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New member here...Here is my Story...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone, just wanted to say I am having High hopes for this website and management of my pain.

little about me, 5 years ago I had two ruptured disk, did my spinal epidurals and everything seemed to be ok. This past january, I reinjured my back and found out my L3 is still ruptured, but my L5 is degenerated so badly, they couldnt even do a disk replacement if they wanted, and thru EMG testing we found it was crushing my S1...cause lots of pain.

-had 3 more spinal epidurals
-had nerve block, lasted 2 weeks
-now doing facet injections to test for burning nerves

Besides Pain being my biggest problem, I am a competitive bodybuilder, and slowly watching my physique go to crap, I think its due to the meds, becauase pain or not I am still in the gym.... If you all can recomend drugs that have worked well for you, without many sides that would be appreciated...

here is my experience:

Vicodin (norco) 10mg....take 1 - 2 every night...does a good job at taking away most of the pain.

Flexeril 20mg.... helps with the muscle spasms alot, but I feel I am starting to need more, my doctor gives me plenty, but I hate taking muscle relaxers because of what they do to my metabolism.

now here is the trouble we are having...I really need something during the day, that doesnt kill me with being lethargic, and just all over soreness

I tried Ryzolt ER (tramadol)...felt like I took a aspirine

I tried Kadain ER (morphine)20mg...no pain relief,
bad lethargic sides and
weight gain

Tonight going to try OPANA 20mg... doctor said less sides,
I am having doubts cause
juse another type of

ANY IDEAS of a pain regimin that worked for you???? and still allows you to function??? I need to continue to workout so I just can't have the tiredness and lethargy.

p.s. I am only 32, so doctor does not want to do Fusion


  • before or after your injury?.at any rate id trade with you any day.
    i do have a suggestion you might put by your dr. the drug diclofinac which is in the ibupropen family has helped me considerably. i have a terrible spine troubles plus arthritis. i get more relief from it than any other drug. the side affects to watch for are stomach irritation. this drug is popular in europe but not as well known here.
    i used to exercise quite a bit before being confined to wheelchair. that drug kept me going. i even had a hip that completely deteriorated and diclofinac allowed me to walk for a long time before i had hip replaced. my sister in law has bad back and she too swears by it.
    i have a question for you. i cant walk but i can stand on crutches. i have been trying to get in positions that allow my muscles to work. an example is doing half knee bend and holding the position while leaning on crutches. is isometric exercise effective for building muscles when you cant lift or move well?
    well maverick...hang in there and dont ever throw in the towel....pete
  • I have bulging discs, severe degeneration, and facet damage (among other issues). I haven't been able to really work out since April and because of my lack of inactivity, have lost muscle (though I'm minding my calories to avoid much more of that) and have put on a few pounds. I am 29 and used to being very active. It can easily drive anyone into a depression. The changes in my body are disappointing, to say the least. I can only imagine how you must feel, being so focused on your physique as a competitive bodybuilder. Honestly, I can hear any of the many Chiropractors I've seen telling you to stop bodybuilding, as I can only imagine it is hurting your back. But that aside...

    I recommend doing decompression therapy. There are different models (VAX-D, DRX 9000, etc.), but the idea is always the same. It is a table that pulls you apart, basically, and then relaxes every 30 seconds or so (depending on the model). It can be pricey and you're not supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds during the treatment, but it is only 20 treatments and they should be done daily (except weekends, when the Chiropractor is usually closed). I met people who had been managing their pain with meds for years and were tired of feeling lethargic, gaining weight, having mood swings, or simply not getting enough relief. This treatment is not a guarantee, but it might be worth a shot for you.

    After the age of 25, our discs don't produce their own nutrients anymore. So, if our discs leak any of it out (bulging, decompressed, herniated), then it is gone forever. The idea behind the decompression therapy is to open the space where our discs are lacking and allow for healing. It also helps if to take supplements like calcium, magnesium, and such while you're doing the treatment, as some of those nutrients can actually rebuild in our discs.

    Well, this is the idea I've gotten from my chiropractors, anyway, and by simply doing research on the therapy. I thought I could get away with doing less than the recommended treatment of 20 sessions and only did 15, with a couple weeks break after 10. It was foolish on my part, as I had found relief after the 10 sessions and would have likely found more healing if I had done all 20 as recommended. Now, after moving across the country and doing things I shouldn't have done, I am again in a significant amount of pain. I have seen only chiropractors so far, but I have an appointment on Thursday to see an MD for the first time, concerning this condition. If she gives me any great ideas, I'll pass them on. And if you get any relief or have advice to pass on, please let me know.

    In the meantime, I suggest looking into decompression therapy. Also, ask your doctor about cortisone. I have heard it works wonders for some. It can be given in the form of a shot or pills.

    I wish you much luck and healing.
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  • I'm wondering whether you should perhaps reduce the amount of body-building you're doing, just until you've seen a doctor so you can ask their advice about it?

    If your discs are already herniating, is it good for them to be being crushed more by lifting heavy weights (or whatever body-builders do!)? I'm not for one minute suggesting that you stop exercising, it's just the weight-bearing aspect I'm talking about.

    Anyway, this site is really good and you'll find that lots of people will be able to give you better advice than this!


  • I'm sorry you had to curtail your career as a bodybuilder. Most of us have had to give up jobs, hobbies, exercise, etc due to severe chronic pain.

    Well, Opana is controlled release Dilaudid and is not in the morphine family (MS Contin, Kadian, Avinza, Oramorph) Some like it a lot and find it helpful, whie others think it's overpriced crap. We all react differently to meds. I never took Opana so I can't say anything about it.

    I have been on Fentanyl patches in the past, but I reached the maximum dose they prescribe and it was evident that my body grew tolerant to it and it didn't help anymore. I liked it because you just put on a patch and change it in 2 or 3 days. The flip side is that it's very expensive if you are not insured. I took Ms Contin 180mg a day and 60 mg of the immediate release (MS IR). I grew allergic so I now take 80mg of Oxycontin daily and oxycodone for breakthrough pain.

    I know you want to work out, but I agree that you must stop before you cause yourself further injury. It takes a long time to heal after injuring your back, and it doesn't take much to hurt it if it is already compremised. It could be a cough, a sneeze...anything innocent like that can blow out a disc if it is degenerated already.

    My husband was fit and worked out when he herniated a disc. Fortunately he was able to recover enough to return to work and he continues to go to the gym. He knows exactly what to do to not injure his back, and he concentrates also on building his back and core muscles. Actually his back bothers him more if he doesn't work out. You can research special exercises to rehab your back, but this must be done under your doctor's care. More importantly, it's best to be in physical therapy under the care of trained professional. You are also dealing with delicate nerves so safety is a must.

    I hope you get to feeling better and you recover fully from your back pain. Take care
  • I assume most of your pain is coming from the S1 nerve compression. You will find that none of the traditional "pain killers" will work for nerve pain. Currently, drugs like gabapentin and the newer Lyrica are prescribed for nerve pain, but both have side effects.

    I have a similar problem at the S1 nerve and have been pursuing pain relief for many years now. I don't mean to be discouraging, but I cannot imagine how you continue to work out with that kind of problem. I hope you do not have to do weightlifting to keep in shape as I cannot imagine anything worse for your bad discs. You may need to make some serious decisions down the road or you will find yourself in later life unable to walk.

    I hope you are under the care of a fellowship-trained spinal specialist, either a neurosurgeon or an orthopedic spinal surgeon who devotes his practice to issues of the spine and back. You are dealing with some serious issues. If you ever develop bladder or bowel problems due to your L5-S1 issue, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. This is a vulnerable segment of the spine and you do not want to end up with cauda equina syndrome.
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  • Thank you all for your replies....

    Pete..I think the best thing you can do, since you can't walk freely are isometric activities like you described. They are not the Best for building muscle, however they do work, and with your limited options they are probably the best route for you... try vavrious isometric moves, such as extensions, if you can....and hold them. Also when you are on your crutches, you can squat down a few inches and just hold it the best you can. keep working, I am sure you will get their.

    Mog...I appreciate your input, however I have been doing decompression therapy, rollerbed, theraputic massage, and accupuncture 3x a week for the last 3 months...none seems to be helping, only aggravating it. But I never thought about calcium and magnesium, that may be something I want to start adding extra to my vitamins.

    As for bodybuilding, I am lucky that is a bit differnt from Powerlifting, a common misconception...where yes their is a good amount of weight used, however you focus more on repetitions and the pump to stretch the facia of the muscle in order for it to grow. Powerlifting is more of using extreme weights for low reps, and actually builds less muscle....

    I have had 4 doctors give me opinions on this.. 2 of them say I should stop. However my pain management place, and a orthopedic surgeon Have both said that due to my muscle tone and continuing to have a strong back, it is probably helping support my spine and better then anything for it.

    Luckily my bodybuilding was only amature status, and was not my paycheck..even though I did have hopes of going to nationals this year...but by what pathetic body I now see in the mirror..that will never happen. When all this occured, I was at 252lbs and 10% bodyfat (offseason)..I ussually compete at 225-230. However now I am only 232lbs, and bodyfat is up to about 12-13%...and thats only in 6 months...I just can't keep this up. I find it causing me severe depression, and I don't know how my wife puts up with me and my pitty parties some days..god love her.... Is it common for weight gain in drugs like this? I have controlled my calories and continued to work out, but it seems like the weight just keeps comming on.
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