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How do YOU live with lower back pain?

Bop63BBop63 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi, all. I realize now that I must live with my lower back pain, as chiropractors, physical therapists, masseuses, acupuncturists, opiates, and orthopedic surgeons haven't helped. My pain hurts more when I sit, so I hate typing on the computer or driving my car. I live on the floor, so I can shift around and lie on either a heating pad or cold pack to ease the pain a bit. Due to the pain, I don't like to go places and do things, so I find myself shut up in my apartment most days and nights. It's kind of depressing to know I'll have to live like this the rest of my life. Is there anyone else with this kind of pain they must live with every day? If so, how do you do it?


  • The percentage of people who can look forward to debilitating, chronic pain for the rest of their lives is small I've found; this after 30+ years of issues with my own back at L2-S1 that culminated late last year with a 4-level fusion that was so successful, the pain was immediately gone and I was back at work and on a horse in 4 months. I've found, as have alot of others, that it's a matter of finding the right physiatrist who doesn't give up on you when it comes to finding the right combination of medications, therapy and home modality for your particular issue(s). My own physiatrist has had a number of patients over the years that it's taken him 6 or 7 different combinations of medications in nerve block procedures to find the right one for the right patient but he never gave up and consequently he's become extremely well-know here in America. He's very talented and well-educated and experienced of course but I think his strongest suit is he never gives up on his patients. Yes, many times he exhausts the options and recommends a surgical consult but he never gives up. I think that's so important in pain relief is knowing that you have a doctor that cares about you enough to never stop learning and applying that to you, his or her patient. I know it's what got me through all those years; that and a glass or two of wine!
  • Hi Bop :)

    Have/are your Drs trying new pain meds for you? Most of us get "some" degree of pain relief that we can at least find ourselves a new life - what I call my new normal ;)

    That is terrible that your on the floor using heat/ice.

    I am always in some degree of pain but I can go out and do things with pain levels of 3 to 5 as of my meds.

    Please share what your injury is and what pain meds you are taking.
    Does your Dr know the quality of life you have now due to pain?
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I know where you are coming from. I am trying to learn to live with this as well!! I have been having a rough time and depression has kicked in. I can go out and do things as long as I take my pain meds but depending on how strenuous the activity I will have to pay for it the next day or two. It's hard learning to cope with having this kind of pain, but I guess we have to. Mine was getting really bad and my doctor had me on the same pain medicine for the last two years and it was just not working anymore. The other day I went and told him I could not take it anymore and that he needed to up the dosage and he finally did. It has helped a lot for those bad days. Sometimes you just have to be persistent. I had such pain the other night I went from bed, to the couch, to the recliner and finally ended up on the floor with my legs on the couch it helped relieve the pressure and I fell asleep there, so I definitely know how that goes. Then as far as the pain medication being stronger it helps during the day but for some reason I have a hard time sleeping with it because it gives me nightmares. Ugggggg I am also trying to figure out a way to be happy in this sometimes it seems so unfair. It has helped to find this group I do not feel so alone in this. As far as going places I could with pain meds but it seems like I just don't care too anymore, maybe it's because I know how I will feel afterwards. I also think sometimes it just makes feel more miserable seeing so many others so happy and normal...lol Anyway try to hang in there, we are all in this together and you are not alone!!!!!!!!!!! :H
  • ~X( Hi there,there are a few of us here,that are having to live in constant pain,that is very dehibilitating.I'm another one .Most days I am managing my depression,due to this sudden life change from active to being broken.
    There is no easy way that I have found,but when you don't have a lot of options &* have Kids ,what can you do.PRESS ON.
    I think I have got to a place where I take more meds if I need to.I used to try not to,but I am sick of pain,& I need to get out .I have been through some bad periods with this situation,totally alone,well almost anyway.You do what you can to survive in the end.Or maybe I become insane & just don't realise ,LOL.
    I think the isolation is almost as bad as the pain,in some ways.But way easier to manage.
    All I can suggest is you have a serious talk with your doc re your pain & meds.
    Keep us posted matey,many here are here to help with support & understanding,your noy alone.
    Cheers for now
  • i was an out going happy type { a nice person by other people opinion} but now after 15 years of pain and 2 operations {a third on its way soon ..lucky me !} i too can just about manage to get from recliner to shower then back in to shorts and tee shirt then its on the recliner all day {most days } as i am too tired to do anything i feel ill all the time ..dont sleep and cant have a social life as i just dont want to move from my comfort zone .because if i do i feel out of place i get hot flushes and sweat like mad i feel very self conscious about my self now as i have put on weight i can't wear nice cloths as anyhting on my legs feels like fire .so i dont go anywhere unless i absolutely have to {like to the doctors} .life has changed so much over the last 5 years {since my lasts operation} .i am just 45 male and married but i feel like a 99 year old man .its very upsetting to be robbed of your life i feel for anyone in our situation .i know that there are some on here in pain but still able to work and enjoy a modified social life {enjoy it before it ends!} i feel like i am just waiting for the stroke or heart attack to finish me off ..i really do .i never though that i would go so far down hill .so yes i know how you feel ..i dont live with pain i rules my life
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • We've all been there. I can remember coming home from work EVERY evening and lying on the floor (because trying to lie anywhere else was far too uncomfortable). I remember doing strenuous things only on a Friday (after work) so that I could lay down for the whole weekend [if I had to] just to be able to go back to work on the Monday. All I did was either work or lay down - nothing else socially because I usually paid for it by increased back pain afterwards and I wouldn't do anything if there was a chance it could stop me from going to work. For me personally, it seems like I'm nearly heading in that direction all over again, but I'm now working with my doctor and surgeon to find a way around it. I mention all this purely because in the past I would have waited months, even years, before I did anything about it. It's not even been a year since my fusion and I'm trying to look for answers now.

    I thought having the fusion surgery would be the answer to all my back problems, considering it was the third spine operation I had had, but I still have some issues going on - unrelated I think to the fusion surgery. Nobody's fault - I think it would have happened anyway.

    As for pain meds - it's a tricky situation and maybe your doctor hasn't found the right balance for you yet. Or maybe you have been on your medication a while and therefore it's not so effective for you now. It may be that your doctor could try you on a different combination of pain meds if the one you're taking now is not giving you the pain relief you need. Can you talk to your doctor about it?

    Also, if you can, get a second opinion (or third) if you feel you need to. This is what I did - never give up. You shouldn't have to live feeling that 'this is it' forever - I am sure that if the professionals could pinpoint exactly where your pain is coming from then they may be able to do something about it. Can they offer you any further investigations or tests (a discogram or something?).

    As for me, I can honestly say that the fusion surgery was successful because until week 6 after the op I was PAIN FREE and had managed to come off ALL medication then. It's driving that set me back initially and, as I said, since then other issues in my back have become apparent and my surgeon and doctor are now trying to help me with this.

    PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP!!! My doctor said only a couple of weeks ago that in his opinion he feels that the pain I now experience will be with me for life and will probably get worse as I get older. It's a daunting thought and quite frightening (especially at night when I'm in pain and cannot sleep and feel totally alone), but knowing the type of person I am, I will not leave any stone unturned in trying to find a better way to help myself (with my doctor and surgeon's help of course).

    I can see that you've had professional input in the past and you mentioned an orthopaedic surgeon - does this mean you've had surgery before? If so, can you arrange to talk to your surgeon about the pain you are feeling now and what impact it's having on your daily life?

    I really hope you can get to talk to someone who will really listen to you, is supportive and hopefully will try and take things further for you if they can. Please let us know how you get on OK?

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Sorry to hear you're having so much pain that you're laying on the floor. To sit at the computer I have a soft cushion and I put my feet on a stool to take the pressure off my back and have my heating pad on my back so I can sit longer. I hate too having not enough pain meds for pain relief and had to practically beg my Dr. for a breakthrough med because I'm moving and have to pack. I was lucky to get one Percocet a day but this is on top of 20mg Oxycontin 3 x day.

    I never go out except to the Dr. or if it's nice out I go for a walk with my cane. I have a exercise recumbent bike and another piece of equipment I use to strengthen my legs & arms, the Thigh-master. Just try to force myself to walk a little outside most daily.

    Are you seeing a Pain Management Dr? Or take any meds? Keep looking for a Dr. to help you or even try aqua-therapy with a Physiotherapist if you can.

    My next step is going to a Chronic Pain Management group to learn more techniques and to meet others who are in pain and how they manage.

    You're not alone here and never give up. I take it one day at a time. 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
  • Living with lower back pain sucks. And there are a lot of us out there. We all have different levels of pain and tolerance and different lifestyles, but the common denominator is pain and how to deal with it. I have had 4 back surgeries, 3 fusions. I am now fused L1 to S1. I am still recovering from L5/S1 and it is the toughest recovery yet. I can't do a lot of the things I could right after the other fusions and I need to get that out of my mind. This one is different and will require a different recovery. Even tho I get down (and I am on anti depressants)I try to think of what I can do. There is always someone worse than me. Being able to talk about it is great and this forum really helps because some of us have no one to talk to or else someone who is tired of hearing about it. I am lucky to have a sympathetic surgeon who is willing to try different pain meds on me. I have cats which most of the time are a great comfort to me. I can talk to them when no one else wants to listen. And they love me unconditionally. Good luck


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Pain Connection is a non-profit organization that aims to:

    Improve the quality of life of those suffering from chronic pain.
    Decrease their sense of isolation and alienation.
    Increase control of their condition and treatment.
    Maintain their independence.

    Pain Connection has joined the American Pain Foundation in a collaborative effort to advocate for a national pain policy, appropriate pain care and public awareness in the Power Over Pain Action Network.

    (Pain Connection.org)
  • Also, the chat room on this site can be very good. Alot of people who have been there and done that and can empathize with you and perhaps give you some suggestions.
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