I started having back problems after having a chiropractic adjustment "go wrong" in 2004.
It began as sciatica in one leg, then both legs, then stabbing pain in both buttocks. A year later out of nowhere I had a stabbing burning ripping pain between my shoulder blades. When it happens I call it a "back attack." And that leads me to several days lying down flat on an ice pack on ibuprofen and flexeril.
Over the years only disc damage showed up on MRIs. I tried every other form of diagnostic test and treatment - Western and Eastern. Only Botox shots ever helped, but they stopped working after I developed a tolerance.
After being told by a specialist "there's no reason you should be in pain," and "you should be able to go surfing all you like," despite being in agonizing pain, I went surfing. One thing lead to another and I had a bad wipe out in some over-head surf that gave me a major whip-lashing in the fall. I could no longer tilt my head backward and all my pain became 10 times worse.
The MRI showed disc herniation in C5-6 an C6-7 plus damage at C7-T1. The "C8" disc is known to provide 20% of the mobility in the neck, so we left that untouched. I did however have a discectomy and fusion from C5 to 7.
After almost a decade of progressively worsening chronic pain, the accident followed by the challenge of recovery afterward threw me off the deep end. I had never taken narcotic pain medication in all the years leading up to my surgery. I took vicodin once after having my wisdom teeth pulled but it made me sick and depressed. After the surgery I was on percocet, which made me even more sick and depressed. In other words, while narcotics do make the pain tolerable, the side effects are so intolerable they're not even worth taking. And having met addicts over the years - all with the same story of continually having to take more and more pain killers to kill the pain only to end up on maximum doses without the ability to kill the pain anymore - well, that sounded like a form of hell I never wanted to explore.
I have since found an amazing support group for people with chronic pain. I have been an active participant for about 7 months now, and I've been finding it really helpful for coping with my condition. I was on spine-health this past week and it occurred to me I should mention it on here. So, that's what I am doing. Hopefully it might help a few people. I will write a post in a different section about it.
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Post Edited by The Spine-Health Moderator Team