long as possible. Doing daily physical therapy to just try and be normal. 

My mother in law had fusion surgery about 8 years ago on L5/S1. No complications and has been extremely happy with the results. 

 

Good Luck!

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I just herniated my L4/L5 disk about 1 month ago due to golf. I finally over did it (I think I hit about 10 large buckets in 2 days, played a round, and did 2 overspeed workouts for clubhead speed. I often wake up with an aching in my lower back -- I now know it's the L4/L5 area -- but I ignore it and it goes away in a day or two. This time was different. I woke up about 3 am and tried to sit up in my bed, but I collapsed. My back hurt and I couldn't get comfortable in any position, though laying down would be the only way for me to get relief for about 10 days.   I used all my strength to walk 100 yards to the Walgreens near my place, and I had to take 3 breaks during the trip. There was a shooting, tingling pain down the front of my left thigh that made walking difficult. I had to limp. And the muscles in my back felt like they were seized up or something and the longer I was upright, the weaker my back got.  I had to sit on an empty trash can at the front of Staples and a big rock in front of Walgreens to rest before I made it, though sitting didn't make it any better. I wasn't sure how I'd be able to make the walk back.  I basically bought every type of back pain medicine, creams, and heating pads and some electrical stimulation device that didn't work because it required some other device.

For the first 2 days I layed in bed and tried to manage the pain while watching everything I could on Youtube to figure out what I hurt and how to heal it.  That's where I found out about bulging disks, L4/L5 part of the spine, herniated disks, sciatica nerve pain and what it affects, and stretches and treatments other than surgery, which I was my biggest fear. I ended up buying an inversion table my 2nd day and I think that was my best move.  I think that helped me heal faster than anything else, especially doing brief but frequent inversions to decompress the spine, which I still do to this day.  It took about 10 days before I could do anything other than work from home and lay around since I could only walk about 50 feet before my left thigh started throbbing and my lower back would start seizing up. I would have to limp back to my bed if I wanted to pain to subside. I was basically hobbled. It felt like I was on a self imposed house arrest or something. I wouldn't dare walk more than 100 yards from my front door out of fear not being able to make it back.

For the first few days I thought I'd be back to normal in a day or so, as usual for me, but it didn't get any better the first week, which worried me. I was even considering going to see a doctor, which I rarely do.  Finally after about 10 days of basically being an invalid, I felt well enough to venture out and actually played a round of golf with my friend. Another week or so later, my back felt normal or almost normal again, though I seem to get that same lower back pain from a round of golf or hitting a bucket of balls now that I used to only get by hitting 8 or 9 buckets plus playing a lot and swinging really hard. I hope this isn't one of those injuries that never quite heal and you are always susceptible to re-injure every few years.   Most people I know with bad backs would re-injure their backs every few years, my Mom included. I hope when it does heal fully, I'm as good as new, not a walking time bomb for another herniated disk.  I don't want that in my future.

I hope you feel better. You might want to try inversion therapy if you haven't done so already. It's the only thing that seemed to help me.

Edited by Pro-V-None
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Same story here. Getting ready for a tournament. Two days later, excruciating pain, numbness in leg, MRI. Bulging L-4, 5. Just turned 62. Luckily, painkillers, muscle relaxers, rest. Doing better, but I'm afraid it is something I will have to deal with from now on. Will still play, just taking precautions. I hope everything goes well and sorry you have to go through this.

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From one Dawg to another…hope the surgery goes well.  My discs have slight tears above and below L4 and below L5.  I won’t bore you with the story but I’ve managed to avoid surgery and sleeping through the night now.  If I walk, I can golf OK.  Riding is just too much sitting.  One thing I find funny though is when I swing a good swing I actually think it helps the old back.  Kind of motivates me to swing smooth so I don’t end up on my knees.

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I too have always had lower back issues, but pain focused on left side.  Stretching and Ibuprofen worked until something happened in December 2018 (many potential culprits, lifting, trying tennis, etc.) and it was worse than ever.  Tried chiro but that seemed to make it worse. Was so bad I could not stand up, and left leg would alternate between violent cramping and numbness.  Had to call EMT a few times, and I remember going to the ER on Christmas Eve (no relief, they thought I was med shopping.)

A good friend's wife runs an ortho surgery practice, they finally did an MRI, revealed my L5-S1 had not only Herniated but ruptured, and disc material migrated down the spinal cord in my left thigh.  Cortisone shot relieved the pain enough to tolerate it, and had surgery in late January, they removed two hunks of disc material, each about the size of a nickel. Immediately felt better (but naturally weak), and started PT about a month after.  By April, I was back playing and am fully recovered.  I was also 63 at the time, so hope that gives you some confidence you can do it also.

 

Good luck.

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On 10/14/2021 at 8:38 PM, GaDawg said:

Hello Everyone,

Well my retirement has not started off on the path I would have liked. Last day of work was August 31th and we had big plans. We did get up to Maine, NH and Vermont in early September. The Monday after getting back, I began to have tremendous pain going down my right leg. I have had minor hip issues for several years, but was always able to get those adjusted out with Chiropractor care. Went and received a couple of adjustments, but the pain got worse. During the last four weeks, I have visited Orthopedic Care w/x-rays, ER (trying to get an MRI asap), taken physical therapy, 3 series of steroids, pain medication just to get a few hours sleep. My primary doctor was able to get me a referral to a Neurosurgeon, which got an MRI scheduled for me about 10 days ago. Based on his advice, I have surgery scheduled for tomorrow.

I am sure people will have different opinions regarding my decision, but at 63, I feel that I have a lot of years left to enjoy my wife, kids and grand-kids. Hopefully more golf too. I am not writing this looking for attention, pity, etc. I just wanted to reach out to the community to hear if any other golfers have had similar issues. I am committed to this decision and whatever it takes to get my body back to an enjoyable life style. Eating pain pills and dragging your leg around is not in my plan.

I would appreciate any positive thoughts! Don't take your health and golf for granted, it can leave quickly...🏌️‍♂️

I kno this is a late response but I’m pulling for ya.

I hope this does NOT seem like I’m playing 1 upmanship, but instead am letting you kno there is still golf with back problems … I’m turning 64 this year … I’ve had over 40 lumbar epidurals, I had a 4-disc lumbar discectomy, I have 5 or 6 herniated thoracic discs, a 3-disc cervical fusion, and 2 more herniations bookending that fusion, plus I have a failed spinal stimulator implanted in my back. I have been in & out of PT approx once a year for 15 years. My advice is to get ur PT person to not only give u stretches for lumbar spine, but for cervical as well … golf stretches. You must keep ur hip & neck rotation flexibility … and then do the damn stretches every day … well they’ll probably have you doing them 3x a day at first, but even when ur done with PT, keep at it. Stay flexible.

When I began playing this year, after a 14 year hiatus, my back was tired after 6 holes. I initially stopped and went home. Eventually, even though while I was tired after 6, I still managed to make the full 18. This month I’ve been playing 36 holes twice a week, with a retired group of guys. Know ur limitations & keep striving to get stronger.

I just bought a set of 1/2” long, Cobra RadSpeed One Length irons in an attempt to take pressure off my lumbar spine. Practicing chipping & putting really stresses it. And as soon as those muscles feel tired or tight, I shut practice down or else they’ll be in spasm for 3 days. I live with the fear that I might only be 1 injury away from ending golf forever.

Keep ur back strong & flexible … maybe we’ll both still be playing in our 80s.

If u ever need to vent about ur back, feel free to dm me. It helps talking with someone who knows what ur going thru. What people don’t realize is that it’s not just about the level of pain you are experiencing, it’s more about the fact that it’s unrelenting pain. Constant pain, 24-7, day after day, week after week is physically draining and mentally exasperating. 

Good luck GaDawg.

Edited by B_R_A_D_Y
Added more & edits too.
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7 hours ago, Dave in Phoenix said:

I too have always had lower back issues, but pain focused on left side.  Stretching and Ibuprofen worked until something happened in December 2018 (many potential culprits, lifting, trying tennis, etc.) and it was worse than ever.  Tried chiro but that seemed to make it worse. Was so bad I could not stand up, and left leg would alternate between violent cramping and numbness.  Had to call EMT a few times, and I remember going to the ER on Christmas Eve (no relief, they thought I was med shopping.)

A good friend's wife runs an ortho surgery practice, they finally did an MRI, revealed my L5-S1 had not only Herniated but ruptured, and disc material migrated down the spinal cord in my left thigh.  Cortisone shot relieved the pain enough to tolerate it, and had surgery in late January, they removed two hunks of disc material, each about the size of a nickel. Immediately felt better (but naturally weak), and started PT about a month after.  By April, I was back playing and am fully recovered.  I was also 63 at the time, so hope that gives you some confidence you can do it also.

 

Good luck.

Hey Dave,

Thanks for the post, it sounds like we had very similar injuries. I had my surgery last Friday and a lot of the pain was gone immediately. I have been able to take short walks each day and increased the distance today. After reading your comments, I know things will continue to improve.

Thanks again!

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3 hours ago, B_R_A_D_Y said:

I kno this is a late response but I’m pulling for ya.

I hope this does NOT seem like I’m playing 1 upmanship, but instead am letting you kno there is still golf with back problems … I’m turning 64 this year … I’ve had over 40 lumbar epidurals, I had a 4-disc lumbar discectomy, I have 5 or 6 herniated thoracic discs, a 3-disc cervical fusion, and 2 more herniations bookending that fusion, plus I have a failed spinal stimulator implanted in my back. I have been in & out of PT approx once a year for 15 years. My advice is to get ur PT person to not only give u stretches for lumbar spine, but for cervical as well … golf stretches. You must keep ur hip & neck rotation flexibility … and then do the damn stretches every day … well they’ll probably have you doing them 3x a day at first, but even when ur done with PT, keep at it. Stay flexible.

When I began playing this year, after a 14 year hiatus, my back was tired after 6 holes. I initially stopped and went home. Eventually, even though while I was tired after 6, I still managed to make the full 18. This month I’ve been playing 36 holes twice a week, with a retired group of guys. Know ur limitations & keep striving to get stronger.

I just bought a set of 1/2” long, Cobra RadSpeed One Length irons in an attempt to take pressure off my lumbar spine. Practicing chipping & putting really stresses it. And as soon as those muscles feel tired or tight, I shut practice down or else they’ll be in spasm for 3 days. I live with the fear that I might only be 1 injury away from ending golf forever.

Keep ur back strong & flexible … maybe we’ll both still be playing in our 80s.

If u ever need to vent about ur back, feel free to dm me. It helps talking with someone who knows what ur going thru. What people don’t realize is that it’s not just about the level of pain you are experiencing, it’s more about the fact that it’s unrelenting pain. Constant pain, 24-7, day after day, week after week is physically draining and mentally exasperating. 

Good luck GaDawg.

OMG! Can't believe you had this much going on with your back. Today was my 7th day after my surgery and I have seen great improvement the last two days. I realize this is going to take some time, just going to take it day to day.

I appreciate all of the comments and suggestions from everyone.

 

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3 Wood: :taylormade-small: SIM - 15*, Diamana 75 Limited Stiff
Hybrid: :titelist-small: TS3 - 19*, Hzrdus Smoke 6.0 Stiff
Irons: :titelist-small:  7 - PW T100S, 4 -6 T200 all with Nippon NS Pro 880 AMC Chrome Stiff
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