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Can't take much more please help!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi. My name is Nikki. Im 24 years old and have degenerative disc disease, and three bulging discs. L3,4,5-S1. I have had multiple steroid injections, facet joint injections, radiofrequency, acupuncture, chiropractic work and the Med-ex program. I have also met with two surgeons who tell me that I am too young for surgery. I have been in severe pain since august. Its everyday all day. Im having what they call a "flare-up" at the moment. My discs are pushing against my nerves and the pain is unbearable.

I feel like my life has come to a complete stop, and I cant take much more of this. I was going to a pain clinic, and they recommended I take a course on how to live with the pain-how to go through life with this sort of pain. I don't think my friends or family really understand how horrible this is.
If anyone has any ideas please let me know. There has to be something that can help.


  • I have a platinum heating pad that was a good investment and I didn't have to pay tax for it with a presciption from my Pain Management Dr. It was $300. but I see they're selling less nowadays. Even moist heat is very comforting. I think you just need to let your Dr know that the pain meds are only working for a short term and get an adjustment of your meds. I also got a 2nd opinion PM Dr. because I was still having pain with just the epidurals and trigger point injections. My 2nd PM Dr started the facet joint injections and a different steroid for the epidurals using depomedrol instead of Kenalog. So that seemed to help more. I've had 2 no's for surgery but now awaiting a NeuroSurgeon appt. It's rough your having so much pain and hope that you can find a Dr to help even in a little way to help. I take celebrex and initially I was on Naproxen that didn't work. I also take nerve pain meds like lyrica and amitriptyline and I'll be trying Cymbalta for the nerve pain and weaning off the lyrica. Sometimes the right mix of meds will help with the wait time for a good Surgeon or until the body heals itself. 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
  • Thanks Charry. I never really thought of seeing a second doctor about my medications. I guess while i am trying to find something/anthing to help I could meet with another doctor about my medications. I just graduated from college and am unable to work right now, so I really wish I could afford a 300 dollar ice pack! Something to save up for I guess! Thanks for the help! Good luck with the neurosurgeon!
  • do you have permanent leg pain /does your back ache go away with pain medication?.have you had an MRI scan ? a good surgeon will avoid surgery and treat you with good pain killers BUT it you have nerve damage you will require surgery to prevent you becoming paralysed and incontinent.even a good result post surgery will most likely leave you with a weak back for the rest of your life .seek more medical advice and avoid surgeons that want to try a new procedure! meanwhile ice is good and you may find a TENS helps you also go and see your doctor again tell him/her how bad you are feeling and get yourself some stronger medication ..in this day and age no one needs to be in that amount of pain there are drugs out there that can almost remove any type of pain .dont suffer !!
  • I am really sorry you are in so much pain. It took me ages before I finally told my doctor the pain was too, too, much. It's like a crazy journey to find what works for you and when in pain your brain goes haywire. I found this site had lots of hints like the hot-water bottle etc. Mostly it gave me the courage to talk to my doctor and not try to "tough-it-out". Currently I'm waiting for surgery for lower back injury, the pain meds. help but it is a learning curve. Sounds crazy but I've re-named the pain, like the spine pain is now-spike-up-the-spine and the pelvis pain is now buttock-burn-trying to make friends with my enemy.
    Another thing I try is when things are crazy in the back is to try to distract my brain-I try to read this site and have a smile,cry-even the "Ugly-crying" with the runny nose.It makes me feel helpless when all I want to do is to make you feel better, so I send you the biggest, softest hug and hope you will feel abit better soon
    Hugs n' Loves
  • im learning myself nikki,just want to say your not alone hun jan xxxx
  • I've read that bulging discs can leak fluid and this is what irritates the nerves, causing pain. Eventually, the fluid is all gone or stops leaking, ending the irritation and thus the pain. If true, this means your pain may eventually cease. I'm twice your age but have had DDD for about 30 years, according to my doctor. I had a severe, long term pain flareup years ago that eventually went away, giving me about 20 pretty good years before I needed surgery.

    Two years ago, I had cervical fusion of C4-C5-C6. On March 12, I had lumbar fusion at L3-L4-L5. I didn't just have DDD, though -- I had severe spinal stenosis at those levels. I had bulging discs all over the place but these were not the focus of my surgeries. Instead, the doctors concentrated on things such as the herniated disc at L4-L5 that was protruding 9mm into my spinal canal and the discs in my neck that were compressing my spinal cord and threatening paralysis.

    My personal advice about Lumbar Fusion surgery is -- Avoid it as long as you can. It's not fun, has a long recovery time, and puts a lot of stress and strain on the part of your spine that's not fused. Unless you lose bladder or bowel control or develop sudden numbness in your pelvic region, lumbar fusion will probably be considered "elective surgery" and, as you have discovered, it may not be considered at all. It's my understanding that problems with the cervical spine are more likely to put you at risk of paralysis than lumbar problems. Getting a new, current MRI will show if your problem has worsened or is about the same as when diagnosed.

    Alternatives to surgery -- Try a moist heating pad or ice packs, whichever works best, and physical therapy (PT) that includes moist heat, massage, and electrical stimulation. Avoid any PT exercises that cause pain. Swimming or relaxing in a pool may be helpful. Avoid stress, get plenty of rest each day, and try not to bend, stoop, or lift objects weighing more than 10 to 20 pounds. Sleep on a good mattress. When you lay on your back, put a pillow under your knees so that your legs are bent, not straight. An elastic back brace might be helpful. Find something that distracts you -- TV, books, or anything that takes your mind off the pain or makes you laugh.

    If pain meds aren't working for you, try a different type or a combination of drugs (but make sure they're safe to combine). I have to combine 10mg Lortab and Soma (muscle relaxant) or else I get no relief at all. If the pain is affecting your mental state, add anti-depressants, especially those that help with pain, such as Cymbalta. Good luck to you.
  • www.chiroguy.com helped me understand some things also. 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
  • So sorry you are in so much pain. i agree with everyone here....avoid surgery as long as you can. You run the risk of having scar tissue develope at the nerve root causing you even more pain problems. That is what has hapined to me. I have scar tissue from having rods placed at L4 L5. Removing the scar tissue would cause more to form and more problems with pain. Surgery is not always the fix you were hoping for. For my pain I take Oxycodone 40mg ER and Percocet for break through pain. Most of the time it works really well but some days it does very little for my pain. I can't take Lyrica or anything like it for nerve pain. Had a very bad reaction to it.
    Good luck....hope things improve soon.
    Hugsssss >:D<
    Patsy W
  • I do not have permanent leg pain, my legs just hurt every once in a while. I did have an MRI scan in august and they told me that i had 3 bulging discs. This might be a weird question but what do you mean by incontinent? My regular doctor told me that i would have some sort of pain in my back for the rest of my life, I just need to get it to where i can handle it. I have tried a tens unit but it started to irritate my back rather than relieve it. i do agree with you on the ice though! That is really the only thing that has helped so far! I am going to make an appointment with a PM doctor tomorrow so hopefully he will help with the pain! Thanks for everything!
  • Hey Paula! what website were you talking about. I would love to check it out! I definitely agree when you say it is a journey. I feel like I have been toughing it out. One reason could be that the first time i went into the emergency room the doctor called me a drug seeker and sent me home! I have felt helpless a lot but its nice to know that im not alone! Good luck with the surgery!
  • Thanks so much for the advice. I guess I wanted to get surgery because i have tried sooooo many other things. Im glad i came onto this site and heard from peope who have really lived it and had the surgery. Sometimes I feel like doctors have no idea what they are talking about. Im going to try everything I can, and thanks so much for the advice. Oh and I really hope my just goes away on its own! that would be ideal!!!
  • My Ortho spine Dr NOW does surgeries through the side NOT through the back, and in my case the front also. when you get to that point make sure you seek it out. It is way better than cutting through everything in your back.

    MRI? If your disks are torn and or black in the middle you might as well have surgery because it will only get worse. BUT if your disks are still good, HOLD out and try every thing else first.

    DDD is just a catch-all for the doctors to diagnose so it MAY not be as bad as it sounds. W/C uses this term to tell people they had bad backs before the injury so they should not have to pay for your injuries.

    I would rather have a surgery now than take pain meds for many years, BUT any surgeries have RISKS, even DEATH. SO do not take a decission for surgery lightly. Just make sure you do not let your physical conditioning get really bad THEN have surgery.

    Have you tried chiropractic decompression? My Chiro whom I just started going back too after 7 yrs of Workers Comp HELL has been using a Pro Adjuster on me.

    Also, If I do not take at least 2000 mg of tylenol a day I get much worse pain. But that has a bad effect on your liver so I have mine tested every few months.

    Good luck

    Always talk to a Dr before try any of my suggestions. EVERYONE is differet.
  • stina72sstina72 Posts: 1
    edited 12/01/2015 - 3:58 PM
    a year out from initial injury, two steroid injections, six months of pt, chiropractic treatments, pain medications, antidepressant, i am physically and mentally wore down. Saw a second surgeon who at least examined me, reviewed xray & two mri's said my severe pain is due to disc leakage. I'm so tired of awful pain daily. If there was a brain shot available, i would take it. Aside from surgery, all treatments and home remedies can be helpful. you have to find your right mix.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427

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  • jazz1415jjazz1415 Posts: 3
    edited 12/03/2015 - 5:27 PM
    Hi nikki ,
    Horrible to hear that you are in such a horrible way with your back. Back pain as common as it is, is very individualised to each and every specific patient. That is why it is so hard to treat and manage. I am not in a dire situation like yours .I am reletively new to this but have nerve pain.But im 32 years ols not that old.And going from being very Active, social and a gym Bunny to being barely able to walk 3km without my back giving out has made me feel pretty down. feel free to text me. sending hugs from sweden.
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