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Lower back pain

Hello everyone. I hope you are all doing well. I've posted on the board about my back issues maybe two or three times and have gotten pretty good suggestions from people. Even though I've taken them into account and have seen seven doctors, my back has only gotten worse within the past seven months. I haven't worked since May of this year and I have to apply for temporary disability. I can no longer stand for 10 minutes without pain, it's more like 3-5. The osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis (l1-s1), disc herniations (l4-5) and osteophytes (l1-l5) make it hard to get out of bed in the morning, shower (which I now do sitting down) bend, twist, etc. The numbness, burning, and tingling hasn't improved, and as a result of that, I now walk slower than before and with a limp. My pt said one of my hips is out of alignment and is making my right leg shorter.

I have been told that I will need fusion surgery in the near future (within a year or so) because it is so bad. I have done physical therapy (2 months, 3x a week) heat, ice, tens, NSAIDs, taken gabapentin, flexeril (muscle spasms in my neck) methylprenisolone (oral steroids) and am currently on meloxicam, which is supposed to be like a strong Aleve. A bit pointless since NSAIDs and even narcotics (was on hydro codon) haven't worked. One of my orthopedic surgeons told me that I should try transforaminal epi injections. The other (whom I have way more trust in) told me that I should try them but he doesn't think they will work as my condition is so severe and congenital at a young age. I was wondering if anyone had luck with that; as I have heard over time, the effectiveness of the steroid wears off with each shot given. How is the pain? How was your pain level reduced after a few days? Did you have more than one? I get mine next Monday (l4-5, l5-s1 bilaterally) and am somewhat anxious. Even though I do have tattoos, nothing beats a needle going into your spine. Sorry for the rant, just love to be mentally prepared.

Thanks for the replies in advance. It's much appreciated. Stay healthy!

Alex C.


  • I've had quite a few. The first couple did nothing (other than the usual pain flare for a week) some have helped for a while (weeks) but don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. I know of people who have had shots, returned/continued with physical therapy & don't have problems anymore. I have a friend who's had 3 fusions!! We're all different. My opinion is its worth trying. I Don't have tattoos. I've had 2 kids. Don't consider myself that tough. They're really not that bad. Very low on the pain scale of procedures. I know people who are given Valium before, I don't bother. If you're really worried there are facilities that use anesthetic. (not worth the time in my opinion)
    The pain can flare after. Sometimes pretty bad, others not so much. I don't know why it's different each time. I take ice packs with me for any procedure & start icing on the way home. That really helps.
    Just to put it in prospective I recently had my SI joint done. It took well over an hour to get the needles positioned. Laying on my stomach was the worst thing. I drove home, made dinner for the family. I've never had to take to bed after a procedure (other than sleeping off anesthetic) but I have had to lay with ice a few times an hour after bad ones. You've had tattoos! I don't think you have anything to worry about!

    I was first diagnosed with arthritis at a young age & it's wreaking my spine (& other bits of me) I know it sucks! Best of luck!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Out of interest is anyone 'adjusting' you to balance your hips? I've had the same thing said to me. Adjustments caused agony! Because of the osteoarthritis, I'm bone on bone in places, my surgeon has told me to NEVER let anyone do that again. Have you had your SI joint checked out? There's a diagnostic shot for that.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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