Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

How do you deal with inflammation? Drugs? Acupuncture? Exercise? Other?

tallguyttallguy Posts: 28
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
How do you guys deal with inflammation? Especially for the lower back?

At the start of my pain I also have such bad inflamation that I cannot stand up straight. And it is horribly painful, every move I make makes me want to pass out.


  • I take Celebrex for inflammation as well as eat certain foods that help fight inflammation and avoid others that are known to exacerbate it.

    Soy beans, soy milk, tofu, green leafy vegetables, berries, lots of water, nuts, and fish ... all have anti-inflammatory capabilities. Bake or stir fry your food with olive oil for best results vs frying or deep fat frying.

    Avoiding a lot of processed foods, lots of red meat, foods loaded with sugar or deep fat fried foods, helps since this types of foods are known to trigger inflammatory responses.

    My neurologist hooked me up with a few books that go over how there are foods that "fight pain" and foods that "exacerbate pain". At first I thought it was a bunch of baloney, but I tried it and found it to be quite an eye opener.

  • Seems like you are the only one who replies to me! ha ha. Are you still in Japan?

    I heard some bad things about Celebrex... I take Naposin and Solaxin. But recently I found they don't do anything for me... Maybe my pain is just too much...

    Stay away from banana's, sugary foods, beer, cold things, bamboo, and oily stuff, it will only increase inflammation. Learned that from a Chinese doc.

    Can you introduce me to the books? I would like to read up more... I know a lot of it already, but want to know more.

    Thanks for replying!
  • I take voltaran for the inflammation. For one year I took Naprosyn, then one year of celebrex and now this year started voltaran. My diet is an anti-inflammatary Jamaican pumpkin mixed with mashed potatoes or turnip. I hear anything orange like oranges can reduce inflammation.

    I tried accupuncture with short relief but found epidurals and facet joint and SI and hip nerve block has helped. I eat fish(snapper,grouper) and chicken and no red meat. Thanks for the info about bananas. My second PM Dr. gave me a booklet with anti-inflammatory foods. Do you have facet joint problems? Just sounds similar to what I had about standing. TC. 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
  • No problems with joints, it is all coming from the lower back which makes my muscles so tight that I cannot stand up straight. I lean over like someone who is elderly. If I try to stand up straight the pain is too intense. When I roll out of bed I feel I will pass out due to the pain, any movement I make causes pain. I am trying to learn to use my abodmen instead of my back to move, I deffiantely need to strengthen my core.

    Pumpkin is high on the GI index, check your glucose when you get a chance. I usually try to stay away from pumpkin and watermelon.

    I do not have facet joint problems, all of my pain is from the lower back, for two years I was fine and then in one day wow, bam, everything came back overnight.
  • I second the recommendation for Voltaren, but I like the topical gel that you apply to your skin. It's a prescription, but your PM doc may have some free samples for you to test it out.

    Epidural steroid injections are also great for inflammation (as I'm sure you know).

    Ice is also a good easy home remedy.

    As far as diet, there are many things you can do to try to lower inflammation:

    1) Focus on omega 3's. Fish are an excellent source and ideally should be eaten at least twice a week (as long as you aren't a pregnant female, and by your username I'm assuming that's a no :) ). It is difficult to get an adequate omega 3 intake if you're not living somewhere with access to a lot of fish, so an omega 3 supplement is a great place to start. 1,000 mg of Omega 3's is the *general* recommendation and for anti-inflammatory benefits the ratio of EPA:DHA should be 2:1 (that's the ratio that is used in all the studies). Fish oil supplements are everywhere now, so it should be fairly easy to find one. I think adding a fish oil supplement is probably the #1 thing people can do to lower inflammation with diet.

    2) Ginger and tumeric are 2 spices that are believed to lower inflammation. You can get these in capsule form, or just cook with them. Ginger goes well in lots of things: tea, stir fries, yogurt, so it is pretty easy to incorporate.

    3) Avoid high glycemic (simple carbohydrate) foods. You don't have to get too caught up in the numbers and charts- if it is processed it is probably high on the glycemic index. Fresh fruits and vegetables should all be ok. Even the ones that are "high" on the glycemic index, when you look at the glycemic load most fall on the low end (glycemic load looks at volume- watermelon is high on the glycemic index, but to get that huge of a glycemic response you have to eat nearly 4 cups of watermelon. The glycemic load looks at the glycemic response of a normal portion.)

    4) Some people find nightshade plants aggravate their pain. Nightshades are known to be pro-inflammatory, so you may experiment with cutting them out to see if it makes a difference. You can google a list online, but nightshades include eggplant, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

    5) Reduce your arachidonic acid intake. Egg yolks, organ meats, and red meat are all on the higher end when it comes to arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is a precursor to prostaglandins which are inflammatory. In fact, cyclooxygenase enzymes (better known as COX enzymes targeted by the popular celebrex) convert arachidonic acid to prostaglandins. So, one theory is that by reducing arachidonic acid in the diet you can reduce inflammation. It's the same inflammatory pathway targeted by celebrex.

    6) MSG, aspartame, and alcohol all directly affect pain receptors and can increase pain. All three are generally recommended to be avoided by anyone with a chronic pain condition. Caffeine is questionable- for some it can increase pain, but there are actually some studies that show that caffeine decreases pain sensitivity in individuals with low back pain.

    Hope that helps. There are a ton of books out there about anti-inflammatory diets, but you have to be careful because there are certainly some fad diet type advice books out there regarding inflammation so you have to be skeptical about what you read.
  • Hi Tall Guy - I'm reading the way you describe your pain and it's cause, and I'm wondering how you think your back problem is being diagnosed. Do you think it's all muscular? Where would the "inflammation" be coming from? How does the inflammation keep getting regenerated? I ask because I have chronic, debilitating pain, but only a bulge/small tear in my L4-L5 disc. A little facet pain, but it doesn't really account for it all. A little sciatica (just an ache in the foot and down the leg), but the REAL REAL pain is in my lower back. I limit my activity and take meds to keep the pain at about 2-3, but if I try to do anything more than go to the local store, my pain will rise, rise, rise and I get - it feels like being pulled down - I'll go up to a 5 - 6 within a couple of hours. And then it's oxy and the couch for me. I have been disabled with this for 2 1/2 years, can't work, been to all sorts of doctors (3 physiatrists; 2 pain management; 4 surgeons) - no-one seems to really know or care to be honest - I walk into the office OK, and aside from the one, slightly injured disc, my spine is "beautiful" I've been told.

    Sorry to divert the anti-inflammatory conversation - very interesting, and glad you brought it up. I should seriously look into it.

  • Charry and Lala What are the side effects of Voltaren?

    Never had an Epidural steroid injection yet, but have been told they work well only if they get it in the right place.

    In Taiwan pregnant women eat a lot of fish, almost 4-5 times a week. I have some omega three gel caps I will take some today.

    I am familar with the nightshade group, the one that stands out is tomatos.

    I cannot get away from MSG here, they put it in everything, I try to tell them do not add extra, or I try to cook for myself, but it is not always easy or convenient to do so.

    Yes it does help, thank you. Waht books would you recommend?

    Coyote, it is fine that you asked an unrelated question in my thread, I am fine with that.

    Well, as for how my back problems were diagnosed, I had an extra and then an MRI which pinpointed that I do have a problem. I have disk degeneration and a hernated disk, but actually it is a black hole. It is L5/S1, but they said my L4 is also starting.

    Personally after visiting the chiropractor for two years and having him solve my problem within about two weeks only going 4 times I would have to say it is probably nurlogical as the nerves are pushing on the muscles making them tight, but if you can relax the muscles then they won't push on the disk which is also attached to the nerve. Indeed it is all related. Because right now I cannot even stand up straight or sit straight because it is so painful, and I can feel the muscles in my upper and middle back very tense.

    I have no idea what would be causing the inflammation actually, but I ice it and take meds, but it has little effect. Maybe I need to change my meds.

    It could be brought on by stress, weather, natural occuring events in the world, moving the wrong way, etc. I am not sure what did it to me this time, but I am thinking it could have been a certain kind of stress, not just normal stress. But I am not sure.

    It appears your problem may be similar to mine. Try accupuncuture if it cheap where you are. I pay about $6 a treatment here, but I know in the US it is like $100 treatment and they do virtually the same thing. I feel I need to learn how to do it and I can make a fortune even by charging 1/4 what they do in the US. But I find that after only one treatment, if the doctor is good and finds the right points, I can walk out of the clinic a heck of a lot better than when I walked in, though the relieve is only for about 2 hours. But today, fourth day now, after two treatments I feel better and feel worse at the same time. Tonight I will go to my chiroprator for an emergency treatment.

    It appears you need a different kind of doctor. Also want to ask you, do you worry about money a lot? Or have anything in your life that is about money, espcially when the pain started?

    I hope that my replies can help you, this is a forum for us to share and try to help, so again I am ok that you asked something different, you have a similar problem, glad to help, anything else let me know.
  • Furthermore Coyote, are you drinking mineralized water? That is important as well as taking glucosomine.

    I try to also get some extra minerals when possible to attempt to help heal the disk, because the blood flow there is virtually non-existant which is why it never reall heals.
  • tallguy said:
    Seems like you are the only one who replies to me! ha ha. Are you still in Japan?

    I heard some bad things about Celebrex... I take Naposin and Solaxin. But recently I found they don't do anything for me... Maybe my pain is just too much...

    Stay away from banana's, sugary foods, beer, cold things, bamboo, and oily stuff, it will only increase inflammation. Learned that from a Chinese doc.

    Can you introduce me to the books? I would like to read up more... I know a lot of it already, but want to know more.

    Thanks for replying!
    I sent you a PM with the names of a couple of books I have that were recommended by my neurologist and have great information.

    Yes there's a lot of bad press about Celebrex, but like anything else, you have to weigh the pros and cons and also get through the marketing aspect of it as well. I've taken it for several years and tolerate it very well.

    I am no longer in Japan. I moved back to the US last year and am grateful for food that isn't so high in MSG, although I do miss some of the Asian cuisine. I feel better now that I have more control over what I eat and where I get the food from. I live in an area where fresh fish is plentiful as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

    I'm glad to see some others chimed in while I was out. Some days it just takes a bit for others to post.

    I think acupuncture is great and it is a shame that it is so expensive in many areas. Even in Japan, it was about $35 US if you reused needles and $45 US if you used new needles. I never liked the thought of reusing needles.

    Hope you have a better day.

  • Hi again - thanks for letting me know about your problem. I am trying to find another physiatrist, but I'm also pretty sick (literally) of conventional medicine, so all these diet ideas about inflammation are great. I feel like the pills are destroying my brain, so even if I can reduce them a bit would be good.

    Celebrex was a drug I really loved - I could feel it buzzing around my spine and whisking away the inflammation - but aside from all the GI problems - my hair fell out from it and I got horrible skin/scalp issues - I'm a woman, and I just cannot lose my hair, on top of everything else, so that's when I switched to Lyrica.

    I am fortunate to have disability benefits as well - my life was my work, but when I stopped work, everything became much more manageable!

    Thanks again.
  • Ok well after a visit to my chiro last night he said that basically I twisted my back while sleeping or doing something else. Just like sometimes you wake up in the morning and cannot move your neck which lasts for a few days. The unfortuate thing is that this is in the back so it affects more than just turning your head obviously. But today I felt a little better after getting up, but then quickly went back to the old man look with a really hunched over back and slow walking...

    haglandc, did not see the pm, will go back and check, thanks. Why did you go back to the states? Indeed you have more control over what you eat back home. But in Japan do they use a lot of msg? I figured they wouldn't, that is more of a Chinese thing I think.

    You can probably buy your own needles and then take them to the clinic. I have also thought about that. But I do not like the thought of using used needles either. I need to ask this place today if their needles are new or not...

    Coyote, I am sorry to hear you had a lot of problems with celebrex. I have some but have not dared to try it yet. What did you used to do that your life was your work?
  • I used to work with people with developmental disabilities (things like mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, etc.) I worked with adults and children living in their family homes. It was always my dream to help integrate people with disabilities into the community as much as I could. I did this for 20 years.

    I learned so much from working with those guys that helps me today - how to organize/simplify and de-stress the life so I can be as independent as possible. And also - as when I come here - I see so many people with challenges far greater than mine, who manage their lives with grace.

    I HATE being dependent - even though I worked hard and earned my social security disability benefits, I hope that I can learn a way to work and contribute in that way again. I'm also looking deep into the future - WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF SOCIAL SECURITY GOES BUST???

    In the meantime, I do some volunteer work at my church, which is wonderful. And they understand that no matter what, the back comes first, and sometimes, at the very last moment, I have to back out of a commitment because of pain.

    Try the Celebrex - you might like it. I also worry about the long term problems with the medication they give me - I'm in my mid-40's - maybe I'll be on these meds for the next 10-20-30 years.

    Also - if you're in a lot of pain right now - I would think about laying off the chiropractor/exercise/pushing yourself deal. Sometimes you just have to take the meds, relax, zone out - TV/computer/crosswords - ice on the back. REALLY TAKE IT EASY FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS, STAY HOME, DO NOTHING, etc.

    Be well. Thanks for asking about my old work - I really did love it!

  • Celebrex was what really worked for me after my shoulder replacement, it took the edge off the pain that even the narcotics left behind. I took it for several months and had zero problems with it.

    My cousin took Viox till he ran out, then switched to Celebrex. He has a fusion from falling two stories down a flight of stairs in a shipyard. total disabiliy awarded till he is eligible for Social security. He has been taking this stuff for as long as it has been around. If you don't have the genes or body makeup that causes the drugs to be a problem they don't cause one. He said Celebrex is the only thing that works at all for him.

    I stopped taking it, and tried to work through the pain with PT for 7-8 months, 3 times a week. Pain never went away, so we gave up. I tried Clebrex again after all that PT and it did not work at all, go figure.
  • Well you know, I don't exercise much anyway, but today I tried to do some stretches.

    The Chiropractor did warn me about seeing others because it may cause more inflamation. So I only see one guy and he is careful.

    I am actually not pushing myself too much. I asked my students to come to me recently so I can teach them nearer to me so I dont have to walk so far. And my other job is in front of the PC. But I cannot sit or stand too long, I probably should be laying down 80% of the day.

    I started using heat, found out it was causing more inflamation, the rule of three days ice didnt work for me, it wasn't long enough so I am back on the ice now.

    I am not sure what I am going to do. I was taking Solaxin and Naposin 250mg, but these seem to not be working, so this morning I switched to Ibuprophen as it has shown to help me before, but this time it seems it is not working either...
  • Why aren't you seeing a surgeon for your problems? I just read through this thread and noticed that your MRI shows you have L5/S1 problems and that the L4 is now starting to show issues as well.

    Do you think it's time to start trying more aggressive treatment other than chiropractic care? There's PT, Physio, injections, etc. I'd think that not being able to stand straight on a consistent basis would lead you to try something more aggressive. But, that's just me and maybe I missed something in this thread.

    Anyway, just my thoughts as I read about the problems that you're having.

  • Many years ago actually my doctor was a surgeon, and he did not recommend surgery and quite frankly I don't want surgery.

    I did PT for awhile, it hurt, I stopped as the machines were too old. I will probably go back and do rehab but I have to be able to get there first.

    I haven't been able to stand straight for about 5 days, mornings are fine, but as the day wears on I get slowly shorter.

    I do not want to do anything more aggressive beacause I am not convinced it is needed. The pain will subside most likely as it has before, as I said, I was ok for two years, little problems, but I moved two times, no pain. So... I do not think this is serious enough to warrent surgery. As I did not do anything that would have caused more damage.

    I am getting tired of the pain, that is true, and I want my painfree life back, have been considering injections, but if the pain goes away in 2-3 weeks for two more years, why would I need them? Only to feel better faster? I suppose...
  • Ok I went to a rehab doc tonight, I got two anestheic shots, not the most comfortable thing in the world, but I am sure there are worse things. But do not feel all that much better, I still cannot stand up straight. I feel more tightness actually.

    He prescribed three drugs as a drug cocktail.

    Keto 10mg cap (Ketorolac)
    Mydocalm 150mg/tab (Tolperisone)
    Acetaminophen 500mg

    Any interactions? He said doing this makes them safer actually... I wonder...

    I will do PT on Friday, never tried at this place so will give it a try.

  • I know exactly how you feel. Inflammation just down right sucks. In answer to your question, there are no side effects to voltaren. I live in australia and voltaren is one of our main anti inflammatories...doesnt do a thing for me though. It comes in a gel and tablet. You say you cant stand up straight...has the chiro you see put u on a "stretcher", i dont believe in chiros personally, but my physio said that the strecher can help alleviate that stiffness your getting. I have had inflammation in the one area (thoracic spine) for over a year now. It comes and goes for me. It feels like a giant knot. Try and keep warm (buy thermal singlet if you have too) as cold makes it worse for me. Try and drink alot of water, and STRETCH...the fact that your still hunched over is tightening the muscles around the inflammed area-causing more stiffness. Have u tried the "cat pose?" I recommend you see a physio-they are much more gentle and they will give u more exercises to strengthen your core/back muscles than a chiro ever would. They will also loosen tight hamstrings/quads and stomach muscles (as these all tighten up when you have a bad back-which can make pain worse.) Have you got a good supportive mattress? As i sit here readin what i had written-it makes me really upset. I am only 23, and chronic pain is so depressing. Makes you appreciate all the little things that we once took for granted. Take care and let me know how you go....SEE A PHYSIO :)
  • and just remember, be wary taking too many "drugs", they might be a temporary "fix" but they arent a solution. I hate it when docs try and encourage us to take so many pain meds-i know n bad days i couldnt go without them, just be careful
  • Well, ok here's an update.

    I have been doing Accupuncture since this started last month, been almost a month now. Twice a week, Between 12-16 needles each time. It has helped. I have been going to a chiropractor twice a week. And in between I have been icing many times a day to reduce the inflammation, especially after seeing the Chiropractor, as doing so increases inflammation. I am started to get a little more flexible and getting back to normal life. the biggest issue is that the muscle on one side is so tight it is forcing me to lean forward and to one side, which is of course not good. And my bones on that side are of course not being friendly enough to let the guy move em back to the right place.

    I pretty much stopped taking pain pills about 7-10 days ago. Also been taking herbal medicines from the Chinese doctor here which is supposed to improve cirulation a bit.

    I am really going to have to focus this time on stregnthening my core so that hopefully if I twist the wrong way again that the problem won't come back. I have been nearly helpless for a few weeks, sitting down to shower, canceling work, what a mess.

    Have also been increasing the amount of vitamins I take.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    Outside of the Western Medical field there are so many different types of treatments that have been proven over the years to help people. Part of this is also believing in alternative medicine.

    I've been going to doctors, surgeons, specialists for over 30 years now and they have done a lot to correct so many of my problems.

    But I have run into situations, specifically the last 4 or 5 years where there was not much the standard medical procedures could offer me.

    On the advise of my Pain management doctor, I started with Deep Tissue Massage from a Master for Thailand.
    It was his work over two years that made it possible for me to walk without a walker or a cane.

    I learned so much from this many and had good success with other alternative treatments:

    - Acupuncture
    - Aroma Therapy
    - Osteopathic treatment
    - Cranial Massages
    - Music and Relaxation therapy
    - Meditation

    There is a place for surgeries and medicine. Gosh knows I've done so much of that and am now just recovery from a complete shoulder replacement.

    But I know always mix the Western and Eastern view of medicine. In fact the Eastern ways make so much more sense. Learning about how one part of your body effects another. How one muscle or tendon can do this or that and in order to provide relief in one area, you may need to work on an area that is a distance away.

    I believe in all of this and have had great success.

    Am I in a normal status? heck no, but I feel overall mentally and physically better despite of any problems
    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
  • I have been put on anti-inflammatories,muscle, relaxers,pain meds,steroids,anti-depressant meds,anxiety meds,ADHD MEDS I have seen a chiropactor for 5 months nothing: they did deep tissue massage,tried adjustments,accupuncture,combo machine,stretching table,accupressure(the worst left me bed ridden for 2 days!!) I have tried injections,physical therapy,water therapy: At this time nothing has helped yet...It sounds like the Chiropractor has started to help you,good luck:)
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.