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Chronic lower back pain

rottieloverrrottielover Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Lower Back Pain
It is so good to have a place to get insight into back pain. I would like to thank everyone for their ideas and ways of coping with this difficult issue.

I have had chronic lower back pain for over a year. Before that it was building for several years before it changed to constant pain. It was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and bursitis in both hips. While the pain does not go down into my feet/legs the pressure does. Movement causes sharp lower back pain. Sitting is very painful and leads to seizing up of my back leaving me unable to move. Standing and walking are equally painful. Anti inflammatory meds don't help. Pain meds are ineffective. Changing to a stronger med does relieve the pain but am unable to function on them. I have seen a rheumatologist, physical therapist, chiropractor and neurosurgeon. The first neurosurgeon did not want to treat me as I am diabetic. The second neurosurgeon is currently hampered by my insurance company. My neurosurgeon has ordered single nerve root injections and a discogram that were denied by my insurance. He stated that the only procedure he could do in my case is spinal fusion. In fact, most treatments are being denied by my insurance. The ESI shots did not help. I am in constant pain and now forced back to work. Here is the dilema. My employer wants to convert my work station/cubicle to standing. Has anyone here found that to be a solution to back pain? Or even enabled them to continue working?

At my wits end with no where to turn.



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I'm a dog lover myself, although it doesn't matter which breed - I currently have a 1-year-old Corgi. Such a cutie.

    Anyway, is there any way you can see a spine specialist? It can be either neuro or ortho, but someone who's fellowship-trained and only works on spines? Overall, they seem the best to be able to diagnose and treat anyone with spine problems, even if they have other issues.

    Have you had an MRI? Do they know what exactly is going on in your back? I assume that they don't because of the tests they want to do, but an MRI might tell more of the story.

    Take care and keep us posted.
  • Animal lovers are good people! It doesn't matter what the breed. I think we are joined at the hip!

    Yes, I have had an MRI and was sent to a spine specialist. The first one would not want to treat me with the cortisone injections as they raise the blood sugars. The only surgical treatment would be spinal fusion. He sent me to rheumatology.

    After rheumatology exhausted their options (meds, anti inflammatory and prednisone, piroxicam) he sent me to another neurosurgeon - spine specialist. He was willing to treat me. ESI shots did not work and he ordered single nerve root injections and a discogram. Both were denied by my insurance.
    He tried to appeal the decisions but it did not help.
    My insurance is denying everything.

    My employer wants me to return to work again and change my work station to standing. The pain is not controlled and I find myself losing more each day.

    Going to another doctor does not gaurantee that my insurance will cover what he finds.

    BTW the MRI films show exactly what is wrong. Part of the problem is that the radiologist terminalogy was inadequate for my insurance. The neurosurgeon tried to appeal stating the verbage did not reflect the films but to no avail.

    Thanks again Cath. It is good to vent. Has anyone else found luck in standing at a computer all day?
  • Hi. Given your bursitis and the pressure/pain you already feel while standing or walking, it sounds like your employer is setting you up to fail (perhaps unintentionally). All I know from reading up on this subject is that the best ergonomic setup at work is one that provides for frequent changes in your position. So you might sit for an hour, then stand for half and hour, then sit again etc. And you have to take regular breaks of at least 5 minutes every hour to stretch and get blood flowing to your back and leg muscles.
    There are desks that actually rise and descend with little effort and it's my understanding they don't cost too much. I myself am bracing for returning to work (lots of sitting) and will have an ergonomist check my work station first. I will ask her about the latest in variable work stations and update this post.
    Best of luck to you on your return to work. Please keep us updated here on how things go.

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