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I had an MRI and have spinal stenosis, L1-L5 buldging discs and arthritis

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Spinal Stenosis
*I am new to this site*
I am a 29 year old male. For the past year and a half I have been having excruciating lower back pain. Whenever I were to go shopping like at Walmart about 20 minutes into the shopping experience I start getting pain in my lower right buttocks area which spreads to my lower back. I dealt with this until 1 1/2 months ago. I went to my nurse practitioner with the symptoms and explained in detail where the pain started, where it ended, and the time elapsed. She ordered an MRI. I have Spinal Stenosis (She said I was born with), L1- L5 budging discs and arthritis.

The reason I went to her was because I could not longer stand the pain and often had to find the nearest shoe section or bench and sit. I would kneel forward on the floor stretching against the baskart. I would often get ugly with my g/f since the pain would not end and I wanted to get out of the store soon as possible.

She prescribed me Robaxin. Told me to take 2 when I got home to see how my body reacted to it. I took 2 and was working on a computer for a customer and when replacing a hard drive with computer on the table, the pain persisted. I gave it a while and tried to take it again on several occasions. It causes me Insomnia. I would take 2 tablets around 11 pm and could not fall asleep until 4 6 am. I would feel shaky and frustrated to the point of crying in self pity.

When it did not work I went back and she prescribed me flexeril. This gave me some horrific nightmares and left me grinding my teeth at night. Only half of the pill would knock me out.

I called her office and she called me in Naproxen. This too did not help. The past 4 weeks I find myself waking up after only 4 hours of sleep with my hips hurting. They ache. I get up and walk around the apartment stretching and putting pillow between my legs. The Naproxen isn't even touching it.

It is now getting to the point that I have constant aches in my mid-upper back even as I sit and type this. I just finished my Associates in Computer Information Technology and have a couple job offers. I recently did a job shadow with an IT lead through a local hospital. After 1 hour of on my feet I was sweating, dizzy, irritable and aching.

I recently called my Nurse Practitioner and they want me to come in to get re-evaluated again. I am unemployed until next week and will be on an IT contract for 3-6 months before I can get health insurance yet I am on medicaid with a $828 spend-down. With only getting $1500 a month and having rent, bills, food, medications from psychiatrist that are not cheap and student loans, I cannot afford to keep paying her office money like this. The MRI was taken when my spend-down was $0 due to the lack of Unemployment over the summer while Congress was debating on it. I cannot walk or exercise due to pain. I have been talking with my parents and my g/f about going to pain management tomorrow. I had a tear in my knee and was on hydro-codone and it helped the pain. As does this drug with dental work. I have anxiety disorder which does not help and I am afraid to go spend the $120 in desperation that a doctor there will prescribe me pain meds until I can get insurance. There will be a lot of walking in my IT job. Does anyone have any info about pain management. I eventually would like to get better options, but for now that would be all I could afford. I am desperate and feel bad and guilty for this since so many people out there get "red-flagged" and I do not want to be perceived as this person.


  • Strange that your Dr would say that you were born with the spinal stenosis. Feel free to search the site for info about PM (pain management), many members do go to PM for their CP diseases, disorders, and illnesses.

    Generally developing slowly in the later years of a person's life (usually past fifty), spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal cord in the neck (cervical spine) or the spinal nerve roots in the lower back (lumbar spine) are compressed. Symptoms of lumbar stenosis often include leg pain (sciatica) with walking, as well as tingling, weakness or numbness in the legs. Arm pain is the typical symptom of cervical spinal stenosis. For cervical spinal stenosis with myelopathy, difficulty with coordination often occurs.

    Often dependent on the type of spinal stenosis and the severity of the patient's symptoms, stenosis treatment may include non-surgical options like exercise, anti-inflammatory medication, epidural injections and activity modification, or different types of back surgeries. Learn more about spinal stenosis in the following resources.

  • We can't recommend docs; but I can come up with some suggestions. There are many muscle relaxers, all effect people differently. Since you can take Robaxin during the day, assuming it doesn't affect cognitive function, have you tried that in the am with either tizanidine (a muscle relaxer) or amitryptiline (an old tricyclic antidepressant now used for nerve pain) to help at night - both are sedating but hopefuly won't give nightmares. Also, be honest with the Nurse Practitioner about your health care situation - see if she has samples of something like a prescription NSAID. Both those meds I mentioned are generic and can be dirt cheap (further advice: if you have a Costco near you, you do NOT have to have a Costco membership card to use their pharmacy for prescription medications, and they by far are the cheapest on most meds, often half of pharmacy chains, you just can't shop in the rest of the store). Do your best when looking for a job for health benefits even if it means a significantly lower salary. Keep in mind Obamacare may be significantly different by 2012.
  • I am a 52 year old male that was diagnosed with spinal stenosis 10 years ago. I recently ( few months ago ) also wrote my first thread on this site named "In Pain going insane). I kno where you are comming from with your hip pain etc. I have pent 10 years in a pain clinic. They may prescribe cortizone shots in back called trigger point injections. They ar able to do multiple trigger point injections at one time into knots in your back, they helped me but don't always last. Your dr. may also prescribe epidural injections which they go right into your dura area and inject steriods/cortizone. One one shot done at a time with this method. They also can help and may last up to a year before another one is needed. Try to stay proactive, I know easier said than done. Having a positive outlook has been dificult with me at times, but their are people much worst off then me. I have been on disability for 8 years and had to redefine my life. I wish you the best. Just a heads up, don't let any pain clinic doctor ever give you an epidural shot without using a xray type machine to see exactly were the needle goes. They also place a dye in first to direct the needle to the right place for the injection. If a dr, wants to do it free hand, think twice before having it done. Best Wishes....Scott/Prayerewind
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