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Degenerative Disc Disease

Dec 07, 2014 6:33 PM

Has anyone been diagnosed with this disease? I have been taking Tramadol for years now and at times it seems to help, but today has been especially excruciating. I drive a bus for living and having done so for the past yten years, I am sure the poorly maintained roads have contributed to my back issues. I have seen a chiropractor and seen my xrays,which showed the damage that has been done . His solution for relief is spinal decompression therapy at a cost of around $4000. And of course its not covered by insurance, so I am trying to just manage my pain for now. I would not wish this on anyone as it affects every area of my life. And at 55 I feel I have.much more living to do.

Dec 07, 2014 7:32 PM

I have been dealing with this for over 10 years now and am only in my early 30's. I can definitely relate to how it affects all areas of my life. I don't know much about spinal decompression but aside from the costs if it's had proven results I wouldgive it a try. Would be great to know that a trtreatment could give me a fully functioning life again. If you can afford it I would say give it a chance and please share your results. However I would research more before hand. I'm sorry you are dealingwith this. And I agree, you have a lot more life to live so you have to keep fighting to get relief. Lots of supportive people here. They may know more than I do about decompression. I'm always good for a listening ear.

Dec 13, 2014 12:46 AM

Don't know anything about the decompression treatment you are speaking of but I have had degenerative joint disease for almost 20 yrs. It's genetic and it is something that never goes away. Because I have been on this journey so long I have learned quite a bit.
1) it is increasingly painful
2) surgery only removes damage
3) if insurance doesn't cover it, the procedure has not proven itself to their satisfaction yet
4) pain pills and devices can only do so much
5) you can only do so much...set limits for yourself. It's ok to say, "I can't. "

Dec 13, 2014 4:58 AM

My not in laws BF has this ad I had SME spinal stenosis and two bulging discs and it hurts all the time! I d take tramadol, flexeril and a tens unit, but when it flares up... NOTING HELPS!!!!!! My MILs bf, dean, gets what he calls trigger point injections! He was very honest with me and said that sometimes the sots last a month or two and other times only last a week..s it I just depends on the person. The also offer epidermal shots of cortisone/ steroids...but that I heard hurts more then the pain! I hurt a lot, but do not ting either shots are for me....but may people I know get them. You can only get these shots every 3-4 months and people had also said that when the pain does come bàck, it comes back worse then the pain you had before.....another reason i will not take the shots!!!!!!!! Hope this helped you a bit! Go online and researching the heck of DDD!!!!!! I am also a great listener too!!!!!! Take care

Dec 13, 2014 5:02 AM

I am sorry for the typos...hate my tablet!!! I meant my mother in law's BF has DDD and I have spinal stenosis and 2 bulging discs! If you had any questions. Just let me know!

Dec 14, 2014 1:43 PM

I saw my nephrologists last Monday and told him about my continuing back issues. I told him how frustrated I am that the tranadol does not seem to be as effective. I am somewhat limited on what I can take due to a kidney transplant that I had back in Jan 1991 at USC in Los Angeles. I certainly don't want to damage this priceless gift of life that I was so blessed to receive. I then went on to tell my Dr about my partner taking Percset for her post knee surgery. My darling Dr, who I absolutely adore smiled and told me he would never presribe Percoset for me. He then gave me the lowest dose (5/325) Hydrocordone and so far it has proven effective. And I thought it would be great because I figured I could continue to take my Tramadol at work since it did not affect my driving abilities. And I could take the Hydrocordone at home. I can't take it while driving. I checked online to see if I can take the two together and read horror stories. So now I am in agony most of the time while driving that bus and can only look forward to relief when I get home. And just an FYI: I work at an international airport that generates some $250 million per year, yet they refuse to maintain the roads. I know the easy answer is to just find another job. But at 55 its easier said tan done. I do so appreciate any and all feedback and mhopey is for everyone to have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Surely it has to get better.

Dec 14, 2014 6:50 PM

I also have DDD, along with scoliosis, facet joint issues, and the usual side-effects. Riding a school bus on a field trip (I teach 8th grade) is what actually kicked my pain into 24/7 at anywhere from 7-9 on the pain scale. It stayed this way for 2 1/2 years, until this last year. I have had radio frequencies on both sides of my spine, and am starting sympathetic nerve blocks to help. Since I have multiple issues, I honestly don't know the relationship between my DDD and my pain. My facet joints are talked about a lot! I have had many epidurals and facet blocks, and they did little to ease the pain. The RFs are the first real relief I have had since the start of my pain. And I have been banned medically from riding another school bus! So, I either stay back at school with students not going, or drive myself and meet my students there. I don't know if my experiences help you any, but I do know I respect bus drivers very much!

Dec 14, 2014 10:36 PM

I also have d?d.d I've hade three operations done and each one the pain gets worse and worse each time I get preser point shots every three months they work good for at the most 2 weeks then ware off so before an operation do your resurse on it the pain has only gets worse But that's what I have felt it's been 20 years for me like this

Dec 14, 2014 10:37 PM

Sorry spell check d.d.d

Dec 18, 2014 6:13 AM

I took a special vacation to NYC with my family. I don't like cities but went for one reason. Swimming class. Research art of swimming. I find the pool offers me the decompression I need. Wish I could just live in the water as it is the only place I almost feel like a real person.

Dec 19, 2014 7:44 AM

Triggerdigger, I have had DDD since I was 30, and needed surgery to my neck area. I had a second surgery in 1995 to additional neck discs, fusing & secured with titanium. Following the second surgery I began with chronic migraines. I've also had pain all down the spine, which is diagnosed as DDD. Contributing factors have been automobile accidents and several falls, the first from a high slide as a child. I tried to cut grass for my mother in law a few years back and noticed it triggers migraines. When I mentioned it to the doctor he said, "Anything you ride that bounces like a riding mower, motorcycle, and some automobile not cushioned well, will aggravate you spinal compression and headaches.". I've been through a mill of doctors to help treat the pain in my spine and had spinal nerve blocks (with light sedation because they are painful), and they've actually brought me the most relief over any pain meds. But as pg1224 said, pay attention to your body and learn to identify your limits. Its ok to say no. I realize driving the bus is your income, and if you can't find a different occupation, consider purchasing one of those padded cushions (comfy seat?). I wish you the best finding some relief. But I don't think anyone with DDD will ever have total & permanent relief. DDD comes from aging and genetics. I'm only 53, but most of my siblings and both parents suffer with it. We all have either rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. I was recently diagnosed with a genetic deficiency (MTHFR gene) where I don't absorb B vitamins, and that affects many health issues. I've also started with osteopenia, precursor to osteoporosis. A lot could be genetic for you. Try heat, ice, massages, ointment (I use voltaren gel), and either trigger point or nerve block injections before surgery. My brother in law had low back surgery and said he'd never do it again. Unless a disc ruptures I won't either. A coworker of my husband is trying inversion table therapy. Good luck

Dec 19, 2014 7:56 AM

I should add that due to the surgeries in my neck I am barely able to rotate my head from side to side, making backing up very difficult for me. I've learned to pull forward in back to back parking lots, so I can pull forward when leaving. I have 2 more discs in the neck that are collapsing, and due to the risks described if I have surgery, I'm praying God directs those discs perfectly into position so no nerves get pinched. After all, God is the ultimate physician. :)

Dec 22, 2014 7:16 PM

I also have DDD and have had it for over 10 years, mine has gotten so bad that I am at 43 unable to work at all and am waiting on my disability to be approved. I have gone from the one helping others to the one that now needs help with all my adl's (Activities of daily living). I would love to be able to work again but don't over work yourself and as far as the spinal decompression I am not to aware of the out come so do more research on it before you commit to having it done.

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