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New Here.. Need Help Please

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have had off and on back pain for 10 years. I am a 38 year old fit male. The pain got very bad two years ago to the point that I couldn't walk at times so I went to the doctor about it. After several doctors/surgeons/mri's I have been diagnosed with DDD primarily. One other thing too that I can't spell or remember. Currently I am taking norco 10-350 3-4 times a day and soma 3-4 times a day. I have been on this regimen for about two months. I just finished 6 weeks of physical therapy. The pain is so bad tonight that I can't sleep and have taken two norco's, two somas, two bayer's and have an ice back on it. The pain is manageable now and I will go to bed shortly.

I have been told to avoid back surgery by doctors and friends. My current Dr. says that I can stay on this type of "conservative treatment" for years if need be.

I am going for acupuncture this week to see if that helps.

Does anyone have any experience with using pain meds for long periods of time? Should I be avoiding surgery at this young age and relying on meds instead?


  • Welcome to SH. I think you will find here by reading other posts that age doesn't much matter when it comes to back issues. The thing that makes most people have surgeries is when they no longer can tolerate the pain and what kind of life are they able to live if they don't have the surgery.
    Many of us even with the surgeries are on long time use of pain meds. It becomes a means of survival.
    Sounds like you need to talk more with your doctor who I hope is a Neurosurgeon or an Orthopedic surgeon and let them know more about your pain and get a plan.
    You should get a lot of help from others. So keep checking back.
  • Hi Joe, well certainly the thing to di is see what type of plan your Dr.'s have and if you don't have already a pain mangment Dr. they are great, and I just had my 2nd surgery for neck issues, and have been on bery high doses of pain meds for 3+ years... I would say to you this... get as many opinions as you can, I had 2 Nuero surgeons tell me they would not touch me as I would not make it thorough the anesthia to have surgery,well I have an awesome team of Dr.'s and my pain Dr. had me see this Ortho-surgeon... I hurt less in the recovery room than I had on 4 years!! The longer you wait to have this surgery if that is what you need the harder it will be to get over as your over all health will be icky from all the meds and you will be an even lolusyier surgery candidate + still gotta get off the meds one day. I was taking 490 mg. of time released morphine everyday for 3 years and I still hurt... not as much even after the 2nd surgery my back and arms do not hurt like they did... I say do it while you are younger and can more easily adjust your life if need be... Just food for thought.... Ramona
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  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. using medications and treatments such as acupunture are considered to be conservative treatments. i have DDD and use them to help with my pain control. i use meds and exercise and stretching. get yourself together with a good pain managememt doctor and see what they can offer you. you are off to a good start. you should try everything before you docide on surgery!! i have been on pain meds for over 40 years and live a "normal" life as is possible with pain. good luck with your decisions. Jenny :)
  • I would try anything before surgery. You need a good pain management Dr. I hope you'll get more suggestions and referrals from other Md's. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Dear All,
    Thanks for your responses. I appreciate your input. I am running low on a refill and decided to try and take just half norcos along with a soma every 4-6 hours. When I lowered the dose of the norco on Sunday morning I could feel the pain pretty bad in my back by noon. I decided to go without anymore to see how bad it would get. By one oclock I had severe pain all the way down to the heel of my foot at times. Today has been a bad day with lower back pain all day and shooting pain sporadically throughout. Today I have taken a half norco in the morning and another at 1:30 along with the soma. I have an acupuncture appt tomorrow. Two questions: Has anyone had any results at all with acupuncture? THis will be my second visit. Also is it possible that the norco was masking this severe pain this whole time and I am just experiencing it now because I lowered my dose? Is norco the best thing for me at this time? Thanks for your help.
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