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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Oh wow. I got so sad for a moment-I was just reading my own problem-and so understand what you are going through. Though, mine is not related to any kind of accident, though oh how I wish it were, then I would know why atleast or how. Maybe we can kinda help each other out here. You are a bit further in treatments than I am though, I have only had PT, ESI, massage and a TENS unit. I haven't really been aggressive the past few months about my treatment as I could be. So, I guess I'll share my story. I was going to post here anyway cause I need help too. I am not sure if I will duplicate my story, but I thought posting on yours would be good so you knew there was someone else out there who is going through similar stuff.This might be long, so get comfortable-if you can. I am propped up in bed with my laptop and am on a heating pad, and have been on it for the past five hours.
Okay......
I am recovering from a two level fusion in my lumbar spine. I am not having much in the way of problems with that, thank goodness. I had the disks in L4-5 and L5-S1 removed in December 2004. I actually went on disability in June 2004 because of shoulder and neck pain. My back pain did accompany it though. I had an MRI before my surgery of my neck too. It showed a small herniation at C5-6, some degenerative changes at a couple of levels above it. I have according to the MRI loss of lordosis as well. Xrays didn't show any problems with my shoulder. I have burning pain from my waist up to the base of my head. Some times I get sharp muscular pain in the upper traps (connection between side of neck and top of shoulder), back of my neck, front of my neck. I can pinch the skin very lightly in the front and it is painful. Most of the pain feels like it is between the ribs and under and on the bones of the shoulders and scapulas. I have some growing sciatica in my butt and off and on pain in my legs, though that might just be chronic stuff I have to deal with, not horrible though. My feet hurt, I get pain on the lateral side of my left forearm and down the top of the arm (I used to have a pinched nerve, but it has resolved). There are so many spots.
SO, I did myofacial release and neck strengthening and it was great til I left. Then it just tightened back up again, same with massage. The tens was fine if I had just ONE spot that hurt, but with like fifty sore spots it was impossible to keep on. I used it for a week and it has been collecting dust ever since (anyone know if I can sell it? Sheesh, still paying the darn thing off!).
I did traction and ESI a while back, not much help. I just recently had Botox, and it didn't help. I was pretty upset. I was so hopeful. SO, then I went to a Rhuematologist to see if I had Fibro. While I had ALL the tender points, I was mostly asymptomatic for fibro. THe tenderpoints and fatigue are about all I have. I can work out and I don't hurt worse, but then again, I don't feel better either.
So, that was a NO. I just emailed the head of ortho at our university and he actually emailed me less than three hours later (how cool is that?) and unfort. he doesn't have a spine specialist/surgeon on staff right now, and won't until June. He recommended another dr, the one I work with and don't care for and was my first doctor with my initial back injury in 1999. I can't decide if I should just bite the bullet (and my ego) and see him again, or hold out until June.
See, I am in nursing school and simply can't miss. I am okay for the first hour of class and clinicals then the burning starts and just progresses. I have until July, when I graduate.
Motrin and Tylenol do nada. I take Zanaflex every night. I have percocet 5mg but I only take 1/2 of one. I get so tired, I hurt all the time. SOMETHING always hurts, burns, aches, whatever. I am only 28 and to be told by the last dr I saw that I just need to learn to live with it almost destroyed me. AND I have TRIED to. I am just not sure I have the energy to. BUt, I don't want to succomb to chronic pain either. I have to find out if there IS sometihing causing this. There HAS to be. I don't give up easily. We are young, there should be an answer. Most likely, if things progress this way, I will end up with Fibro and I am just not ready to accept that.
I saw a dr at work, a DO and one day he did some manipulation. See, he did a spine fellowship and they have a different way of looking at the body. Well, whatever he did helped me so much. I felt much better. It has worn off and I can't find one I can go to regularly. He said I was so knotted up he could work on me for three hours. My pelvis, pubic bone muscles, muscles of my breast bone, ribs, knees, hips-gosh so many spots hurt when he pressed on them. And though I was sore the next day(it is like being stretched, he didn't crunch me at ALL) I could feel a difference. Whatever I get or don't get from the next spine dr I see, I will try my darndness to find a good DO who does that manipulation(most are in private practice).
Jeeze this is long.
I sure hope you can get some help through all of this too, I know how miserable it is to live like this. My question often is:
How NORMAL is it for a 28/27 y/o to have chronic pain if there is no MAJOR damage? According to the drs I have seen too, that stupid little herniation ISN'T THE PROBLEM. well then, PLEASE, by all means tell me what is. I mean, what kind of problems cause constant muscular spasms, tightness, burning and aching in young people??? I wish to Zeus someone could answer this one teen question for me!!!! And you of course. If I find something that helps me, I will let you know as soon as I possibly can. In the mean time, try to rest as much as you can. Attempt to get rid of as many stressors as you can, take nice hot relaxing baths (though, just after it feels like the bath never happened). I live on a heating pad when I am home.
Please keep me updated on how you feel. There are people on here who understand and this board saved me when I was going through the problems I had over a year ago, and now I turn to them again now.





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