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Spondy and pain meds Advice please.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
My CT scan shows DDD in the upper spine and spondylolisthesis at the bottom ( last vertebrae I don't know the numbers yet!!)
I have an appointment with a Neurosurgeon at the end of September.In the meantime I am on pain management meds.
The DDD causes annoying symptoms...arm and hand numbness and tingling.Aching in the shoulders neck and top of arms. The worst thing is dropping things unexpectedly.
The spondy though is causing horrible pains in the legs. Mostly the thighs and feet.My calves kind of ache and feel tight but the thighs and the back of the knees are like a burning ache 24/7.Stairs are very painful and sometimes the muscles just say no more. In the last few months the pain has gone into my feet to the point where I was beginning to wonder if I had injured tendons or something like that.It is a burning ripping pain that wraps around the foot and ankle.
Dr has me on gaba which takes away the numbness & tingly feeling but nothing for the pain.
Last week he put me on Tramacet and T3's. The triple combination, remarkably(YAY!!!!!) has knocked the pain down to about a three from a constant 8/9 level.
My question is with less pain I am wanting to do things...like yard work (light stuff)....play with my grandbabies( they are little guys 2and 4)...ride my quad.....
I know the meds are masking the pain and the nerve compression is still there. Am I in danger of doing more damage by doing the things that the pain had been stopping me from doing??
Does this question make sense??
Thanks for any input from anyone who's been here. ( hurting and waiting to see what might be done.. :(


  • You have come to a great website where we all try to be supportive by sharing our experiences. In my humble opinion, I would avoid the quad for sure. I find if I overdo things, I'm back to square one and laid up for a few days. Listen to what your pain is telling you and be gentle to yourself. Its great the pain med is making your pain more tolerable, but pull in the reins and be careful.

    Best wishes to you,

  • I kind of thought the quad might be pushing it!
    This is an awesome site...I am not as anxious as I was when I was first diagnosed because of what I've learned by reading.... The sharing on this site and the available info is remarkable.
    I would like to be as relaxed as that Kitty looks :X
  • You need to be careful mainly due to the spondylolisthesis. Depending on how bad it is, your spine could become quite unstable if you were to fall, or twist too much, etc.

    Do be careful with the grandbabies. There are a couple people on this board who sustained their initial injury while "rough-housing" with their kids/grandkids!!

    Once you get an idea of the damage you will then know better whether you need to restrict activities...but at this point, being cautious is the best approach!!

    Try to avoid activities that involve, twisting, bending forward OR backward (especially important for those with spondy),lifting, pushing, pulling,and reaching overhead or to the side. Avoid riding on anything that jars the spine.
  • The spine can be injured with a wieght of as little as 9 kg. This is from research about 10 years ago. They were trying to figure out how much could hurt it and it shocked the researchers. The rest of the strength in the spine comes from ALL of the muscles in the spine working together to hold you up.

    Within 24 hours of an injury to a deep muscle in the core, it shrinks to only take about 20% of its original strength. This stays that way for up to 5 years, or it can be fixed after PT with a certain set of therapies directed at activating the nerves for those particular muscles. It takes about 6 to 12 weeks to help that.

    When we are on pain meds, it is not ness fair to say that it is masked, normally, you don't feel all of the pain, just some of it. This is good, because the body still has a warning system in place for you to not hurt yourself. The issue is this, since you feel better, you add back in all of the activities that hurt you and placed you in this predicament in the first place. We forget and take short-cuts in lifting, cause we don't hurt right now, that tears us up a little at a time, but we dont notice it, cause that level of the pain is managed. The thing is that we get use to a certain amount of "Background Pain". And when we don't have it, we can work ourselves back up to the level of having the same amount of pain, as we did before.[we are just toughing it out, with everyone else] It is not that the meds are not working, they are, we have just abused ourselves until the pain level, has risen back up the the same level it was, BEFORE we had any meds.
    Once this happens, the only way to decrease the pain is to decrease activity, increase the meds[Dr is going to wonder about tolerance, cause most people will not admit that they did more than they should have, so Dr is wondering why your in so much more pain.]

    The hardest thing is to slow down, long enough to help things calm down and get sorted out and we really have to "listen" to our backs. They will tell us when its too much, but we really have to be careful.
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