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Not sure how to get there from here...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, My name is Erin and I started having lower back pain in the fall of 2003. The pain was in the center of my lower back and would come and go. When I went to my pcp he gave me some pain meds and muscle relaxers and sent me on my way. Over the next few years the pain came and went and was always in the center of my back, never to one side or the other or down either leg. By early 2006, the pain was almost constant and stayed around a 7 or 8. My pcp finally decided to do an MRI and realized I had an L4-L5 disc herniation. He sent me to a neurosurgeon who advised against surgery saying I was too young (I was 23 at the time) but suggested steroid injections and physical therapy instead. I had 3 epidural steroid injections and a couple of (7-8 weeks long) rounds of physical therapy which provided little relief. I finally went to get a second opinion and the doctor decided to do discectomy which I had in March of 2007. The pain was much more manageable after surgery and for several months I had days when I had no pain at all. But, several months ago the pain began to come back - usually around 4 to 5 so not nearly as bad as before surgery, but it now radiates down both my legs. I've moved to a different state since my surgery and had to find new doctors. I was referred to a neurosurgeon here who is supposed to be one of the best in the area. He did more MRI's and said that he saw no reason for the recurrence of the pain. He recommended pain meds, muscle relaxers ,more physical therapy and finally more epidural steroid injections. The Pain Management doctor he referred me to for the injections ended up doing 2 epidural steroid injections and a facet joint injection, which provided little relief. He then told me that because of my age there's really not much else they want to do. I'm incredibly frustrated. I realize that major surgery would not be the best option, especially since they can't tell me exactly where the pain is now coming from, but is there really nothing else to try between steroid injections and major surgery?? The pain management doctor doesn't want me on pain meds (once again - I'm too young) so I'm not taking anything at the moment which certainly isn't helping my frustration level. I work at a computer all day and I've tried several chairs and haven't found one that really helps (I would love suggestions from people who have found one that helps!!) So I'm really not sure where to go from here. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!! Also, any time I've been prescribed a steroid dose pack it seems to make the pain worse... I mention that because I'm currently on one, not for back pain but because of a cough, but it is making my back pain worse nonetheless... Has anyone else ever had that problem??



  • You can probably get a lumber support seat online or at a health supply store. I've never had any steroids so can't say if they've caused more pain or not. I've had facet joint injections Dec. 6 and it's helped with my back movements a bit and stopped the crunching noises a little and the 3rd epi which helped the leg pain alot. Heating pad is good on the legs as well as the back. I also take lyrica and amitriptyline to help with the nerve pain in the legs. Major sleepy side effects at first with me but I'm used to that now. I hope you can get more 2nd opinions from ortho or neuro and see what they say. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i would really questions whether you are too young for pain medications. :? how young are you? there are many other treatments to try from exercise to Yoga to pt. have any of those been offered to you? [( check at the top of the forum under "Treatments" for some new ideas and possible treatments for yourself.good luck as you seek pain relief. drop by anytime! Jenny :)
  • a discogram? This procedure can help narrow down which disc is causing the pain if it is disc pain. I had a terrible time getting a diagnosis until I had a discogram and it revealed an annular tare. I have arthritis in my facet joints and the only thing that seems to help with that is rhizotomys. I also had a discectomy in Dec. 07 and it was considered a failed surgery. It did relieve my sciatica but actually worsened my facet pain. I do not agree that you should not at least be given meds to help control your pain. Age should have nothing to do with that. Have you considered seeing a new doc? Sometimes it takes persistence on your part in order to find a doc that is willing to help you. Good luck in your journey and please keep us posted.
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