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The Importance of Corrective Actions

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Pain Management
I went to my Deep Tissue massage specialist today and after the treatment, we sat and talked for about an hour.
This man, while not a formal doctor knows more about the entire body and how it works together then most general doctors.

We were talking today about how rapidly my arthritis has deteriorated my shoulders. A year ago, I had a good amount of arthritis in both shoulders, but the cortisone injections normally kept the pain at bay for about 6 months. Not any more. I've had 2 sets of injections since December, but I have no relief.

How could this condition spread so rapidly?

The Thai master put it in very simple terms.

The power of water

I needed more of an explanation than that. He went on to tell me to think about a dam by a river and how it holds back the water. Now start with a small crack and water will start to pour out. But in a short time, that small crack weakens form the force of body of water wanted to spill out - up to the point where the dam collapses and all the water rushes out.

The same applies to many of our spinal conditions. What might first start off as a slightly bulging disc can eventually wide up being a major herniation and impingement of a nerve root.

Could we have stopped that from happening???

His answer was Maybe, if the correct actions were taken

Doing nothing, we can almost guarantee that a spinal condition will worsen over time. So it is so very important to start with some corrective actions. That doesnt mean surgery, it could just be one of the many conservative treatments that available.

But I believe that Something needs to get done when we have problems.
Ignoring the problem is not the answer.

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


  • Sorry your shoulder pain has goten worse. I know the feeling trust me. During my spinal surgeries my shoulder was hurting so bad ,i did not know what 1 was hurting more, my spine pain from nerve damage or my shoulder. To protect my lower back i always used my right hand in a way where it put all the pressure on the right shoulder untill i pulled something. I was afraid to bring it up to the doctor during my visits for i had so much issue going on with my lower back, i just wanted some releif from my back and leg pain 1st. Needless to say i finaly broke down and mentioned to the doctor almost in tears already,He had me do a catscan and i was told its a snaping scapula. I received 1 injection which only helped for a short time. I was told there is no surgery for this condition just pt. With me not being a firm believer in pt for it just worsened my back condition after surgery each time. I finaly found a real good young chiro,and along with deep tissue massage and pt at home finaly got releif after almost 3 years of shoulder pain. Wish i could say the same thing about my spine surgery outcome. Hope you have just as good results with deep tissue massage and pt as i did with your shoulder. I probably should of got treatment sooner for my shoulder then suffer almost 3 years, but i was overwhelmed with back issues. Good luck. Sincerely Yours. Alexhurting
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I have heard it said that the 5 most dangerous words in the english language are:

    "Maybe it will go away"

    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • I've been told by doctors that cortisone (steroid) injections in a joint cause it to deteriorate. That's why there is a limit to how frequently they will be given. If they cause deterioration, I would think that any amount would be detrimental. They give some people relief from pain but there's a trade-off for everything.

    Sorry, I realize this was not the point of your post but it's the first thing I thought of. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • How did he apply that to your arthritis? My knees in the space of a year has degenerated from patello-femoral on the right to P-F and medial and from Medial on the left to P-F, Medial and lateral compartments.
    I'm curious as to how he applied the dam example to arthritis as my arthritis is deteriorating very quickly.
    I also have it in both shoulders and I suspect the hips are joining in the party. I'm only 40 so if there's a way to stem the flow, i'd love to hear about it.
    P.S Sorry to hear your shoulders are worse, you really didn't need/deserve more problems.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    Thats one of the reasons my doctors have limited the number of steroid injections that they would try for me.
    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
  • Sorry to hear about your shoulders. Arthritis is a horrible thing...

    You message is an important one, though. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to take action. I know that I "gave up" for a while because I was so sick of the doctors. I have to wonder if this just made it worse for me in the end. I encourage anyone with back (or other) problems to seek help early on.
  • Good post, Ron.

    I think it's so imperative to keep this in mind with our spine problems. If you read around the forums, you'll find some that have waited too long and now suffer permanent nerve damage (not fun), taking the easy way out and choosing the wrong doctor (second, third or more opinions can be very, very important), and others that don't follow their gut feelings.

    The spine is nothing to mess with or to take a wait-and-see approach when you are sure you're experiencing spine symptoms of any kind. It's much better to find that your spine is ok and it's something else than to find that you waited too long and now the surgery will be to stop further damage and leave you with a disability that could have been avoided.

  • But what are the corrective actions that we could have taken?
    As far as I can find, arthritis has no known cause or cure.
    My doctor tells me it is just wear and tear as the body ages, and it can't be reversed or treated, just managed.
    In the past 12 months I have had very good relief from fortnightly remedial massage.
    But lately, the effect wears of after a day or so, and I'm left with a constant, low level neck ache.
    So it seems to me that my muscle problems have now been overtaken by the DDD.
    I now get pain in the shoulders, forearm , lower back and hips on a regular basis, whereas they were just occasional until recently. And I'm doing less and less.
    I'm going to see my pain doctor again to see what else I can do, as it is having a really negative effect on my life.
    Reduced to the stage where I feel I can't do anything for fear of a bad flare up.
  • I agree with you. Doing nothing can only make things worse. I had been having savage pain in my right shoulder several months now since I fell last fall. My Ortho gave me 4 pages of exrcises to do 3 times a day. I have followed his orders faitfully although they were so painfull I would be in tears(silly cry baby) Now my shoulder is much improved and I can move it with no pain. I still do the exercises but they are no longer painfull and I now do them 2 times a day. Had I ignored my Docyors orders and did nothing I would not be able to use my right arm at all now. It would have been frozen.
    I also have arthritis in that same shoulder and my knee. I have been drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with honey and warm water and it seems to be helping! Like all natural remedies this does take time and I have only been drinking this mixture a little over a month. I do like apple cider vinegar so drinking this is no problem for me.
    Ron....I get so angry at a Doctor who will say....Oh it's just arthritis and dismiss it like it is nothing!! Arthritis is a terrible thing and can cripple a person. JUST arthritis....my foot!!
    Best to you Ron
    Patsy W
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    There are always things we can do if not to prevent a problem but to minimize one.

    Arthritis, more so Osteoarthritis generally comes as a result from trauma, accidents, prior surgeries or genetic situations.

    We may not be able to stop it, but there are many ways we can help live with it. There are tons of articles and web sites that are very helpful for any one suffering from advanced arthritis. I have used those sites and there are many products that I have found useful.

    There are also over the counter medications that state claim in helping with joint pain. So far, no medical report has denied those claims.

    DDD, thats probably the best one to handle. Through an approved exercise program and NSAIDs, DDD is totally manageable.

    Is there still pain? Sure, but doing nothing, there is no question things will get worse over time.

    Pain, Chronic Pain especially is very draining. Over time, 3, 5, 10, 20 years it can rob us of a lot.

    But still it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to learn to live with it and to do all the right things to help manage it.

    That is why I always state corrective actions are so important. There are patients, I know that put their head in the sand , sort of speaking, just waiting for a- Miracle cure or b- Total disability.

    Either case, thats not me and I stress to everyone, dont wait for either a- or b- to happen
    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
  • dilauro said:

    DDD, thats probably the best one to handle. Through an approved exercise program and NSAIDs, DDD is totally manageable.
    Ron, when NSAIDs are not an option(upper G.I. issues) and 2 EPI's and 2 RFA's have been done, would you(or anyone) know of other options medicine wise to go along with an approved exercise program? I know there is a "right" combination out there for me to begin recovery. This in-my-back-flammation has got to go so I can start going. 8}
  • Have you tried the herbal anti-inflammatories. I know it sounds a bit out there, but if you go to a naturopath and ask about non-medicine things with anti-inflammatory properties, there are a lot out there.
    I might be an option.
  • Thanks Kylie! I know my post is borderline for this particular forum and thread but i'm motivated to get this all going. Thanks for the information as I will use it to research further. I've heard Tumeric is good for inflammation but have yet to try it. Whatever I do try, it will be used in lower amounts at first to stay away from upper G.I. issue. As Ron mentioned in the first post above, the Thai Master hit the nail on the head with the dam breaking. For me, too much money has been spent on injections and that's a dam that needs some serious patching. ~X(
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