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Frustrated/Venting/Input Welcome

TomCTTomC Posts: 1
edited 07/24/2015 - 4:27 PM in Lower Back Pain
First some history. I am in my early 30s. About 16 months ago I got back from a long road trip and sneezed, "throwing out my back" if you will. This has happened a couple times in my life prior. I have been able to rest and it recovered over a month or so.

Well, this time was different. The next morning I was getting out of bed and had my very first back spasm. Some of the worst pain I have ever had. Not knowing better, I just loaded up on ibuprofen and went about my work day and life with a lot of pain. Over the next three weeks the spasms got worse to the point that at 1am I had to call 911 because I couldn't move and was having trouble breathing due to the spasm. Paramedics came and found me in the fetal position struggling to get pants on. Talk about embarrassing.

At the ER, they loaded me up with Valium and Dilaudid, and it took a good two hours for pain to be manageable for me to walk. Was sent home with more Valium, and Percocet, and Prednisone for the inflammation. Within a couple days, I was mobile, and within a. Couple weeks, I was back to 70% and could manage pain with OTC meds.

This lasted a few months, but in the fall I was bending over and felt it go again. Wasn't as bad as last time, but still pretty bad. Went on a dose of Soma and T3, along with steroids again. Within a couple weeks was back to 80%.

Then in January this year, same thing happened. Was bad enough that I had to get Percocet. Except it has only gotten back to about 65% and by the end of the day I am usually in a fair amount of pain.

Had an MRI done and the lowest two discs show a little bulging. Never have had pain or numbness in my legs fortunately, just tightness and pain in my lower back. Tried physical therapy but didn't help much.

Since earlier this year, I have had to take 1-2 T3s and one Soma every evening to get through the night with enough rest to be ok the next day. I even got a new bed and an additional vehicle that was more comfortable for longer trips and getting in and out of.

Well, a few weeks ago I had another episode. The acute injury clinic got me more Percocet, while I still had the last dose of T3 from my primary care doc (they share systems and I've told each what meds I have been on).

Now for the frustration. I am fairly certain I have been labeled as a pill seeker after today. Two weeks ago when I meet with the spine specialist, she took me off the Soma because she said it is habit forming. She gave me a 14 pill rx for Percocet and a referral to a special physical rehab person, and an rx for Robaxin.

The Robaxin doesn't work for me as well as the Soma did. Just knocks me out and I don't wake up feeling much better. When I called today to have them refill my Percocet until I can see the pain management clinic next week, they said they don't do that and I should contact my primary care doc for any refills. Well I did, and unfortunately he wasn't in so his backup, not knowing my situation, contacted the acute injury clinic and I was told they are not filling any more rx of anything because my films were negative (even though they show bulged discs).

So now I am struggling with a sub par (for me) muscle relaxant and otc pain meds that do very little. Since everyone shares systems here, I am anxious that even if I have another horrible spasm episode and have to go to the ER, I will be questioned about the pain.

So I'm not really sure to do.

For those that read all of that, thank you. Any input or suggestions or questions are welcome. I feel a little better just venting.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

    So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

    Here are some questions that you should answer:

    • - When did this first start?

      . Year, Your age, etc
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

    • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
      . Who are you currently seeing?
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

    • . Physical Therapy
      . Ultrasound / Tens unit
      . Spinal Injections
      . Acupuncture
      . Massage Therapy
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

    • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
      . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

    • . Name of Medication
      . How long have you been using this?
      . Results
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

    Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
    of your situation and make it easier to respond.

    Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

    I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

    • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
      - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
      - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
      - General pieces of valuable information

    Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
    Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
    As such, no member is permitted to provide

    • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
      - Medical advice of any kind
      - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

    What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
    You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

    It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

    I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

    Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

    Specific comments :

    SOMA while be effective can be very habit forming. That is why many doctors shy away from prescribing this muscle relaxer. Everyone reacts differently to different types of medications. Some folks get completely knocked out using Flexirol, some find Rhobaxin (Methocarbamol) effective, while others use Baclofen. Many times its a trial and error situation to find the correct medication to address a specific problem.

    Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

    It is always very difficult when you go to the ER more than once, or call in for a prescription renewal only to find out that the doctors are not always that keen on providing that.
    The fact that your diagnostic tests indicate a bulging disc does not translate into pain and the need for pain medications. Many people can walk around for a long period of time with bulging discs. One of the problems happens when one of those discs start to impinge a nerve root. That is the basis for sciatica. Still that does not translate into the need for pain medications. The doctor(s) need to review all your diagnostic tests and perform detailed clinical examinations. Many times, those clinical examinations will prove or dis-prove what you as the patient is complaining about. Its not an easy subject.

    Identifying the root cause of the problem can become very tedious. But it is in everyone's best interest that the cause is determined. THen and perhaps only then will the appropriate corrective actions be put into place. Keep in mind, that , that could mean no pain medications, but instead physical therapy and other corrective actions.

    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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