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New Member, looking for advice

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hi all, I am new to this site and am very happy to have found you all.

I am 25 years old and have been having low back pain related to DDD for thirteen years (since I was twelve). No major injury, I'm sure just some wear and tear as I was a gymnast/dancer. I have DDD and herniated discs at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels (I do not have leg pain, only severe back pain that sometimes goes to the hips). I have a mild to moderate level of pain constantly but then during 'flare-ups' the pain can be unbearable. I usually have a few flare-ups a year, each lasting from a few days to a few weeks. This most recent one has lasted over 2 months now with no signs of getting any better. I am completely at a loss- I have no idea what I can do.

The doctors I've seen have not considered me a candidate for surgery, partly because I do not have sciatica and partly because I am so young. But I feel as though I have exhausted most of my other options.

Traditional methods I have tried: physical therapy, chiropractics, myofascial therapy, tractioning, MRT (dealing with scar tissue), pilates, lots of different medications (all but the injections), increasing activity level, decreasing activity level (all the way to bedrest), water therapy

Alternative methods I have tried: acupuncture (with and without electircal stimulation, which gave me some relief, but no longer does), herbal remedies, cupping, yoga, reflexology, Rolfing, reiki, magnets

I am just completely at a loss. During this most recent flareup I have already missed countless days of work and I do not see an end to this pain in sight. I am currently consulting with a chiropracter, a physical therapist, my primary care physician, and an acupuncturist, none of which are giving me any relief.

I would not want surgery, but if it is the only option to give me relief I am at the point where I would definitely consider it... Any suggestions? Any recommendations on types of doctors or practices to look into, or any therapies that I have not tried? ANY help would be greatly appreciated.


  • I had cervical fusion C5-C7 2 1/2 yrs ago, and now recovering from 2nd surgery of C7-T1, has anyone ever been told not to do certain things? My doc. has told me nothing until I bring it up,and then he isn't very forthcoming with information. I want to exercise or something-gaining weight and not liking it. I don't want to cause anymore damage, how careful do I have to be?
  • Have you tried a pain management doc? That would be the only option that I can think of that may help you. Good luck and do keep us posted.
  • I have had DDD and low back pain since my early teenage years, baseball, football, a few car accidnets. I had the same "flare-ups" for many years. In those teeneage years all any doc sould tell me was that i was tearing muscles, and I that I had some small signs of disc compression. So for over 10 years I delt with it, just went about my life and delt with the flare ups. Not until last September did a doc actually decide that it may be a good idea to have a MRI and just see what it looked like. THis was the point that I could no longer take on the normal aspects of my life, couldn't walk without a limp, could't sleep ect.... The MRI showed very severe DDD and a completly colapsed L5-S1 disc. So they sent me back to PT, I had 3 epidural sterioid injections, a discogram, acupuncture, IMS you name it I did it. None of this helped me at all. 6 days ago I had ALIF surgery to remove the disc, they inserted a spacer tht was a cadaver bone that was milled to fit the space, and placed a titinium plate and 4 screws. I now do not have the radiation pain in the legs, hips, feet, or even in the lower back. I feel like a new man. I know that not everyone wants to have surgery, I was one of them, I put it off for many years. But I am very glad that I went through with it. I think that in a few months I am going to be able to go back to enjoying life without pain again. I dont know if this will help you in the least, but I wish you all of the luck in the world and hope that you pain ends soon..
  • I am a 45yr.old male suffering from DDD.I fractured my back in 93 and since have been diagnosed with DDD spinal stenosis and sciatica.I have had 2 surgeries and it did nothing but make it worse.Ive tried spinal stimulators,tens unit,morphine pumps.Ivehad countless injections and have been on pain meds for 13 yrs.Morphine makes me vomit,and the others i tried did next to nothing.I currently take 30mg.roxycodone at a dose of 4tablets every 4hrs.Yes thats24 a day.After all this time my Dr. has told me that he can no longer see me and write my prescriptions.I dont know where to turn I am from Frackville,Pa.and do not know where I can find a pain doc.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • i am in ottawa, ontario canada and was in the hospital with rhabdymylosis and severe back pain with open oozing sores and it was figured out that i had osteomylitis also...i was in icu AND A NURSE DROPPED ME ON the floor and i heard my neck break i was transferred to a bigger hosp for mri and immediately surgery the doctor told me he had to put rod in middle of back and one at c5 c6 to hold head on...............now dr SAYS rod at c5 c6 is put on evyone in order that i do not get hump.....i am paralysed wanTED TO SUE NURSE BUT THEY SAY NO NO BROkeN NECK ALL IN MY MIND IF I BEND OVER I FEEL LIKE MY HEAD WILL FALL OFF AND PASS OUt FOR 4 DAYS AND SEVERE DIZZY ANYONE ELSE HAVE THIS thanks nancy sorry for typing one finger
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