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flare up

strakerstraker Posts: 1,851
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Chronic Pain
hi all
as i lay here full of pain killers with the acticare throbbing away on my lumber region feeling very sorry for myself .i got to wondering why do we have bad back ache flare ups ..do any of you know ?? i am in agony and i feel ill just standing up is agony {last week i was swimming and nearly having a nice life again almost enjoying myself even!!}but this week even on my 11th wedding anniversary i had to spend it on my recliner! not good ..i just hope that is goes away soon ..


  • Wasn't last week awesome (swimming and nearly having a normal life)?! I am glad you had that at least.

    BUT, it's a bummer you are back in bed. Do you think you may have over-done last week? You know, feeling almost normal enuogh to try and get in all the things you've missed out on? Hopefully just a day or 2 in bed will alleviate your pain symptoms. I've come to realize that if I have something planned, I have to plan my activities well before-hand so I don't have a flare... What's the weather like in your parts? Could that be it? Maybe a combination of, like, everything?

    I really wish I knew what the catalyst is or what precipitates a flare. I would avoid that like the plague, let me tell you!!

    Maybe there is a scientific reason and we have someone in our midst who can shed some light...

    Take care Straker... I hope the 2 of you can find a way to have a Happy Anniversary anyway!

  • maybe i did over do it last week in my quest for a healthier life style and the fact that at only 43 i have been told that there is nothing at all that can be done for me ..has been playing heavily on my mind as you can imagine
  • Hang in there Straker.....11 years Congrats.
    On my good days I tend to over extend myself.
    My wife always reminds me 1 step forward 3 back.
    Should be the other way around but its never the case with me.
    I hope you can celebrate your anniverary soon and pain free.....

  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I don't have the answer. And Its not like I haven't tried and tried and tried. Just know this my friend, It will get better and I hope Its soon!
    If you ever figure out the answer, please let me know!
    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!
  • i am feeling rather low at the moment .my wife has taken the week off her very busy job just to be with me this week ..and i have spent it curled up on my recliner ..i do feel guilty .but as usual she is very kind and is looking after me .i just wish that this awful debilitating back acke would f off!! sorry but i am really pixxed with it .like you say 1 step forward and 3 back...hay ho !!
  • My boss has told me that pain cycles. Yes, it can be affected by over-doing it or doing one thing, even a wrong move, that aggravates us, but it also cycles. Whether it goes month-to-month or several months at a time, we, theoretically will have lower pain times and higher pain times. For example, I've found that I always have severe pain, but that there are some months that my pain is just generally worse and some months that I have more days of my normal severe pain. I'm not sure there is a rhyme or reason for it. Keeping a pain journal helps me to notice these patterns. Now if only there was something I could do about it! This is by no means a completely scientific, just something my boss has noticed in his patients. I've already given up nearly everything I love to do, given up high heels, sports, dancing, standing, haha, pretty much everything, I can't work full-time and I'm only 22... What else can I freaking do to make this better? You just witnessed my personal pity party... :S Gosh, that sneaks up on me! I really hope you get to feeling better soon! I know how terrible this is... We can keep each other company while we lie in our beds trying not to have nervous breakdowns!!! :) I'm always here to listen and I know some pretty great jokes too! I'm so sorry you have to live like this too...

    Much love and understanding,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Your physical pain
    The pain you have to feel because you want to do so much for your 11th Wedding Anniversary.

    Listening to Jeaux, so you had a good time last week, perhaps maybe too much and now paying the price. I am closing in on 59 and I still tend to overdo it and pay the price. You think I would learn by now? Nope, well at least that if what I did to overdo it was worth it.

    Lets all hope that this is just a short lived flare up.
    And that you bounce back to your normal self as soon as possible
    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
  • Hey Tony,
    I'm so sorry to hear you are having another flare up. I've lost touch with you as I haven't been able to get on the computer lately. I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope everything is going well in life and with your body and that the flare up settles down soon.

    Happy Anniversary!
  • I have no clue as to how these cycles start... Right now, mine are every couple of days, but I'm thankful for the good days, and tend to overdo it myself... I wish you a happy anniversary, and hope you feel better soon!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Happy Anniversery. I'm sure your wife is enjoying just being with you. Maybe you could order some flowers delivered, just to say you love her. But what I really want to know is how you quit smoking???????? I have cut down, to a pk and half a day, but can't seem to get below that. Yes, you read that right, that is down from over 2pks a day. }:) Not good, I know, but like most here, have a very high stress level. If you know any good secrets, would love for you to share. Take care, hope you get better soon.

  • i am feeling a little better today .but not as well as i would like .i took the advice and stayed in bed for 48 hours and it seems to have helped .
  • Hey buddy.....I know just what you are going through! This flair up has been the worse ever!! I have to walk on my pain. It's all in my feet and legs but pain sucks no matter whare you have it!!
    I am getting a stimulator implant Thursday and i am in so much pain it's hard to even think of the relief I will have before long. I will haave to deal with the surgery pain and my foot and leg pain too!! I just don't know if I can do it Straker, I just don't know if I can!! :''(
    Oh well....all we can do is hope for the best and enjoy our good days although they are few and far between.
    Sending a hug.... >:D<
    Patsy W
  • Sorry to hear you have so much pain - I noticed mine gets worse when the weather is bad. But also some days it isn't - it just comes. Possible overdoing it is one reason, I'm 27 with 2 jobs and an 8 year old daughter, there is no such thing as rest for me!! LOL
    Hope you feel better. Hugs to you >:D<
  • maybe you are suffering from breakthrough pain, pain that develops even when we are on pain meds. it is very common and there are pain relievers to take for it. most people here are on meds for breakthrough pain. i take oxycontin and then fenatyl lollipops for breakthrough pain. these types of meds are fast acting and stay in system for short periods of time. some people take oxycodone or vicodin etc for breakthrough pain. if not get a pain dr and talk to him asap
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Like everyone else, I don't have any answers. Yesterday I had actually forgotten about my neck and my lower back until hubby came home and asked how they were. I was shocked..."just fine." Sweet.

    But I guess we have no choice but to enjoy those days in between the painful ones.

    Mostly, I just wanted to send you a gentle hug. How are you feeling this week, my friend?

  • thanks cath .i take BT meds oxynorm .what happened was i ran out of pain killers and for got about the bank holiday {my script was waiting for me at the doctors but i could not get it as they were closed for the bank holiday!!]so i ended up at the emergency doctors also i have been trying to get fitter for when i visit my 13 year old daughter in the isle of man in a months time but i may have over done it at the swimming pool .its been over a week now and i anm just about back to normal pain ! i guess that i will have to take it a bit easier .
  • Glad to hear you are back to "normal" pain levels -- I, like you, spent all last week in bed on an ice pack -- the worst pain I had had in a while -- I was able to manage the pain with Lyrica and tramadol and then oxy for BT pain - Finally, started feeling better yesterday and am pretty good today -- It's such an emotional downer when you get a flare up -- I laugh when I see all the discussion about "waterboarding" on the news -- piece of cake compared to the torture all of us endure!

    Anway, I hope you had some time to enjoy your wedding anniversary -- you sound like you have a wonderful woman at your side - congratulations!

  • I hope that you are somehow able to find some relief today, and get your chair fixed!!! I feel you on lack of sleep, only got an hour last night myself... Warm wishes my friend!!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • this bad flare up has gotten WORSE!! i am in agony not sleeping at all {maybe an hour or so in the day} and to make matters worse my recliner is knackered!! i am so pissed off its untrue..i have tried all the tricks of the trade TENS .hot.cold.rest .swim.all sorts ...but nothing shift it apart from pain killers but then the pain is still there but not as bad.i can only think that my recent folly in to getting fitter has sparked something off as i dont recall being as bad as this for a long time
  • hi all
    i am still bad with this flare up and its getting worse ..my TOS has flared up and my wrist has flared up too {i broke it a year ago} i am sprawled out on my broken recliner {waiting for it to be fixed or replaced} feeling sorry for myself
  • Feel better Straker!!! Think positively, I know it's hard, but it will help a little!! Think of the things that you love most, read, play a game, anything to take your mind off your pain!!! I hope you find some relief today, and feel better.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I'm so sorry you're in pain. Sometimes pain just seems to spiral up out of no where. I went on a quilting retreat last week and spent Thursday cutting lots of fabric. I was so careful to be protective of my back. I was so proud that I did well, but then my shoulder began to hurt (I had rotator cuff surgery about ten years ago). The pain got so back this week that it tensed my whole back up and I was in agony. I had to get a cortisone shot in the shoulder at the urgent care clinic yesterday and today I'm back on my pain meds and have the TENS unit on my back. ARGH! If it's not one thing it's another.

    I hope you're well soon.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Hope your feeling better, and your recliner gets fixed! That must be awful! Mine is completely worn out. We bought it in 1991 to rock my oldest son, who is now 18! I have bolcks of wood taped under one side to get it to sit level! I have shopped for a new one several times in the last 2 years, but....Just can't find the "right" one...

    Are you still swimming? I know you love it, but maybe something has changed in your back that is causing the issues from swimming? I can't swim, I have tried. I popped somthing in my lower back in 1992 and ever since then if I swim it flares up. Otherwise it is OK, even biking did not bother it before this last accident. Just swimming.

    Hope you start to feel better and soon.
  • Hi Straker,

    Does it help you to sit in a hot bath? But if you can't walk -- sitting in a bath is probably not an option -- hot shower? Does it help to use something like "icy hot"? Sometimes when I'm in the throes of a flare -- I take a hot bath or shower, towel off and then apply one of my many ointments for pain relief - put on my most comfy clothes and get in bed with pillows and ice packs and kind of "coccoon" myself into a position that gives me some relief. Also take my pain meds.

    I certainly hope this flare ends in the next few days for you. My flare is gone -Thank you Jesus- and today is the first day in a month that I've almost felt normal (knock on wood). It's these days that I think about when I get a flare -- knowing sooner or later you will get a break. Does the doctor give you prednisone? I happen to be on 20mg every other day for a sinus infection -- started about two weeks ago -- and I think that has helped my flare up.

    Just wanted you to know that we're all thinking about you and praying that you will get relief real soon -- I'm so sorry! I know it bites the big one.

    Take care,

  • i dont have a bath in my house { i dont like them anyway} but we have a wet room so i can just walk in and shower. i have everything like heat pads TENS various makes col packs and the most comfiest bed on the planet .i sleep on my electrically adjustable bed with a memory foam pillow for my head and one for my knees i am very comfy as i fall asleep but after 3 hours my legs start to burn and my back feels like i have done 100000000 sit-ups so i wake in pain .just turning off the bed when its up at 90 degrees is painful and sometimes kath has to help me off the bed .anyway i will go downstairs and put my TENS on and take more pain killers then on my recliner i may get another 2 hours thin sleep if you know what i mean ..this happens ever night not just on the odd occasion every night.so my body does not get a recharge .anyway never mind you just have to get on with it ..but its no picnic!!
  • of laying on my recliner in the darkened room loaded with pain killers because i am in too much pain to do anything else ..its like having then pain of cancer without the release of death.{my apologise to any of my friends that do have cancer}.but i am sure that the pain could not be that much worse .my pain has shot up from a constant 7 to a 9 in the last 6 weeks .i dont know what to do .help!
  • Sorry to hear that straker, I feel the same way. I wish I could be put into a coma until the pain is solved...

    The worst part is I can't even sit in my recliner because it kills my lower back.
  • Straker,
    Flare up are a constant aspect of chronic pain and even knowing where the threshold of increased pain may be, we continue past that level and experience the pain as a consequence. Inactivity and over activity can increased the pain with equal results and as Starker says, finding where that threshold is for each of us as individuals, is a key factor in managing it more effectively.

    Experience tells us that however severe the flare up is it will pass and we continue with our norms, the key is to respect those periodic flares and bide our time, our high motivation and performance is at odds with our condition and inability to function even at our base level at times, we are still trying as hard. That frontal attack never really worked for me as a strategy, we have to use our guile and cunning and always be proactive.

    Living your life through these sporadic windows of opportunity, predetermines disappointing, a coin toss of how you may feel a week on Wednesday. I am no clairvoyant but could surmise with some certainty that these flare up’s will reoccur over time and with that knowledge we need an alternative plan and strategy when they arrive, using our every day chronic pain strategy will not work and is insufficient at these times.

    All of this takes time and error to find what will work for us as individuals and no guarantee that the same process with have the same outcome the next time and this is frustrating. I have my own list of what makes things worse or better and restrict those things that I know will increase that opportunity for another flare up to develop, The physiological aspect of decreasing physical function is equally impairing as we ride out the storm.

    In 1990 the professor I saw said, that’s you we can do noting more and for me it was something of a relief in that from a bit more effort my recovery was just around the corner, which was never realistically or achievable and that mode of false hope in something could be done. All that hope and expectation, my own and others flew out of the window and this journey is now down to me, if we have that mindset that something can be done, we will never have inner peace and always wonder what if. ?

    The alternative is to give up, and I have come too far to quit now, my own wonderful life epitaph will be of doing my very best in difficult and trying circumstance and the knowledge that I did my best in everything, every day. When your last door closes another more varied and interesting one will open, it may not encompass your hope and dreams of the past, but embrace it we must with good faith and that drive we have all developed over time.

    Take care John
  • this 2 and a half week flare up seems to be on its way out .as i am feeling a bit better today .and i have managed to keep of the cigarettes for nearly one month!!
  • Straker, I find that swimming REALLY irritates my low back, especially when I am having a flare-up of symptoms. The weather plays a huge part in how I feel from day to day as well; we have had high and low pressure systems galore here in the great white north, and I have had an awful few weeks after having five very manageable weeks.

    Quitting smoking is probably another added stress for your body, too, but WAY TO GO!!

    Take it easy so you'll be in good shape to go visit your daughter.

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