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

My Story, Looking For Something.

ironcrossiironcross Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Chronic Pain

I've been going this dilibating pain for a year now. I've had my bad spills on my dirt-bike and done hard manual labor.

I'm in so much pain, I can't do anything period. Here is a little history of what I've gone through so far.

Saw my primary Doctor - 5mg Vicodin, then Percocets, then Norco. The Norco works at high doses though. But he will not give me anything stronger/last longer than a hour.

Got a lumbar X-Ray, and a MRI, Was told I have Disk Degen.

Refereed to Physical Med (Seen by a DO) - Was told to forget everything that the MD's tell me. Its all in my head and I'm an opiate dependent.

Referred to Pain management - (Seen by a DO) Was told to get acupuncture and swim in a pool. Only thing he would prescribe me was aleve. Even though I was very active before this pain started.

Complained at my primary doctor again and was given referrals to see a ortho spine surgeon and physical med again BY A MD AND NOT A DO.

Saw the Physical Med MD, he told me I've over worked my joints for being a 23 year old. Gave me facet injections from L-123. They didn't work.

While I'm sitting here in severe pain my primary doctor is cutting me off my pain medication.

The Ortho spine said "Your disks look good, so Im not needed."

I think it is my facets. Cause every time I sit up strait even after a min of doing it my low back clicks and cracks.

I'm just tired of living like this and not getting antiquit pain relief. And no I don't to be stuck on pain meds.

Any thoughts?



  • Hi and welcome to spine health.

    Sorry you are in pain and can't figure out the cause. I know that can be very frustrating. Especially when doctors tell you nothing is wrong and its all in your head. Just keep trying different doctors. Did you have a full spine MRI or just lumbar? Sometimes we can have referred pain.
    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
  • Thanks for replying. I appreciate it welcome. It's been a hard year. Since I live in California and have Kaiser they will label me as druggie. Which I don't nor can be labeled as such.

    I want to be a Deputy Sheriff. But the dreams of that keep fading.

    I just want to be out of pain and go on a semi-normal life. Even if that means taking opiates. My quality of life is whats at on the line.

    I can't join the US Army like this... They refused me...
  • Like Donnabe suggested, did you just have a lumbar spine MRI? Did you see a spine specialist or just general practitioner?

    Sometimes the MRI only tells part of the story. Sometimes, the MRI will suggest you should be in a ton of pain when in fact the patient is not. Other times, it shows 'standard' DDD but no obvious indicator of why the patient is hurting.

    Have you tried another spine specialist, like a Neurosurgeon who specializes in nerves AND spine? The ortho-spine doctors are great but sometimes, if one doctor says they aren't needed, it's worth getting another opinion.

    There are nerve tests they can do but they are controversial. The question is, have you kept a journal? Are there certain activities that increase your pain? You might want to start there. Also, did they try physical therapy to help ensure your body mechanics are good?

    Hope some of these suggestions help.
  • I've had a whole back MRI done. Looked a bunch of people. They see nada.

    The recent Dr I seen said that from looking at the MRI. That I've over worked my back. Said I have severe arthritis of the spine. The disks are good but the bone is enlarged for being 23 years old.

    I've gone through Physical Medicine twice, first one said it was all in my head and I'm a druggy, the other said no, I can see you're hurting. Lets try facet injections.

    Gone to see a Ortho-Surgeon. He had said that surgery is not a possible because there is nothing he sees he can pin point to help.

    What are the "Nerve Tests" called?

    I'm to the point where I'm willing to try anything.

    I've done physical therapy and all it has done was make it worse. They did a hip adjustment and man o man was I in pain.

    I've tried TENS. No avail.

    I'm pushing on getting a epidural block to frying the nerves.

    Journal wise, no I don't have it on paper but I can write it.

    Activities? Yeah, daily life. Hurts to carry up grocoeys 2 flights of stairs.

    My lumbar is 7 degrees out of wack, my hips are uneven.

    I appreciate the responses.

  • Some thoughts based on your reply.

    There is an EMG test that can test nerve response. I think it stands for Electromyography. There is also a myelogram that does check to see which level of the spine is causing pain but this is controversial as some believe it can cause damage.

    Sounds like your hips are a problem too. Have you seen a hip specialist? Could it be that your back issues are really rooted in your hips or knees? The body will compensate when it hurts in one place. As a result, you may think your issue is the back but in fact your back is just a symptom of a pain it's covering for.

    As for the facet block injections, my neighbor had them and they initially did nothing. She tried another pain management doctor and found that where he did them actually provided relief. She then did go for the cauterization of the nerve b/c her issues were not operable (I think in the sacreal joint) and she is doing much better. She watches her weight, walks more and is very careful at work.

    I hope some of this helps.
  • One thing I have learned over the last 5 years of chronic pain and many surgeries is that there a lot the doctors don't know or understand about how pain works. Some people have lots of pain with no obvious source,others can have huge bulging discs and little pain.

    It is going to be up to you to find a good doctor to give you solutions, and in my opinion, drugs long term can be a health risk. You may need try western medicine and alternative medicine, to find some pain relief. And everyday will be different if your body is like mine.

    Some people find relief in massage, meditation, feldenkeis chiropractic, massage and or herbs and vitamin supplements. There are lots of options, which can also make it very challenging. There is no quick fix, and you are not alone in your frustration.

    I send my support,


  • Hi there. In regards to thinking it's your facets...do you have pain in your butt, and halfway down your thigh on one side?
    That's one of the giveaways of facet joint syndrome. It mimics sciatica, but stops exactly at the halfway point down the back of your leg. It really hurts.
  • Ironcross & Backman - welcome to SH :wave:

    back - Your advice to never have surgery is very limited in my opinion. There are lots of people who surgery has helped. You can't throw everyone into the same tub of water ;)

    Iron - It does sound like you need a Dr who is committed to looking outside the box and not just at your spine to see what else may be causing your pain and such.

    When the injections did not work, what did that Dr recommend you do from here?
    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.
  • Have you tried to see a pain specialist? I can see from both points about surgery as I have had at least 28 not all on my back but the most of them were and it felt to me after the first operation didnt help it was all down hill from there I have done and seen it all from putting a cage around my spine to sticking a tube in to give me pain releif that worked for about a week and now I have 8 inches of free floating rubber in my spine lol I have been on so much oxycontin my insurance company was paying over 10 grand a month 720mg a day they would come by the bucket full at the time and I spent 5-6 years in a heroin induced haze but hey at the time I didnt care but could nod off at the drop of a hat so I wouldnt suggest that your best bet is to seek a consult to a pain specialist also be warned that the nerver burning your talking about or RFA radio frequency ablation was one of the most painful things I went thru but the pain specialist would have all the latest options your looking for
  • I would recommend a pain management specialist "while" you are figuring out what is wrong. There is no reason in the world to be in miserable pain day in and day out - none at all in my opinion. As far as someone mentioned being in a drug induced coma, well that usually doesn't happen. I take a pretty good load and manage to work, drive, etc., I think your body usually gets used to the drugs and the wierdness goes away, in addition to most of us don't take bucketfulls anyway. NO OFFENSE meant to whoever said they did! Pain is definately subjective, what might be a 5 on the richtor scale for me - might be a 10 for you. Everybody is different!
  • I am so tired of hearing "there is always someone who is worse off than you blah, blah, blah" Nobody knows how shitty I feel (or anyone else for that matter) or how hard it is to keep it all together and just get it done. I really hate that phrase. I guess it's a personal point of contention for me. Probably because I've known a lot of bozo's that bitch and moan if they stub a toe and it's bruised for a week. Boo-hoo, all my sympathies...
  • Oh well, take a deep breath and realize it was said so a young man can put into perspective how bad off he is...........Bitter people suck. And it was not written to you so pull the old head out. Glad to hear your the toughest person on the planet and everyone else is far better off than whatever it is you are ailing from.
    That is why I debated joining the forum. I summed up for him what I have learned in 28 years of FBBS.
    So its been nice enjoy being the one who is hiding behind a keyboard. U will never have to hear from me again because I don't hang with arseholes,
    Take a Valium and realize it wasn't written to poor U
  • Well said Mouse and it was me taking buckets full but when oxy first came out the doctors were told it was not addictive and I could take as much as needed now it took me about 4 years to get to that dose but I thought the Doctor knew what he was doing at least the drug reps said he was doing the right thing with me guess when they found out it was a little late for me
  • As for the pain meds....I don't think there's anything wrong with them. If you take them as prescribed and don't abuse them, they are a useful tool to help us through the day.

    I take quite a heavy dose of hydromorphone(dilaudid), and have no issues at all with addiction. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't be able to sit at all throughout the day!

    And yes I'm physically addicted to them. Actually the right word is phyisiologically dependant on them. That's just how it goes. And hopefully when the time comes to stop taking them, it will be one small dose at a time, so keep withdrawl symptoms under control.

    Sorry if I got off topic here!
  • Second Opinion. Go see a neurosurgeon.
  • Sorry to hear about your dilemna. I joined this forum to share my story "coming later." Let me say this, I think my dog has degenerative disk disease?
    Everyone and everything at some point can have those words thrown at them. It does not mean much more than what you have concluded, you played hard from a young age. I grew up on dirt bikes from the time I could pee I reckon and it was the days when shocks on a dirt back didn't amount to squate. They use to call me little Evil Kneivel. So I had that diagnosis and so did my brother who 40 years later he still puts up with it riding KTM's at almost 60.
    One thing you have not done is surgery and do not do it ever!!! Hear me please, unless U R crawling into the doctors office never let them cut U and if U ever decide to go that route get 50 opinions.
    But otherwise take it from someone who lives in a nightmare of pain and post surgical procedures only "Stephen King" could correctly tell the story.
    Keep trying physical therapy anything but surgery. God created these bodies to by a large heal themselves it just takes time. And yes it sounds like your opiate dependant. How can U tell for sure? Be honest with yourself. No one can take opiates for even months without becoming addicted to them. And if you've never had surgeries I can understand why the "doctors" would take you off of them at some point. It sucks but a clear head may be the best thing for you right now. And if you are not working a full time job use this time to be extremely patient it may take a long time to get better or find the answer you need. I do know if you knock on enough doors eventually you'll run into doctor "happy knife" and he likes the paycheck trust me.
    Your 10 on the 1-10 scale is someone elses 2 it just works that way. Pain is only rated by you to the extent of what your mind has experienced. Case it point> "Way back when I thought I lived and worked at a 9 or 10, then the day came when I awoke from my first surgery and I realized it was not a 9 or 10 but a low 2. It changed and ruined a vital very athletic life forever, story to come later.
    I hope you hear me and I hope you heed some of my advice. And hang in there you are not alone, ever.
  • HI,
    Read your post, and you certainly need to find a new dr ! But you may need to stick with someone you like for awhile, they need to know you... Luckily, so far I have great doc's, though a few I've had to "excuse" - not interested or just not smart enough to deal with my multiple issues.
    Anyway, I too, at a young age was very athletic and was told of the DDD in my late 20's.. At this point my lumbar spine is starting to fuse itself and is more manageable than it was 10 yrs ago...
    You need a dr to work with, more tests if needed, and a plan of action. Also, be sure to keep accurate records of dr visits, what they said, what meds they gave (if any), what tests were done and results... I have a 5 page list of all issues, that all of my dr's have a copy of...any questions, they can call who they need off my list. If in the future, you consider disability, you will need all of the stuff listed above, with dates....you will never remember it a few weeks from now - make a list!
    There are some good dr's out there, but you need to find one! Let us know how you are doing..
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.