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

chronic pain 2.5 years, multiple herniated discs. HELP!

jjosing23jjjosing23 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Chronic Pain
Background information:
I recently only turned 21 in early October, and have been dealing with chronic back pain for the past 2.5 years (since May/2009). I have two herniated discs in my lower back (L4-L5, L5-S1). The L4-L5 level is worse than the L5-S1, and is mildly bulging into my spinal canal, impinging on a nerve. I have severe pain in my lower back, and I get radiating pains from my lower back, through my buttocks and thighs, into my knees, through my shins, and into my ankles in BOTH legs. Now, I have literally tried nearly every viable option I have, except having a back surgery.

I have had several epidurals, facet injections, and a couple S.I. joint injection, only to find no relief from these. I have been through physical therapy multiple times, I tried seeking chiropractic help, even acupuncture, and still, no relief. I was told by a pain management doctor that if I were to get a TENS unit, I would benefit greatly from the unit, but I really didn't get any relief from this either. I have tried getting a workout/exercise routine, but this seems to only make my pain worse overall. My doctor recommended I try swimming to loosen my back up, but still nothing.

I see a pain management doctor for medications to help cope with the pain as best as possible. I take Cymbalta (60mg 2x's/day), Oxycodone ir (15mg 4x's/day), Baclofen (20mg 2x's/day), and Alprazolam (1mg 2x's/day). The pain management doctor can only do so much for me, as he can't really do much to treat the pain, other than just write me a prescription. I don't want to be on drugs my whole life, but I don't want to be in pain, suffering everyday either. I feel that I'm kind of at a standstill.

Now my doctor wants me to get a functional discogram to see if he can pinpoint where my pain is coming from. I have my appointment scheduled for the 28th, but have some worries. What if the discogram comes back false? or even true? Should I try everything I possibly can to get a surgery preformed? The pain is ruining the quality of my life so terribly bad. I feel that I can't work a full time job anymore because with my pain being so bad now, I really don't know how I would work 40 hours on top of the pain. I would honestly do ANYTHING to get some relief from this! I would just love to have my life back.

Please, if anybody has any advice or ANYTHING to say at all, please reply. I would greatly appreciate anybody who spends the time to talk with me.


  • Hey JJ...so sad to hear your age and the details of your pain...I pray that you will find relief no matter what the solution is.

    Have your Doctors / Specialists provided you with information regarding minimally invasive spine surgery?

  • I hate to see anyone so young go through what you've been going through. From what I've heard, discograms are pretty conclusive as to the source of pain from herniated disks. I hope you can obtain relief and get your life back soon. Hang in there and keep us posted.
  • The most important part of the Discogram is being honest in your reponses; overstating your pain may get you surgery but it may get you the wrong surgery. I can say I was honest with my discograms; the first of which identified a pain generator and lead to a spinal fusion (and even more issues, including permanent nerve damage and even worse pain than I started with) and a second discogram which was negative (did not reproduce my pain). My insurance company no longer covers discograms and fusions for discogenic pain; and honestly my advice to you at your age would be to avoid a fusion at all costs...there are so many new experimental technologies, including disc replacement materials & stem cells that may be out in the next 3-5 years I would highly recommend holding out. You cannot "un-do" or reverse a fusion and all fusions carry the risk of nerve damage and may affect the next level, any surgeon that downplays adjacent disc disease should not be your surgeon.
    Remember, during the discogram be very specific if the pain reproduces your exact pain, the one my doctor described "is the one you reach for your pain meds for". Any needle into a disc is going to cause some discomfort, your "positive" should only be if your exact pain is reproduced. Keep us posted with the results and good luck.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.