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L4/L5 overall mild central canal stenosis
I am at my wit's end with the conflicting advice that I receive from four different doctors. My back pain started on my 31st birthday and has been getting worse since then. I just turned 32 recently.
From my chart last year:
L4/L5 mild annular bulge and or mild facet arthritic changes.
Overall mild central canal stenosis
L5/S1 mild disk bulge
Mild facet arthritic changes
I have low back pain that is dull but also thoracic pain that only started after months of the lumbar pain. It does feel better at complete rest like laying down or relaxed in chair. If I ride in a car for an hour, the pain will not stop even if I am taking maximum ibuprofen or other NSAID. This is even in addition to narcotics at the levels prescribed.
I seem to have trigger points in the muscles around the thoracic area. Overall, there is a muscle tightness on one side but both sides have been inflamed. A Dexpak nearly stopped all pain with hydrocodone.
In the last month, my upper buttocks have been cramping a lot when I walk around. It just feels like muscle pain, but is bad often for days at a time with no major exercise, just work done.
So, now I have tolerance to pain medication and while my job, family and other activities could use more pain management, a local pharmacist has decided that running short six pills is a major sign.
Every doctor I have seen still prescribes hydrocodone to help the pain but it lost it's effectiveness months ago I believe. It does work, albeit not as good.
One says that he believes me and that without seeing the charts it still sounds like I am in pain.
Another, a DO, pushes and moves my legs around then prescribes more pain medication without explaining the manipulation.
The third, an internal medicine MD says that just the stenosis could cause the pain. Currently my primary, but could not even convince pharmacist the early refill recently was needed. Of course only after a pain diary do I realize pain in other areas too but forget to tell him about that new symptom. We do have an MRI planned if I can get Medicare to help.
A fourth sums it all up to stress and dismisses any stenosis.
Anyone with similar problems out there? I am more interested in knowing if I am just a normal 32 year old with normal spinal stenosis. I feel somehow that if others have the same radiology report and pain, I am not a diverter or abuser.