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DDD L5-S1 / 38 years old

SSG_TempleSSSG_Temple Posts: 1
edited 01/22/2015 - 2:40 AM in Lower Back Pain
Ok so I am new to this whole DDD scene. However, I am not new to the pain. So Bottom line up front 38 year old white male, 15 years in the US Army as an Infantryman. Carried 100 pound rucks (backpack) long distances up and down mountains blah blah blah anyway pain started about 5 years ago age 33 with 10 years of service in. Never visited the Doc (was frowned upon..seriously) Pain worsened. 1 year ago (roughly) the pain got to a point where I could not sit, stand, lay down without sharp pains then I couldn't turn to look over the shoulder (stand/sit and turn at the waist in either direction). This lasted about a week. this also came and went every couple months. Finally broke down and went and saw Doc. They gave me 800mg Naproxen, said it was for the pain...lame I am not stupid. didn't really work all that well sense its just an anti-inflammatory. I had to go back several times before I was scheduled an X-Ray. 2 weeks later that's right 2 weeks later I was informed I had DDD and Arthritis located at L5 and S1. I was given a couple pain meds..they are stingy (drink water, take a knee and change your socks they said...you'll be ok) I got PCS'd (Permanent Change of Station). I was upon arriving to new duty station to inform my PCM about my condition and that they would enroll me into PT. Yeah that didn't happen. I had to start the entire process over from the beginning. Not surprising...So the new PCM had been loading me up on Norco and then switched to a higher dosage of Percocet 7.5mg and 325mg Tylenol 90 day supply they give me and send me on my way. I am sorry but I hate the way the pills make me feel and the fact I am useless as a Soldier while I sit there jacked up and drooling for 6 hrs after I take the pills. I tell them I want something permanent. So today they did an MRI and then got xxxx because I was suppose to have a X-Ray done first. Umm look in my med records I told them. So long story short....seriously I am told this will never get better obviously but are they other ways to fix this then trying to get a patient addicted to narcotics? At what point/age does surgery become a viable option? Anyone have home remedies/magical voodoo/wives tales that I could look into. Anything has got to be better then getting the wonderful run-around and handed a bottle of Percocet and told "when these run out in 90 days come back for more". No Im not whinning, bitching nor complaining. I am just sick of the dag gum pain and want to be free from it and be able to play outside with my daughter without walking around like an erection afterwards.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    today is the most mis-undestood of all spinal alinements. First, the name itself makes it sound really terrible. When it fact, it is
    really the aging of our spines and almost every person will show some signs of it by their late 20's. I can see where the arhtritis was detected with the X-Ray. But DDD normally needs more detail, such as a MRI to really identifiy it.

    The Army doctor was not that far off by given you Naproxen. Yes anti-inflammatory, NSAIDs is the general course of treatment of DDD. Most situations are managed through approved exercise programs and the OTC medications. The Army was also sort of correct in saying that you will never get better. Given that IF you did not do ANYTHING to help yourself, yes, the pain from DDD will always be there.

    Please take a look at Degenerative Disc Disease

    Many members here have DDD and having been living with it for years. I've had DDD since I was 28 and its been advancing.
    That has been one of my spinal conditions that I have been able to manage and still be active in a way a person with spinal problems can and should be.

    You canhave plenty of time to play, jump and have fun with your daughter.

    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
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