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Ongoing back pain

Thank goodness i found this site!
I've suffered back pain on and off for 9 years , I'm 54 years old and i work as a School Site manager so i have a very physical job.
I'm now in my 15th week of chronic back pain/ spasm etc .
i've had 11 of those weeks off work , 7 Chiropractic sessions, 3 physio sessions and 1 session of traction and i'm still no better.
My GP is not interseted and says there is nothing he can do , he says surgery is not an option and just keep taking the pain meds !!
I had to push for an xray which showed a worn disc in the lower back .
Needless to say i am now so depressed as well as in pain , i feel someone has taken my life away from me , i don't know what to do . I try going out for short walks etc with my partner and after 20-30 mins my lower back is so tight i can hardly walk . Then when itry to get back into the car or sit down the spasms start and i can't move . I usually have to take valium and wait an hour or so for things to become a little easier .
Can anyone tell me if ths is likely to improve , will i ever be able to walk, shop, have a normal life again ?
I do gentle stretching exercises daily , they help slightly .
I'm worried that i'll have to give up my job and basically at the end of my tether .
Any help advice etc would be most welcome .
By the way i am female and live in the Uk so have to rely on the NHS for treatment although the Chiropractic treatment and Physio i funded myself as my GP offered me no help


  • charryccharry Posts: 5,657
    edited 08/15/2012 - 9:14 AM
    When my back pain started and no relief from muscle relaxants or an anti-inflammatory I went back to my Dr. and she ordered an MRI especially since I had leg numbness and tingling, not sure if you have any other symptoms like nerve pain or numbness?

    I had to see a Neurologist for an EMG/nerve test and then get a referral to an Orthopedic Surgeon although I haven't had surgery was referred to a Pain Management Dr. You may want to see a Physiatrist who works with Sports or injury rehab and they may help order any other tests also.

    I've had several opinions from Orthopedic Surgeons and a Neurosurgeon for my condition since I'm unable to work for over 4 years now. I know the NHS and Canadian wait times are just awful. I hope you get some answers soon. 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
  • Hi , found out today that it is L5 S1 and in pretty bad shape : (
    GP has prescibed Indometacin 3x50g daily and Amptitryptaline ? 25g at nighttime .
    He said its the first step on a new pain regime.

    I don't drink much water /fluid during the day so thanks for the advice on that .
    Iusually have cereal for breakfast , a roll with salad /cold meats for lunch and a hot meal in the evening . I do tend to pick on salty snacks during the eevening though and enjoy a glass or two of wine (although i wont be drinking alcohol with the new pain meds )
    The exercises are usually the knee to chest hugs 5 am 10 pm, knees from side to side same reps ,
    then up on all fours stretching oposite arm to legs , and arch back and drop back . Sometimes they hurt so i stop if that happens.
    I'm only able to go out for short periods of time, if i walk for more than 20 mins , my lower back feels like its tightening up and then each leg feels like a lump of lead to lift , then i go to get in the car and the spasms start ! Only rest will help .
    I do have children but both were born naturally . The younger one now 28 has had 2 degenerative discs in her lower back , she has had bouts of chronic pain since she was 17 , she had an MRI scan which showed this .
    My brother also had severe problems from his 30's onwards resulting in surgery to 2 discs.
    Could it be hereditary ?
    I forgot to say i don't tend to get pain down my legs , sometimes in my hips but usually on right hand side , and spasms tend to be on left side , often its more like a toothache type pain across the whole of the lower back . Sometimes i can sit and have no ache/pain at all , other times its unbearable .
    Hope this info helps .
    Also is it ok to take antacid tablets with the indometacin ? I'm feeling slightly acidic since taking the first pill
    Thank you
  • I agree with Tamas. I have had major back pain before with muscle spasms. But touch wood, in the last few years they have stopped. Now I only get muscle stiffness when I play sports. In the past I tried everything from Chiropracty, yoga, pilates, Personal training exercises (being a PT myself), Physiotherapy, Sports massages reading books on posture and pain relief, etc.. They all have some benefit but I found them to be short term. In the long term what I eat and drink have made the most difference.
    I hope this is of some help to you.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I've had the type of pain you're describing before my L4/5 lumbar fusion and it was from stenosis. That's not to say that's your problem, but I had mostly hip and lower back pain, eventually with pain travelling down the back of both legs, but just to the knees a "wider" feeling than sciatica. Have you had an MRI?

    I think finding a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, ortho or neuro, but one that only works on spines would be a good idea. They can look at the soft tissue areas with MRIs and CT scans that x-rays can't see. Seeing a surgeon doesn't necessarily mean surgery, so don't be scared, but they know so much more about what is going on and finding a solution than a GP or other doctor.

    Yes, back problems can be hereditary or it could even be from an accident you had 30 years ago and the symptoms just now crop up. That's what happened to me - I was in a bad car accident when I was 18 and 30 years later we discovered my spine is collapsing. I'm facing my third surgery this coming December.

    Anyway, I wanted to offer up those suggestions. I hope you feel better and are able to find the right doctor to care for you.
  • Usually the Dr. will order Indomethicin rectally as it's very hard on the stomach. I can't take it as it's too strong for my stomach. Also if you take an antacid with it it won't be as effective as the antacid coats your stomach and stops the medication from being absorbed.

    Are you still taking it? 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
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