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Hey everyone. New here. Wondering if anyone has similar issues.

PaistePPaiste Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have chronic, fairly severe low back pain and I was wondering if anyone has similar conditions and if that they should be causing so much pain.
L1-2, moderate facet disease
L2-3, moderate facet disease
L3-4, foraminal stenosis, moderate facet disease
L4-5, foraminal stenosis, moderate facet disease
L5-S1, disk space narrowing, broad-based bulging disk, left paracentral annular tear, central disk protrusion, moderate facet disease, foraminal stenosis.

The pain is chronic, some days are worse than others. My quality of life is suffering and I'm becoming reclusive and depressed because of it. I have severe low back pain as well as pain in my left hip, thigh and foot. There is numbness tingling and weakness as well. I'm starting to get a lot of thoracic muscle pain lately which I think may be compesatory (sp?). Does anyone have simlar symptoms with these conditions and is this normal to experience this much pain?


  • Welcome to the group! You have come to the right place for answers and support. I have moderate facet issues from L3-S1 with stenosis and bulges and herniation,DDD so I can definately relate to you.

    I am having a discectomy on Tuesday to at least relieve the pressure of my herniated disc at L5/S1 then I hopefully can find ways to deal with the other issues.

    Have you tried any physio, ESI's heat/cold ? Have you been to see a fellowship trained othropedic or neurosurgeon?

    Wishing you all the best! We are here for you!

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Thanks Karen. I've tried physio and it helps with the muscle pain but thats about it. I walk 3 times a day and try to keep mobile as well because when I'm sedentary the pain is unbearable. It's a double edged sword though because the more I try to do the more the pain increases. I can't win!! For some reason my GP doesn't think that I should be experiencing any pain so he won't refer me to a surgeon. He keeps telling me that's it's just my muscles and to take an anti-inflammatory and I'll be fine. What an ass. I'm kind of lost at the moment. I got a second opinion yesterday and the Dr. told me that surgery probably won't be an option. He said that normally they remove the disk and it's a major procedure. Most patients do not get pain relief and complain of additional post-op pain, so getting a surgeon to perform it is next to impossible.(this is what I'm told). By the way, I'm from Canada and I was told if I go to the States I won't have a problem! lol. I have the option of being put on fentanyl and lyrica but I'm still unsure of going back on pain meds. Any other suggestions?
  • The Canadian healthcare system seems so annoying. I don't mean to offend anyone but seriously!

    Removing the disc is surgery... But it is not that major of a procedure. I just had it done last week and it seems to have helped me so far!

    Fentanyl seems like a crazy pain medication to start you out on!

    I was also given muscle relaxants, anti inflamatories, and told to go to physical therapy at the start of the process. The PT made my condition worse. Come to find out I could have been paralyzed by things they were making me do!

    I really hope you end up finding what works for you. I know the pain you are dealing with and the depression it causes. Please keep strong and tell your DR that you NEED that referel.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I wouldn't be starting on fentanyl as I was on oxycontin for a year, so I am opiate tolerant. I'm going to see my GP again on friday to share the second opinion with him and demand that something be done. I'm only 36 and I cannot live like this. I was/am an HVAC technician for 9 years and worked my way up to $30/hr and now I can't perform my duties anymore therefore I am jobless. I can't enjoy the simple things in life such as playing tag, soccer, baseball etc. with my nephew, or playing golf with my friends or even going to a family BBQ because the constant pain from sitting or standing all day makes me miserable and I have to cut out early. I don't mean to sound like a baby but this is where I am at today. It's extremely frustrating. It's almost like my GP doesn't want to hear it because he firmly believes that I shouldn't be in any pain. Ridiculous. It doesn't make any sense to me.
  • I have many of your symptoms. My pain and weakness and numbness was down my right leg tho. I have had 3 fusions and am fused from L1-S1. It certainly solved all my problems. The first fusion was vertebrae slipping forward, the 2nd was my spine starting to collapse in on itself and the 3rd one was same as the first, vertebrae sliding forward but had to have a spacer put in on that one as disc was too far gone. Still recovering (surgery in march). I wish you luck with your GP. I lived in Canada and know how frustrating the system can be at times.

    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.
  • I too am a fellow Canadian. It is very frustrating when you have a gp like you do, on top of our very slow referal system here.I was told by two surgeons that I needed a fusion, but they couldn't perform them and the third offered less invasive micro d. Since it has been over a year since my injury began, I need to have something done, as nerve damage is getting worse. I am hoping this will help a lot of my pain.

    Please keep pushing for a referal! The diagnosis you have can most definately cause pain. I am a few years older than you and can totally relate to the frustration of having your life change. I am unable to do my job as well and used to have a very active life.

    Please don't give up! There are great doctor's up here.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Thanks for your support everyone. I'm definitely going to push for that referral. My neighbour, who is 65, just had surgery a week ago and she told me that almost immediately she felt an improvment in her pain levels. She is going to get me the info that I need so I can take this to the next level. Why would my GP think that I should be painless with that diagnosis? That's what frustrates me the most. A year ago he jumped at the chance to put me on pain meds and totally sympathised with me and now he thinks that all the pain should have passed. It's degenerative and only gets worse with time with no treatment, he should know that. I want this to be corrected. I'm going back to school in September to re-train myself and there's no way that I can sit for 8 hours a day without excruciating pain. I've explained this to him many times. I might have to take this into my own hands. I just don't want to burn any bridges. Wish me luck.
  • Does anybody have a GP that acts like this? I've had a great Dr./patient relationship with him for years but now it seems like he just doesn't want to be bothered. His exact words were, "I don't know where your pain is coming from, it's just muscle pain, you're fine." How is that ethical? He doesn't offer me any solutions or options. I'm doing all of the research myself as well as trying to locate specialists on my own. He told me that there is nothing that he can do for me. I'm completely blown away by his attitude and his genuine lack of caring. Sorry to complain so much but it's really confusing.
  • Hate to bump this thread but has anyone experienced this kind of behaviour from their GP before?
  • I had one GP that was incompetent. To the degree of incompetency I found out later when a neighbour also had him not take her pain seriously. I went to another physician. Why would I stay with someone who didn't treat me properly? If it's an option to get another GP, seeing as referrals are necessary in the Canadian system, then talk to people and find out the name of another physician. If there's a pain support group in your area, they may be a good resource.
  • Well, we'll see how things go on Friday when I go to see him again. If he doesn't offer any help this time then I will search for another GP. Thanks for the advice on the support groups, maybe I'll seek one out.
  • If you're having numbness, tingling and pain in your leg your GP should send you for an EMG/nerve test to see if there's any nerve compression from the disc and then the Neurologist who does part of the test will be able to help you. After I got the EMG I was referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon.

    I live in Canada also and I got the nerve test pretty fast and got the ball rolling for referrals. I also had more relief from Cymbalta rather than with Lyrica for the nerve pain. I ope you get some referrals, I felt like I was bothering my dr. asking for so many referrals but I get the same answer not a candidate for surgery but never give up hope for a Dr. to help. 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
  • Thanks Charry. That's some sound advice as well. I will pass all of this on to my GP. My life has been turned upsidedown and it's time to get something done. I went to a concert on Saturday night and had to leave half way through cause I couldn't stand anymore. Thank god it was free!!lol
  • We did not take our GP's advice OR the refusal of a local surgeon to touch hubby's back. We did some research, asked people to spread the word and found a surgeon in Toronto. Then we returned to our GP and asked strongly for a referral. Took a while as the surgeon was really booked but hubby is now one year out of surgery for a back fusion and having no pain. If you want to email me privately, I will give you the surgeon's name- he is astounding!
  • :H Hi everyone, I've read a few comments on here and I can relate to everything. I first hurt my back when I was 21 and was in constant pain for 2 years. My GP told me that it was just muscular and prescribed me cocodomol and would do nothing else. I am now 27 and have hurt my back again 3 months ago. I am in constant pain whether I stand up sit down or move at all. I bite my lip through almost all the pain other wise I would'nt be able to spend time with my child. I have been diagnosed with DDD but have been told that there is nothing they can do. I've seen a few different doctors and get the same result. Because of the pain I do not go out and become a recluse and the depression well lets just say if I had any hair I would have pulled it all out by now. For the first 2 months I was put on cocodomol, tramodol, diclofenac and diasapam but they did nothing for my back and pain except give me really bad side affects. I have no idea what to do anymore and have really had enough. On a good day i am in pain all day but bite my lip, on a bad day i can't move my neck, back and legs.

    Is surgey the way to go if anyone can help please do.

    Also sorry for going on abit lol.

    frostie245 UK. DDD L1 S5.
  • I'm going to see my GP today. I'm basically going to tell him that I'm fed up and I've been living with this pain for 3 and a half years now. I'm at the end of my rope and something needs to be done. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • How did everything go with your GP today? Hope that he was helpful this time. Let us know how you made out when you have a chance.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Things went ok. He's setting up an appointment for a bone scan and a nerve test. At least he's moving in the right direction. I let him have it so I think that lit a fire under his ass.
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