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New member introduction

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in New Member Introductions
I am brand-new to this Forum and am more frustrated with my pain situation than ever before. Every doctor visit leaves me angrier than the one before. My pain situation includes:

1) Bulging disc (stenosis/spondylosis/facet arthrosis/ligamentum flavum hypertrophy/bilateral neuropathy of lower extremities): L4-5
2) Disintegrated disc (annular tear): L5-S1
3) Cervical fusion (disc replacement) due to severe degenerative disc disease, spondylosis, diffuse myelomalacia (C3-7), and neural forminal stenosis: C5-6, C6-7 (2008)
4) Angulated disc: C4-5 (loss of normal lordosis)
5) Dislocated rib (top/right, near sternum): sharp, stabbing pain - comes and goes - sore to the touch
6) Hip pain: worse on right side; radiates down legs with numbness and tingling in toes (intermittent); pain seems to go all the way through to my lower right abdomen
7) Low back pain: More severe at spine in area of L4-5 and tailbone - sharp at times
8) Neck/throat/jaw/tongue pain (SCMs, scalenes, levator scapulae): Burning sensation accompanied by nausea, dizziness, memory loss, loss of balance (on occasion), feeling exhausted/tired
9) Migraine Headaches: come and go several times a week
10) Severe shoulder pain: In upper/lower traps and under shoulder blades/rhomboids/along spine - radiates down both arms - sometimes accompanied by tingling in hands/fingers - definite burning sensations in various areas of arms, hands, and fingers - sometimes intermittent stabbing pains - very sharp!
11) T-spine: some discs sore to the touch - some mild scoliosis - ribs hurt
12) Morning stiffness: hands are like claws, knees ache
13) Ear pain: deep, burning pain inside both ears, first one side, then the other
14) Tooth pain: Very sensitive teeth - especially upper molars but now lower jaw area is involved
15) Sinusitis: Constant stuffiness, blockage in passages varies from side to side
16) Feet: Flat left foot - torn tendons and sprains throughout the years; hammertoe on right foot; heels of both feet very sore - especially in the morning

The severe migraine headaches I was experiencing 24/7/365 before the surgery have subsided a little but have not gone away entirely. The neck had been slowly going south for several years (headaches since high school) and a round of PT with a very ignorant/arrogant practitioner in late 2006 pushed it over the edge to the point where my spinal cord was actually bruised, my pain was constant, I was dizzy - even while laying down (to this day I can no longer sleep on my back on a bed!), and I kept seeing flashing/popping lights, lost my balance backwards - very distressing - especially when so many of the doctors I saw to try and get help treated me like a head-case. 2007 was a nightmare!

My neurosurgeon ordered another MRI of my C-spine in 2009 and told me that my C4-5 was angulated or curved the wrong way into the head. He said that this was what was causing the headaches - and all the other upper body pain - and referred me to a pain specialist for an epidural at C4-5. My neurosurgeon and his PA assured me that this procedure would do the trick for the headaches but that I would need further surgery when I get older to replace this disc. I spoke with the pain specialist by phone today and he told me that he felt the epidural would help to alleviate some of my symptoms - but I'm very skeptical. If C4-5 was the culprit causing the headaches - why in God's name didn't my neurosurgeon fix it along with the others back in 2008??? I can't seem to get an answer on that question.

I have tried without success to find a reliable/reputable practitioner who will diagnose and treat my trigger and tender points in a more comprehensive manner. I have already endured facet injections at C4-5, C5-6, and C6-7, bilaterally; I had a migraine headache for a week afterward. Epidurals at L4-5 proved ineffective. I've had numerous rounds of PT, TENs, ultrasound, Rolfing, acupuncture, acupressure (helped a very little bit), heat/ice, myofascial massage; tried yoga, Tai Chi, supplements (Magnesium), counseling, various meds, etc. Am currently on a low dose of Zoloft (50 mg/day) since most meds make me sick, sleepy, and I gain weight. The only thing I haven't been able to get any of my doctors to do are trigger point injections into the muscles themselves. The things they push are more meds, surgery, or epidurals. My neurosurgeon wants to operate and fuse L4-5, L5-S1 but I'm not ready for more pain and suffering after my neck surgery. My new cervical discs took and the neurosurgeon said everything looked great at the surgery site but I'm still having pain. The more I stress the more pain I have. If I do routine tasks around the house, my neck and lower back act up. I'm pretty fed up!

Thanks for listening - off to find a solution!



  • Hi
    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many whom have gone through the same things or are going through them. Be sure to check out the doctor written and peer reviewed articles as well. Is there any reason your doctors won't give you trigger points? Have you asked them point blank about doing them. I know we have some back clinics and you can walk in and get them, so not sure if that is a option to for you. Anyway just wanted to stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care and keep us posted.
  • WELCOME !!

    I am sorry to hear that you have been through so much! I hope that this site helps you with information and lots of supportive people!!! I hope you can find someone to help you with trigger point injections if that is something you want to try. I go for weekly, lidocaine,trigger point injections, and they really help me get through pool therapy. They supplement me with lidoderm patches for the 3 days or so when the relief wears off until the next visit. I hope that you get some relief and lots of support!!

    glo :)
  • Hi tamtam:

    I have no idea why none of my doctors will give me trigger point injections - especially since I think those would help at the site of my muscle knots in my shoulders and neck. I even asked point-blank for them to examine me for trigger points - the best I could get was a squeeze or two on my upper trap and my neck - with responses ranging from "you're all knots" to "your neck feels tight." Duh!!! All of the MDs I've seen just try and give me more Rxs that don't work worth a fig! The pain meds and muscle relaxers just make me dizzy and sleepy and I hallucinate - but not really much pain relief - or healing of the issues. Even the acupuncturists I've seen didn't probe the knots or do any of the exams I've read about that some folks are lucky enough to get for trigger point diagnosis. A chiropractor I saw recently refused to do anything - he said that my muscles were all "too tight" and that if he tried to "adjust" me, it would just do more damage - he just referred me to an acupuncturist. That acupuncturist just started sticking needles in me and told me to lay down and relax. Well, I can't lay down on my back, sides, or stomach due to the pain. If I sit up and have to stay in one position for a prolonged period of time, my muscles all start seizing up and I'm in worse shape. To make things even worse, the pain from the needles causes my muscles to really tighten and the pain is excruciating. When I ask, the pain docs I've seen all seem to think that an epidural injection is the sole answer. The latest pain doc told me "it's all part of the same thing" but that's as far as he would go. He told me that my neurosurgeon was a "smart guy" and that if my neurosurgeon told him that he should get an epidural injection at C4-5, then he would do it. I even asked an ortopaedic doc who I know gives pain shots to give me a pain shot and he refused on account of he says that my neurosurgeon is in charge of my neck and he won't provide me with any treatment on my neck so as not to interfere. I've asked my ENT about this - he says I have no sinus infection yet I have purulent discharge coming from my nose and a bad odor in my nose/breath. He's done (2) head CTs so far for the sinuses and thinks the sinus and ear pain is from the bad discs - my dentist thinks the same thing - I don't have TMJ, however. I'm completely exasperated by these people. I'm going to try a rheumatologist and yet another pain doc - the only one in town I haven't seen - to try and get some answers. I sure appreciate your input!
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. sorry to hear you are in so much pain. ~X( i do hope you are able to find some pain relief soon. good luck and keep us informed! :D Jenny :)
  • Thanks, Jenny! I'm going to go through the info on the site and keep searching.
  • Hi Glo!

    Thanks for the info about the lidoderm patches - I didn't know about them but I will check them out. I will keep trying until I get some results.
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