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New to Board-Chronic Back Pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in New Member Introductions
I’m very glad that I found this site. I like the article which states the back pain is complex and each case is individual.

This is what is going on with me:

I’m a 51 year old female.

I’ve had DDD (low lumbar) for about 10 years, but now I have a herniated disc. (I don’t know when it herniated, but back pain has been increasing over the past year)

My MRI from May 2008 shows: Herniation at L5-S1. size: 3mm Anterior to Posterior 1 cm across. Location: left lateral recess
L4-L5 broadbased protusion

EMG shows chronic radiculopathy Polyphasics Anterior Tib, Peroneous and L Gastroc. It also shows silent paraspinals (Don’t know what silent paraspinals means)

Now, add this to the picture: 20 year history of mechanical back pain and SI joint dysfunction and fibromyalgia. So, these are still ongoing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are contributors to disc problems.

I’ve also had a lot of feet problems, such as morton’s neuroma and peripheral neuropathy type symptoms. (For instance, for years I’ve had to wear socks turned inside out because the seams bother me. I also measure a 6B, but have to wear 8EE shoes, because anything smaller feels like it’s pinching my feet big time)

To control my back pain, I would walk. Several miles a day. I would also have my home exercise program.

But, this is the really complicating thing: In the fall of 2006, I developed what appeared to be athletes foot. Afer that, the real disaster happened. My feet were burning and I couldn’t wear shoes anymore. I went from doctor to doctor. I also had to stop my walking and exercise. This really led to my demise, because without my walking, and exercise my body basically falls apart.

Anyway, the burning feet could be from my radiculopathy and thank God, at the same time I got my MRI results, I recently found that taking Inderal helps. I was thrilled!!! I could finally wear shoes again and resume my walking.

But, my back is in such bad shape, walking seems to make it worse.

I have a pool, and just walking in 3 foot deep water makes the pain worse. Walking in the water seems to create this pressure right on the disc area.

I have no idea where to start. I’m going to see a surgeon. I don’t know if that is the answer. I don’t think I’m ready for physical therapy, as I’ve been through a lot of that.

If I can’t walk or even walk in my pool, I don’t know how much I could tolerate with PT, as in sometimes “neural tension” can cause adverse reactions to PT.

Also, I live in San Antonio, Texas and it seems that our hot summers always makes my back worse. I wonder if anyone else has increase pain in hot climates?

Anyway, just thought I would introduce myself. I feel very overwhelmed.
Linda Age 51
DDD since who knows when.
SIJ joint dysfunction.

Congenital Spasticity

IDET L4-L5, L5-S1 2002 for annual tears and discogenic pain
Current MRI (May 2008) Herniation L5-S1 3mm Anterior to Posterior 1 cm across left lateral recess
L4-L5 broadbased protusion

EMGs Polyphasics Peroneal, Ant Tibs, Gastroc with Silent Paraspinals

Have had burning red feet for the last 18 months, which left me unable to wear shoes or exercise. Lack of exercise probably ruined my back.

Meds: Too many.


  • Hi Prickly Pear
    I too am new to this site (2 weeks)I have always suffered with mild back pains since I gave birth to my daughter 12 years ago, especially when I had been moving furniture. In January of this year my daughter jumped off her bed onto my back and I ended up having physio every week until may and nothing was improving, in fact it was getting worse,especially when sitting. My dr then signed me off work and referred me for an MRI scan which showed a herniated disc in bbetween L4 and L5. Rapidly I have gone doen hill, I was swimming 50 lengths 4 times a week and can not manage to swim at all now, even driving is becoming impossible. I live in the UK and the waiting list to be referred to a spinal specialist is 2 months on the NHS, I have opted to go private and will be seen in 2 weeks (21/07/08) Once I have seen himI will then have to go back on the NHS wating list to have a micro disectomy op. The waiting list can be up to 5 months but hopefully when he sees how quickly my way of live has deteriorated and that factI am a single mum and cannot afford to extend my time off work etc I will get in quicker. Originally I was really scared at the prospect of an op but after speaking to several people on here and finding a friend of my daughter who's mum has had the same op I feel loads better and just want to have it done as soon as possible. PM me if you like and keep me updated.

    Good luck xx
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! i see that you are new. we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. now that you have your MRI you need to take it to a good doc and get an accurate diagnosis. this would be neurosurgeon or an orthopedic surgeon. after you get an accurate diagnosis you can start a recovery program. it is wise to get a second diagnosis as well. hopefully, you will be able to start with some conservative treatments to get your pain in order. let the doctor worry about if you can do pt when you get to that. if you are overweight, as many of us spiney are, there is every reason that you can still lose even with little or no exercise. many of us have that problem and still drop pounds. there is a weight loss group here on the forum if you are interested. if you find you can't walk in the pool then just float and move what you can. i love to float around and kick my feet and arms! it is still pain free movement and works the body! good luck and keep us posted! hope to see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • Thank You for your warm welcome.

    Sally: Our health care system here isn't what it used to be. Even though I have private insurance, I have to wait until August to see my neurologist, just to go over my EMGs!!

    A few years ago, it would not have been like this.

    Finding the right PT is the biggest challenge in this. PTs are real good with "mechanical back" probs. They are "goal oriented", and within a typical 3 week prescription they may not see a whole lot of progress with a herniated disc.
  • I suffer from DDD also, I get the "meds too many" LOL
  • Jenny:

    I guess I try too hard at this exercise stuff. I took your advice. Today, I got in the pool, just to "cool off". It didn't hurt my back and it did wonders for my mood.


    Your med list looks like mine. Except I don't have SSRI's on mine because they give me serotonin syndrome.
  • :) that is so great that you decided to get into the pool and just hang out. finding out that it helped your mood is an added bonus. who knows what you will be able to do in a month. you ae so fortunate to have your own pool. i lived in Mexico for 3 years and had one and it was just heaven. my pain level went way down. enjoy your Sunday and don't overdo!!! you don't have to do anything that will hurt you! Jenny :)
  • Prickly pear,
    I just wanted to introduce my self and say hello and welcome. Im sorry to hear your going thru so much right now ( and for a long time). I would think that you should do what you can walking wise ( I love to walk in my pool) Try walking backwards, it may sound silly but it was easier for me to start. Everyone one of us is the same and yet different, so do what works for you. BUT don't over do it, its just not worth feeling yucky for a day or two later. I hope the MRI and doc will be able to give you some choices.

    As for PT...shop around just like you would for a Doctor. Ask how they would treat you, and how quickly they would expect you to progress. When I first hurt myself I went thru over 100 PT sessions, I was never pushed too hard if I said I couldn't do something, and I was never left feeling like I should be doing any more. They did give me home exercises, and as those became easier I asked for more.

    So...Its time to shop! Find the PT program that fits you best!

    Best of luck to you...keep us posted.
  • I am new to the site. I'm 54 and live in CT. I have been diagnosed w/multi-level cervical herniations resulting in severe stenosis. It is degenerative and has occurred over time.
    Anyway, three neuros have told me that I need a C5 corpectomy and discectomies @ C4 and C6. A "P.E.A.K." or "cage" will replace my vertebra. I am very concerned and would like info from anyone who has gone through this. Thanks!
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