I have a herniated disk am I done :(

  1. So to make a long story short I have been having pain in my lower back starting a month ago and the last 2wks it got really bad and started to get shooting pain in my right leg. Well I went to the doctor tomorrow and he said I herniated a disk and gave me Naproxen and Flexidrel and told me to come back in 2wks and if it wasn't better we would get a MRI and then look at physical therapy.

    Well my doctor has known me for sometime and he knows that I am planning on starting a BSN program and he mentioned it might be 'hard' to do with my back problems

    Please tell me he was just talking out his arsh and this isn't true! or if it is please just be honest with me

    TIA
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    About Coloradogrl

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 438; Likes: 50

    24 Comments

  3. by   PAERRN20
    Not going to sugar coat it but your doctor may be right. Nursing is very physical work. In school you will be expected to give baths, change briefs, assist patients, boost them up in bed, turn them, etc. This won't change as a staff nurse. However, you may be able to get a office job but the chances of this as a new grad are pretty slim. Not saying that nursing isn't right for you, but you need to consider you own personal health. Sometimes nurses forget that. Best wishes in whatever you decide to do.
  4. by   Coloradogrl
    I am just so sad right now I dont even know how I did this and that is what is killing me the most! I have had natural child birth and honestly didn't think it was that bad but this is seriously worse I would do child birth naturally right now instead of this pain even with the meds I am still in pain I can atleast walk today
  5. by   beachbutterfly
    I'm not a MD but,I have read about a herniated disc before and you can still manage to fulfill your plans....I'm sure there are different therapies (as well as surgery) to correct this condition...dont let some back pain stop you from achieving your dreams.Browse through Nurses disability forum and see how many of those nurses made it and graduated....if they have done it ( under worse conditions) so you can,not to mention school can be a big distractor from feeeling pain!!!
    Good luck!!!!
  6. by   Valerie Salva
    many nursing programs and employers require a physical and are very wary of people with back injuries. i had a back injury years ago, and my current employer made me get an xray, and an exam from two docs saying my back was ok before they would hire me.
    nurses have the highest rates of back injury of all careers- 12% of nurses leave nursing due to a back injury.

    "construction workers, warehouse personnel, delivery goods drivers, nurses, shopkeepers and farm workers. if you had to choose, which of these occupations suffers the highest incidence of back injury? you might think that construction workers or delivery goods drivers might be the riskiest occupations for back injuries, because the work involves a lot of bending and lifting, but you'd be wrong! many people are surprised to learn the nursing is the riskiest occupation for back injuries! in fact, nursing has the second highest incidence of all types of non-fatal work-related injuries in the u.s.a."

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...ticle1509.html
  7. by   beachbutterfly
    Quote from valerie salva
    many nursing programs and employers require a physical and are very wary of people with back injuries. i had a back injury years ago, and my current employer made me get an xray, and an exam from two docs saying my back was ok before they would hire me.
    nurses have the highest rates of back injury of all careers- 12% of nurses leave nursing due to a back injury.

    "construction workers, warehouse personnel, delivery goods drivers, nurses, shopkeepers and farm workers. if you had to choose, which of these occupations suffers the highest incidence of back injury? you might think that construction workers or delivery goods drivers might be the riskiest occupations for back injuries, because the work involves a lot of bending and lifting, but you'd be wrong! many people are surprised to learn the nursing is the riskiest occupation for back injuries! in fact, nursing has the second highest incidence of all types of non-fatal work-related injuries in the u.s.a."

    http://www.spineuniverse.com/display...ticle1509.html
    yeah however she can do different type of nursing that dont require much lifting,she can be a school nurse, ob nurse,psych nurse,peds nurse,or nurse,or work in doctore office just to mention few.
  8. by   beckylpn1
    I, too, have messed my back up at work. We were working a code and guess I turned the wrong way and there my back went. I have been off work since May 12th, hurt it on the 11th. I had an MRI done Monday and got the results yesterday and the best part is I can still walk. I have to go and see a spine specialist for spinal surgery eval and they also told me that nursing is no more. Oh, if I want to sit behind a desk and push papers all day I can but I am one of the nurses that like to get out and work directly with my patients. If they need to be turned or help to the bathroom, that's my idea of nursing. I have always worked as a floor nurse and now all of that is gone. I have several injuries to my back so maybe if all you have is a herniated disk maybe they can take care of it and you won't have to give up your dream like I am. Feel free to PM me and we can talk.
    Last edit by UM Review RN on Jun 11, '09 : Reason: email
  9. by   LeaRNed
    I was in the exact same predicament as you just over a year ago. I fell and herniated a disk (L5) and was in horrible pain. I was in school to be a nurse and was worried about the exact same thing. But I am here to tell you that with some time and physical therapy (especially stretching exercises), the pain finally subsided. I am now in my second clinical rotation and have not had any problems. Practicing proper body mechanics helps prevent another herniation. But believe me I have been there, unsure and worried, (and in lots of pain), but it should subside. Honestly it was about 3 months before mine did, but I swear the stretching and physical therapy helped the most..there is hope!!Good Luck!
  10. by   sunray12
    Quote from beachbutterfly
    yeah however she can do different type of nursing that dont require much lifting,she can be a school nurse, ob nurse,psych nurse,peds nurse,or nurse,or work in doctore office just to mention few.
    i can't speak to the other specialities but mobility of any kind is challenging when you have back pain. peds and or aren't known as "back friendly" specialties. some peds patients are the same size as adults and some peds patients are technically adults. and while a dr office can be a little less hectic than the hospital floor, i don't think dr office nurse is a sit down job. if op is dealing with chronic back pain then she is going to have to figure out if there's a way that she can manage it through nursing school and as a working nurse.
  11. by   Valerie Salva
    Quote from beachbutterfly
    Yeah however she can do different type of nursing that dont require much lifting,she can be a school nurse, OB nurse,psych nurse,peds nurse,OR nurse,or work in doctore office just to mention few.
    She asked: "Please tell me he was just talking out his arsh and this isn't true! or if it is please just be honest with me"

    My reply was factual and honest. Perhaps she can still be a nurse, but she still has to make it through nursing school and clinicals before she can find a more back-friendly nursing specialty.

    Nurses are at high risk for back injuries, and becoming a nurse with an already compromised back increases the likelyhood of becoming disabled. Best to go in with your eyes open.
  12. by   arelle68
    There is a New Zealand Physical Therapist named Robin McKenzie. You should study his technique, and try it before you decide you need surgery, or that your career is changing. I know that back pain hurts like nothing else. I also believe that you may fully recover.
  13. by   GilaRRT
    We are not able to provide medical advice per the TOS agreement. You need to discuss your concerns with your PCP. I absolutely feel for you as I am in the middle of a similar situation and cannot say how things are going to end. Good luck.
  14. by   wooh
    I had a HUGE L4-5 herniation along with smaller ones above and below. Hit me in nursing school. (Ironically, while I'm sure PCT and CNA work didn't help my back, I was at home when I felt the "pop" that did me in.) Had to have surgery. Reherniated again a couple years ago. That time steroids and physical therapy fixed me up. I do have to be careful. But I love what I do. If I were you, I sure wouldn't work full-time as a nursing home CNA while in school (NOTHING is worse on your back than that!) but I'm a nurse and surviving. Do I have days where I've got an ice pack stuffed in the back of my underwear most of the day? Yep. Do I tend to buy ibuprofen and naproxen in bulk to get me through periods where I haven't kept up with my stretches? Yep. But while I feel your doc did give you a very valid warning, depending on how determined you are to work at recovering from your injury and staying back healthy, being a nurse isn't out of the question.

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