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Four Years is Enough!!!

ElusiveKismetEElusiveKismet Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Good day everyone!

I am a chronic low back pain sufferer, "suffer" is an understatement. The pain started four years ago, eight months after my son was born.

The pain: Constant, sometimes feels like a zapping with a shooting pain. It's right at the base of my spine L3-L5. It gets worse at times, but never better.

Pain scale: 1-10 (10 being worst) it's generally a 5-6, however lately it's been worse. So, for the last two weeks 7-8. Sometimes I don't even want to move it can be so bad.

Methods tried: Ice, heat, advil, tylenol, vicodin, percocet, celexa, lyrica (which is a BAD, BAD drug - it gave me the MOST awful headaches), celebrex, exercises, posture, cortizone shots and I always lift with my legs!

Tests: MRI w/o contrast (normal), Xray (normal), I do have an upcoming EMG (fingers crossed)

Diagnosis: Unknown - no one has figured it out yet. I am currently under the care of a physiatrist and so far I feel confident in his ability.

Thoughts: Anyone with chronic pain knows how debilitating it can be and not just physically, but emotionally and mentally too. I am sick of the stigmas that chronic pain sufferers in regard to finding treatment. We're NOT drug seekers, we're in pain... we need help. Aren't doctors supposed to help?!

I am at my wits end. I know there are people out there who have suffered decades and I don't indeed to do that with my life (if at all possible). I just hope the fight never dies in me because I know that pain means there is something wrong!

I have a son that I want to play at the park with! I want to go hiking! I want to go jogging!

So... four years is enough!

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!


  • I can really feel your pain! For over 1 year, I just kept getting worse, and worse. I had a small injury, Dec. 2007, not anything I would have thought would have been that bad, and that started everything! Dr. said just muscle, and I did it all, just like you, and had 3 MRI's that showed some stenosis, moderate to severe, but not compression, and finally after being told it was all in my head, I had a EMG that showed a a "CHRONIC" compression at L5 S1. So, the Neurosurgeon, after another opinion from a his partner decided to open me up, and 3 hours of surgery later, they had done a laminectomy, foraminotomy, and facetectomy. I actually had a piece of bone laying on the S1 nerve root. It has been almost 7 months since my surgery, recovery had been slow, but I do have most of my life back. Still have trouble sitting, but it is getting better. So, I guess MRI's don't show everthing, but the EMG saved me. sweetpotatoe57
  • try again - 4 years is enough, I wrote a 12 page letter detailing my 25 years of injuries and activites to get me better. I detailed [my Doctor's] his work and sending me through a pain clinic too and in the end, since in his words, "you have something that we cannot fix, and I don't know what to do." I told him to start treating the pain, because it causes other actions nd results in other conditions, like the chronic pain I do have because no one treated the injuries years ago.

    I too wish I could turn back time 10 years and relive this last time period, I would change a couple things, but mostly, I would have spent better time with my sweetheart.

    I hope your feeling better

    I'm 48 and not about to stop living either
  • That gives me so hope. It seems some doctors basically write you off when the MRI doesn't show anything. That's what my orthopedic doctor did. I remember the day I went to see him and how hopeful I was and then he said, "well there doesnt appear to be anything wrong with you, we'll just try some cortizone shots in your SI joints to see if that helps."

    I just hope it gets figured out and I pray my physiatrist is the answer.

    I think you are the first I have read that surgery helped their problem, but I think it makes sense because their was a bone fragment.

    Thanks for the input! I may want to contact you personally to discuss this further
  • I am going to try again, one thing I try not to do is give up. I think some doctors believe if you get told there is, "no hope" you might actually believe it.

    It's just been a frustrating journey, as I am sure you can relate. I just want answers, I want a plan and I want to move forward. I think the pain has taken its toll physically, but it's starting to hit me hard mentally as I hate not being able to participate in life!

    What does one expect from a chronic pain sufferer? For them to just get over it or to deal with it? I often wonder how many doctors would change their perspective about chronic pain given a walk in your shoes, sweetpotatoes' or even my shoes.

    Thanks for your words!
  • I'm sorry you've had to deal with pain all these years with no definitive diagnosis. I would go nuts because I deal with the known a whole lot better than the unknown. At least I'd know what I'm dealing with. I went through something similar years ago, and it took four years to get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. All the doctors could do was treat my odd symptoms until I was directed to a rheumatolgist by a cardiologist.

    As for my back problems, I was happy in a weird way that the problem was seen right away on an MRI. I had herniated L4-5 and L5-S1 and had nerve pain going down my right leg. My treatment started right away with an epidural, PT, and meds.

    Unfortunately I'm stuck with chronic lower back pain, sciatica in both legs, and nerve damage in my right leg.

    Anyways, I hope the EMG gives a clue as to what's going on. Take care
  • If you don't mind me asking, did you have a difficult delivery?

    What type of doctors have you been to? Have you had X-rays of your lower lumbar spine? Pelvis?

    I gather you have no pain radiating into your hips, legs or feet? The pain is centered in your lower back, right?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    your situation because there wasnt enough details.
    But I will say this, if you are dealing with chronic pain, please never think medications alone will fix all of that. To manage and control the chronic pain, you need to get involved with so many different things.
    Please read my post in the FAQ
    The Blend

    Never give up, never give in, keep on fighting. The best way to deal with chronic pain is to fight it each and every step of the way.
    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 think that is what gets to me the most is the not knowing.

    I am sorry you have to deal with so much!
  • I didn't have a difficult delivery. However, my son was over 8lbs and I am a tiny woman. I did have an epidural. I was in labor for less than seven hours.

    I have been to my gp, ortho and now physiatrist.

    I know I have had several XRAYS done, but not sure if I had those exactly.

    Sometimes the pain radiates down my left thigh. Sitting or standing for long periods makes my legs shake really bad when I go to walk. This has proven to be hazardous because it almost caused me to fall down the stairs (thankfully I caught hold of the railing!!!)

    I am 28-years- old with one child and my job is not physically demanding.

    The pain is like an index finger length up from the tailbone. It is mostly centered, but on the right or left of the pain throbs too. Often there is a sharp jolting pain.

    Any suggestions? Recommendations?
  • If there is anything I could tell you to perhaps guide me in some kind of direction I would gladly do so.

    I also am not currently on any medications for my pain and haven't been since March of this year. I do not like taking medications and I know it is not going to fix my pain. I do understand that.

    I'm a fighter. :-)


    Thank you!!!
  • I agree with you on the meds. I do not do well on any kind of pain meds, and the only one I can take is Vicodin, and I only took that for a few weeks after my surgery, as the side effects were so bad. I hurt above the tailbone area also. Actually, after my injury, they thought I had coccyxdynia. I just had another MRI this AM to see how my surgery looks, and why my sitting is so slow. Please don't give up, and just be persistent. Remember, you are in control of your body, you know how you feel, and if you have all that pain, then something is going on. Its just finding it. When the Dr. said I had a mental problem, I just blew up. I was a very active person, and my life changed in a instant. In the notes he sent to the Neurosurgeon, he said I needed psyciatric help, the Neurosurgeon, after seeing the EMG that was done, could not believe how I had been treated. I could not do a straight leg raise, walk on my toes or heels, sit, do anything. I was very weak. He told my husband, it was a mess in there! I still have lots of work to do,and I work hard at it, but the surgery gave me my life back. Keep going after it. I did. I knew something was wrong. Feel free to PM me. sweetpotatoe57
  • check out the DRX9000 for spinal decompression. i'm currently undergoing treatment for a bulging disk. my ortho doc said i needed surgery but that is a last resort for me. after completing 1/3 of my treatments,
    i feel much better. i know of 2 people who have
    undergone spinal decompression with good results.
    i hope to be the third.
  • I will look into spinal decompression, I don't know much about it.

    I do have a question for you all: Do you ever experience nausea from being in pain all the time? I have bouts of nausea when I am in a lot of pain. Just wanted to see if anyone else experienced it.

    I am heading to my physiatrist next Wednesday. I'll keep y'all posted!

    Thanks again for your replies!

  • Hi, yes, at times I did feel sick, and dizzy. I think pain can do all sorts of things to your body, but also the stress of everything. I lost almost 30lbs, just because I could not eat due to the pain, and feeling sick. That is now gone! I just had my MRI, and my surgery was deemed a sucess. Sitting is better, and the PM Dr. is doing another Medrol Dosepak for the rest of the swelling. If that does not get it all, in 6 weeks we will talk about a ESI. I actually had hardly any scar tissue. It has been a slow recovery, and the nerve is still healing, but don't give up, and get the EMG! sweetpotatoe57
  • Piriformis Syndrome -- for weeks it's been plaguing me because I could not remember what my physiatrist thought my condition might be. He only told me once and I really hadn't had time to research it since I started having gallbladder attacks (thankfully that little bugger is out)

    Today, I have been doing some reading and not quite sure what to make of it. I am not sure what to think of this because my pain does, but rarely radiates down the back of my leg. I have extreme weakness in both legs if I am bent over at even a slight angle for even a VERY short period of time

    The pain is horrible, yes! But the shaking of my legs is very scary.

    I just remembered today, so I thought I would share!
  • I have been dealing with this muscle for months! It is innerverated by L5 S1, and can cause quite a pain in the butt!! Easy stretches help it, as does walking. Ask your Dr., or PT for some stretches. It takes time, and I HATE the word time, and patience, but that is what it takes! sweetpotatoe57
  • Okay, went last Wednesday to have my EMG, which was normal. Now we're going to try trigger point injections and if that doesn't work a diagnostic block.

    The pain medication he gave, vicodin and tramadol, do not help. I threw them out. The lidocaine patch he gave helps a little.

    I guess we shall see. Heading to the physiatrist now for my first round of trigger point injections, next round in two weeks.

  • Hello - I have had chronic pain for a number of years. I have to use a number of things everyday, one of these on their own does not give me relief, but a "blend" of these does!

    I use a Tens unit, heat or cold paks, Walking each day, I use cane everyday with almost all of my walking, I use Ibuprofen, and a Low Dose Extended Release narcotic. I also have instant release as well as my pain symptoms rise and fall through out the day, depending on my activity level. I meditate each day for at least 45 minutes and use mini-breaks as well. I use body scans as well. I have another NSAID which I use when in a high pain cycle as it helps the arthritis.

    For me- there is no magic bullet that fixes all of this, but all of them together, reduces things to a level where I can live with it. And that is how I look at it, "Live" with it every day.

    I hope your feeling better! David
  • Well, I had the injections done a couple hours ago and he said it may take 2-3 days to work. He prescribed me a stronger pain medication, which I am leery of taking. I know medication is not the solution.

    Thanks Centurion45 for the advice. I agree it will probably be a "blend" of various methods and medications that will help me deal with my chronic back pain.

    I pray one of my physiatrist's methods work!

    I'll keep y'all posted.
  • Talok to your Dr about a discogram. I had pain for 2 1/2 years and every test under the sun. I had torn discs and no test except discogram show it. Just trying to help. Good Luck
  • I will look into that and ask him about it when I got back in two weeks!
  • So, it's been three days since my cortisone injections and I am having a slight relief in my back pain, but when I say slight... I do mean SLIGHT.

    I am going to look into back stretches, etc. I do some, but perhaps there are different ones that may help more.

    Going back in Sept for a second round of cortisone.
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