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Newbie intro

Hello, everybody. I'm a 51 year old who has had chronic low back pain for nine years (see sig line below). My whole lumbar spine is degenerated (except L5-S1) to 20% of normal. I've been to quite a few surgeons, and no one thinks any kind of surgery will help, so I'm trying to deal as best I can. My back hurts pretty much all the time, with flare ups from overuse (mainly housework, but anything heavy on bending or any kind of repetitive use makes it flare). I had a surgery in 2008 to open up the right foramina at L4-L5. It's clear according to the MRI, but my pain remains.

My pain is mainly on the right, but the left side often flares with muscle spasms due to the recruitment of the muscles on that side since my right side is weak. The rest of my back hurts often, too, due to right side weakness. I do regular strengthening exercises given to me by my PT. Not sure they are helping, but they might, so I do them pretty regularly. I do have osteoarthritis, also, so that makes me more achy. A wrist I sprained 10 years ago is really starting to get cranky!

I have had two 3 level RFA's (one on both sides), and the first one helped, but the second one didn't, so I'm stopping those. I'm just trying to deal as best I can. Luckily, I am self-employed as a writer, so I can set my own schedule. Not sure how I would deal with trying to work for someone else.

I do see a pain management doctor. I take a lot of Ibuprofen, and some Norco 5/325's (about 4 a week), but try to keep them to a minimum. I also take Skelaxin sometimes if the muscles in my back start talking.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself. Sometimes the mental part of dealing with chronic pain just overwhelms me, and it helps to come to this site and surf, just to know I'm not alone. It's a game dealing with pain, and often I'm tired of playing. I'm sure you all understand that!

Jadeygirl
DDD, L1-L5--all discs 20% of normal
Back pain since 2003
Foraminotomy, discectomy, L4-L5, 9/08
Multiple ESI's, RFA's, PT for 3 years
Pain hovers at at a steady 3- 4, spikes to 7-8 with overuse
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Comments

  • ....didn't show up. Hmmm. Will have to figure out why...
    DDD, L1-L5--all discs 20% of normal
    Back pain since 2003
    Foraminotomy, discectomy, L4-L5, 9/08
    Multiple ESI's, RFA's, PT for 3 years
    Pain hovers at at a steady 3- 4, spikes to 7-8 with overuse
  • ...in my second post. Sorry for all the replies to my own post!
    DDD, L1-L5--all discs 20% of normal
    Back pain since 2003
    Foraminotomy, discectomy, L4-L5, 9/08
    Multiple ESI's, RFA's, PT for 3 years
    Pain hovers at at a steady 3- 4, spikes to 7-8 with overuse
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  • I'm 53 and have the degeneration and osteo, etc. It is really tough to see that the floor needs vacuuming and trying not to give in to the temptation of vacuuming, etc., but if we don't do it, who will? It's really tough to admit when I can't do something that I think I should be able to do.

    Welcome to the group. There is a lot of good information and helpful support.

    KarenD
    KarenD
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Just thought I would stop by and say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find many others with the similar if not the same situation, as yourself. One thing I would caution you on is the NSAID's and that your not getting more than the daily recommended amount, as it can cause some serious issues. Hopefully someone is watching your blood work, to ensure there is nothing happening with it.

    You can read many other post, and look at the multiple ways others have used in dealing with lower back pain. The treatment section has different forum topics each offering up something different in the lines of treatment. Then there is the lower back forum will others with low back issues will post, along with the sciatic forum,

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. If there is anything I an do don't hesitate to pm me. Take care and keep us updated, look forward to reading more of your post.
  • KarenD--yes, that is my problem, seeing things around the house that need to be done and keeping myself from doing them. We have a big yard (almost an acre), and my hubby spends a lot of time out there, so I feel as if I have to do the inside housework. My son is working now and going to college (he's 20) so he isn't able to help much. I hurt more for days after I do housework (Is there anything harder on a back than cleaning bathrooms and mopping? NOPE!) but I hate a dirty house. I actually took it easy last weekend, and I felt so much better on Monday. I need to get a house cleaner to come in, but I had a bad experience a few years ago when my trusted cleaning lady stole my pain meds from me, so I've been reluctant to have anybody in my home. I'll have to get over that, though. I am in less pain when I don't do it...so, should be an easy decision, right?
    DDD, L1-L5--all discs 20% of normal
    Back pain since 2003
    Foraminotomy, discectomy, L4-L5, 9/08
    Multiple ESI's, RFA's, PT for 3 years
    Pain hovers at at a steady 3- 4, spikes to 7-8 with overuse
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