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Spinal problems?

Apr 08, 2017 2:52 AM

Hey everyone! I was wondering who here has any spinal problems? When we're yo diagnosed and what do you do for pain management?

I'll start...
I have hyperlordosis Scoliosis, lumbarsacral spondylosis and arthritis in my facet joints. I usually try to stick with over the counter NSAIDS like Advil and ibuprofen. I need the occasional hydrocodone though. Heating pad and stretching also helps.

Apr 08, 2017 5:24 AM

I have spinal issues, currently I have been using ibuprofen and asprin, neurontin and effexor which doc thinks are wonder drugs...I just wonder when they'll work!
I had to shovel snow a couple days ago and bring in a 40lb bag of salt for my water softener, and trying to finish painting the walls for exercise..

Apr 08, 2017 7:01 AM

Hmm! I've never heard of Effexor helping pain! I'm on it for my anxiety and depression.
Yikes! That sounds like a lot of work on the back! Hope your pain isn't too bad after that!

Apr 08, 2017 7:18 AM

No, effexor doesn't help either...actually makes my face and hands numb...but the theory is everybody with chronic pain is depressed...take away depression you won't feel as bad! I highly doubt that theory...

Apr 08, 2017 9:04 AM

Hi Valdeen! I have had spinal problems since my late 20's. I'm facing my 4th neck surgery in the near future (C7-T2). I have DDD, OA, ruptured/torn/bulging discs, facet and spinal stenosis, sacroiliac joint issues, and curved spine (can't remember if it's lordosis or the other).

I went through two years of epidural steroid injections all along my spine and now have osteopenia as a result of too much steroids, along with damage in my eyes also due to steroids. That was before finding a doctor who was willing to fix the cause instead of patching with temporary Band-Aid treatments. I use voltaren gel, TENS unit, massage, relaxation, gentle stretches, & warm showers. I do have gabapentin daily & tramadol as needed for severe pain (allergic to most pain meds so I have to be careful). I do light exercise to keep loose mobility, otherwise I sign up.

Apr 08, 2017 9:33 AM

I'm a spiney.

I have a lumbarized S1 (was born with it) combined with hypermobility which allows for too much movement at that level. I also have a Tarlov cyst in the sacral area, as well as a schwannoma (benign tumour) at S1-S2. I am currently awaiting an appointment with a neurosurgeon to address a possible spinal fusion & resection of the schwannoma.

My current pain management plan includes naproxen (anti-inflammatory), acetaminophen (which does basically nothing), Lyrica for nerve pain, Flexeril (muscle relaxant) and hydromorphone every two hours as needed. We're hoping to control the pain enough to get me moving better again. 😊

I've tried almost everything under the sun for my back. I've been doing physio for a year and a half, massage therapy, acupuncture, osteopathic manual manipulation, traction, inversion table, swimming, TENS, and meds... Oh the meds! I agree with Spunky about not all chronic pain patients being depressed. We tried the anti-depressants (amitriptyline, venlafaxine, trazodone) which actually made me very depressed when I wasn't to begin with and did absolutely nothing for the pain.

The non-drug at-home things I do that I find helpful are mostly heat & TENS. I also talk to myself a lot and try to "talk down" the pain. It doesn't generally work very well, but telling myself that I'm not in danger sometimes allows me to cope better mentally.

Are we allowed to recommend specific books here? I don't want to violate any rules but would like to suggest a great book that was recommended to me by my osteopath.

Apr 08, 2017 1:00 PM

Recommend!!! Recommend!!!

Apr 08, 2017 8:10 PM

The book is called Explain Pain by David S. Butler and G. Lorimer. I purchased an electronic copy through iTunes (Canada), but if you prefer a paper book, it can be purchased at http://www.noigroup.com/en/Resources . It's one of those books where the more you read it, the more info you register.

Apr 08, 2017 8:22 PM

I am a scoliosis girl too. My entire T-spine had a 49 degree curve with a 20 inch rod and fusion of my entire T-spine I went from 5 ft 5 in to 5 ft 9 in. It was a suprise when I stood up. I have been seeing a pain management doctor for about 4 years now. I am on Fentanyl patches with Zanaflex muscle relaxers and Norco for break through pain. However mmj works better tHan anything prescription. Not legal in my state but I only follow laws that make sense. I use alot of pilates, yoga and Epsom salts. Also my tens unit.

Apr 08, 2017 8:39 PM

Wow! I am so sorry to hear y'all in pain , but I'm glad I'm not alone. Being only 23 and having pain since teenage years makes me feel isolated. Not like my friends can sympathize why I can do things like they can.

Sa415: thank you so much for the book recommendation! I'm going to have to check that out! I enjoy researching pain, spinal problems, and options. Medicine and the body has always fascinated me. I wish I could try more massage therapy but it's expensive. /:

FlappysLady81: wow! I have had a couple steroid injections in my hips and facet joints. Haven't had any in about 4 years. I'm afraid for the effects of too much steroids like you described.

LMB: I've had some success with MMJ and tens unit. I need to start regularly using them both again for a week or two and see if it helps this flare I have. Are there any specific yoga poses that help you?

Apr 09, 2017 5:19 AM

Anything that stretches my lumbar spine. I also have a teeter inversion table and frequently hang like a bat! Best investment ever

Apr 09, 2017 5:45 AM

@sa415
How did you get someone to diagnose tarlov?

Apr 09, 2017 9:19 AM

@Spunky - I had an MRI done in March of last year, and the Tarlov cyst was identified by the radiologist.

Apr 09, 2017 10:58 PM

Be forewarned that even tho a tarlov will show on a mri and if you are lucky and the reader notes them, your doctor will have been taught they are asymptotic, causing no problems. Yeah, right. The most common symptoms is it feeling like you are sitting on hot burning pointy rocks, then "numbness down the legs that follow no pattern, and bladder and bowel issues. But for relief on a mild day I use an n-said patch on the fatty part of the bumm. Mine are prescription strength. Anti depressants made every ache worse for me.

Apr 10, 2017 5:24 AM

I fantasize when doctors ask about losing bladder function and while I say no..then look surprised and say "OH My, I guess I do" and see what happens...bwahaha..
my evil twin..Nina

Apr 10, 2017 11:34 AM

Zetarlov - Yes! My old PCP (long story, but basically he was replacing my current PCP while she was on Maternity leave for a year), ortho doc, physiatrist, etc. Have all told me that the Tarlov cyst is not the cause of any of my pain. They actually all deny that any of the findings on my MRIs (lumbarized S1, Tarlov cyst at S3, schwannoma at S1/S2) are the cause of pain. They keep telling me it must be mechanical pain, but can't identify the exact cause. It's beyond frustrating to continuously be told there are a bunch of abnormal findings in my imaging tests, but that they still don't know why I'm hurting.

Spunky - I've also wondered how differently I'd be treated if I were to "wet" myself in the middle of an appointment. This question seems to be the one they base their diagnosis upon. Kind of makes me angry that I have to wait until I'm incontinent (because it will happen eventually if my tumour is left untreated) before anyone will agree to help me. 😡

May 15, 2017 9:54 PM

Sa415, sorry I have not been on here for a month. But if you want to know of a good doc for the tarlovs just enough mail me at gmail.

May 16, 2017 10:22 AM

Big time spine issues here, too! I'm starting to think we all do!

May 20, 2017 10:27 PM

I have Tethered Spinal cord which I was born with, Degenerative Disc Disease and Herniated discs at the T11 and T12 levels which was diagnosed July 2016 at 18 y/o. The only thing that helps get rid of some back pain is laying flat on my back on the ground with legs elevated on a chair.

May 21, 2017 5:27 PM

I have had back problems for about 30 years now. Only diagnosed when it just became to. Unbearable to handle. My sister was still a PT them but moved away from me. She dated an orthopedic doctor and told me to see him and that he was good. So I did.

He examined me and did an X-ray in office. (came out supper dark and shitty) He tried to explain it That it would show bla bla bla (bull shit) I told him it was to dark to see any hurniations or buldging disks etc... He replied harshly that "I don't have any based on his professional examination and X-ray recored. Persuing this further would be a waste of time and money."

So I called my sister told her what an ass he was (i had meet him a few times outside his office at a few parties with my sister he was an ok guy) my sister called him and talked to him. I got a call from his office for a scheduled MRI and follow up appointment with him.

When I came in for the follow up. The doc came in. Saying the same thing I didn't have any disk issues. He was unable to find the MRI report or films. Calling his nurse to find them he almost started to chastise me for having my sister call him demanding an MRI to be done. The nurse came in with the report and films. He read the report out loud and sure enough I had both herniated and buldging disks in my lower spine. His comment? "Hu... You do have them" "ok well let's set up appointments for cortisone shots" not liking that idea adding scar tissue to my already arthritic and bursitis damage disks. I asked for other treatment options. He said the shots were my only options.

Call my sis and she could not believe he was so shot happy. She called another doc she knew and he confirmed to her he had become shot happy and is all he is doing with one of the drug manufactures suppling him the shots.

Went to the new doc... He came to the waiting room and called me back. As soon as we were inside the exam room and door closed he told me based on my walking my right hip was posterially rotated and causing a lot of stress on my lower spine and knees. He looked at the MRI films and said they were not operational size yet and prescribed PT for the hip and lower back.

Those treatments keeping my hip in place help greatly with pain in my spine and spine excersizes helped strengthen it as well.

I still hurt but no way near what I did (that was back then) You never know what your going to get with doctors. I get second opinions all the time now.

Yes it is a pain in the butt (or were ever the pain is) and takes longer for getting to a healing stage. But I won't be taken for a ride I don't believe in ever again.

May 22, 2017 7:02 AM

I believe having all the health problems we all do we are extremely aware of our bodies and when there is something wrong. Sometimes these docs don't think we know anything but there have been times I have self diagnosed myself and been right!!!

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