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Thread: Herniated disc: What does it mean for amateur machinist?

  1. #21
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    Apr 2011
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    I had no stenosis(narrowing of the disc due to age) I bought an inverion table at a great deal $300+ for $25 (had to get a deal in there as I haven't made one all except over the phone) anyway my physical therapist warned against using it after 50 because risk of stroke. It didn't do me ant good anyway. I went thru the epedurmal shots in the spine also. That's when my legs starting collapsing & surgury was decided. Everyone make sure you have long term disability insurance. It kicks in at 6 months. Don't waste your money on short turm you can make it 6 months & they cost about the same, I had bought that policy 20 years prior.
    "The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich theory of life." Theodore Roosevelt

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    I've had two "collapsed" disks and two more "ready to go" - not nice - the sciatica and other effects were very "not nice" either- caused by stupid lifting in the shop.

    I was in traction for two weeks, was very limited in what I could do for quile a while (many months) and had to do my "physio" twice a day for two years - and I did it - never missed!!!.

    I am super careful of what I lift and how as I seem to have no after effects but the back is weakened and can "let go" if I am silly.

    It, together with age (75) is the reason I've got rid of all my heavy/heavier-lift machines, tools and accessories and when necessary have the gear to lift what I have left - and I use them.

    I am very lucky and I've seen my horoscope and a repeat by me of my own stupidity is not in the offing, but if it is it will be my own fault.

    All too often it is caused by sometihing (a "lift" particularly while "twisting") that you'd done "lottsa times" and then due to wear (and tear) the disks "lets go" (big time). Seems just like lifting an awkward/big machine or lathe chuck or large mill vise doesn't it - and it just maybe what it is.

    As others have said it can change your whole life and future and well as that of others.

    I can tell you from my own experience and that of others that it can bring the biggest and best "bullet-proof" "iron-men" to their knees. If he's lucky he will get up - but if he doesn't or can't he's in for a hard future - and so is his family.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herniated_disk

    http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&gs_n...w=1920&bih=851

  3. #23
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    Jun 2002
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    Grand Blanc Michigan
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    While I have no disk problems, my back gives me a lot of pain. The problem is is a variety of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. The spine is slowly fusing, arthritis deposits bridging around the disks. Several of my lumbar vertebrae have already fused and just this summer I am beginning to suffer some neuropathy in my feet - no pain, just the feeling of cold wet socks that ain't so. The doc did nerve tests of my feet and legs to rule out diabetic or ordinary neuropathy. They all worked fine but the signal is being impeded at the spine.
    I have lost considerable range of motion in my back and neck. The arthritis also affects my ribs and sternum limiting chest expansion and breathing so I "belly breathe".

    I am beginning to stoop over and if if I live long enough the spine will fuse from top to bottom into a condition called "bamboo spine". I can still lift pretty well, but I have to avoid falls and hard bumps that could "fracture" these frozen joints. Indeed, when I first lay down in bed, a joint that has had all day to try and fuse will "let loose" with the brief but excruciating pain of a broken bone. After that
    I sleep well enough until a general ache forces me to get up 6 or 7 hours later.

    There is nothing aside from pain relievers to do for the condition but adapt and move on.
    Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
    ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

  4. #24
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    Sep 2007
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    North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPM22 View Post
    I have had a fair bit of experience with disc issues, and one thing that will help you avoid surgery is decompression of the spine. It has been shown that if the downward pressure of the spine on the discs is removed, then it is possible, if the discs aren't too damaged, for them to resume their previous healthy shape and thickness.
    Well, I herniated my first disk about 30 years ago and removed the downward pressure every night since then. Generally for about 8 hours. Didn't help.

    Not to sound too prejudiced but if a chiropractor (and one of them is a personal friend of mine) solved a person's back problem, they didn't have much of a problem.

    Steve

  5. #25
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    Jan 2009
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    +1 on the inversion table. It has worked well for both my wife and me. Just don't go overboard, start off easy. I bought mine off CL for $75. The best 75 buck I ever spent. No more pills, chiropractors , message therapists or other phonies.

    Randy

  6. #26
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    Jul 2003
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    I have the same arthritis that Wes has only worse, have the bamboo spine fused solid from my waist to the top of my neck. After all that I went and broke my fool neck at c-6 and c7, one of the top surgeons in the state set it and got me healed up but when standing I now look down at a 45 degree angle. Now to get back on topic my brother suffered with 3 herniated discs in his low back and for several yrs. they kept telling him surgery, I got him in to the Dr. who set my neck, and after checking him over and looking at his MRI, his exact words to him were as good as you are getting around don't let them cut on you. A couple of yrs. later he tried acupuncture and has done pretty well for the last 5 yrs. or so, once in a while he has to go in for a tuneup, but is glad he toughed it out. If you are getting nerve damage then I can see where surgery pretty quick might be warranted.
    James

  7. #27
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    Oct 2004
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    Prestatyn, North-Wales
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    I had surgery for herniated disks 17 years ago.
    the surgeon never told me what it involved .
    I'm still in pain ..my disks are degenerating .

    I've only just found out via yo tube videos what was involved.
    and why I'm still in pain..with more degeneration going on.

    They snap off the bony protrusions on your spine to get at the discs ..literally ..snap them off with a pincer.

    These protrusions are the anchor points and guides of the ligaments and muscle.

    I've just had an MRI in December ..the results show the muscle tissue in that area twisted and fused up into a mass of what looks to be non functional, incapable of supporting your lower back or carrying / spreading the load equally between the discs..like it should do.

    had I seen those videos ..I wouldn't have let the surgeon near me ..

    I would have found alternative treatments


    all the best.markj

  8. #28
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    Nov 1999
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    Here is the title and question in the OP:

    Herniated disc: What does it mean for amateur machinist?
    Here is the text of it:

    Quote Originally Posted by taydin View Post
    Last week was a nightmare week because of intense lumbar pain. Had this type of pain on and off in the past years, but always dismissed it as some kind of a stiff back. But this time it was quite severe and didn't respond to applying heat with a hair dryer or taking a hot shower. So went to the doctor, got an MRI. The result, 3 herniated discs, one of them ruptured and applying pressure to the spinal nerves... The doc wants me to undergo surgery as soon as possible. I will get the opinion of a few more doctors and will do everything possible to avoid surgery.

    So, what is this going to mean for an amateur machinist?
    There are two very pertinent questions there that are basically the same and should not be ignored or glossed over:

    1. Herniated disc: What does it mean for amateur machinist?; and

    2. So, what is this going to mean for an amateur machinist?

    If you have a prolapsed disk - as you have - the answer/s are that it, "it depends" on how bad it is and what the medical people intend doing about it - and what you agree to - and what your condition and capabilities after it are.

    It might not just affect you using your shop either as it can affect a whole lot of things, your employment and other people.

    Don't hurry back to the shop and take it easy - another prolapse is not something to look forward to.

    Best of luck.

  9. #29
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    Oct 2004
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    DFW Texas
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    I've had lower back pain since i was in Junior high. I used to hang by my knees from a clothesline pole once a month to relieve it.
    A few years later I was found to have severe scoliosis - my spine from the back looked like a letter 'S'.

    It's now 45 years later and I have no back problems other than minor discomfort, which means I need some therapy.

    For me that means walking out the backdoor to where I have a chinning bar hanging from a tree limb. I use that to stretch my back for about 30 seconds, once month. Keeps my back working, and surprisingly, my scoliosis is about 30% what it was when I was a kid.

    I did try an inversion table. Doesn't work for me, aggravates my BP. It says on them not to use it if ou have high blood pressure.

    Maybe I'm lucky. I've never been very strong, so I don't tackle much that's heavy without some sort of mechanical aid.

  10. #30
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    Apr 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    For me that means walking out the backdoor to where I have a chinning bar hanging from a tree limb. I use that to stretch my back for about 30 seconds, once month. Keeps my back working, and surprisingly, my scoliosis is about 30% what it was when I was a kid.
    So you just hang from the bar using your hands, body in a normal vertical position or do you hang upside down with your legs hooked around the bar behind your knees?

    My head would literally explode if I had to hang upside down but I think I could hang by my hands pretty well.
    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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