L4-L6 severe damage looking for relief

L4-L6 severe damage looking for relief

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Anonymous (not verified)
Title: Member
L4-L6 severe damage looking for relief

Where to begin other than say I have been damaged from the middle of my back to my tail bone from a car accident. There has never been any signs of relief and physical therapy is three years in, I'm working on my fourth year now.

The really bad thing of all this is, the last MRI that was taken did show I had some DDD on both sides of the spine including nerve and muscle damage. The physical therapy which I am doing now is aquatic and it does seem to make a difference in comparison to the treadmill and Pilates I had been doing prior. We're finding the aqua therapy is building muscle and stretching my back at the same time so it's putting it back into shape. The issue is, I'm still experiencing difficulty on days where I can't move for no reason that is unexplainable. I've been like this for months and I am personally convinced it is an underlying issue not easily spotted by MRI.

Before now I had experienced 11 months of trigger therapy and steroids were involved in hopes they would boost the needed back area however that did not occur. In previous physical therapy visits I went through use of the electric nerve stimulator and a deep massage which worked only temporary then my back got worse and more painful.

I did visit two surgeons at the time who both said they would not perform any type of surgery. Fast forward to Jan 2009 and I had gotten and updated MRI then I visited another spinal surgeon for his opinion. He stated he could not do anything so I am wondering what the hell is going on, pardon my french, and why is it that I have to continue going through this pain? This is not in my head. It is plainly in vision that my back is damaged yet no one is willing to touch me.

I'm not asking for a miracle but I would like to have some sort of relief as it is pretty obvious this physical therapy is not working. Furthermore, I can't live life as a drugstore zombie just to function. I am afraid it will turn back into that again and I cannot afford to go that route again as I am far too busy with my Doctorate and dissertation.

If anyone could provide some insight on how they have managed this issue I would greatly appreciate it. I'm ready to pull my hair out. ~X(

-Sue

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Centurion45
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Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
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Joined: 07/09/2009 - 1:52pm
I know what it is like to be

I know what it is like to be busy too, I worked full-time, went to University - fulltime and was a dad who stayed up all night, with a new-born. [long time ago]

I also know that I did take time back then, to stop for 10 to 20 minutes at a time and just listen to me breath.

I found also that my back would spasm, in concert to how stressed I was and also that my back would lock into a postion to protect itself. The problem was that it was this non-movement and my "holding" this postion that kept the pain so high. As I concentrated on feeling how my body was and began to realize how tight these things were, I slowly found that I could release them. Took a long time and today, it is much easier to feel and do it, but I still have things spasm up from time to time. cheers -david

meydey321
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Joined: 06/26/2008 - 6:22pm
Hi Sue

I'm sorry you're feeling so frustrated and it's certainly understandable. I had written a lengthier post but lost it, so here it goes again.

From my experience, surgeons won't operate unless the DDD is severe. There is another procedure called a ct/ myelogram that can spot things missed by an MRI and it used to be the gold standard before MRI's came along.

As far as I know, the only surgical procedure they would do is a fusion. I had a 2 level one for severe DDD in L4-S1, and also because I had a post op re herniation (microdiscectomy), recurring nerve compression, and vertebral slippage. Even after my fusion I still continue to suffer with severe intractable pain and have to take strong medications.

In your case I would keep seeing the specialist, keep going to PT and aquatherapy, and try things like massage or even accupuncture. NSAIDS help a lot with inflammation if you're able to take them. If you continue to feel worse, let your doctor know because you will need to be reevaluated. Have you had spinal injections or tried using a TENS unit?

As far as narcotic pain meds, as long as you take them as prescribed and for pain only, the chances are very slim of getting addicted. It is normal to grow tolerant to your normal dose after taking it for some time. This happens with ANY medication, not just opiods. For example If I were to immediately stop taking Cymbalta, I would go into withdrawal and feel really ill.

Anyway, I hope you get to feeling better soon, but meanwhile don't give up or take no for answer. Take care

straker
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Last seen: 3 years 9 months ago
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Joined: 06/27/2008 - 6:22am
hi sue

you mention and L6? ..normaly your spine stops at L5 the you have an S1 {some like me have a partial L6 and a congenital abnormality}.i just wondered if you have the same thing? are you on meds for your pain ?do you have any neuro symptoms like leg pain or a numb foot? if so you need to see another doctor {one that will take you seriously .as another has said a TENS may help but if you have the raging back ache that most of us have you need some decent pain killers and more investigations .good luck
STRAKER

apageor2 (not verified)
Title: Member
You're not telling me anything new

I have to chuckle at this because the previous Dr I saw was a spinal doctor, the best in the Mid West and he's not cheap.
Secondly, the last doctor that I saw was the third one who I saw, the other doctor's who I had seen prior were neurosurgeons so pardon me if I get a upset but you know this issue has been going on for three years, actually four now. It isn't the fact doctor's don't know what they're talking about, I'm sure they do the fact is. I'm in a lot of pain and I'll be quite honest and one step further in telling you that back in the day when this did start I was taking pain killers that were so heavy I'm surprised I even functioned and made it through undergraduate school, on time. I used to joke with my husband and make the remark they were heavy enough to knock out a horse as I had been on prescriptions that are only given to patients with severe pain. Let's see, one of the more powerful drugs I can recall being on for quite some time was Darvocet. That was quite fun as I became the life of the party when it kicked in. When I wasn't taking it, I was taking Percodan or Percocet which became a fun mixture if I didn't time them correctly. Oh, and one of the drugs that I had experienced was Ultracet but it more of a drug that would put me to sleep than it would be something that I could function on.

Now I've gotten to the point where I'm only on muscle relaxers and even those are questionable at times but the question I asked my doctor was do I have to spend the rest of my life on drugs? I sure as hell don't want to all because some woman didn't know how to drive and struck me. I don't think it's fair.

To respond to the comment for TENS, been there done that and it caused more damage than it was worth. I was actually falling after usage. In usage of the unit with deep massage, it worked temporarily but after awhile it was more damage than it was worth. The PT I went through caused more damage than good when it all came down to it and the current doctor that I am seeing has already pointed out that factor. Something he has stated, there is not to be any type of heavy PT because of the severe damage that has already been done, period. My back has gone through extreme stress with PT and we cannot take that risk again. That was straight from a spinal surgeon who saw the damage on the MRI, you cannot miss what issues have occurred as it's plain as day. The problem is, it is not as severe that surgery will correct it.

One of the issues is, we should have gone through aqua therapy however because the prior PM did not see it that way, it went another direction. This lasted for 11 months mind you. As I said, we are three years in with this damage, it is not something new. I've reached a point now where I am pretty much livid and as close to irate as you can get. I've already chewed out one PM doctor for not doing his job to get me into a surgeon. I had to take off for close to six months because of the back pain I was in.

Yes I said L4-L6, to get technical it is S1 and S2 that are damaged but they are not as severe. When I received the doctor's report from my car accident, it was C1 and C2, T1 to T3, L4 to L6, and S1 to S3 that were damaged in this car accident. After multiple visits to the chiropractor I was able to get C1 to T3 corrected. S3 was severely bruised and it took a year to heal. L4 to S2 on the other hand I am still dealing with and this has been an ongoing issue since 1997.

I could write a book on all of this and I'm about ready to at this point.

Centurion45
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Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
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Joined: 07/09/2009 - 1:52pm
I am Sorry that you are not

I am Sorry that you are not finding relief. I am sure that all of us have stories about the meds that we have cycled through over the years.

I know that for me, anger is one emotion that I need to watch. I find it has a escalation effect on my pain level. Yes - I have used anger to move my body and this is a pretty awful way to do it.

I would look forward to your book too. We all need to write about our journeys.

Cheers!

Disabled Americ...
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Joined: 06/26/2008 - 12:27am
Welcome to spine heath

Sue,

Other then having DDD was there anything else noted in the MRI report. Almost everyone will develop DDD over time. Most people think because it has Diease in the name they have some sore of Diease. A person that is lets say a laborer in life will get this condition as well. But there has to be something else that is driving your pain. Disks, slip vert, something. Could you please describe your pain as well. It's hard to figure out how to help you with just generalized pain. Like my left leg feels like a rope is running thru it, I get shooting pain in my right leg with buring as well in my foot... something along those lines. We will attempt to help you out as much as possible. I would tell you about myself as others have posted but I feel your here for help and not what is wrong with me LOL, LOL So with that type of information we can give you better insight. I look forward to hearing from you.

Michael

meydey321
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Sue

I not quite sure how to take your reply. I know you're angry and frustrated- you're not the only one going through this and I do understand how terrible it to hurt with no real answers or direction. But there is no need to say I didn't tell you nothing new. Just say thanks, or whatever and leave it as that. Perhaps I got you wrong and if I did, then it's my bad but I personally would never reply to anyone in this manner.

apageor2
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meydey321 wrote:I not quite

meydey321 wrote:
I not quite sure how to take your reply. I know you're angry and frustrated- you're not the only one going through this and I do understand how terrible it to hurt with no real answers or direction. But there is no need to say I didn't tell you nothing new. Just say thanks, or whatever and leave it as that. Perhaps I got you wrong and if I did, then it's my bad but I personally would never reply to anyone in this manner.

There's been a lot going on. At any rate. The trigger shots are not working and it's been well over a year since I've been obtaining them. What I'm finding at this point in time is at first I was actually improving and beginning to move better than suddenly when I attempted to improve things actually did a 180 degree turn and went down hill. I am now degrading and this is not making much sense. Due to the activity that had been taking place with college I could not keep up with messages on top of that I went in for critical brain surgery so I was a little busy.

Anyway. Things are finally more normal with the exception of how my lower back has been responding as it seems to be acting odd and not making much sense especially for the fact I have attempted to get more active and it has only done more damage. I'm not sure what to do with this factor as it makes me think back to the same time period when I was going through physical therapy. When I had gone through PT my lower back had gotten more damage than it had improved so that does make me raise an eyebrow.

Sorry for the long awaited response but as I said, there's been a lot happening in my life and to top it all off I had to reset my password.

-Sue