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Herniated disk

Liam Bal

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Oct 31, 2016
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3
#1
My name is Liam I am a junior in college, I want to enlist after I graduate and hopefully get into 19th group and then attend SFAS. I herniated a disk(L4-L5) my freshman year so I have been dealing with this for two years now. Back pain is not really a problem for me, but the sciatic leg pain bothers me everyday. The only way to relieve the leg pain is surgery(yes I've tried PT and chiropractor). When I ruck it doesn't bother me it is mostly flexibility. My main question is after a waiver will I be able to get into the military?
Thank you
 

Red Flag 1

Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Loannis Hierosoymitani
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#3
A herniated disc @ L4-5 & L-5 S1, are where things usually start with chronic Low Back Pain(LBP). The diagnosis can vary in severity. First is an Annular Bulge, which means the disc is a little out of line, and pushing into perispinal soft tissue. Second is a Disc Herniation, where the disc has been displaced, and has resulted with a narrowing of the L4-5 interspace. Third is a ruptured disc with disc contents, a jelly like substance, leaked into the surrounding soft tissue. The disc contents are rather caustic to the soft tissue around it, and it can be very painful. I have made the leap in guessing that you have already seen a doc, and have had your back pain worked up. Surgery is not the only way to treat the radiating leg pain you are having.

With any of the above, I rather doubt that the Military will see you as fit for service. There are a wide range of treatment modalities, and surgery can be one of them. You should go to a recruiter, as @Ooh-Rah has suggested. See what they have to say.

I wish you luck with your back pain, and your efforts to enter active military service.
 

DocIllinois

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Sep 10, 2015
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#4
Life in your intended career path under a ruck, jumping out of planes, being on your feet for hours and hours at a time, and constant physical training to stay in top condition, among many other such things, will make the prognosis of your spine very bad in short order.

I agree with @Ooh-Rah - how probable getting into the Army is starts with a recruiter and, at this point, likely an orthopedic specialist who works with spines.

19th Group would not be getting a good product to work with, though, if your back isn't fixed and healed very, very well, IMHO.
 

Red Flag 1

Ordo Fratrum Hospitalis Loannis Hierosoymitani
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#5
My name is Liam I am a junior in college, I want to enlist after I graduate and hopefully get into 19th group and then attend SFAS. I herniated a disk(L4-L5) my freshman year so I have been dealing with this for two years now. Back pain is not really a problem for me, but the sciatic leg pain bothers me everyday. The only way to relieve the leg pain is surgery(yes I've tried PT and chiropractor). When I ruck it doesn't bother me it is mostly flexibility. My main question is after a waiver will I be able to get into the military?
Thank you
The US Army Regulation for physical conditions, requirements, and limitations, is AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fitness.

For spine issues, toggle down to 2-33, on page 15. I hope this answers some of your questions: http://www.brooksidepress.org/Produ...brary/MilitaryTexts/Training/Army/r40_501.pdf.
 
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DocIllinois

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#6
The US Army Regulation for physical conditions requirements, and limitations, is AR 40-501, Standards of Medical Fittness.

For spine issues, toggle down to 2-33, on page 15. I hope this answers some of your questions: http://www.brooksidepress.org/Produ...brary/MilitaryTexts/Training/Army/r40_501.pdf.
I see two entries you'd fall under just from a skim of that document, @Liam Bal, and doubt the current version of that AR says anything too much different.

Waivers do get approved for some off the wall stuff, though. I'll be interested in your headway if you decide to step off on this mission.

As stated, be careful messing around with your spine with something like combat arms service, though. Take it from someone who knows, and who regularly treats the chronically bad spines of vets who went into the Army with great bodies.
 

RackMaster

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#9
As someone that spent over 10 years in the Army with a herniated disc in the same location as yours, among others, my advice is to find a new path in life. It will only degrade over time, the pain only gets worse and can lead to paralysis.

If you want advice on treatments or how to live with it, I'm more than willing to help.
 
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AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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#10
Back issues are no joke. I can't imagine doing much of anything in the military with a herniated disk, but I wish the OP luck.
 

Snake

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#11
Do everything you can to strengthen your back and attempt to ignore the pain when you really aren't hurting it. Give Traction, Electric therapy and accupuncture a try before you give up your goal.
 

Ooh-Rah

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#12
Do everything you can to strengthen your back and attempt to ignore the pain when you really aren't hurting it. Give Traction, Electric therapy and accupuncture a try before you give up your goal.
Dude are you qualified to be giving advice like that? Especially about the back?
 

Snake

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#13
Dude are you qualified to be giving advice like that? Especially about the back?
I injured my back playing football and have done everything you could imagine to fix it and finally did a few years ago. I know what it took for me.

And those "therapies" are all ones that you don't need an order from a doctor to go do. Just like PT (for certain # of days until insurance would like a doctor's order) and chiropractic. I wasn't saying anything radical like getting x surgery because of x reason. I was just sharing what I've done.
 
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RackMaster

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#14
I injured my back playing football and have done everything you could imagine to fix it and finally did a few years ago. I know what it took for me.
You're still a kid. Ignoring any back pain is idiotic at best, pain is there for a reason and should not be ignored. Take it from someone dealing with back pain for over 15 years and ignored it for at least 5. As for your "fixed" back, come back and say that in 5 or 10 years; especially after a few years of humping your body weight on your back.
 

Devildoc

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#16
From a voice of experience....you do not, do NOT, want to join only to have big military medicine try to fix it or string it along and get worse. I have a whole host of low back pathology, including disc issues, that can be traced to something that happened in the Navy. If I did not have sciatica and chronic low back pain I would be sad....they have been constant companions for many years.

As an aside, if you are looking to not have surgery and treat symptomatically, ask about a referral for a nerve root injection/epidural steroid injection.
 

TLDR20

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#17
I injured my back playing football and have done everything you could imagine to fix it and finally did a few years ago. I know what it took for me.

And those "therapies" are all ones that you don't need an order from a doctor to go do. Just like PT (for certain # of days until insurance would like a doctor's order) and chiropractic. I wasn't saying anything radical like getting x surgery because of x reason. I was just sharing what I've done.
So the answer to his question was "fuck no I'm not qualified"
 

TLDR20

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#18
A herniated disk isn't something to be shocked away, and working through the pain is certainly not the answer. I would not attempt to go through any type of intensive selection process with a severe INJURY. I capitalize injury because there is a difference between being hurt, and having an injury. One can be driven through, but a diagnosed herniated disk is not one of those.
 

Snake

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#19
You're still a kid. Ignoring any back pain is idiotic at best, pain is there for a reason and should not be ignored. Take it from someone dealing with back pain for over 15 years and ignored it for at least 5. As for your "fixed" back, come back and say that in 5 or 10 years; especially after a few years of humping your body weight on your back.
As far as me ignoring it to some degree is what worked for me. It was almost like I was able to turn it off by blocking out the signal. I will let you all know in about 4 years when I finish college (will have been about 6 years at that point) how my back is..... As I've said just expressing what I've done and the shit ton of research I've done as well.
 

Ooh-Rah

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#20
As far as me ignoring it to some degree is what worked for me. It was almost like I was able to turn it off by blocking out the signal. I will let you all know in about 4 years when I finish college (will have been about 6 years at that point) how my back is..... As I've said just expressing what I've done and the shit ton of research I've done as well.
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