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New Guy from the Heartland

Back when I was 20, I tried to lift WAY TOO MUCH weight using my back and have suffered for the past 33 years as a result. The typical problem was a tender sciatic joint which caused painful back spasms. For the first 23 years, the meds I took were ineffective and finally about 10 years ago, a different family doctor sent me to physical therapy. That reduced my back spasm events from about 2+ weeks to just a couple days of pain.

My current iteration of a back problem has been quite painful and life changing. I noticed back in Sept/Oct that I was experiencing some slight tingling in my foot. Then the weekend before Thanksgiving while moving a couch, I felt that familiar pop in my back but my pain is much different. No muscle spasms this time but after standing/walking for 30-45 minutes, I have extreme pain in my lower leg that progresses to tingling foot and a very sore hip. Sleeping doesn't give me much relief either. The best relief I get is sitting in a lazy boy. Narcotic pain killers have been ineffective. I tried oral steroids for 3 weeks with no relief.

Last week's MRI showed a bulging disc. I'm working to get into a pain clinic now. I'm HOPEFUL I won't have to wait for weeks to get in.

March 20, 2014 - L4/L5 Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy


  • Welcome to spine health. I am sorry you are in pain. You will find a lot of support on the forum. Many of us suffer from chronic pain. I have had many back surgeries. I am not a doctor, but from experience it sounds like you are having some sciatica problems again. I have been on a pain management program twice after each of my fusion surgeries. It works out well if the program is followed. I know what you mean about pain medication not working. I eventually built a tolerance up to the pain pills. Has your doctor suggested a steroid injection to you? The pain doctor may do so. They work for some people and not for others. Its worth trying all the conservative treatments you can. Did a surgeon look over your MRI? You may want consider having an orthopedic or neurosurgeon look over you MRI. They often read the MRI themselves and may be able to see something on your MRI that the radiologist did not. I am having a spinal cord stimulator trial here in the next few weeks. Surgery cannot fix my pain, so I am trying the stimulator to get some relief. I hope it works for me. I spend a lot time sleeping in a lazy boy. My bed hurts me so bad. Anyway, I just wanted to welcome you to the forum. I hope the new year is good to you. Keep us posted on how pain doctor appointment goes. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 01/02/2014 - 6:14 PM
    it sounds to me FROM PERSONAL NOT MEDICAL EXPERIENCE that you will require an operation maybe a laminectomy or discectomy ...regarding pain control .have your tried a good TENS unit ..Omron make a good one it cost around 50 pounds around 65 $ .electrode placement is essential for good pain relief ..don't buy a really cheap one and done purchase a really expensive one I have been in pain for 17 years had 3 major operations and countless painful procedures and my wife is a medical person .the lazy boy !! a bad back person's best tool !! is it the electrical rise and recline version ? I have the celebrity Hampton rise and recline and without it my life would be a lot harder ..I use 4 memory foam pillows to prop myself up .2 generic under my knees one {the tempur millennium queen in large ..just purchase one they are amazing} a generic memory foam pillow for my lower back .try ice and heat .and I would see your doctor for ask him/her about a change in your pain meds ,another good tool is a grabber I use mine so many times I have gone through so many of them over the years ..the only I have now was an expensive ;;professional one;; its the one street cleaners use ..its very hard wearing ..I have added a hook to it and glued a high strength magnet to it ..as my old cheap one had both these functions but the expensive ;;litter picker ;;did not . I hope I have been some help please feel free to ask any questions I am sure that if I carnt answer some of the wonderful people on here will ..ONE thing we carnt diagnose MRI.CT scans or tell you how much medication to take ..we can only give ;;from personal advice;; .if you want to contact me I am on face book under the name Anthony beer I use the pink Floyd dark side of the moon album cover so you will know its me ..if you contact me on FB just remind me where your are
    from ie spine health
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    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.
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    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[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. You are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • This page has been a lifesaver to me and I hope you get the same results. I have very similar problems but not for as long. I've tried just about every conservative treatment there is and I'm exhausted, emotionally and physically. I'm sure you will got a lot of support here and hopefully read some info that you can take back to your Dr to ask about. When I told mine I was on this page he was happy and approved. Best of luck and feel free to inbox me anytime.

    Herniation of l5 S1 l4 , DDD , microdisectomy in June 2013 and re herniation in September
    Cervical herniation at C5-7 Jan 2014 with impingement of spinal cord. 2 level cervical fusion Feb. 2014 and 2 level lumbar fusion in April 2014
  • Thanks all for the good info. My mom and dad have chronic back pain and they have been receiving epidurals for a few years at least. They have been really pushing me to get the epidural since my recent bout started but my health insurance company required that we try the steroid tabs first and confirmed that didn't work before they approved the MRI. I haven't visited with a surgeon or orthopedic yet.

    Jennifer, I'm thinking the lazy boy might become my bed if I don't get relief soon as the pain from sleeping in bed causes me to wake up a bunch. That is the one case where they pain meds did work to help me sleep through it.

    I should know more next week! Thanks again!

    March 20, 2014 - L4/L5 Laminectomy and Microdiscectomy
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