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Me and My Story

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi Everyone,

I posted in one of the threads, but haven't introduced myself yet. My name is Janet and I am a 41 year old who is in great health except for having the back of a 90 year old woman! :) I work as a therapist for a mental health agency. Married, with a 15 year old step-son and a one year old daughter.

At 10, I was diagnosed with Spondylosisthesis (and mild Scoliosis) and had a spinal fusion that summer. Long recovery and lots of pain.

Two years later, I dove into a 4 ft pool, hit my head and cracked an upper vertebrae.

In my twenties, I had an anterior cervical fusion.

(Don't ask me the L's and the C's- I can't remember!)

Over the years, I have experienced so much back pain. Somewhat recent MRI's (about 2 years ago) indicated stenosis and arthritis. I think I also heard the term Degenerative Disc Disease in there too. I have tried just about every drug, acupuncture, chiropractic care...you name it. The only thing that has ever seemed to help is PT and occasional use of Prednisone.

I used to have "blowouts" in my lower back every couple of months, which then decreased to every couple of years, which is NOT excessive, I know. When I would throw my back out, it would be total incapacitation. As I've gotten older, I have found that joining a gym(!) and trying to stay in shape has been the only thing to keep things manageable. If I don't exercise, I end up back in the "every couple of months" land of back and neck spasms.

Right now I am on vacation :) and just before we left, I developed a muscle spasm in my mid back. The acute pain left, but I am now stuck with that lovely night time pain that keeps me up all night and prevents me from sleeping comfortably. I chalk this up to a month long gym hiatus, I guess. (Any advice on this would be hugely appreciated- I want to enjoy the rest of my vacation!)

Thanks for letting me ramble. I appreciate all of the support and knowledge on this board. Take care!


  • If there's a hot tub or spa somewhere near where you are vacationing, a bit of moist heat would probably go a long way to helping loosen things up enough to sleep.

  • I also have spodylolisthesis, and had my first surgery at age 14 when it got to the last stage and as drs put it, a hair from severing my spine. Back then all they did was a fusion with bone graph from hip also.
    A few years back after suffering many years in pain, and going untreated, with a fracture
    through fusion and nerves being pinched paper thin, bone on bone,drs desription, my new nerosurgeon was able to go in and clean all the old stuff out. And excuse my description of this, not able to spit correct terminology out without it in front of me, just able to tell you like he explained to me. He was able to jack my spine up about an inch and place 3 spacers in,to release the pinched nerves, pull my spine in about 50%,and did 3 fusions with rods and screws on both sides of spine. It was a successful surgery and I healed well. And i believe it was L3or4-S1.That part of my spine is the only part of my spine I have no drastic pain. The rest is another story. But I did and do have sciatic pain that was helped with ESI,which is time for another. Maybe your pain could be the cause from sciatica, I'm no dr. But just wanted to share my story with you. It could be from just be scar tissue or years of wear on area,or even the added pressure of pregnancy and birth. I had to have both kids by c-section.
    My son was also diagnosed at age 10 with grade1 spondy and thankfully hasn't had any new slippage or problems. He's very athletic and 18 now.
    Anyhoo, just wanted to share my experience with you and hope you find answers and relief. Also I know tucking a pillow between my thighs and knees helps take alot of pressure off my hips and low back,also curling into the fetal position relieves the strain for me too.
    Have a good vacation and good luck to you!
  • :H Welcome Hon!

    :D I'll keep this brief. While you're on vacation, I recommend a massage -- might just be the trick to release trigger points in your back.

    Enjoy your vaca and look forward to chatting with you in the future.

    Take care,

  • Hope you had a good vacation and the back is feeling a bit better now.

    When I was younger, exercise at the gym, mainly aerobics, kept my back pain under control. Keep it up because it releases lots of endorphins.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. thanks for stopping by.. :D it seems like you have found one answer with exercise and that is a good one.. i hope the forum offers other answers for you.. :D good luck as you search for pain relief! Jenny :)
  • welcome to spine health .i had to stop going to the gym because i could not even warm up without my back giving me hell..about 5 years ago i could manage a 9 minute session in the gym and an hour in the pool .i was fit and slim .but as time and my back got worse i am luck if i can manage a 10 minute session in the pool .just water walking !! that gives you some idea of how bad my back has gone ..and for the last month i have not been able to move out of the house .if it were not for the fantastic support from the people on this site i think i would have lost my mind !.i hope that you find new friends here too
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