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A few questions

zross1zzross1 Posts: 2
edited 04/24/2015 - 3:26 AM in Chronic Pain
Happy to find this forum. I've been dealing with lower back pain for about 3 years now. It finally came to a point that I decided to see a doctor because of the pain. I explained my symptoms and he had me do pt for a month, with no success. He then ordered a mri and the findings are:
L4-5: disc desiccation. Posterior annular tear. Shallow broad base disc bulge. No central canal or neural foraminal stenosis.
L5-s1:disc desiccation with interspace narrowing.
Discogenic degeneration at l4-5 and l5-S1

Doctor ordered another 2 weeks of pt, and said if there wasn't any progress he wanted to do a office visit to move forward.

So far I've been using ibuprofen (about 800mg) and muscle relaxers. The muscle relaxers haven't helped, and the ibuprofen helps minimally.

Normally my pain is manageable with otc meds. However, when I get a flare up (because of the nature of my work )which happens give or take 5 times a year otc meds simply don't cut it. Now is one of those times.

So my questions are:
From seeing my mri and the pain I'm experiencing would it be appropriate for me to ask for, or my doctor to prescribe narcotic pain medication during my flare ups? Im not wanting, nor do I need to be on narcotics on a daily basis.

Hopefully pt actually works this time, but assuming it doesn't what will be my next steps?

Thanks for your help!

There is nobody on the forum qualified or permitted to interpret or give advise on a MRI finding or course of treatment



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi there. We are all different so only our doctors would be capable of prescribing or advising any sort of treatments.
    As for the disc dedication it basically means that the nucleus of the disc is dehydrated and the space between the two vertebrae is narrowing. Take care and good luck.
  • I have been experiencing chronic pain for 20 years now since I was diagnosed at age of 13. At the beginning it was not so awful, the pain was sporadic, however I was not able to finish elementary school regularly due to back pain when sitting at classes. My whole life was subject to adjustments since then and between 20's and 30's I did feel strong pain sporadically and had two bad episodes in 2008 and 2009. However, last six months the pain is unbearable and I have to take narcotics every day. If I don't take a pill at least just one a day (3 prescribed), I would do something to myself for pain to stop, and I mean it seriously. Try the PT, its very helpful to me, try other suggested methods that are proposed by a doctor in whom you have the confidence, but do not be afraid of taking meds if it gets harder.
    Scoliosis vertebrae THL
    Sy CC et CB
    Sy THS
    Sy LS chr
  • Hi and Welcome,

    I definitely would ask your doctor for something stronger. There are lots of options and it may take a few tries to find what works best for you. After many fusions and everything else imaginable before fusion surgery I am able to take ibuprofen for the daily discomfort that I have (surgery made things much better but you are never as good as new). I have hydrocodone for the bad times which are rare but I am so thankful to have it when I need it. Good luck and keep us posted.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Thanks for everyone's input. Guess I'll try the pt again and hope it works. I'm doubtful it will, and if that's the case I'll have a talk with my doctor about something Stronger.
  • Zross1 it's your choice, just make sure your PT sees your MRI and discusses it with you.
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