Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Chronic pain is running my life!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello Everyone! :H
I'm a Newbie here, but I finally decided to post on a regular topic and hope to get some help. I've been doing a lot of resaerch, and have even found some of things that I've been looking up right here on this message board. Thank goodness! Maybe someone can answer a question I have. First of all, let me tell you a little about my situation. I have had 2 surgery's, 1 laminectomy and one spine fusion both which have failed. I also have nerve damage from it and fibromyalgia. I also have upper back and neck problems doe to scoliosis. I'm 33, female, and am no longer able to work. This has been going on for about 10 years now, except for the upper back problems which I've had since I was a teenager. I've been seeing my pain management doctor for 4 years and I like him but I think he's getting too old and maybe needs to retire. He's always forgetting what is wrong with me, suggested that I lose 80 pounds, which would put me at well below 100pounds, and I'm 5'7". He told me this just the other day. I told him that was way too much and that I would be a stick figure and he told me "that's the point". Here is my big question. I have been wondering about the RF procedure because I have a lot of scar tissue and that causes the most pain, im my opinion. I asked him what he thought of it and he said that he's never heard of it. He also said that if he hasn't heard of it, then it's something that only quacks do, and told me to stay away from it. Is this a real procedure, has anyone had any success with this, and who is right? I really had my hopes up. I haven't had a new MRI in 5 years, so he's ordering a new one now. He says that if it shows that PT would benefit me that he will refer me. Just as all of you, I am miserable and not able to do anything anymore. BTW, my pain management doctor is well into his 70's, is it time to find a new one? I take Oxycontin 80 mil twice a day, lexapro for depression, xanax for anxiety attacks, and phenergan for nausea. I could use all of the input I could get. Please help if you can!
Thank you!


  • Chronic pain is a very hard thing to deal with especially being young its even harder. I am 30 and a mom of 3 kids, I know I have depression, but its due to the pain and surgeries. and can completely relate to what you are going threw.

    But I do agree you need to get a new pain management Dr. if you are in that much pain and failed surgeries you need a younger Dr that is up to date with technology. You are to young to not to being doing something bout your back. If I was you I would not stop until you have a good treatment plan and PT and a game plan, not to be mean but your Dr is doing what my old one did and that was just to give meds and let you be. Remember you are in control of your treatment an getting to a point where you can tolerate the activities of daily life.

    I would look for a hospital that has several clinics in it. Like a spine clinic, chronic pain clinic, physical therapy, that way you have several Dr.s working together to get the best treatment possible.

    Trust me I know what you are going threw and happy you joined SH its a great place for support and information, not to mention the chat room is great place to share infor and just talk w others that have the same issues.

    Take care
  • I hate to admit this but I actually feel guilty leaving my doctor but you're right. All he's doing is keeping me on med's and nothing else. I have read so many threads on here where other people are doing so many other types of methods for their treatment and I feel like I'm just old milk left on the counter to curdle. I'm too young to curdle! :D Wow, you have children to take care of, I don't know how you do that! I can't even work anymore. Luckily we decided not to have children because I really don't know how I would be able to take care of them. Sometimes I can't even take care of myself! Well, I'm really starting to hurt right now, I wish I had a laptop! So I had better go put myself back into the fridge until I feel better. :))( I hope to hear from you again sometime! BTW, does it seem odd to you that my pain doctor has never heard of RF? Or is this really new? If you know!
  • You feel bad about leaving your Pain Doc because you are a nice person. Nothing wrong with that. But let it go and find a new one. What you are looking for is a very common procedure and almost always works. You will get better!
    Chronic severe pain is TRAUMATIC and people who have been traumatized start thinking that everything is their fault.

    FROM health.discovery.com
    "The term "radio frequency" essentially means utilizing electricity to manage pain, typically to produce heat in the affected area. Radiofrequency lesioning utilizes radiofrequency electricity to produce heat in order to melt away nerves or other tissues.

    Radiofrequency is used to treat several areas of the back causing back pain, such as diseased or injured facet joints or the spinal discs. The facet joints prevent us from being able to lean and bend as far backward as we are able to bend forward. These joints can become diseased and cause significant amounts of pain in the back. The radiofrequency lesioning procedure can be used to melt away nerves that cause pain within these facet joints of the back.

    When utilized to treat back pain in the spinal discs, there is a special type of radiofrequency utilized called IDET, or Intradiscal-Electro-Thermal-Annuloplasty, which is a big term for threading a thin filament into the disc and applying heat to the inside surface. The heat serves to do many different things, one of which is to reduce pain. However, physicians are not absolutely sure what exactly the mechanism is for reducing this pain; we believe it may have to do with melting the pain nerves within the disc, or by helping the disc to restructure itself and become more supportive and sealed.

    Radiofrequency is usually a technique that is used to directly damage tissue in hopes of actually healing the tissue and relieving pain in the body. This procedure is almost always accompanied by some degree of risk. Thus, the use of this technology must be accompanied with caution and care, particularly with consideration for the long-term risks of the therapy.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,728
    It sound to me like you already have been given very good advice. So I will just welcome you to S.H.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Thank you so much for taking the time to explain all of that to me. That more than I've learned from all of the reading I've done on it so far! Actually, you managed to put it into non doctor language so I could understand it so much better. And thank you also for understandng why it's hard to leave my current doctor. I always feel like I'm going to hurt someone's feelings or make them think that I didn't like them. That's not the case at all of course, I just seriously need some help so I can still have a shot at a future. I'm not ready to give up yet! And yes, I will weigh the risk to benefit very carefully. I wish I could hug you! >:D<
  • J.howie,
    Thank you very much for the warm welcome. Yes, Dr. Eric really helped me to understand the RF procedure so much better, and to not feel so darn guilty when it comes to changing doctors. I hope you have a nice evening!
  • Has given me great relief. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Painintheback, I would really be interested in hearing all about it. If you don't mind of course. You can either tell me here, or send me a pm. I'm sure it's a long story so I won't put the pressure on you to tell it if it's too much. But thank you for letting me know that is was indeed successful for you! I'm very happy for you! :D
  • It is everyone’s objective here to reduce the pain that they have and live an improved quality of life, those nuances of improvement are not always possible and we determine the risk of making things worse on the pretext of some immeasurable improvement.

    If we go with the notion that some improvement must be possible or even available we continue our quest unabated, as with me, some element of reality has to determine my future that no specific cure is possible and we live in an age where the rhetoric and reality differ, that hope should and does drive us forward and no easy solution is available. With the coming of age comes all those hopes and dreams of our youth and the plans we made, having those thwarted and seeing others not incumbent of restriction is sad and a loss and should be treated as such. The duration and intensity of that angst is individuals and I would never suggest that anyone gives in to the pain, however difficult that is on a daily basis.

    Managing it means having some control for yourself, this requires some begrudging acceptance that this is how it will be and many here are required to make the best of it, would it be better that you were given false hope, we always have the thought that a remedy is just around the corner and I am not a statistician, but the odds are against us.

    Having chronic pain at any age is never easy, for the past, present and future always difficult to accept and live with, only within those windows of opportunity do you have some hope for a changed quality of life and I read your words with an additional message other that the written one, only you know your pain and with my 17 years of experience I wished I had been helped sooner and reduce the possibility of collective facets of difficulty develop with earlier intervention could have been managed more effectively.

    I cannot make your pain go away, I wish I could as with everyone, you are learning to know yourself and we all need to continue monitoring and developing new strategies to improve our control however small that is.

    Take care, you are already on the way to something bigger by understand yourself better.


  • Welcome.
    Everyone pretty much said it all already.
    Please do not ever feel guilty about switching Drs.
    The younger ones out there "sometimes" are up to date on all the new procedures and what type of treatment may help you and you only.
    Everyone is unique in chronic pain. Chronic pain covers a wide range of people from age A-Z.
    Your not alone, don't ever feel that way .
    Some days may feel hopeless and that there is nothing that can be done.
    But once you have found that right dr, the right treatments along with the right medication combo, your life may feel "norm" again. I am in no way saying PERFECT but able to carry on day to day fuctions..

    Hang in there we are all here to support you and know what your feeling and thinking.
    I am in the battle with you right now in finding the "right" dr to treat me for my issues.

    Terri >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • I've been dealing with this for about 10 years nows and it's been the last 3 years that have been the worst. And actually, this last year has gotten even more out of control. I certainly don't hold out any false hope that I will ever be painfree, I don't even care if I was painfree, I just wish I could get it to a tolerable level. Say, a 5 on the pain scale. With that I could get a big part of my life. It may never happen but I'm not ready to give up hope yet!
  • Cali-Sue sent me to a link about bone grafting and BMP for spine fusions. It was a wealth of information for me. I had a very large peice of my pelvis removed for my fusion and have had a great deal of pain in that area ever since. Of course it hurt like crazy for the first year of my recovery, but I had no idea that it could continue to cause pain forever. Now I have an answer to at least one of my causes of pain. I guess I fell into that unlucky percentage that happens to have chronic pain from this. Along with the over run scar tissue, the failed fusion, and now the knowledge of why my hips hurts, no wonder I hurt so darn bad! ~X( :''( :jawdrop:
  • Oh my gosh! The weather has turned chilly where I'm at and I've been in so much pain. I can feel everything! My back and my knees are the worst and I can't seem to get it under control at all. How is everyone else fairing? I know that I can't be the only one going through this. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do win the cold weather comes? I'm miserable! :''(
  • Unfortunately for me, our weather has turned much cooler and WET! Of course this means a huge increase in the amount of pain I have. While I was sleeping this morning, my hip began to hurt so badly that I started dreaming that I couldn't walk because my hip was killing me. This is a common dream for me and in the dream I can't walk in a normal stride, I have to keep my legs together (I'm guessing because I sleep with a pillow between my legs) and with every step I cry!
    The thing I try to do to help with increased pain due to cooler weather is the heating pad... I know, it's probably an epiphany to some of you, but it does help some! Other than that, I'm coming up with nothing. Maybe moving to a warmer climate! Yeah, that's it! We can all have a few drinks and do the YMCA ">image
    Topfuelfan~ hope you have warmer days coming up and less pain! BTW- I'm a funnycar fan!
  • I just have to comment on what your doctor said about losing weight... Losing 80lbs sounds insane to me. I am 5'6" and 145. I remember a few years ago mentioning to a doctor that I needed to lose a few lbs. and she was like "are you kidding me?" Your right where you should be! (I thought I was a little on the heavy side of normal)

    I am not a doctor, but it seems to me that at 5'6" dropping down to even close to 100lbs is crazy. I don't know why your doctor would even recommend such a thing. Please don't feel bad about switching doctors. I let myself feel guilty about it for WAY too long!

    Also, when you do switch, just know that the first new doctor still may not be right for you. I really like my new PCP, but he doesn't seem equipped enough to handle me the way I'd like. There is no after hours clinic or anything. I even had my father in law switch over to him, and the doctor took one look at his medications for emphysema and said he should go back to his old doctor, because its too much for him. Great guy, but just not equipped, does that make sense? Also, I finally got in to see a PM, and he basically said there was nothing he could do for me but ESI's. I expected him to take over all treatments for my back, physical and emotional. Nope. So I am now looking for a new PM too.

    Good Luck,
    I hope you doctor search turns out in your favor, and if not, keep trying :D

  • Yes, Funny Cars are the best! Going to the drags is our favorite thing to do! Love the smell of the fuel, love coming home with black tire particles all over, love the sound! :D Heart pounding! =D> BTW, I love the YMCA guys you have going on there, way too funny! =)) I'll have to try a heating pad but I have so many places to put it. Maybe wrap myself in an electric blanket? Back to the Funny's, I have a bit of tomboy in me, what can I say?
  • Yes, if I lost 80 pds my husband would have to shake the sheets just to find me! I would look seriously anorexic, not a good look at all! :& I was so skinny growing up, I know exactly where I should be with my weight. I was extremely shocked when he said that.

    I can't believe that your so called new doctor refuses to help you also! What's it going to take for you to get help? Actually, it's disgusting how you have been passed around and refused help. This has got to be so stressful for you. Amanda, I wish you tha same, that your doctor search turns out in your favor and that you will soon feel better.
    My best,
  • Topfuelfan, I also have a problem sitting at a computer desk due to my back problems and pain. I've been doing some research and found a company on the internet that makes computer stations for people with disabilities such as ours that allows you to recline and operate your computer thus taking the stress / strain off of your back. The workstations are sit/ stand/ recline workstations I'll send you a private message with the website in case you are interested. I know that I'm going to either save up for one or try and get the Veterans Administration to purchase one for me to improve my quality of life.
  • Thank you so much for that! I can't wait to look into it! Yes, sitting at my desk is like some form of torture treatment image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" /> for me and the rub is, it's my main form of entertainment. I can't even get into a game without pain distracting me and I have to shut it down. ~X( I'm always thankful for anything that can ease my pain.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,720
    Hi topfuelfan ,

    It is sometimes so very hard to understand the different obstacles that we have to face on a day by day basis.

    Computer and Desk work
    I've been working in the computer environment for over 34 years now and have seen all the different phases form Ergonomic workstations to special computers for the total disabled.
    I had my first spinal surgery in 1978 and last ( and I mean last) in 2000. I had been driving over an hour each way to work and then spending 8-12 hours at the computer. All that added up to was a lot of discomfort and pain. In 1994, I started working 1 day a week from home. But 2000 I was working full time from home.
    In my house I have 7 different computers positioned in different areas. I can go from one to another for a change of positions. BUT the SINGLE most important factor in working at a desk with computers is GETTING UP and MOVING around every 45 minutes!

    Weight Control
    There is no question that maintaining the 'proper' weight helps reduce additional strain on your spine. But, using those Weight/Height charts, I would be at a weight I was when I was 5 years old! I was 5'10" , but after those 7 surgeries and just natural aging, I am now a shade on 5'9".
    At my best weight (185) to my worst (225) there was a noticeable difference. Today I try to keep within 195-205
    which I feel best at. Reading Amanda's post I would say that she is at the perfect weight (Just so happens that my wife is 5'7" 145lbs) Many people get too hung on with losing tons of weight. I dont know what the ideal weight should be for everyone, that is something only each person really knows.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I had to laugh when you mentioned that the weight chart had you at what you would be when you were 5! =)) I have just a few extra pounds, actually I'm the only one who notices them. Everyone else still thinks that I'm slender. I really don't know where my doc get's that 80 pd stuff. I actually called my husband and told him about that right after I left the office because I was laughing so hard. :))(
    My husband doesn't like stick figures! But I will agree that any extra weight puts more pressure on the spine, no doubt about that. I'e been 5'7" forever but I wonder if I've lost some of my height due to my surgery's. That makes perfect sense.
    When I'm on the computer I have to get up and walk around or sit elsewhere fr awhile also. If I sit here too long the pain becomes intense. I just don't quite have the setup that you do though. I need a laptop, then I could search away at my hearts content. Oh well, we need to buy a new TV first, which will cost a small fortune! :''( I have to admit that 10 years ago I never imagined spending $1800. on a TV. :jawdrop: Oh, almost forgot, I want a new bed also! That will be even more expensive. Gee, I hope the economy improves soon! ~X(
    I had my MRI and sure enough, I was in pain for at leat 3 days. My entire back froze up like a huge spasm and I couldn't even lift my arms or turn my head. Hopefully I'll get some more answers now! :D
  • If your pain doc is not up on current treatment, yes it is time to find a new one. But do your homework and find one that will treat you appropriately. My first experience with a pain management group ONLY did procedures, epidurals, Radio frequency, steroid injections, trigger point injections, etc. They did nothing with meds, etc.
    The one I go to now is over an hour drive for me each way but it is worth it. I use meds, Tens unit, had steroid injections, Radio frequency ablation (AKA rhizotomy),and physical therapy.
    The only down side, I gained 30 pounds from all of the steroid injections -- I had a series of 7 (every 3 weeks) while waiting for insurance approval.
    Now I wait again for insurance approval. I need Sacro-iliac joint neurolysis - he uses alcohol injections. I can't for the life of me figure out why they didn't put in for the approval at the same time as the other as I waited 3 months. Hope that won't be the same this time around. I was very upset that they couldn't schedule me as at each of my monthly office visits I asked about the prior authorization for that as well.
    And the SI joints have been my primary pain triggers. Under fluroscopy my facet joints looked so bad he decided I needed to have those done as well. Just didn't plan on having to wait again. I was not happy and they knew it. But they don't understand.
  • I have not had a real hug for more then a year, and yes that is depressing. So if you can fly to Israel , and take a taxi to Jerusalem I would really welcome your hug...REALlY!!!

    When one is in real bad crying pain a hug or just someone touching you helps more then any pill. When I had my first surgery a very nice elderly night nurse came by every hour and gently rubbed the hair on my arm. I would beg her to stay and she would tell me she had 30 or so patients on her watch and they were all in pain. She kept her promise a and came buy every hour all night long. How does one repay such a kindness?

    So tell me what flight you will be on and I will meet you at the airport.
    Ah a hug...my kingdom for a hug!
    Take care and no Pain!
  • michael_carmack0946 said:
    Topfuelfan, I also have a problem sitting at a computer desk due to my back problems and pain. I've been doing some research and found a company on the internet that makes computer stations for people with disabilities such as ours that allows you to recline and operate your computer thus taking the stress / strain off of your back. The workstations are sit/ stand/ recline workstations I'll send you a private message with the website in case you are interested. I know that I'm going to either save up for one or try and get the Veterans Administration to purchase one for me to improve my quality of life.
    hi im new here would you mind sending me the info on that special computer station for people like us (chronic pain suffers) i would really appreciate it. thanks dawn
    i posted todat for the first time and told my story let me know your opinion if you dont mind.
  • Hi, I too would be greatly interested in seeing info about special workstations for people with back problems. I cannot sit for a long time and I have been on sick leave from my job for 3 months with my poorly back. I could go back to work now, but my doctor won't sign me back until my employer agrees to let me away from my desk to move about for longer than the 5 minutes an hour they are allowing me. I am in limbo, until something is resolved and I just want to get back to being a useful member of society. I have a desktop pc at home which I can barely use for long at all, but I bought myself a little laptop on ebay for not much money at all and it is fab, just what I needed. If only I could use a laptop at work and have a chair that could recline . . . I have been saying this for ages but no-one takes me seriously. It's not that I can't do stuff, I just need a little help to do it without so much pain. Please could you post a link so we can see these workstations?
  • Hi Topfuelfan,

    I'm able to lie in bed and use my computer because we have a custom set up. I use the tv as a computer monitor and we have a wireless mouse and keyboard. I would not be able to use the computer otherwise if we didn't have this set up.

    I hope you're doing better today. Take care
  • Dear Dr Eric,
    If I ever make it to Isreal I will be sure to let you know. I will also hold you to that hug. In the meantime I'll have to settle for sending you a cyber hug, not as good but the thought is there. I simply adore you. >:D<
    Take care yourself and may you have a wonderful pain free day, hey why not even a whole week?
    My best,
    Topfuel >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< :*
  • What a perfect setup! Lucky you!
  • I've been MIA for awhile. I've been having a lot more problems with pain trying to use my computer. I'm about to get in the shower so I can't get into anything yet. But I did get my MRI results so I will talk about that tommorrow. My PM is ordering me a Tens unit but he doesn't have much faith in it, he's also sending me for PT. Maybe this will help. I'll answer some of the questions above on Friday, which is today of course, but later. I hope everyone is doing well. :D
  • From my experience with one, it more like a distraction device. It's helpful,though for muscle spams. The two channel ones are pretty good because they have different settings and you can control the intensity. I have an RS Medical brand, and it runs about $200. My insurance pain for it in full <:P
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.