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Howdy! New Member with new symptoms-debilitating muscle spasms

redhummingbirdrredhummingbird CAPosts: 50
edited 12/04/2013 - 3:42 PM in New Member Introductions
I had a microdiscectomy in 2006 at L5-S1 for a "massively herniated disc". The surgeon told me after the surgery that I should have had a fusion and predicted the surgery would fail in a year. I had terrible sciatica down my right leg and have permanent damage in the achilles reflex (there is none) because the surgeon waited too long. I had to have emergency surgery.

I started having problems again in 2010 with severe back pain. I had physical therapy which helped then developed some muscle spasms. An MRI revealed another herniation at the same level but wasn't pressing on nerves (thankfully). I also have DDD so the disc space is flattening (for lack of a better word).

I had a lumbar epidural which helped. I had another epidural six months later which helped.

The surgeon I saw at the time recommended a fusion but I wasn't ready and asked for PT and then later an epidural. I had good insurance at the time.

I live in a different area and have Medicare now. The area is overloaded with patients (especially back patients for some reason) so it takes awhile to get an appt although my doctor has been great at responding to stuff so far. I would like to have another epidural but I now know (after reading Sandi's standard of care) that he needs to go through more conservative treatments first.

I'm having episodes of severe muscle spasms. When they occur I can't move because the pain is so bad. They began after I was standing while lifting a very light bag of cat litter. It occurred about 3 weeks ago and the spasms happen weekly and since Sunday are now daily.

Prior to that I was having a reoccurrence of the severe back pain.

The muscle spasms are restricting my level of functioning. I can't bend without them happening. I also can't really do any sort of squatting.

My doctor, whom I've only seen twice, took me off Flexerill and put me on Baclofen. I started that on Friday after Thanksgiving.

I'm laying on a heating pad off and on. I do some walking until I feel pain. Icing seems to flare the muscle spasms. They are getting worse. I'm resting as much as possible but am conscious of not resting too much. I only rest now after I have a spasm.

I can't take NSAIDS due to gastritis and I don't want to take narcotics.

I know what exercises to do from the previous PT but I'm not sure whether its safe for me to do so. I would like to resume the exercises.

Thank you!

The last MRI I had was in April 2012. It showed a herniation at L5-S1 (same level as the surgery) and disc compression from DDD.


  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-treatment-step-step

    The link posted above is one you should read, it will help explain how the standard of care works when it comes to treating spine problems.
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Spine-Health contains detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal conditions and treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

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  • I read through almost everything. I edited my post. Hopefully it's okay and complies with the rules (I had mentioned a hospital and said something negative about my doctor even though I think he's actually really good).

    The link to the Tips for Newcomers came up with a 404 error.

    I'm glad to be part of this site!
  • I will check into the error for you. Sometimes we are working on areas of the site and things can temporarily come up with an error.
    Thanks for fixing the post.
    Getting another epidural might be something that your doctor suggests, depending on his findings and any imaging studies you have had done. The doctor may decide to skip a step or two , so the Step by Step treatment overview is just that, an overview of the typical route that doctors take when it comes to treating back pain......
    I hope that you get relief soon Redhummingbird....
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