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Chronic Low back Pain Options others have tried.

I am looking for advice and recommendations from people who have experience from low back pain. I have two bulged/small herniations in L4/L5, L5/S1. It began in January 2012 and I have been seeking help from a back specialist ever since. I do not have shooting pain down the leg oddly enough but it remains in my butt region and all across my low back. I have tried 2 epidural steroid injections but they wore off within 4 weeks and the side effects I received from them were more severe than the pain itself. It is a dull aching pain in my low back that just does not seem to go away. I dont handle pain medicine well so have been taking 800mg of Ibuprofen 3 times a day. I believe I cant do this forever! I am just wandering what other options are out there that others have done or tried that they can recommend to me??? I thought by this point the herniation would have subsided but it has not which now makes me realize I may be dealing with this for the rest of my life. :-( It does hold me back from doing many things and twisting makes it worse! Any suggestions??? Thanks!
Nicole Pelleschi


  • A few ideas
    - ask the back specialist for his/her thoughts
    - physiatrist (or osteopathic doctor) - they study muskular/skeletal system. This doctor will look at your situation. He will work with your back doctor, physical therapist, etc. He is a doctor. He may have options for Trigger point injections, massage, TENS, and other strengthening and core strenthening. I used one post 2 surgeries and I've seen an improvement
    - 800 MG of ibuprofin 3x/ day - does your doctor know this? Not saying it is too much but good to let them know. Drink water.
  • nikkipell31nnikkipell31 Posts: 8
    edited 07/23/2012 - 3:55 PM
    I will look into the Osteopathic doctor. I have not heard of them before so good to know they exist. I am going to make another appt with the spine specialist I have been working with to see what his thoughts are further from this point on. Yes he does know I am taking the Ibuprofen 3x/day. He prescribed it! :-) He originally wanted to prescribe something stronger but the Ibuprofen is just enough to take the edge off to make it through the day.
    Nicole Pelleschi
  • I would like to give you some suggestions:

    Exercise regularly.
    Adopt a healthy diet and maintain a desirable weight.
    Maintain proper posture.
    Warm up and stretch before doing any intensive physical activities.
    Refrain from lengthy inactivity or bed rest.
    Avoid wearing high-heeled and uncomfortable shoes.
    Sleep on firm mattress to reduce any curve in your spine.
    Use ergonomically good work station.
    Bend you your knees when lifting heavy objects.
    Quit smoking as it weaken blood flow and deprive oxygen and nutrient to the spinal tissues.
  • THanks for all of the suggestions! I have been doing the above so at least I am on the right track! :-) I only weight 125 pounds so that is definitely not the problem and I stretch daily as well as do my physical therapy 4 times a week on my own from what they taught me. I do not smoke so I can check that one off the list pretty quickly and I eat very healthy :-)
    Nicole Pelleschi
  • jaxsonfivejjaxsonfive Posts: 9
    edited 08/16/2012 - 6:48 PM
    an ESI may help
  • I have had some good results with McKenzie exercises, when I first herniated my disc. You can get their exercises free on line, and they are what I use now for some pain relief. Given my experience, I would try anything before having surgery.. But my surgeries have not given me pain relief so maybe I am not in a position to comment. Surgery does cause scar tissue, no matter what, and that can cause more pain, as it does in my case, and many who post on this forum. I have had success with pilates for core strength, tiger balm, for aches and pains, turmeric, D-3 vitamins, and 2 advil and one Tylenol.. On limited basis only when it really hurts. Posture, not sitting long periods of time and losing weight, if needed can all help.

    Often discs will absorb or scar up, and be fine, but it can take quite awhile. I suggest you do everything noninvasive first, such as chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, feledenkrais etc, before surgery. If surgery is your only option, get a few opinions. I use only neurosurgeons, but that is personal preference. Also check out the hospital ratings where you would have surgery.

    All the best,

  • I agree with Wendy on strengthening the core. I have similar pain, but mine sometimes reaches my thigh and knees. What type of exercises did the physical therapist suggest? I am doing better since I started creating balance of my muscles. I hadn't realized how lopsided I was until after my neck surgery. I had residual pain that had nothing to do with the surgery and discovered my L4/5 was protruding more on the right side. Have you tried swimming? It was great for my lower back, but my upper back would go into spasms.

    I use heat at night and stretch daily. The PT exercises I do 3 times a week. If you've had this condition for a while, it will take time to fix and you will have to incorporate it into your regular exercise routine. Good luck!
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • BkinsBBkins Posts: 364
    edited 08/15/2012 - 6:30 AM

    Just wondering what kind of tests you have had done to tell you about the herinations? Were they recent? And finally any changes since the tests?
  • Richard WilliamsRichard Williams Posts: 1
    edited 08/15/2012 - 8:15 PM
    Hi, DNice thanks for your lovely ideas.
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