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So tired of being in pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What is up with this already?!
I have back spasms out the Wazoo! I am 90 days post 3-level ACDF, now apparently, my spasms have become so bad that I have missaligned a couple of thoracic vetabrae and my ribs?!
All I know is I can't breathe and my shoulder is killing me and I am so tired of being in pain. It seems I trade one pain for another. I know my work and my co-workers are tired of it. But not as much as I am...
Anyone...words of wisdom?


  • No words, just support.

    I am with you , and I understand. I may not feel your pain , but I can empathize and I can listen,

    Treat yourself kindly, don't worry about others, rest and heal. Your body has been through a lot, more than people who have never had surgery would understand.

    I hope you feel better soon and I am here to listen any time, PM me if you need to let it all out!

    take care
    thinking of you

  • I am hoping I can help.

    I WAS going in circles trying to find out why I was having so much back pain, My upper back was in knots, and was an issue from the very beginning, but no answers, UNTIL I was sent to physical therapy and I was lucky enough to have a therapist who knew exactly what was going on, he had to work for almost two months to get a few ribs that were out of place (for who knows how long),back in place, and told me the path of the nerves affected (from my neck c5 to 8, straight down between my shoulder blades then across to shoulders and down the arm)were triggering my muscles to go into protection mode, in turn my posture went into what he called "turtle shell" form and he told me if I did not correct my posture that I will be suffering, (Like I think you may be), and surgery will not help. He had given me stretching exercises to push my chest out and bring shoulders back (I hate doing that lol) and stretch out those muscles to correct my posture. I had my original surgery canceled and I am having my 3 level ACDF on the 9th of February.
    Does this situation sound familiar regarding your back pain?
  • >:D< Hey my Surgery Twin!

    I'm sorry you're going through this, but I understand. Last weekend I put up a post called "Will we ever be pain-free???" where I had a little tantrum about how tired I was of the pain all the time. Just when you think it's feeling better, it hits you between the eyes (or shoulders).

    Are you still taking muscle relaxers and pain meds? I'm continuing to take them as needed and I seem to need them every day.

    I hope you find some relief. It'll be "interesting" to see if this crud ever goes away.

    Your friend,
  • I know EXACTLY how you feel. The surgery seemed a breeze compared to the muscle spasms. And then I got to add the tingling all the way down the side of my neck and into my whole hand. I tried everything my doctor suggested. I went through PT and to be honest it did help. Just not quite enough. I've had my meds changed so many times I look like a walking pharmacy now. I did get the most relief from Soma but I didn't like feeling like a Zombie everyday. So that wasn't an option. I have asked my doctor what we are going to do to fix this problem not just medicate it. I'll get the answer to that question tomorrow so I'll have to tell you if we find something that works. Oh I've found much more success with the topical ointments than I did with any heating pad or pill. (Just figured this one out the other day.)My best wishes to you! I hope you find relief soon.
  • Stop being so hard on yourself. In my opinion your back to work way too early. Your only 90 days post-op? You've got to be kidding... This must be horrible on you, I can't believe you were even released to go back to work. I wasn't even fusing until 23 weeks from my 3 level fusion. I couldn't even start PT until fusion was seen in the x-rays at 23 weeks.

    You've just had a major surgery, you need to be kicking back, taking it really easy, and doing PT, not back at work.

    Everything you are feeling is perfectly NORMAL, and then some cause you are working.

    Sorry, thats just my opinion, I just get angry when I hear of patients that are thrown back into work too soon. Good luck on your healing, and for gods sake, maybe just try to do part-time work if it is at all possible, with a doctors note. It takes a couple of years to heal from what you just had done.
  • Well, apparently, my PT was SO concerned with me that he called my NS. I got a call from a "bracing company" and I'm going to be fitted with a S3 brace. My Neurosurgeon ordered it after talking to my PT. From what they told me it does exactly what Mystyk says...straighten me up and out. To keep my scapulas back.
    Now we're waiting on the insurance approval. She said I should be in it before Friday. I've taken a few days away from work to "Soma up" and try to get the spasms down as much as possible.
    Thanks everyone. It feels better just to know I'm not alone.
  • hope that works for you. Those spasms sound horrid!! I am still on Soma as needed for spasms (and I am lucky it doesn't make me a zombie) plus I get plenty of rest due to other problems.

    Take it easy!!

  • I get killer spasms also, but they start in my lower back and go up my back and down my legs.
    Have you tried Zanaflex? It is the best muscle relaxer that I have tried.

    I finally had to quit my job last year due to the nastiness at work. No one knows what we go through unless they or someone very close has been through it! We are broke but I am much happier!

    Hang in there and vent to us. The pain will get more tolerable with proper medication. Talk to your doctor.
    Good Luck, Julia
  • You also helped me with your reply post, I kept wondering if there was something I may be able to use if I am unable to keep my shoulders back to permanently fix the problem, my PT wants me to just strengthen my back muscles and stretch the front and said he did not want me to be dependant on a brace but the back pain is murder!! And I am rather large chested so it makes it all the harder ya know? Now I can mention to my surgeons about this brace you are getting, tell me if it helps and is comfortable ok? you can just message me too!! I am so glad I helped a little.
    And just to update you... I have my surgery rescheduled for February 9th, he is calling in a neuro surgeon to assist, which I am really happy about because when he took a closer look at my neck I guess he noticed I have a short neck and a high collar bone. It also caused problems when they tried to do the shot thing into the nerve, but could not do it cause my collar bone was in the way, they said it was too dangerous. Cross my fingers, I have less fear now that I know two surgeons will be there! *Winks*
    I will try to keep you updated as well ok?
    *HUGS* CindySue
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    something that should help you with your current pain and discomfort.
    Do you mind me asking if you had to wear a neck brace after those ACDF? And if so, what type (hard or soft) and for how long.
    90 Days post op is really not a long period of time. During that the 3months, there have been alot of things going on. Your fusion started to take place, any physical therapy was needed to start to rebuild lost muscles and strength in your neck.
    Back spasms can come up very quickly for cervical patients. If the head is tilted forward it can put some strain on your muscles. Thats one of the benefits of having a brace and a definite benefit of proper posture. Depending on the work enviormnent, that can be hard at times. Any device that will pull your shoulders back will help reduce some of those muscle spasms.
    Also, did they indicate what of your thoracic/rib were out of alignment?
    Many times, its Rib #1 and #2. From my experiences with cervical and thoracic problems, its the rib that tends to go out of alignment. My physical therapist could take one look at my (fully clothed) and would know if my collar bone (or rib#1 was up). A few exercises and that would drop down into place.
    You always need to be aware of muscle spasms. When they are left untreated, they can cause some other imbalance someplace else that can cause you pain and discomfort.
    I am glad that they are being proactive and getting something for you to hopefully eliminate this problem.
    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 am new and I see you are an administrator here?
    Yes my Therapist is similar to yours, I can have different areas in my back that will act up (upper back) and the great thing is I do not have to tell him anything, he just finds the places even if they are hiding LOL I seen him today and I asked him about the brace and he still is not going to budge about doing it without what he calls a "band aide", but I personally would not be dependent on it, but use it occasionally to reduce the pains and spasms, and If I am so blessed to be able to go back to work maybe use it as support for some time to get me through the days. I wish more people knew about the brace, I started searching the site for posts on upper back pain and there are alot of people wondering what to do.
    I am going to have the hard brace from neck to upper ab. so It should help out for the first few months.
    *hugs* everyone!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    Hi CindySue, Yes I am the Administrator for Spine-Health here. We also have 3 Moderators (Priestess, Bruce and Paulgla) Our group, which we sometimes call the "Mod" Squad is a bit different then other forum groups. Besides having system authority, each of us was originally a member (still are members) and have our own medical problems.

    If I am reading your post correctly, the Bandaid is something that many therapist use. I had one for about 6 months. It was special tape that went crisscross on my back starting at my shoulder blade down to the top of my buttocks. It started at the top and pulled down to the bottom. Effectively it pushed my shoulders back, forcing me into proper posture.
    That took strain off of my thoracic discs. This tape lasted about 5 days. I could shower with it without problems. I had to stop using it since it started to give me skin irritation.
    It really did help me, looked kinda of strange when I went shirtless. Also after the summer, I did have interesting tan lines , as if I had a crisscross sports bra.
    Speaking of that, I purchased one of thoe posture braces.
    It did look like a sports bra from the back, but the front just had vertical straps. I never liked it, because it was very uncomfortable.
    Good luck
    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
  • They are coming to work today to fit me for my brace. Pretty sad, huh that they have to come to work to do it. But, what can i do? I am out of time so, I have to work.
    I am also large chested, but fairly small around, so they are bringing a couple of sizes and if they don't fit, then they will give me one to get me by until they can get one special ordered.
    I've got a super long neck, so the opposite problem as you.
    Good luck with your upcoming surgery!!
  • Yes, I wore a Miami-J collar for 2 months.
    My PT didn't say which rib it was, but it is straight across from the largest part of my scapula.
    I can get back spasms reaching for a pen. It's silly! I'm really looking forward to this afternoon. I never thought I'd say that aout being put in a back brace.
  • I was referring to the S3 brace that Chele was getting for her upper back pain, and I asked my PT about it and he said it was just a band aide (not something that would "work" to fix the problem), and he felt I should do it on my own. But I have been concerned from day 1, I knew I had a problem that my back might give me hell no matter what I do and I searched for an answer. I think the S3 brace would be great to use from time to time for me, not to depend on it, just for a relief here and there.
    Well I am very happy to meet one of the MOD squad moderators! *winks*
    I just had my pre op tests for surgery, and I been trying to get by with 4 Tyl 3's a day(one every 6 hours), but I am in so much pain, mostly my back, they re-did my scrip and now I am able to take 1-2 tyl 3's every 4-6 hours, that will help. Even though I am not one of those that likes taking that kind of medicine, cause I don't! but hey, when ya have to, ya have to!
    Hope ya'll have a super great weekend!!
    *HUGS* CindySue
  • You said you had the Miami J collar, did you have the chest and back brace that goes to it as well? I have the whole thing!! So I will be braced from my neck to my upper Ab.
  • I'm new to this forum, and it's a shame some of us have to go back to work too early. I'm a nurse and I threw out my back from pulling up a Lou Gehrig's disease pt that I found slipping out of bed and near ripping out her whole ventilator/endo-tracheal tube setup. No one was around and I just acted on instinct. Long story short I was out of work and my hospital's mds kept bouncing me around getting epidurals, facet blocks, doping me up, pt, etc before they finally let me see a neurosurgeon. It took almost 2 months for them to give into letting me consult one (my hospital will be unnamed but it's a well known one).

    My surgery was Nov 15th and I'm in so much pain: my list of meds 1750 of robaxin 4Xday, Ms-contin 45mg 3xday, oxyxodone 15mg q4hrs for breakthrough pain...I was on Lyrica but gained 40 lbs and developed massive joint pain that almost beat out the back pain for top honors. So now I'm near zoned on elavil to try and treat the neuropathic pain...I also have massive aches everywhere, even on the bottom of my feat, to the top of my shoulders to the tips of my fingers.

    Here's the kicker, since they fiddled around so long before letting me see a surgeon, the RN contract states that after 3 months you loose all insurance for my whole family unless I pay $900 for my wife and 2 kids and $240 for myself. They told me that 2 days before thanksgiving....This is my own hospital mind you! So we can afford mine, my kids got quest but the wife has nothing.

    And by March 1st They will cancel my TDI benefits period.
    I'm the sole breadwinner...So no more income, no mortgage payment, no preschool payment, no food...blah, blah , blah....my family is done unless I force myself to try and work at same said hospital by lying to my surgeon and telling him I'm peachy....

    It sucks cause I'm risking my health, license, and welfare of everyone around me....but if I don't work by march 1st my kids won't have much to look forward to.

    God Bless America!


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