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What do you do when the treatment is causing more pain?

FormerfireFFormerfire Posts: 148
I apologise up front, I am in awful pain and completely over it. I want to know if anyone has actually ever gotten better from a disc herniation, or is it an ongoing disaster???

I had microdisc L5S1 May 2008. Have had physio, chiro, accupuncture, ESI x 6, nerve burn! I am just not getting any stronger!

I don't know what to do. Everyone (medicals) tells me something different. I started seeing an Osteopath 3 weeks ago, and since then I am getting sciatic pain back again (which has me seriously worried). I dont even know what the real difference is between an osteo and a chiropractor.

Please - can anyone just boost my spirits tonight. I feel just way to young to have this so badly.

Sorry for the whinge....I am focussing on coping with the pain and this is my only avenue of venting.

OH yeah, joy oh joy, I am on Tramadol which makes me throw up for 12 hours too.


  • Well - no surgery here - disk herniations- yep! I was given T3's and told to live with it, its not that bad!

    Pain has been my companion for 20+ years. Over that time - I began to realize that my back was a laboratory and I was in charge of testing. With that in mind - I have years of figuring out what bothers my spine and what helps. I invite you to do the same. This is a long-term issue and cannot be fixed in weeks or even months. I re-injured my back - on an ongoing basis and it began a recovery that took 2 years to feel like I had arrived at the end. I then began to have periods of relative pain free times. Since I am use to pain, I kept working until I was back at that pain level, that I remembered - instead of stopping long before. My body got into a habit of hurting itself, before I would stop. NOT GOOD!

    I have been Treating this for the last 6 years now. This months represents my 2 yr aniversary of getting a DX of what was going on, and that there is nothing that can be done. I have been on a host of meds to control pain - been through a pain clinic and then onto stronger meds.

    I too found a real nausea problem with Tramodol - but I also found that it worked against the pain. Sad!

    I too have burning sciatica and I don't like it at times - but I do live with it.

    If I could encourage you in any way - it would be to know that this too shall pass- and that a way to live with it- will appear. It may take some time- to allow the light and the tunnel to appear though!

    Cheers -C45
  • I believe C45 has alot of wisdom in his post. It has taken me now about 9 mos but you do begin to understand the pain. I want to stress though that you should never accept the pain. You should understand it and have a plan of action to deal with it.

    I understand your post is to vent but I am not seeing a real plan. I think you need to really take a step back and start with baby steps. List short term and long term goals...

    1) Bring down level of pain..this med does not work, can i switch.

    2) Increase mobility -> PT works, chiro does not...

    It will be as C45 said an experiment unfortunately which can have some tough patches but you have to give it a shot and have a journal. Than keep modifying your plan based upon the results.

    In the end though there are two sayings someone told me for other things in life.

    1) A little pain will never kill you and may make you stronger.

    2) While you may not win, do not be beaten.

    I especially like #2 and is something I believe Papa Ron said in a different way. You may never completely beat the pain but in the same manner do not let the pain beat you.

    Who is in control? The pain or you? Do not let it run your life. As a person who grew up with IBS and now sciatica I can tell you I may have had about 10 years of about 45 years on this rock where I felt great and pain free. But I will not let it beat me.


  • Have you had a recent MRI to see if the disc reherniated or perhaps they missed a piece of it and it is irritating the nerve?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Even though 2008 sounds such a long time ago, when we are dealing with our spines, its still pretty fresh.
    Since that time period have you been doing the 'right' things for your back or the 'wrong' things'

    Now, personally, I would never see a chiropractor once I had disc problems. The general chiropractor is really not trained in that area. One it comes to the disc, spine and nerves, you want to deal with doctors who specialize in that.

    Osteopathic Doctors attend medical schools but graduate with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) vs those that graduate with a Doctor of Medicine (MD).
    I went to a DO for about 4 months. He was a 'hands on' DO. Basically his treatments were him using his hands over/under parts of my body. No manipulation, no massaging, etc... This holistic approach was geared into fixing my spinal nerves.
    He used an example that when we are in pain, our spinal nerves are twisted around our discs and there is no flow. What should happen, is for those nerves to get untwisted, so that there is a natural flow for your nerves. I have to say I had very good results from this. But I also firmly believe that you have to be open to alternative type of medicines.

    Chiropractors work on the mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Much of their work involves 'manipulating' parts of your body.

    All this being said, has your current problems recently cropped up or have they been slowing developing? After your surgery, did you feel better?
    There are so many questions to go along with Spinal problems. If I was in your shoes, I would start to have discussions with your doctors just to see what is going on
    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
  • Thanks everyone - you are all so kind.

    I have gone off Tramadol today and back on the short term oxycodone as well as the muscle relaxers. I think that the Osteo has caused the current changes in my pain level.

    On a good note, I have joined a gym just to walk and get some mobility happening, I figure whatever strength I can get will be good for me.

    I think you are all right, I need to get that pain level back down, then I can keep working the plan of improving.

    I didnt know that about Osteo's, that is good to know. He does a lot of cracking and manipulation. I only got sciatic pain after seeing him. So will see if I can get it to settle then see him and see if it worsens again.

    Thanks for all your help and advice. i know there are so many more people in much worse state that me, so really appreciate your encouragement.

    We live to see another day :)))

    Thanks guys
  • I can tell from your post you feel positive about the gym membership. You now have a plan and taking action. That is half the battle.

    Just remember at this time to take what the body will give you for now. There may be some discomfort but that is why you have the meds. It just obviously should not go into the pain area.

    Walking is the best thing to start with and may want to try some simple exercises that will strengthen your lower abs and lower back. Slow but sure wins the race here...

    Keep us updated...and do not be discouraged as you may inevitably hit some more bumps along the way.


    Also think about changing other parts of your life like do you work at an office and sit alot. Try and do things that can unload the spine throughout the day.
  • Thanks JS

    After a day of pain at work hardly able to move, I have decided that the Osteo is not working for me. He shouldn't be inflicting further and worse pain I dont believe - especially not the sciatic pain.

    So I will get chiro to see if its all out of whack then just try and beat it on my own if i can.

    I usually work sitting down, but 1-2 days week i am teaching so standing all the time, both actually bug me equally. Not sure how to unload my spine.

    Will let you know how it goes.
  • I have had many friends of mine who are even more hardcore about weight lifting than me that swear by their chiros and than their are cases like myself that it seems to make it worse. It is one of those areas that can either be great or terrible.

    Based upon the stories and results I have heard watch out for the chiros that give you the oversell. Mine went with videos and telling me how my back was terrible and that I need 3 mos of 3 days a week to fix it. Run away if they give you a contract that locks you in and you loose the money if you stop. That happen to me and I lost about 1,000 as I was using a cane and said better off loosing the money.

    I have found the best chiro stories are word of mouth recommendation that the chiro basically does a few adjustments not months and he tells you to come back when you need to.

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