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20 years old and about to give up

I'm turning 21 next month and have been suffering from back pain since 19 years old from a weight lifting accident. After getting tossed around by doctors, I finally was correctly diagnosed as having si joint dysfunction. I did everything short of surgery so far. steroid shots, radio frequency ablation, prolotherapy, physical therapy. After reading numerous posts on this forum, I'm kinda realizing that people don't get better and end up having to live their lives on pain medication. I don't want to live life with this kind of pain anymore. SO many of my dreams have gone out the window due to this. If anybody knows of any stories of people getting better, please let me know. Or maybe I'm just feeling so alone in this long, painful journey...especially at this age. If only I could go back to that day..


  • hey, hey, hey,...there are success stories. Yes there are folks here that have had to deal with mulitiple surgeries and sitll in pain. BUT there are success stories too where those folks move on. You are so young to have to deal with this BS no matter what happened. A friend of mine has had success with her neck surgery....she water ski's, hikes, goes to the gym everyday. she is 60 something. Older than me. and a completly active person. I can't imagine what this must be like at your age. There is good information on this site.

  • you don't necessarily have to live the rest of your live on pain meds. i have due to the fact that i have been in chronic pain for over 10 years. yes i use them, but i don't have a negative attitude towards taking them. i am used to them and they don't make me feel high. i use them to keep me steady and be able to function with my job and life in general. i have metal from L5-L2. i have had 4 fusions and other surgeries.the last one made things worse physically. but i work with my pain doctor and my neurosurgeon and keep things on an even keel.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • I have a similar story and have been dealing with an injury for just over a year. Some days are hard but don't give up! Through trial and error I have made some lifestyle adjustments (for example a standing desk at work) that allow me to continue to live my life almost as it was prior to my injury. I also continue to try combinations of different types of treatments, injections, chiro, massage etc. Nothing has majically cured it but over time living with it has become much easier. Some days are bad but I have just learned to appreciate and take advantage fully of the days that things are not as bad. Keep your chin up and just keep trying different solutions, someday something is bound to click and help you find at least some pain relief.

    Best of luck!

  • Welcome to Spine Health! There are many, many success stories, so please don't give up hope. It can take time, and often, one of the key factors is learning to adapt the way that we did things prior to our injury, and learning new ways of doing the things that we want and need to do.
    If you check in the Conditions tab at the top of the forum home page, you will find a directory that includes a listing of the various conditions and under the Treatments tab , you will find resources and links to various treatment options.
    Most people who have had great success with their outcomes are out busy living their lives. Although some do stick around or pop back in periodically to let us know how they are doing.
    Are you seeing a board certified orthopedic or neurosurgeon about your condition? If not , it might be worthwhile to see what other treatment options are available for you, aside from the ones that you have tried. And don't be afraid to try them again, what didn't work before, may, under another's guidance work this time.
    Hang in there,
  • I can totally understand your pain and where you're coming from. When I had my own back injury 3 years ago, I was only 18 then. I felt very frustrated and annoyed with the pain my body was going through, especially at such a young age. My doctor sent me for physiotherapy sessions and asked me to wear a corset-like back brace to provide extra back support. I found a really good website that sells a wide array of back braces and supports. they even have products that can help with your SI joint condition. I bought my back brace from this website http://www.braceability.com/back-braces-back-supports-lumbar-belts-lumbar-supports

    I hope this helps and that you find relief from your back condition.
  • I currently live without pain meds. Lots of spine patients are able to live without meds once they have found a (non medicine) treatment that works for them. With that said, not everyone that has to take pain meds has to give up their life styles. If you read this forum long enough you will see adults with chronic pain, taking medication while having various successful careers and families. In my opinion, the reason you see so many spine patients on this board who are disabled with chronic pain is because they have much more free time to post and are looking reaching out to others in their same boat. There are multiple threads on this forum about young people with pain. I want get into all of the various issues people have posted, but I will say I believe those of us who had spinal issues at a young age are at a HUGE advantage when it comes to disability/life styles. We are/were able to choose educational paths that have associated careers that are "kind" to spinal patients... for example... accounting comes to mind. I'm personally in education. I feel very sorry for those patients who find themselves in a successful career around the age of 50 and then go through major spinal issues... too young to retire and often unable to choose a different career for various reasons. In my opinion (and others may feel free to disagree or agree), one of the BIGGEST determining factors of how "successful" a spine patient's life will be is that person's attitude. We all go through dark times with pain, etc, but at some point, its up to us to turn things around, rather its constantly going for 5th, 6th, 10th opinions to find the doctor right for us, etc. You are NOT the only young person with major spinal issues. I know from personal experience that it can feel that way. This is the beauty of this forum. We can meet others walking similar paths. Best of luck to you. Welcome to this forum.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Im 23 years old and have been suffering with chronic back pain for nearly 3 years. I have two damaged discs that have healed as scar tissue, whcih has allowed nerves to grow into the discs (normal discs dont have nerves) so and pressure on these two discs and im in agony, also from the spinal injury I have permanent bladder damage, so I now have to urinate into a bag. Now I know at first this is going to sound like its a negative post but its not. Yes agreed im in constant pain 24/7 and im on super strong medication (buprenorpine and pregabalin) but I still try and live my life as much as I can, in the last year ive gone back to college to study game design and hoping to go to university, I do my own radio show twice a week and im starting to enjoy life abit more even though ive got severe clinical depression, im battling through. So theres nothing to say you wont to. Eventually you will realise you cant let the pain control you, you need to control the pain. Keep your chin up and live your life as much as you can. You are still young and yes im not going to lie you could be in some pain for the rest of your life, but that doesnt mean its will control your life. There are other hobbies out there you can try and find u will enjoy, but dont give up :) dont let it beat you.
    All the best
  • Candacewi5CCandacewi5 Posts: 31
    edited 05/21/2013 - 4:24 PM
    I started my pain journey when I was your age and it was so hard to find even ground. I had really bad times when I would flare for months at a time and then it would stop for a while. It taught me to appreciate the good days and find a way to cope with the bad days. I have been fired or resigned from jobs I could no longer perform more than I care to admit. While it sucked royally to suddenly not only be in pain, but also without a job and income, I would not be where I am today had it not happened. Everytime one career was no longer viable, I went back to college to learn more. I did online courses during my bad flares and worked my way up the career ladder. Everytime I was better enough to return to work, I was able to get a better paying job. You have to find a way to make it tolerable for you and a way to cope. Education was and still is my way of sticking it to my back pain.
    Pain sucks and it can make your outlook on life a bit more jaded. Just know that you are not alone and work to find your way in the world with what you have and still can do. You will find your own ways to work around the pain, and discover treatments and techniques to reduce the impact on your life. Pain may or may not go away, but it doesn't have to be the ruler of your life.
    DDD & spinal stenosis L4-S1 since 2001
    30+ injections, PT, massage therapy, accupuncture, TENS unit, meds, etc but no surgical intervention
    I am not a surgical candidate
  • Hi plainoldrob :). I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely not alone and that there is definitely hope, although I would not have told you that in January. My son also injured his back lifting weights. He was 15 at the time. He is 19 now and has been through it all - everything you mentioned - injections, ablations, prolotherapy, acupuncture, physical therapy and on and on and on. Long story short, after years of doing eveything possible to avoid surgery, we finally had no choice but to do a fusion. Best decision we ever made at this point. Within two weeks after surgery he was doing more and feeling better than he had in years. I'm NOT recommending surgery, everyone's case is different. BUT please know there is hope. Don't EVER give up. I know my son felt just like you do many times. Please keep researching and keep reaching out - so many here understand and really want to help.
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