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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello, everyone!

As a newbie I'll do my best to keep this brief--I need all the help and suggestions I can get.

About fifteen months ago I fell off my back porch, twisted around and landed on my lower back. Ever since then I have been suffering with pain in my lower left lumbar area. I've had X-Rays and a CT Scan performed with a prognosis of degenerative arthritis. Recently, however, I obtained a second opinion from another general practitioner who said I have two slipped discs and "chronic spasms," as well as degenerative arthritis.

I am taking Tylenol #4 (1 tablet 3 times a daily) for the pain, Ibuprofen (800 mgs./3-4 times a day) for inflamation and have tried several different kinds of muscle relaxers, including Flexeril (very expensive and made me feel sick so I do not take it anymore), Baclofen (which did nothing for the spasms) and Soma (another muscle relaxer that did not seem to help at all).

I attempted physical therapy for twelve weeks and ended up in even worse pain than before. I saw a chiropractor twice and, in both cases left the office feeling a little better--then, without fail, an hour later, the pain came raging back...worse than before. My primary physician has even suggested acupuncture: unfortunately the nearest practitioner of acupuncture is about 2 1/2 hours from where I live.

A friend of mine--who is a registered nurse--suggested I talk to my doctor about ordering an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging); she assured me that the procedure is safe and will show far more details regarding my back pain than an X-Ray or a CT Scan.

My quality of life has degenerated significantly since December, 2004 when I fell off the back porch. I am desparate to return to a normal life again. I'm 36 and in otherwise good health. I have a beautiful, supportive wife and three wonderful kids who I'd love to spend more time with. Unfortunately, my back pain limits my activities so much that I have even considered seeking counseling to deal with the emotional depression it causes.

Could anyone please suggest some ideas regarding how I could better manage the pain in my back? Should I consider surgery? Are there alternatives available that I have not considered?

Thank you very much for your responses and suggestions.

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