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Well Delia I'm glad you found something that works for you. I am a little surprised that icing would not help a bulging disc shrink, and also surprised the disc hasn't retracted.

My understanding is that heat, while providing almost instant relief, draws blood to the area where it is applied (on any part of the body). This is an inflammatory reaction, and once the heat is removed, the pain comes back, sometimes worse than before due to inflammation.

There is no "one size fits all" for back pain. Way too complex. And as for that surgeon and his attitude, the hell with him. You deserve better!

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Replies to "Well Delia I'm glad you found something that works for you. I am a little surprised..."

Gracias for responding, Joe...
My pain management doctor (who has been handling my back and hip pain, as well as the CRPS in left foot), supports using the pad for alleviating my at-times seriously intense pain. No, heat does not provide instant relief, it does take time, and whether applied to my back or my foot/ankle, will take a minimum of about an hour (for ankle) and up to a few hours for the lumbar area. But how sweet it is when I can finally move without intense pain! Residual low pain yes, but no high-scoring pain. And no, I do not experience worsened pain after heat is removed, nor does it come back with vengeance. When it does, it is not biting into my back, thank God!

My pain management doctor provided relief this past Friday, because the hip pain did not allow me to ambulate. Dang those needles hurt! But what blessed relief! I was actually smiling yesterday, and able to make rolls to go with the homemade pasta sauce (with ground chicken meatballs). Today, Monday, I am still happy to have been released from the pain in lumbar area. The hip joint still hurts a bit (P.Scale 5 to 6) but there's osteoarthritis at play also. And I can walk, and ambulate the stairs.
Will be seeking help from spine specialist (which my pain doctor supports, seeing how complicated the issues are in my lower spine).

@heyjoe415 I just wanted to chime in here. Spinal discs in adults do not have a blood supply so probably don't respond like other body parts to heat or cold. That is why damage to them becomes a problem and over time. The moisture in the discs dries out as we age and discs naturally shrink a bit. If they are herniated and the inner jelly like nucleus is spilled out, the disc will loose some height because of that. I had that situation and my disc lost half it's height before my cervical fusion spine surgery. While the spine is forming and growing, there is a blood supply, but it disappears during normal development. Discs are also under a lot of pressure bearing 80% of body weight on the discs in the spine while the other 20% is on the facet joints of the spine. I have heard of bulging discs that can stop bulging, and I've had that with one of mine as a result of physical therapy and seen that on my MRIs of the thoracic spine.