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Just when I though I had it under control

30 years ago, after a fall, I was diagnosed with crumbling vertebrae. Two discs were removed and a double lamonectomy and fusion. Long period of recovery as expected and after roughly a year, providing I dont attempt running or any other such impact exercise, all seemed well. Now I took up many forms of low impact exercise in order to remain trim and active. But found that I had to adjust my choice of activity as the pain eventually returned. So pre-op running became aerobics classes, hill walking, treadmill walking, eventually reduced to Taichi as a form of gentle exercise to keep mobility.
At each stage the return of the pain negated a re-think of the physical exercise I could cope with.
I would normally pay dearly for any attempt to dig the garden or bend for any length of time, these lapses of wisdom costing me 2 or 3 days of sharp lower back pain.
But now I have suffered a relapse. I think the extra weight has donated to the nerve getting trapped again and this last bout of infirmity ( which has now lasted for 7 days ) is crippling to say the least. It shows no sign of settling down at this stage.

OK so I know that diet will have to play a part of this, but I really don't want to get beck onto a daily routine of painkillers. Any suggestions please. I think a trip to the doctor is inevitable, but I do not want to resort to steroids if possible.


  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    edited 02/17/2014 - 4:41 AM
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions and help you navigate the site

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery

  • Welcome to Spine Health.

    Reading your post made me think that having crumbling vertebrae 30 years ago that needed a fusion, you have done very well to last 30 years without any other surgery. I'm sorry to hear that you are now having a relapse that is causing you so much pain.

    I had a lumbar fusion nearly 4 years ago and a neck fusion over a year ago.
    I still have most of my symptoms from before my neck surgery, and suspect that there is something going on again in my lumbar spine. I love gardening, but know that I can't do it without suffering badly afterwards. My husband does lift the patio containers onto a table so I can plant up the summer bedding plants, which I love to do.

    Have you tried icing? Before my first fusion, while I was trying hard to avoid it, my chiropractor used to encourage me to ice my back and it did help.
    I also walk each day and believe that helps me. Some days I start out in pain but it does improve and when I get home I am glad that I persevered. I also go to a Clinical Pilates class that keeps me mobile. I got approval from my spine surgeon before going and he stressed how important it was to go to a Clinical Pilates class, not just any Pilates.

    Other things that you could think about are your matress and pillow. I found getting a shaped neck pillow helped me a lot with my neck pain for about a year before I had to have surgery.
    I hope that you will find something that will relieve the pain and enable you to continue without further treatment.

    I hope that I will go as long as you without having any further surgery.
    It is great to hear of someone who has managed that and will give many of us hope for the future.

    I do think that spine surgery has come a very long way in the last 30 years since your fusion.
    I have a friend who had a long fusion for scoliosis about 30 years ago, and her experience was terrible compared with mine.

    I hope that you will find ways to control your pain other than meds.

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