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1st appointment with pain management ???



  • I have been thinking of trying massage.
    If I can encourage my husband to massage my neck when I get these headaches, it does feel better.

    We are off on holiday in a week. When we get home, I will try to organise a massage to see how it helps. I do see my physiotherapist each week, but he doesn't do massage. He does 'facet joint mobilisation' which I call his 'jiggleing', which does seem to keep my neck more mobile. He holds my neck and does very small and quite quick sideways movements for half an hour.
    Does anyone else have this treatment?
    I have found it mentioned on the internet, and it seems to be getting more common here in the UK. I don't know about the USA. My neurosurgeon has told him to go ahead with this treatment, despite the stenosis and cord compression I have in my neck.

  • Oh My dear friend!! Does it ever end?

    I am so sorry you are still struggling! I do think some kind of massage or "joint mobilization" as we call it in the US would be a great place to start.

    When there is an issue in the spine, the soft tissue around it spasms which creates a ton of pain....some of the medication that is given in the injections release these muscles of their spasms.

    If not massage, what about moist heat? Can you get a heating pad with a moist heat insert? or can you use hot moist towels with a heating pad? that will help to relax the muscles that are in spasm.

    As I recall, your hubby likes cake....trade him a moist homemade cake for a nice massage!

    I miss you my friend!
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  • so lovely to hear from you. :D

    You made me giggle, with the cake idea. You have really understood my hubby. Yesterday I had a horrible pain in my upper back / shoulders. I managed to get him to massage my neck and shoulders, to see if it would help. I got more than 2 hours relief from the pain :-)

    I see my physiotherapist (the same one from after my fusion) who is now working on my neck. He does joint mobilisation on my neck, but it is nothing like a massage. He just 'jiggles' my cervical vertebrae; very small, quick, sideways movements. I do seem to get help from it though. I now have more mobility and, I think, less pain.

    I do use a heated wheat bag, which is soothing and love being in the shower!

    I am off to bake some lemon and poppy seed muffins!!!

    I miss you too Shari, and am thinking of and praying for you. >:D< >:D< >:D<

  • to hear your neck has been so bad Jelly!

    My son has cervical problems too and gets those awful headaches.

    I've read that caffeine helps relieve them a bit. Does your GP know you are suffering with them? Would some migraine medicine maybe help?

    Interesting to hear about how your physiotherapist manipultes your neck. I've never heard of that before.

    Hope you are getting some rest now that school is finished for the year. Have a lovely holiday. Hope you are going somewhere sunny & warm. That should help!

    Peggy x
  • so nice to hear from you again :-)
    I am sorry that your son is suffering with his neck now too.

    I have told my GP about the headaches, but I am generally able to control them with one or two doses of over the counter medicine, which I prefer. I don't like taking meds! That doesn't go well with back pain!

    My husband gave me a massage yesterday which gave great relief for more than two hours. Now that is the sort of pain management that I like! :-)

    I am loving being on holiday from school. After a disturbed night, it is so lovely to be able to take my time in getting up. We are visiting our son in Oxford this weekend and shortly after that are off to Menorca. I am so looking forward to that and you are right, it definately should help. :D

    I saw my ortho surgeon on Monday and he has said that as there is no sign of loose screws, that I must be fused!! Whoopieee!!

    Take care Peggy >:D<

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  • Hi Jelly;

    When I was in physio before my first surgery, my pt did the mobilization and some massage work as well. I found that it helped with my ROM and loosened my muscles up for a few hours after and was welcome relief. She also did some light traction, which I found to be helpful as well.

    Now, my new pt does some light massage work and traction to help with the spasms and it does help for a couple of hours. I also use my heating pad religiously, as well as my TENS. Are you able to get a prescription for a TENS, or have you ever had tens therapy at pt? It might be something else that could help you. The actual units are small, and you can clip them to your pants or belt, and you can move about easily with it on.

    I hope that you get your appointment quickly with the pm. I can't really add anything more to what everyone has already said, they've all been quite detailed for you. The one big thing about pm though, as I think lovetotravel pointed out, is that pain management is meant to do exactly what it sounds like, manage your pain. My pm doc actually asked what she mentioned, what are my expectations? If it's that I want my pain to completely disappear (although, that's what we all really wish for) it's not reasonable and I'll be greatly disappointed, as we're not just dealing with muscular pain, but nerve pain from the stenosis and protruding discs, etc, as well. However, if he can get my daily levels down to a 2 or 3, so that I can live and accomplish daily tasks with a good quality of life, that would be successful. Which I completely agree, getting through the day with a 2 or 3 is a great day indeed.

    Massage can be a great help with the headaches. I also suffer from tension headaches, in fact, mine's lasted over 2 years now. How bad it is just depends on the day. Massage does help, and I also get trigger point injections to help with the spasms in my neck and traps. I also get occipital injections which, when I kept up with them, helped a lot as well. As my pm explained, with each one that you get, the longer they should last, but I really have only got them as an immediate relief procedure, so it's been sporadic.

    Congrats on the news of being fused, you must be so relieved. Hope you enjoy your holiday, and that your hubby keeps up with the massages! Every once in a while a visit to a massage therapist is nice too. Enjoy!
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own

  • Your comments about expectations of Pain Management have helped me to think about what is realistic.
    How much relief did you get from your surgery?
    It sounds like you are still having problems. Is that from different levels?

    My pain levels are nothing like the very severe sciatica that I was getting before my lumbar fusion. However, I do get lots of sharp, shocking, pricking pains all over the place, but particularly in my legs and feet. The pain in my arms and hands is mostly aching, burning and tingling with occassional numbness. As I said before, it is the headaches that are the most debilitating because they stays with me for hours or even days. When they are particularly bad, I have severe pain in both ears which is throbbing, almost like a pulse.

    My physiotherapist also does the gentle traction, which does feel good. It is something that I discovered myself to help with my headaches and neck tension. I do use a heated wheatbag on my neck which is soothing and relaxes the muscles. I do have a TENS machine, but haven't tried it. I tried it with my lumbar spine, but although it did distract from the pain, it didn't really help. Perhaps I should give it another chance. It had been put into a cupboard and forgotten about. I am seeing my physio this afternoon, so I'll try to remember to ask him about the TENS.

    It is good to hear of the help that you have had from various injections. I hate the idea of them, but I tell myself they must be better than surgery! My neurosurgeon mentioned several types; one of which was botox injections. Do you know anything about them. I hope they will also get rid of any wrinkles in my neck!! Lol!

    I hadn't heard that the more that you get, the longer they should last. I never had any injections for my lumbar spine as things had got too bad and too tight to allow the injections.

    My husband has arthritis in his hands, particularly his thumbs, so massaging me is not comfortable for him. I intend to book one to try when we get back from our holiday.

    Thanks Kelly, and everyone else, for taking the time to answer my questions about pain management. I feel happier now about my appointment, when I finally get one!! :-)

  • Hi Jelly;

    My surgeries did correct what they were supposed to, but yes, because of the multiple things going on at multiple levels on both sides (protrusions, stenosis, bone spurs, DDD, etc, it seems to be never-ending.

    I guess I should clrify about the injections, it's the trigger point injections and occipital injections that he said should last longer in between each time getting them. I'm not sure about the other types that include steroids. I do know that with the occipitals, there was a time that I had 3 in a row (a couple of weeks in between) and my headache did ease up for a while. I've never really discussed botox with my pm, so I can't answer on those, I did search it though once, and read that they can be helpful.

    Did you ask about the tens? Give it a shot anyways, it could be worth the try! I put the leads around where my spasms are, and it does help out a little.

    Sorry to hear about your hubby's arthritis issues! That can be so painful in the hands, my mom suffers from it too. Her fingers are getting pretty twisted around, so I know I have that to yet look forward to, as I have her hands in every other aspect, joy of joys... lol I actually have this little massage thing, it has 4 little legs and you turn it on, I will rest it between the back of my chair and my neck or shoulder, turn it on and let it sit there for a few, but really, the tens kind of does the same thing for me. I got it at Walmart, it fits in the palm of your hand. Maybe if you can find something like that, your hubby could use that instead of his hands to give you a massage.

    Anyways, have a good holiday! And hope you hear back on the appointment soon for the pm!

    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • Such good news!

    No doubt lying in the warm sun sipping a cool drink will do you good!That and regular massages from the husband. Might help his arthritis!

    I have arthritis in my hands too but I've found that the more I use them the better I am.My husband has shoulder, hip and back problems but every night we massage him with piroxicam ointment that his doctor prescribed. Wonderful stuff! I've used it a couple of times for sore muscles and it really works.

    My son has had quite a few injections over the years. Some helped, some did nothing, but it was worth trying according to him.

    He's had neck problems all along, just not as urgent to be sorted, but as usual it gets worse with age. He is still having problems with some nerve pain and numbness in his legs and feet but I think he is much better than he was before the surgery.

    I can't believe it has been over a year for both of you.

    Hope you have a great time in Menorca!

  • He did NOT prescribe meds at all, he asked a few questions. He said hubby's problem isn't nerve damage, or nerve pain, (despite numbness in back front and groin area) since most of hubby's pain is in his back. He wants to try facet injections. He ordered a Physc eval, a MRI, and I have to take him the results of hubby's FCE done in Aug. (hubbyy is a wc patient). Hubby had a herniated disc at l2/l3 and surgery with fusion and hardware on 6/14/10. Then a decompresson at l2/l3, l3/l4 and l4/l5 and removal of the hardware on 3/9/11. His surgeon released him and referred him to pain management on 9/27/11. his pm appointment was 11/22/11. Not impressed, more like worried. Any advice, opinions welcome. . .
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