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What kind of Doctor

Deadmeat68DDeadmeat68 Posts: 4
edited 11/06/2014 - 4:45 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hello. I have been having back problems since I was a teen. I saw many chiropractors, which always helped for awhile. I was an avid sports player in my youth, and as I got older I did a lot of hard labor (loading/unloading trucks, stacking, climbing, twisting, etc.) I am now 47 and I have chronic pain. I sought the help of a chiropractor a couple years ago and I have had several ER visits due to acute muscle spasms in my back. Sometimes, just reaching for shampoo in my shower, or wiping myself after using the toilet, will throw me off and cause excruciating spasms and locking. I had another MRI done about 6 months ago and they told me that I had degenerative discs, that I had bone on bone in some areas and that I have a great deal of arthritis in my lower back, neck, shoulders, knees, ankles, and hands. They also told me that I shouldn't go to a chiropractor with arthritis this bad, but did not appoint a special doctor. They just sent me to PT. While physical therapy helps to stretch things, I still had constant pain, so I quit the PT. They gave me a prescription for Ibuprophen and Flexural. I am now at the point where I feel completely worthless. I can't go anywhere with my family because I can't walk far. I can no longer linger in the grocery store. I have to have a short list, and get out within 15 minutes or my back gives out. I have to have family members carry the bags in, or take someone with me to load in/out. I can't even wash the dishes in one shot. I have to do it in intervals because I can longer stand straight for more than 5 minutes. All of my home duties have suffered. The house isn't as clean, if I make the bed I have to sit down half way through. Now I am gaining weight due to not exercising properly. While I suffer with swollen joints in my finger and knees, it is my back that does me in. It feels like someone is beating me with a bat. I am terribly depressed. I don't know what kind of doctor to seek out for my problems. I am not a fan of surgery and have heard very scary things about it. Any thoughts, and/or referrals would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


  • a board certified spine surgeon, ortho or neuro is the preferred place to start.....this link might help you to understand the process to getting a proper diagnosis and then treatment plan for your condition.


  • I share many of your diagnosis. I'm riddled with arthritis. Like you, my spine effects my life the most. My spine is bone-on-bone with herniations. Facet & SI joint completely messed-up. There's not going to be any quick fix. For me it's more about learning to live with it & chipping away at the pain. I see a board certified neuro surgeon (I've seen many of different surgeons over the years) & a pain management doctor. They work together & occasionally send me to other specialists for tests & treatment.
    Physical therapy only really helped me once I found a therapist who looked at my MRI & tailored a routine to me. He says that with 'Modic Changes', bone spurs etc standard mckenzie (herniated disc type exercises & stretches) don't all help. Some do cause more pain. Discuss with a therapist what he's treating you for. They should be able to show you on the models of the spine what & why you're doing the moves.
    My life only improved once I developed my own 'Blend' of diet, exercise, medications, aromatherapy massage oils, prescription compounded ketamine cream, hot Epsom salt (magnesium) baths, etc etc.
    Finding the right surgeon (not for surgery. They're best at diagnosing you) & pain management doc made all the difference for me. You will still have restrictions but hopefully you will function better. Best wishes.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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  • EnglishGirl said:
    I share many of your diagnosis. I'm riddled with arthritis. Like you, my spine effects my life the most. My spine is bone-on-bone with herniations. Facet & SI joint completely messed-up. There's not going to be any quick fix.
    Thank so much. I saw an orthopedics (sp) specialist but all he wants is to deal with are my swollen joints (hands, knees, ankles, hips) He does not deal with the back at all but he is the one who sent me to PT. The main reason I quit was because if my back is so off (his words) and it's causing gait issues, tilted hip, pressure in the knees and ankles then it stands to reason that these exercises aren't really helping without tackling the main issue. That's just how I feel. No one has ever been able to really point me in the right direction and my GP is against any form of pain management or chiropractic's. Surgery scares me, so I never even thought a neuro surgeon could help me. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.
  • sandi said:
    A board certified spine surgeon, ortho or neuro is the preferred place to start.
    Much appreciated. I never thought to look into a surgeon because I just assumed they do surgery only. Thanks so much for the links!
  • My specialists sent me to be tested by a rheumatologist too. Have you had all the tests for that? It's worth checking out to see if they have any recommendations for dealing with the inflammation. I've got a great pain management doctor who coordinates all my care. He also helped me with my depression. I've also met with a chronic pain psychologist who really help with practicle coping strategies & tips on how to do those difficult, painful everyday tasks. For me it was things like driving the kids to & from school. Ugh!! So painful!

    Now that you know you have severe spine damage please stay away from chiropractors. They're not spine specialists & can cause serious damage doing adjustments on spines like yours. There are some real horror stories!!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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