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new here

R_MRR_M Posts: 30
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in New Member Introductions
Just wanted to introduce myself. I read the forums for like 12 hours and decided i should join. There is a pretty good support group here it seems. I am 28, male....have had thoracic back issues from a pretty young age. currently i have arthritis.. whats referred to as osteophyte complexes from t5 to t11 with buldging discs at T5/6, T8/9, L4/5, L5/S1. i get a lot of referred pain from the thoracic stuff into my teeth, abdomen, around my rib cage, lower back. And i believe the lumbar discs are causing major local pain, discogenic pain. I have not had a discogram to confirm. My pain is constant but the intensity varies. It hurts when sitting, standing, laying down it never stops. I used to be real active in sports and weight lifting but have had to cease those activities completely. My mind is stuck in someone elses body bc i want to work out really bad, but as hard as i tried to work around my problems and modify my exercise i just had to quit. I do work full time but it is hard. No one understands!....and i work in orthopedics! ugh. I look really healthy and always try to joke around at work and try not to complain since it wont help (sometimes i do complain just for confirmation that it indeed does not help)....My peers dont realize i usually come home and lay down not getting up till the next day and all weekend i lay down and dont feel motivated to even go to the grocery store. Plus its hard to deposit all these big checks into the bank all the time LOL NOT, i wish!!! Money stresses me and health care costs a ton as most here would already know. I worry about keeping my job and keeping my health insurance. When i interact with people i stay positive and i generally can connect with all walks of life. I do feel like a victim of circumstance with the back issues. I mean heck my ex-wife always wanted to go and do all the fun things young people do and for the most part left me bc she wants to have fun, party, live it up, not feel restricted by my issues. When we were together i did a lot outside of the house but i had to push through pain and she never understood. With the right motivation i am willing to do most things but i can only spend so many hours before i need to rest. My body gets extra extra angry with me when i dont let it rest and force long activities. Anyway i dont have any loss of motor skills and i am thankful for that. Sometimes i get tingling and numbness that lasts for long periods of time. This is not nearly as annoying as the pain. I have some other health issues besides the spine but i am a fighter and trying to do or become the best i can with the hand delt. Here mostly for support. If i just had one affected disc i would go for a fusion but as it is I just dont know. Pretty sure this will be the ultimate outcome. I am up for the challenge when the time comes, some days i feel like the time is here but i have to support myself financially and I am trying to plan accordingly. hopefully i can live pain free eventually. It would be worth the struggle since after recovery i would be the happiest person in the world, and how cool would that be? (i know surgery is not always the answer, im just sayin' ...maybe it would work) long introduction i know. And not even half the story, but its a start. feel free to message me if you want!



  • Welcome to Spine Health. Yup it does stink when you are a fitness junkie and that is taken away from you. The catch 22 of having to work to pay the health insurance so you can try and stay healthy to keep the job that allows you to pay for the insurance. And to be working in orthopedics too boot. Any of the docs there deal with spine issues? Do you have the type of working relationship where you could ask one of the docs for advice on what you should do?

    I have found that I have forgotten what it feels like to be pain free. I forget what it feels like until for a few brief moments it is gone (via IV meds) and then I realize just how much my daily baseline of "discomfort" is. Don't ever give up on your dream of living pain free some day. Even if it's not possible, at least it is a good motivator!

    Anyway, welcome and I hope you find Spine Health valuable like so many of us do.

  • Welcome to spine health. We are glad that you decided to join after reading the forums.

    It has been a great place for me to come for support and to hear from others with similiar experiences.

    Are you seeing a fellowship trained orthopedic or neurosurgeon? Has physio or injections helped at all?
    Any medications help your pain?

    >: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
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    Since you've been lurking around, I just want to say that you'll mostly find bad stories here because those that have had surgery and are back to their old self don't post here any more because they no longer need the support offered here. So don't take what you read here as the norm, many have successful treatment/surgeries and get back to their old life.

    There are some here who are much better but stay to help others and offer support to people like you.

    You're right that nobody understands spine pain and problems. What someone can't see they seem not to be able to understand. I'm lucky that my hubby is totally supportive that I'm no longer the person he married, but he took his vows seriously and loves me enough that just having me around is enough for him.

    I'm also interested in what you've tried and what the plan is to help you...what stage are you at, deciding on surgery? Trying other non-invasive measures? Do you have medications that help at all?

    Glad you joined our group. You indeed will find a lot of support and understanding here, it's a great group of spineys.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • There are three board certified spine guys where I work. I have been seeing the one who I found the most personable and he is not much help. He doesn't take me too seriously. Our relationship is such that none of them would give me advice without scheduling an appointment. I am planning on going outside of the practice for additional consultation. He did refer me to pain management which administered one epidural injection and put me on some meds. The epidural was a month ago and seems to not have helped. I just started a medrol dose pack and cymbalta along with a home TENS unit. Not too optimistic about these but willing to jump through the hoops...also should mention I have had 4 IM depomedrol injections when I had bad flare ups. These helped bring things down a level but never provided more than a 25% reduction in pain. One of my problems is the pain is very widespread its probably 65% of my back. So its not much of a trigger point situation. And I personally believe its not an inflammation issue. Anyone with common sense would agree if they knew the whole history. Pain management wants to repeat the epidural at some different levels but want me to try the dose pack first. Concerning physical therapy the surgeon and pain management feels it wouldnt benefit me. I agree with them on this. I do need to incorporate some kind of home strengthening program I suppose. I have been out of them gym for about 8 months. It was hard for me to quit. The general rule is "if it hurts dont do it" right? but you buy into the no pain, no gain mentality. For me I had pain before I ever touched a weight even as a kid so if it hurt just a little more I decided to ignore it. I actually dont blame myself for ruining my back, I just sped up the process. I do wish I had chilled out a couple years before I did. I was really used to hurting myself and it going away after a few days. then going back and hurting myself again. At some point it didnt calm down after a few days so I would wait till I could atleast walk straight before hitting the weights. eventually the pain was constant and has stayed that way. It was getting bad the last couple years and I should have realized I needed to stop before I did. In my head I figured I would just change my work out to avoid using the things that hurt. But for me there was never a half effort.....it's 100% or nothing. I actually dont enjoy talking about the gym bc just like the back issues... most dont understand what I was doing physically at one time. I was never the run of the mill lifter. At my best I could bench 415 for 14 reps, and curl 245 for 12. At a really slim 225. I had crazy speed and was a great basketball player. I did run track in HS. ANYONE who goes to a gym and reads that will deem it a lie bc you just cant lift those weights without being 350 pounds juiced out of your mind, and even then the curls are very unlikely. I do have some videos. And fyi i never used a steroid. Sometimes I think I should have instead of trying to outdo the bigger guys that did without the help they had. Might not have strained so hard. I dont knock anyone who uses roids just wish they would own up to it. Its usually pretty obvious as they tend to have a lot of size yet not be as strong as they look. Maybe that isnt so bad, having the look. In everyday life people dont know if you are the real deal or just have the look. So here is the lesson. What did I gain? nothing!!!! What was I thinking? now all i want to do is be able to play basketball or atleast run. Really working out can be good but going for heavy weights is idiotic by principle. Why try so hard to be good at something humans suck at? I mean you could work out all your life with the best coaches and best nutrition and never carry half the weight a normal horse can carry. Or even run as fast as a lazy house cat. (cats supposedly run about 30 mph) The strong point for humans is their mind. We can design things to do the things we cant do ourselves. For anyone who is into fitness I just recommend beach body type workouts. Try to stay lean and dont worry about the rest, but to each his own. I used to work out with a worlds strongest man competitor and he punishes himself with crazy heavy weights and not too great form lots of the time.... never had any major spine issues. genetics i suppose but who knows. I only started lifting bc I was 5'10" 105 pounds in 7th grade and i got made fun of and picked on a lot. I was like a top 5 nerd at my school. It sucked. I remember crying bc i knew no girl would ever like me lol! And im not gonna talk about lifting on here again anyone curious can find this post. I dont much like to talk about it and didnt even when i was most active. my priorities now are just keeping my job and trying to stay positive as depression is an issue.
  • and yes the pain management doc says I am a candidate for fusion he said he could refer me to someone who would do it right away but doesnt think I should jump into it. I dont like waiting. I would prefer to be working towards getting better than just continuing on in limp mode. I understand the fusion may not fix the problem and I understand it is feasible to control the pain or treat it. Maybe it will ease up or go away but I strongly doubt I would be so lucky. sorry for the long posts
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