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severe back pain

reenrreen Posts: 4
edited 01/08/2014 - 4:02 AM in Lower Back Pain
For the past 10 years I have had episodes of lower back pain ranging from moderate to painful. 7 years ago an mri said I had a herniated disc and 2 bulging discs. I also had sciatica which was my primary source of pain. It eventually healed on its own. Sincw then every year I have flare ups but usually manage w over the counter meds. Ice and rest and chiropeactic. Cold weather usually makes it worse. Yesterday I put a dish in the dishwasher and was overcome with extreme pain. I tried the usual ice heat rest and advil and naproxen butvlater in the day had more episodes when pain was so extreme it was a level 10 and I was immobilized. I found some pain medication I was given 7 years ago took that and was able to sleep. Now what? I cannot walk or drive to the doctor it is too painful to think about. Other than this I am a healthy person and regularly was exercising.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • terigtterig Posts: 30
    edited 01/08/2014 - 5:38 AM
    hello reen...i have developed severe mid back and lower back spine pain in the last year..getting progressively worse..it started with left leg weakness and right leg drag in 2011-12...now i am walking with a walker and get fasiculations in my legs and some other places too...do you experience these...i am finally giving in and going to start pain management with some meds that i previously rejected...gabapentin and amatrypaline and cymbalata...did you ever take these?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    you need to get into the Emergency Room. Since there is no way you can drive or function with that pain level, you need to get someone to drive you to the ER, or get an ambulance to take you there.

    Ever since the pain scales were revisited several years ago, 9's and 10's are treated as emergencies.

    You do not indicate if you have had any surgery in the past to address your disc problems. What was your doctor's recommendation on how to take care of your situation? Did you have and what where the conservative treatments.
    What medications have you been on in the past, what are they now?

    As you can see, there are so many questions we have for you. Its very difficult for anyone here to help another member when we dont have a lot of information to go on. All we have is that your pain level is 10. And what we are saying is that you can not function normally at the level , so get your self some help as soon as you can, or if you pain level decreases

    (Note: taking medications from that long ago, may not have been helpful. there is a drug expatriation date on every bottle of prescribed medications)
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks for your questions and trying to help me. I suppose I wasn't very clear on Tuesday when I posted because I was "desperate" for some kind of help and couldn't move. A few days later I am able to stand up and walk around. I first was diagnosed with the disc problems in 2007. At the time, I had young children and couldn't get to physical therapy which was recommended. In time, the sciatica healed, although my right toe was numb and continued that way for about a year. Since that time, I have had flare ups a few times a year, usually at times of cold weather. I have never taken any pain medication except for over the counter Advil and Alleve. I have gone to see a chiropractor when the pain is worse, and that has helped. In between I have had periods when I am completely pain free, am able to exercise, and go about my normal activities. This year I have had several flare ups, and they happen without warning. A few months ago I was getting out of my car and then couldn't walk from the parking lot to my job. It's very scary to me when these things happen because I feel helpless and unable to move. On that day, I was carrying a laptop computer, and almost left it on the sidewalk. Luckily, I ran into a coworker who took the computer and helped me cross the street. Up until this week I had been regularly going to the gym and taking classes. I haven't been to the chiropractor since September because it is a far drive for me, and not located conveniently, although I like the Dr. very much. Sometimes I just don't want to drive 40 minutes for a 5 minute treatment. The other day I was dressed and ready to go when I put a dish into the dishwasher and was overcome with extreme pain. Throughout the day, this continued happening. I was alone that day, and afraid to go to the e.r. because of the amount of pain, I couldn't imagine how I would move enough to get there. By the way, I have a very high tolerance for pain and have worked through pain, and walked through it, for a very long time. After two days of basically lying on my bed, I feel some relief now, and am planning to visit a physician today who is a back specialist. I had called my regular MD who suggested 600 mg. of advil every 6 hours. This is what I did yesterday. I was able to drive a short distance, but am walking around in fear that a little movement might set off the back spasms again. It is hard for people to take me seriously because I look healthy, am petite, and generally people see me being active. People always ask me what happened and I never know what to say! It is embarrassing to walk hunched over and not be able to get up from a chair without pain. It's also affecting my job because I've had to miss work at times simply because it was not safe for me to drive anywhere, and I was afraid to be out of my house and vulnerable when I could not move. I guess I'm on this board looking for some ways to deal with this lifestyle, and am seeking non surgical ways to break this cycle. Thanks.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    your doctors diagnosis?
    And have you every had surgery?
    While you are explaining more, which is good, you are still leaving out some of the basics. Look at the FAQ, they will help you put together a thread to get better response
    Essentially, the more we know about your condition, treatments, etc, the easier it will be for us to respond
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • For anyone who follows these forums, I wanted to post an update. My MRI indicated degenerative disc disease w/ some bulging and mild herniation pressing on the nerve. The initial agony subsided and I have been getting physical therapy with a good result. The exercises can be easily replicated at home or at the gym. Sometimes people feel hopeless and are looking for immediate cures. For a relatively healthy person, rest, ice, heat, and conservative methods can help and I highly recommend going to an experienced PT. I also found better luck with a sports medicine MD. Sometimes, ortho. surgeons are oriented towards surgery. Find another type of MD and conservative advice might be given.
  • and symptoms of nerve impingement or damage- a consult with a surgeon is the best choice. Just because they are surgeons does not mean that surgery is always warranted or necessary, it depends entirely on the findings of the imaging studies, as well as the surgeon's examination of you in real life, along with any symptoms you are experiencing.
    There is a link to the Step by Step Guide to getting Spine Pain treated. It is a worthwhile read , especially for someone who is relatively new to getting spine pain treated.
    Watch going to a chiropractor- if you have discs bulging or herniated, it can quickly become much more serious if they adjust you and wind up making things much worse.
  • reenrreen Posts: 4
    edited 03/03/2014 - 7:33 AM
    Sandi I agree that it's important to consult with a specialist. In my case, the surgeon in the group did not see patients until surgery was warranted, and the sports medicine specialist ordered the MRI and said if necessary, a consult with the surgeon would be the next step. I know that's not the case in every practice. I only wanted to point out that the Dr. I saw was willing to take the time to explain options and seemed to have more "time" to spend with the patient. I have been to Orthopedist before and seen the Physician's Assistant at times, if things were busy. I'm only trying to offer a positive result, since I was in severe pain in Jan. and reading these forums. Since not that many people follow up, it seems that some good news might help folks have some hope.
  • I understand, sometimes you don't want to take pain killers anymore but sometimes it is too painful. how about alternative medicine? acupressure? massage? acupuncture? these work sometimes too.

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