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11 Apr 2006

Hi Chirodoc

I am a female, 40, tall and currenty overweight. I was diagnosed with disk degeneration (last disk paper thin and one above starting). I am taking glucosamine etc. supplement, slimming and started to do exercise under guidance of a biokinetist. However, daily I am mostly in pain to some degree and I can't do the activities that I used to do. Even walking/shopping leads to great pain later on. The chiro I go to treats me when the pain is very bad, otherwise I manage it so to speak. I feel that I am young enough to consider surgery but am totally terrified at the idea. My family has a bad operative history. They have explained putting a cage around disk or replacing it. There has to be a good reason for my going for an MRI scan in terms of the costs / medical aid. I don't see how this is going to get better even though they tell me surgery may never be necessary. I am 40 not 80 yet! Lately I am waking up from a deep sleep, and can only describe it as an electric shock. Seconds of intense pain/spasm and then it goes away. Do you know what this is? I also find that I have signs of being incontinent, restless leg syndrome and sciatica as they say. All in all, I am tired of this and since this disk thing runs in the family I think I should have it investigated further. What is the best doctor to go to, a neurosurgeon, a orthopedic or who? Also, how do you tell your chiro or doc that you want to go for an MRI? The disk is apparently 3mm out which they say is not signficant. I just can't face another 25 years (hopefully) of this kind of pain and decrease in my activities. What do you suggest?

Thank you
Answer 344 views

01 Jan 0001

First of all - I would strongly recommend a reduction in your weight. You are obviously carrying an added load on discs not designed for extra weight. Surgery is a serious consideration and I would suggest you consult a neurosurgeon for examination and advice - before making a final decision. He will no doubt arrange for an MRI should this be indicated. There are some new and promising surgical procedures (disc replacement) etc...
Have you discussed this quite frankly with your Chiropractor or GP ??? They know you better than I do and are perhaps in a better position to advise you more precisely.
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