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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

i'm sorry to hear you are suffering so with pain. all the folks here can relate in some way to your situation.

i had a herniated disk at L4/L5 fragmented/pressing on L5 nerve - creating INCREDIBLE, unbearable pain that radiated down my leg, like my leg was on fire. the surgery i just had has fixed that THANK GOD, and i have a long road ahead of PT and being extremely careful about how i do things. i was so immobile from the pain prior to surgery i started having upper back spasms, which sounds like it might be the pain you describe - my upper back pain was so extreme pain that it felt like someone was squeezing my chest from the back, it's a take-your-breath away sort of pain. ice wors great (if you don't have an ice pack, try a bag of peas or some such thing from your freezer). also muscle relaxants (flexeril worked for this kind of pain, or advil/motrin). in my case it was related to me not moving a lot for such a long time.

is your doc a neurosurgeon? have you had an MRI? i agree about not starting PT before the MRI. PT made me worse. i tried lots of different meds, none really worked on my nerve pain - surgery was the only answer for my situation. hopefully the ESI will work for you, i'll keep my fingers crossed. my doctor worked a lot with me while i was waiting for tests, surgery, etc. i'd call and talk to her nurse when a pain med was not working...and they helped try and find something that would at least take the edge off.

pain really sucks, it's so really put me in a very bad place. i got to be so depressed that i talked to my doc about trying an anti-depressant as a pain relief/depression fix...i'd read that some anti-depressants in low doses are used for pain they help with depression/anxiety. that same week, i got my neurosurgery appt moved, and it's amazing what THAT did for my mental state - hope is an amazing thing, better then any drug.

believe it or not, when i was having particularly bad days, deep breathing helped me as i would sort of start to panic about the amount of pain i was having. wouldn't make the pain go away of course, but put me in a better place to deal with it. i would lie on the floor and take deep breaths.....please don't think i'm just saying "take deep breaths and that'll fix everything"....i KNOW how much pain is involved in these things...on a scale of 1-10, my pain was a 15 for MUCH of the time - and many of us here live with/have lived with pain that would bring a non-back-pain sufferer to their knees.

i hope you find relief soon, and take heart, there are so many here that have been where you are - i'm almost 2 weeks post op and am walking around and finally enjoying life for the first time in a long time. so there IS hope, don't lose sight of that.

take care,

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