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limarollimaro Posts: 1
edited 07/13/2015 - 9:07 PM in New Member Introductions
Hi, I am new to Spine-Health. I have had chronic back pain (mostly lower, but varies throughout the day/activities) for 5 years. I am about to be 20 years old and a junior in college. My pain started in my sophomore year of high school, not from anything in particular. I was an active child, in sports and enjoyed going outside. One morning, I woke up and was unable to get out of bed. I took a week off of school since I was barely able to get around the house. From then on I had back pain. I grew up in a household that did not go to the doctor or take medications for religious reasons, so I did not see a doctor about my back pain until I was in college and no longer practiced the religion my family followed. I have had spine x-rays, several MRIs on my whole spine and head, and extensive blood work done looking for anything that could indicate what is wrong (I have not had a spinal tap -- yet). So far, I have managed the pain with prescription medications (none of them actual pain medications). I currently take Lyrica (150 mg 2x a day) for the back pain, 30 mg amitriptyline at night for chronic/daily headaches, and Bayer aspirin (3 or 4 375mg tablets at a time) when needed (once or twice a day usually). I exercise regularly, eat (mostly) healthily, and remain as positive as possible. I currently deal with chronic back pain, daily headaches, muscle spasms all over my boy randomly throughout the day, a "penguin-like" walking style, and tremors whenever I lift anything too heavy or overexert myself for too long. I have not been diagnosed with anything since my doctors have not been able to find anything wrong with me. I joined Spine-Health to research helpful treatments and hopefully to learn from those that have had situations like mine. Thanks ahead of time for your help and thoughts.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi & welcome. Living with chronic pain is bad enough but living with the frustrations of no diagnosis AND chronic pain is a complete nightmare. We have a very long time member here. Currently named 'itsautonomic'. Even if his symptoms are very different from yours & his diagnosis doesn't help please read his story, it's inspirational! The message "Just keep pushing & advocating for yourself no matter how hard it gets" comes through loud & clear. You can search his name at the top of the page & read many of his posts. I'm sure he will find you soon. I think this is one of the most comprehensive posts he's made,


    I hope it helps.

    I spent a couple of years with unexplained all over body muscle spasms & pain...& a whole host of other symptoms. Like many I was incorrectly diagnosed with fibromyalgia. For me it was my own bodies reaction to unmanaged chronic pain from my degenerating lumbar spine. I got my pain controlled & it all went away. I know that doesn't help but while I was being labeled as a fibro sufferer I came across a discussion between fibro sufferers who stated that taking Zoloft really helped with their fatigue & pain. I asked my doc & started taking it. It made a big difference at the time. I don't know why but it could be worth a try. One months prescription should be enough to know.

    Note - I actually take Sertraline which is a cheap generic. I took Pristique for a long time but it's a very expensive, very similar med & to be honest it didn't make any difference so I stick to the cheap one.

    I know it's not an answer or a diagnosis but if it helps it's worth trying.

    For muscle spasms I have trigger point injections. Have you ever tried them? You can search at the top of the page. Both types work for me but the Botox & steroids last longer. I also take muscle relaxants. I took Tizanidine 3x a day for years until I became tolerant so now I take Baclofen. These meds made me very sleepy to start but that side effect went within a couple of weeks of regular use. So, I take the meds, get the shots, apply ice straight after & for a couple of days after (every few hours for 15mins) then I continue to do physical therapy (very gentle) stretches religiously after. Gentle stretches also help headaches a bit for me.

    When you say bloodwork I assume that covers Lyme disease, arthritis (are your inflamatory markers high?), complete hormone check (you'd be surprised how much thy can effect your body!), all vit B levels (they don't automatically test for all), vit D (deficiencies there can cause chaos in our bodies). Are your counts of white cells & platelets high? Mine are when I have all over body pain. Have they tested Thyroid, kidney function? You don't have to answer these. I'm just running through things they've tested me for....

    Have you only had the regular, lay in the tube MRI's? If so weight bearing could reveal something new. what kind of spine pain are you having? Have you ever looked at a Dermatome Map (shows what parts of the spine effect what parts of the body) that can be interesting. Do you have shooting nerve pain? Specific or random? If specific have they ran EMGs etc?

    I'm just throwing out ideas out there just incase anything sounds hopeful. Obviously I'm no medical proffesional & I'm as stumped as you are. All I know is figuring out chronic pain can be an infuriating puzzle. You know your body & know how it feels. It's about finding the right specialist whose not going to stop until they find the answer. With many conditions it's essential to get the correct diagnosis & treatment to stop/slow it's progression. Just push, push, push. You're too young to just be medicating without knowing what's going on...No-one should be doing that indefinitely!!!

    Maybe if you describe your symptoms in more detail it might sound familiar to someone.

    How do you feel your medications are working at controlling your pain levels. What else have you tried? Is Asprin more effective than antiinflammatories? How long have you been taking Lyrica for? Did you feel a considerable reduction in pain when you started taking it? Have you had dose adjustments? Have you ever tried pain medications or the antidepressants that they prescribe for pain (Cymbalta etc?) if so, did they help at all?

    I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I'm glad you've found this forum. The support I've received has been invaluable & I've made some great friends. Just having somewhere to come & vent can help so much. People find it hard to understand chronic pain when they haven't experienced it first hand. It's so much more than 'just' pain. It effects every aspect of everything in our lives. I hope that you stick around. Having support is so important. I look forward to seeing you on the forums ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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