I'm a 20 year old female who has a L5 S1 herniated disc. It's strange I know, but the weirdest thing is that I have has this problem for 4 years now.
It all happened the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I was captain of the swim team and swimming state times. One week when I was off of work, my sister and I decided to go cliff jumping at a lake near our house. The next day, my back was really bothering me. The cliff jumping wasn't the main reason it started. We just figured that it was the last straw my back could handle.
The year before, I was in a car wreck and I was lying down in the back seat with the lap belt over me and we got t-boned and I flew into the front seat. The month before, I was working as a lifeguard and had to pull a 200 lb kid out by myself while the other guard slept. So, when I went cliff jumping, I guess you can say it finished the job.
I told my mom who is a nurse and asked her what I should do. She told me that I should go see the doctor so I did and he gave me some Ibprophen and pain killers.
After a month of no change, my Dr. sent me to physical therapy. When that wasn't working, they had me go in for an MRI and they found out that I had a herniated disc.
They gave me exercises to do and told me that I would grow out of it. They also told me that I could not compete on the high school swim team and that if I wanted to swim, I could only do certain things and I was totally bummed.
Well, I haven't grown out of it like they said I would and I've been living with it for 4 years. I feel like I have tried everything. I did the physical therapy. I do yoga. I swim as a workout and stretch. I've done the cortisone shots and they only worked for a little bit. Now it's a matter of time before I get the surgery.