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Hi, I'm a newbie here . . .

angelaangel Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi guys,
I am new to this site, thoguh not new to my back pain. Started in my late 20s, 20 years ago, when my back started 'locking' and I couldn't move for a few moments. X-ray showed previous Schuerrmans disease (not sure of the spelling) and I've had pain ever since, but manageable with strong pain killers. Until January this year, when I had a bout of acute spasms in my thoracic (left) area of my back and was off work for a month. It eased up with Diclofenac though never went away. Last week, my back completely 'went'. I was reading in bed and just slightly shifted my position and oh, the pain, my back just froze in the worst spasm and the most immense pain I have ever suffered in my life. I was totally stuck, couldn't move an inch for the pain that I can only describe as feeling like a thousand electric shocks. I was stuck like that for 5 hours until it eased. The doctor sent me for an X-ray and I get the results next week. In the meantime, I am stuck at home, barely able to walk cos the muscles in my thoracic spine just don't seem to be able to support my body (and I'm not overweight). I'm taking diclofenac, co-dydramol for the pain, and diazepam to help with the spasms. I am so depressed about the state I'm in. I am only 46 years old and feel like an old lady. I only hope that my X-ray shows something, cos I can't live my life like this. It makes you feel useless and helpless.
Does anyone have any ideas what my problem could be? My doc mentioned facet joints.
Thanks for listening - feels better just getting it off my chest. Folks around me just don't understand - unless they have suffered themselves.


  • 46 myself. I know how it is to feel useless and helpless. You have come to the right place for understanding. Welcome to SH and you will find a wealth of info here. Keep in touch and hope you get some relief.
  • angel- welcome to site. I too have had the electric shocks and back freezing up and in severe severe pain.
    My most recent attack happened when I was sleeping and I awoke in the middle of the night to 10+ pain and unable to move. I had to use a walker to get around. I took meds and some anti-inflammatories to help. It came out of nowhere...jade
  • Hi Jade,
    Your symptoms sound just like mine. If pain is measured on a scale of 1 to 10 then mine was way over 10 the other night.
    Have you had a diagnosis? I'm really hoping that something shows on my x-ray result on Monday, and that there is some treatment that'll work. Night time is worse for me too. Have you had any treatment?
  • By treatment I meant other than meds.
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. what type of doctor are you seeing? you may need more than an x-ray. good luck and keep us informed as you progress. Jenny :)
  • I am so sorry to hear about your intense pain. I cringed when I read your post. I hope you get some answers when you go to the Dr. next week. Have you gotten any relief from your visit to the Dr while getting your xrays? Pain can be an instant depression starter...I know it is for me. Please hang in there and know you are not alone as you face this. Talking is good for the soul...especially to people that understand. It makes a world of difference. Take care.
  • angel- I saw my dr and got a lumbar MRI as I have a long history of disc problems. I just had to take my meds and had to take extra break-through pain med as it was painful. The dr said to take anti-inflammatory (like Motrin) every 4-6 hr to help. I took aspirin and it helped some.

    My MRI cam back with a new L3-L4 left foraminal disc protusion 5 mm mildly impinging the left L3 dorsal root ganglion. The nurse did call :)] and say the dr wants me to undergo lumbar epidural steroid injections. I said I would like to see dr 1st so I see her Thurs. I put on a velcro brace to help prevent twisting and also I use a moist heat pad. It is on and off now and seems alot less right now. I dread the epidurals :O and hope to see if I can do something else. :? I could not believe I could hurt myself when I slept. I) I) jade
  • While I was reading your post I was thinking that it may be your facet joints. I have facet arthropathy and have exactly the same pain that you describe. especially the locking up. It happens to me all of the time. especially when I am walking. One thing that has really helped me is a rhizotomy. That is where they go in and burn the nerves so that they can no longer send pain signals. I will be very surprised if your doc does not find that it is your facet joints. Of course that is only my opinion because like you I have suffered many years with this. The rhizotomy usually lasts about 1 year until the nerves regenerate but during that one year you are usually in pretty good shape. Don't despair this help out there. Please keep us posted with your progress.
    BTW- welcome to SH and I will look forward to reading your posts!
  • Welcome to the forum and I sincerely hope you start feeling better and get the answers to the questions youre seeking.

    Best Wishes,
    CHristina :)
  • Thanks everyone for the welcome. Though it saddens me to read of all your problems - I thought my back was in a state, but there are people so much worse off than myself. My back pain has been managed with only strong painkillers and anti-inflammatories, and the odd bit of sick leave from work over the past 20 years, but is now suddenly much worse. I have never looked forward to a doctor's appointment so much as the one I have for Monday. I only hope something shows on the x-ray and if not I am asking for an MRI and a referral to a specialist.
    I am feeling better than I was, but this last episode has left my back feeling so painful and weak that I am still struggling and cannot function anywhere near as normal.
    I feel I am only at the start of an unpleasant journey but the support on this site is truly amazing and has helped me loads already.
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