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Help me understand my condition please



  • This is exactly how I have felt and is why I included a bit of my sports history in my first post. I do not mean to sound arrogant as I am having a little trouble in figuring out how to phrase this. I have often wondered, is my pain really that bad and am I just being a whiner in comparison to some of the people out there that are in extreme pain? But then I think about all the times I have pushed through pain to acomplish a goal. Don't get me wrong this is by far the most pain I have ever dealt with, but I think my background in wrestling better prepared me to deal with it mentally than say someone who has never pushed themselves? Once again I do not mean to sound "superior" or any thing like that, and do apologize if I do.

    I worked 65 hours a week between two jobs from February until June of this year. During that time my sciatica progressed to the point where I could not walk more than 10ft without being in extreme pain in my left hip and down to my toes and have to sit down. Luckily I was able to quit the second job as it was becoming too much. The problem I ran into with physical therapy is that I simply couldn't even get to the exercises that would help strengthen my core and improve posture because we couldn't get past trying to undo the damage from working so much. I had a hard time even doing a hamstring stretch while lying flat on my back. Now once I stopped working two jobs this did improve, but still not to the point where I could make any significant progress with the physical therapy and so it was the therapist call to refer me back to pain management.

    So heres my question. Sciatica is my chief complaint for my lower back pain. If I underwent a procedure, whether through pain management or a surgical option, to minimize the sciatica, could I then resume physical therapy with better results? Has anyone had a similar situation?
  • I've had sciatic pain off and on for years. I started getting periodic injections that greatly reduce the pain in my lumbar spine and sciatica. My surgeon said it's a great predicter for how you will do if you ultimately need surgery. I just wish it would work on my cervical spine and upper back.
    If you can get it to settle down then PT should be able to gradually help you strengthen your core. It is a combination of treatments that usually help not one specific.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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  • There is a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis that starts out,mostly in young men in their teens and 20's. AS affects the spine and causes a lot of pain. It can run in families and it can be very hard to get a Dx. It might be a good idea to ask to see a rheumatolegest.
    I have Ankolysing Spondylits, Ulcerative Colitis, DDD and a bit of OA to make things fun. Most of my problems are due to inflation of many joints, tendons and ligaments. I see a GP, a Rheumatologest, an orthopedic Dr and a wonderful PM.
  • idk53iidk53 Posts: 21
    edited 09/08/2012 - 9:17 AM
    Unfortunately when I initially hurt my back it wasn't that bad and I didn't make it a priority to start physical therapy as this all happened during a critical time with my work and I put work first. The pain was consistent but more of an annoyance than anything. I know now that I completely under-estimated what I was dealing with and think about this often: Had I dealt with it right away would I still be in the pain I am now? However the real question is is my spine structurally worse now (i.e. did the bulging disc herniate?) or is it merely massive amounts of inflammation that has caused such a drastic increase over the course of two years? I'm hoping that cross-referencing my old MRI with the new one that I'm hoping to get will answer this question. However I certainly did do things that I think back on that there is a high probability that I did make the discs worse...
  • for the most part we are incumbent on others to provide a possible solution, historically pain management was implemented at the end when most if not all the invasive idea and treatments had been concluded, research suggest, that it should be done simultaneously and as soon as possible from the beginning.

    you have to look at what you can do and build on that, as dave said, pain relief is only a product of surgery not the primary objective, if you set the expectation that residual pain will not be evident once surgery is performed you may be disappointed, it is not the panacea of improvement for many here. it is easy to become embroiled with the finite issue, moving forward is about your responsibility very few have left this site fixed, the overall risk of surgery is also a factor. move forward from a known diagnosis, one step at a time, the mode of best practice are written here at sh.

    do something positive every day and build on that however small, concentrate on what you can do not what you cannot, adapt new ideas and learn new and inventive coping strategies, be kind to yourself.

    have a look at this, it may be useful.

    take care and good luck to you. john
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  • I understand what your saying and I try my best to stay patient and keep my resolve. The issue I run into is not what I can do, but rather what I have to do. I live with my girlfriend and she isn't strong enough to carry our 5 gallon water jugs upstairs, so guess who has to do it? I'm the GM of a quick serve restaurant, I have 14 employees but when one calls off and no one can come in guess who has to cover the shift? When a flag on the roof gets ripped off by the wind, I can't risk an employees' safety. None of this is going to change anytime soon. Its like the neurosurgeon said "You just have to take it easy" to which I replied "how?"
  • DaverrotteDDaverrotte Posts: 1
    edited 11/16/2012 - 2:07 AM
    First of all i would like to say how disgusted i am with posture perfects post. It sounds to me like this individual has never experienced pain at this level and consistancy before.
    Im almost out of the woods with my 12 week long episode and although im not sure my advise will help i feel i have to tell u what ive done thats helped me. I'll try to keep it brief.
    I noticed u mentioned that u suffer from insomnia. Is this something that results from the pain? Or is this independent from ur pain? I too have issue sleeping but my recent back issues with Spondylolisthesis and bulged disc (L5-s1) made it much worse. As a result i started taking over the counter PM medications like benedryl and advil PM. It turns out these medications will increase muscle spasms which i believe amplified my pain. After seeing a specialist and getting ambien ive been able to not only sleep but completely relax before bed. I think this has helped me tremendously because it relaxes every muscle while i sleep and lets me heal all night. Seriously man best wishes and get better soon.
    PS if u need surgery just get it. I relate so much when u talk about how u have no life and get right home after work. Its not worth it u only get to live once. U need to get better.

    Please refrain from providing medical advice. What may be fine for you , could potentially be harmful to another The Spine-Health Moderator Team
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