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Back Pain

rottieloverrrottielover Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am new to this forum and hoping for some inspiration and hope in dealing with DDD and the chronic pain that goes with it. All the medical doctors that I have seen only point me to spinal fusion but are still reluctant to perform any surgery. Meanwhile, I have not relief from the pain. Activities including core strengthen exercises leave me incapacitated some times for hours or days.
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  • Hi there and welcome,

    I think you may find some good feedback here.
    I had herniated disc and DDD.
    For DDD, my doctor(s) would also have been hesitant on fusion. Of course there were others that would have been quick to do them. So you get mixed feedback.

    Only you can decide if surgery is right for you. In my mind, fusion is the last option b/c it's permanent and there's no going back.

    For DDD, I think there are many conservative treatment options including exercises to help "unload" the disc but the question is finding ones that will work for you.

    I know my doctor has told me most anything for DDD (inversion tables, core exercise, PT, etc) are all helpful for DDD. But I know others will offer ideas that are les invasive than fusion. And if fusion, they can give you feedback on what to expect and/or what questions to ask.


    What level is the DDD at? What do the discs above/below look like? What's your predominant area of pain?
  • I have DDD also and recently recovered from an L5-S1 herniated disc. I received some facet joint injections and an epidural with good results so far. I also take medication for the pain. I hope you get a good Pain Management Dr. to help you with the pain. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thank you for responding to me. I feel like I'm on a merry-go-round having too many fingers in the pot. One doctor ordered a left L3/4 single nerve root block last fall and the neurosurgeon states it is not enough. He wants a bilateral L3/4 nerve root injection. My insurance is denying the procedure. The neurosurgeon is upset that the MRI verbage was not adequate as to my condition. He has the actual MRI films and films from a January SPECT bone scan. Nobody is playing with the same rules.

    At this point I may lose my job and cannot sit, stand or walk for more than a few minutes. The pain is unbearable.

    Since I am diabetic the doctors are treating me so conservatively that there is no progress.

    I am a fighter and not a quitter. What ever it takes to allow me to return to a better quality of life.
  • The doctor thought the pain generator was at L5 S1 without clarifying exactly what he found. The MRI showed:

    L2-L3 broad based disc bulging which demonstrates a shallow foraminal component. Mild bilateral facet arthropathy is present. There is a mild narrowing of the right lateral recess. Mild rightforaminal narrowing is noted. Left foramen and central canal are patent.

    L3-L4 broad based dics bulging is present with shallow osteophytic ridging. Bilateral facet arthropathy lateral recesses and results in mild-to-moderate left foraminal narrowing and mild rigth foraminal narrowing. The central canal is patent.

    L4-L5 a shallow left paracentral broad-based dics bulge is present which demonstrates a shallow left foraminal component. Bilateral facet arthropathy and ligamentous infolding are present. There is narrowing of the left lateral recess. Foramen and canal are patent.

    L4-L5 is a shallow broad-based disc bulge and bilateral facet arthropathy are present. Foramen and canal are patent.

    Impression: Multilevel spondylitic changes as detailed above.
  • I know that you will find a doc that can and will help you with such a great attitude. Unfotunately persistence is what it takes in order to find answers and get results.

    I am not at all good at reading MRIs, but I will tell you that the facet arthropathy (arthritis) that is mentioned at every level is very painful. Makes it hard to sit, stand, walk and even straighten up sometimes.

    I was wondering if anyone has ever tried a rhizotomy with you? This is where they burn the nerves that are carrying the pain signals. The nerves die off for about a year and may give you some relief.

    I do understand that the docs will hesitate to give you steroid injections with diabetes. They make blood sugar go haywire.

    Keep searching. It may take a little longer to find relief but hopefully in the end it will be well worth the effort.
  • Thank you all for welcoming me to this forum and forresponding to my postings. J.J. Grey thank you for bringing up a rhizotomy procedure that may help. I have had steriod injections in the past both the ESI and Selective Nerve Blocks. Been through PT, chiropractic care and meds. So far nothing is working. Before this hit me like a brick wall, I had participated in Curves and walked daily. Now nothing is working. Also been diagnosed with sciolosis and bursitis in both hips. With age comes wisdom but I think they forgot to tell the body that there are consequences to everything you do. I am afraid that if nothing is done now to help me, they will think I am too old later on to even try. I am in my early sixties and used to being active.
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  • Treatment needs to be individualized. Moreover, without considering all aspects of your life, health, and beliefs, you and your doctor are unlikely to create a plan that is mutually satisfactory. Consider that your plan should be multifaceted including:

    1. prescription medications – anti-inflammatory and analgesic types.
    2. homeopathic medications – not available via your allopathic physician.
    3. naturopathic medications – not available via your allopathic physician.
    4. herbs – may complement or replace use of ibuprofen
    5. alternative pain relievers that are not available in all States.
    6. acupuncture – may complement intervention options 1-5.
    7. acupressure – may complement intervention options 1-5.
    8. electroacupuncture– may complement intervention options 1-5.
    9. electrical stimulation (various forms) – may function very similarly to 6-7, overlapping benefit.
    10. physical intervention may complement all 1-9 stretching the tissues from peri-discal tissue to other lumbar structures and distally, including hamstrings and plantar feet, and circulation. The intervention may be passive (PT and chiropractic) and active independent core strengthening, ball traction, inversion.
    11. light therapy – see mechanism of effect, may provide circulatory support.
    12. hypnosis, psychotherapy – patient exhibits no adjustment problems related to symptoms.
    13. distraction (mental) – all healthy, non-contributory activities that distract patient from symptoms may be considered.
    14. heat – analgesic and improve healing circulation.
    15. ice – if swells acutely
    16. dietary adjustments – needs dietary consultation and plan for losing weight if needed.
    17. spiritualism – positive attitudes are probably reinforced as result of his participation in formal activities.
    18. work, non-vocational activities and recreation should be changed to decrease physical stress within the framework of your ability to do so.

    Additionally, if the absence of evidence of spinal instability on x-rays (i.e., notable shifting on flexion/extension and lateral bendinng) the merits of fusion is questionable.
  • hi and welcome
    you will find a doc,,took me awhile..i now have team of docs..
    i do not like to take pain meds..
    years ago i did have l4,l5 fusion after many different treatments esi shots pt..alot and many docs
    after fusion i went thru many pt..none of them helped recovery..
    so i found indoor pool and water did amazing..i was good for yrs..
    pls try heated pool..most h.s. or ymca have low-grade classes you can take..
    i have hernited and few bulgding discs now one of my docs recommending mircodisecomy but i'm not sure going thru any surgery even if invasive is something i wish to do..
    the pain is very hard to deal with..and pls do everything you can to avoid surgery ..i again have problems but i was happy that i had fusion done it did help ...
    i also have fibromyalgia and very low doses and few poses in yoga help...
    keep searching and looking for docs
    you will find so many tips and help in this forum keep reading..when i joined i just typed in search box anything i had a ? about ...so much info it's amazing
    i hope you painfree days
    and gentle hugs
    mary aka watergirl
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
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