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Hi There! 7 Years of Pain

Hi Everyone!

I stumbled across this forum recently, and thought it would be a great idea for me to join. My support system is limited to my boyfriend, mother, and sister. It would be nice to connect with people who understand what I’m going through.

For the past seven years, I've been suffering from chronic back, neck, and pelvic pain due to a car accident that I was in. I was going into my sophomore year in college, when the car accident happened that summer. Unfortunately, I did not receive proper care and treatment when experiencing issues with walking, or really movement of any kind that involved the use of my neck and/or back. After the car accident, I was told that the right side of pelvic bone dropped slightly below the left side, and that was believed to be the only true injuries sustained. This is what they believed the be the reason for the pain in my lower back and hip.

Young and naive, I took the word of the doctor, and remained in physical therapy for a year. With the amount of pain I was in constantly, they actually placed in me a wheelchair, and I could only get out of it when I went to physical therapy. I was prescribed a number of pain medicines and muscle relaxers, and after a year had passed, I thought that I was on my way to being back to the old me again. I slowly regained my ability to walk normally again, and was able to function in life without as much pain (or so I thought).

In the midst of everything that was going on with my health, I had a very ill, and needy husband, as well as problems going on with my family, and I had to sue the college I was attending, and so much of just LIFE was happening, that I, subconsciously, began to protect areas that I was hurting, and I completely ignored all of the symptoms that indicated that the issue was much larger at hand. I couldn't go to the hairdresser without asking for accommodations, as my neck hurt when they washed my hair. I had pain running down the back side of my right leg, constantly, and swelling in my right foot, and that foot always felt hot. I had issues with sleeping because of the leg pain. I had problems with running, or sitting for longer than 1 hour at a time, or really, any stagnant position, caused a lot of pain.

Fast forwarding a few years, on Christmas Day three years ago, I bent over to pick something up, and then I couldn't straighten out my back. Alarmed, I went to the ER, who, again, blew me off. Still in pain, and frustrated that there was no resolution, I went to a chiropractor that a family friend recommended. He took an Xray, and boy was I SHOCKED! I learned that the disc between S1 and L5, was basically squished, I have a bulging disc between L4 and L5, and my spine was curved at the bottom half due to the drop in my hip. I was being seen 3 times a week, and felt some relief. Then, situations in life happened again (mainly having to deal with my now ex-husband), and I had to stop getting care and treatment.

Now, fast forwarding to present day, I’m now divorced, I’ve moved across the country, landed a fantastic job, and I started noticing a decrease in mobility with my right arm, as well as pain going down the right arm, tingling in my right hand, and then my leg pain also began to increase. Alarmed of the new symptoms, I went to the chiropractor locally, and explained everything in greater detail on what was going on with me. I had x-rays taken again, and learned that now S1 and L5 are essentially touching each other, I have several bulging discs in the middle of my spine, and my neck is also curved in the opposite direction, in addition the large curve in my lower back. My spine is basically shaped like the letter S now. This chiropractor’s new treatment plan for me includes using the Denneroll to remodel my spine in my neck, tens unit, spinal decompression, physical therapy, laser treatment and adjustments. They recommended me to a pain management doctor, to address the issues with sciatica, and the soreness and stiffness in my neck and right arm. I need to be seen 3 times a week for the next 10 weeks, and they seem to be hopeful that I would get relief from their treatments.

Everything for me as been pretty traumatic over the past several years. No one understood what I was going through, and still go through today. My ex-husband pulled from me so much, that it was impossible for me to focus on taking care of myself, until he was out of the picture. I’m so scared about having to deal with these issues for the remainder of my life. I always think that everything is fine, but this last chiropractic visit really, truly, scared me. I used to be so fit and active, and I can feel my muscles are very weak. I hurt ALL the time. It even hurts to inhale deeply. I’m trying to remain positive, but it’s very difficult right now. I hope that I can find some great friends on this forum, to help me get through this difficult time, and that I can help others get through their difficult times.



  • I would strongly encourage you NOT to allow anyone, chiropractor or otherwise to use a 'decompression machine" or a roller anything on your spine, until you have been medically cleared to do so by a spine surgeon.
    What you are describing sounds like nerve related pain, and allowing a chiro to adjust or manipulate your spine could cause other problems.
    I would strongly encourage you to start with a consult with a board certified spine surgeon first, get the proper testing and imaging done, and work with him /her to get a proper treatment plan .



  • kawaiifl7kkawaiifl7 Posts: 7
    edited 06/13/2014 - 11:53 AM
    Hi Sandi! Thank you for the links. I've actually taken the time to read through them, and I find the information to be extremely helpful. :)

    I'll be taking your suggestion, and will see an othro first, before doing anything else. Thank you.
  • Hi & welcome! I'm so terribly sorry you've had such a hard time in the last few years. I sincerely hope you now receive, and give yourself the care & attention you need now. It's such a relief you've decided not to return to the chiropractors, they really can do more harm than good. Once you're in the hands of a true spine specialist you will have a diagnosis & action plan enabling you to move forward with your medical life as you have in your business & personal life. Good luck! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • you have given a very comprehensive account of your health issues and I can relate to most of them .when your spine is damaged unless you're extremely lucky ..you're going to have lifelong problems .I have to agree with the girls ..keep away from chiropractors and be careful regarding surgeons .when I had my last spinal operation [2 and half years ago] my consultant told me that it was ;;;damage limitation ;;; and not curative ..and reading your story it looks like you're in the same boat .if I were you I would get a fresh up to date set of medical imaging and a good chat with a competent consultant .I am not big on pain management doctors my own doctor manages my pain as I have had some bad experiences with so called pain specialist {in all fairness I have had at least two excellent consultant pain specialist and they did all they could do for me regarding conservative treatments ..a good consultant will stop when they can not help you .my own consultant told me when he did my ALIF that it was for spinal stability and if any pain relief was to happen that would be a bonus and not a guarantee ..you describe your foot being hot all the time/? I have the same with both feet and both lower legs {only since the fusion ] its horrible and painful .suffering with intractable pain has also destroyed my first marriage too and I lost my job as an electrical engineer too [I loved that job] /I am remarried now to a nurse {17 years] but still unable to work .I feel for you and I wish I could offer some help ..only to add that there are many on this site with similar problems as you get to know us all you will soon get to know our various styles of posting ..I tend to be direct and to the point .some like that ...others don't !! I have noticed that my once happy self has changed over the years as my fight with pain has brought me down .you sound like you have gone down the same road too ...anyway I know things are different over the pond [I am in the uk} I don't know what you do regarding getting a consultant to give you the once over but that's what I would do if I were you [in fact I see my consultant on the 20th of this month } good luck and I hope that you can get to grips with your problems and find someone with the skills to help you .beware of consultants wanting to do extensive surgery and have a good read of some of the older posts on here that relate to your situation .
    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
  • @EnglishGirl, thank you for the warm welcome to the forum. A true action plan for my health is exactly what I need. I'm nervous and excited to see the orthopedist next week!

    @backache999 - I'm curious to know what damage limitation means, exactly? I think that your recommendation, along with everyone else's makes sense. I have a scheduled orthopedic appointment for a consultation on Monday. I just moved to the area here, so I had to find a new primary as well, which may be an option for helping me manage the pain. I have a high sensitivity to medicine in general, and this is the first time I've truly sought after some sort of relief. I'm sorry to hear about your back troubles as well. It didn't quite dawn on me until recently, how much of an impact these injuries have had on my life in the past, and what it will do to impact my future. You sound like you've really been through quite a bit, and understand all of the implications from having a damaged spine. I wish you good luck on your appointment on the 20th. :)
  • I always make a list of the most important things I want to know so I can check at the end of the appointment to make sure I know, & understand all of the answers. The first appointments just to get a feel for eachother, there's nothing to be nervous about...I'm always nervous before I meet a new specialist. It's like a blind date but it could impact our lives so very much. It's one of those 'do as I say not as I do!' bits of advise. ;-)

    I hope it goes great for you & remember if you're not comfortable with his recommendations there are plenty more fish in the spine specialist sea!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 06/17/2014 - 8:44 AM
    hi and thanks for your PM
    my consultant was picking up after an initial ;;;over operation ;;; what I mean by that is the first surgery was too much for the damage I had and it wasn't a spinal consultant that did it ..I was in a car smash and I had to operated on immediately so I got the on call, guy .in the worst hospital in my area .as it happens .because I was fit I recovered well for the first surgery [little knowing that I had been butchered } then things started to get worse the back ache was stopping me from doing things I was walking less and I needed to go from 30/500 codeine /paracetamol to opiates for pain control .things go so bad one morning I hit the floor in the bedroom and my wife got an ambulance and once again I was in hospital having emergency surgery but this time the guy {a different guy] made a MESS and left me in agony ..7 years slipped by and no one wanted to re operate on me after seeing the medical photography so I hit the internet and found lets call him spine guy ,,and spine guy has a reputation to operate where others fear to tread ..I wanted ADR but after some preliminary test he told me that my spine was too far gone to have the ADR implants and a ALIF was all he could offer me AS DAMAGE LIMITATION ..I asked what does that mean in this situation and he said ;;your spine has been wrecked by poor previous surgery and disease and now if you refuse surgery your other disks will collapse and you will be paralyzed there was no alternative ;;spine guy has seen too many like me so I trusted him {and still do} if I had seen him first or even second my standard of life would have been so much better .I won't go into detail be he showed me the damage on the MRI//CT scans and told me that if he would have been operating he would have done this and not that ect .but as my spine had been butchered he could not do what he wanted to do and the fusion [ALIF} was the only option .its been two and half years and I am still having problems but my spine is solid where it was butchered .if I would have left it I dread to think what I would have been like ..life is hard and I am very limited to what I can and can't do and yes I am very bitter but whats done is done and I have to live with whats left and that's very hard to do when your only 48 and have been suffering for many years ,,I have many friends with similar problems in fact one has just texed me she had 3 strokes with no apparent reason when she was just 30 she is now 39 and divorced and unable to work .loosing her looks and unable to cope .she talks to me as I am one of the very few that can understand her flusteration and pain problems ..she is having a bad day !! and she has found that well people don't want to be bothered with ill people .something I have been telling her for years !! .I think well people think that if they are around you that they will become ill too !! mad I know ...but I know others in the same situation .this is why sites like this one are so helpful because we tend to know how the other person is feeling and we have been through many procedures and can offer advice .PAIN and dealing with all its consequences is a lifelong problems for some ..so my damage limitation was to stop the spine getting any worse BUT it would not help with pain ..in my case ..I have yet to see spine guy that's this Friday I see nurse for B12 injection on Thursday so its a busy part week for me !! take care
    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
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