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    Back pain leading to time off work.
    tpennell posted:
    Hi everyone. I hurt my back a few weeks ago and it is still bothering me...I went and saw a doctor and have tried 3 different pain killers plus a muscle relaxer, nothing works. I also had xrays done and I see my doctor tomorrow to discuss the results. My problem is my lower back, when i just sit in a chair and slouch a bit i have no problems but the second that i get up or twist I start to get pain and the pain sticks around for atleast an hour, I work at the bank where I might not sit for more then 5 minutes at a time. I also get a numbing tingling sensation in my left leg when I sit up straight for too long. My doctor wrote a note for me to take last week off work but i go back tomorrow...He actually suggested I go back to work because I need to keep up normal activity, unless i really feel I should not go because only I would know. But where I am a bank teller I don't get to moderate my movement at work I am up and down and twisting and bending and the pain gets to the point that I am red in the face and can barely speak. I am just wondering what is everyone out at look at taking time off work for severe back pain? And how to go about requesting the note IF the pain is still very bad at work tomorrow. I feel guilty for staying home, but not knowing what is wrong and everyday that i worked with the pain it got progressively worse it just felt like I shouldn't be going...The Celebrex does nothing, the Tylenol 3 works with the dull pain for a short time but it makes me light headed and sleepy...
    FYI: My doctor thinks I might have degenerative disc disease.
    bj1208 responded:
    hi tpennell - welcome to the support group -

    am sorry you are having back pain - there is nothing worse than having pains -

    you indicated you had an x-ray done - did they do a MRI/CT Scan?

    You also indicated you are seeing a back doctor - what kind?

    it's best to get opinions from more than one back doctor - I would suggest seeing an orthopedic spine specialist (first choice - they seem to be more caring and give more details relating to your back problems) and a neurosurgeon spine specialist -

    they will order a MRI and/or CT Scan of your back - these reports give more details as to what is going on with your discs and should see if the discs are impinging on a nerve root which cause numbness/tingling sensations in your leg(s)

    if you do have degenerative disc disease the surgeon(s) will discuss treatment plans with you - these may include pain management treatments; physical therapy/chiropractic treatments and maybe surgery to repair discs - but these are speculations and the surgeon(s) will discuss your options.

    please let us know how your appointment goes and check around for another surgeon so that you can get another opinion - take care - Joy~~
    earlyretirement responded:
    hello tpennell, In the past I have had to take up to seven weeks off work for back pain issues before being released to go back to work. Do you have any type of short-term disability to rely on until they can figure out what's going on? You certainly need to let your physician know that your pain is progressively worse when you are at work and that you need more time off and the medication he is providing you is not a big help. Joy has giving you very good advice to follow in the meantime, best of luck to you and keep us posted.
    tpennell replied to earlyretirement's response:
    Thank you for your help, my x-rays came back clean and my doctor is sending me to have a medical done since i havent had one with him (recently moved). I do in fact have short term disability, I was surprised that yesterday my back wasnt very bad, though my manager gave me very light work to take up the day. I want to know though doing my usual days work if I am still in pain and without medicaton. I dont want to find out in another week when my prescription runs out that I am still injured ya know?

    If I still have pain I will request to have a MRI done, even if my medication does help a little I dont want to have to live on them. Oh, I am also only seeing my family doctor as there are no orthepedic spine surgeons in thos town, though a co-worker gave me a name for one in another city.
    maltlover replied to tpennell's response:
    It's important to see a spine specialist as no family doctor is up to the task of managing back problems. In my opinion, an Orthopedic Spine Specialist is the very best. You need to have at least an MRI done. An x-ray simply won't show the problems that are causing your kind of pain. The only spine doctor in my town is a regular ortho, so I have to go out of town to see my OSS, but it is well worth it, as I have someone who really listens to me and works hard with me to find the causes of my problems. I did try a couple of Neurosurgeons but found them a bit too arrogant for my taste. I know there are good ones out there, but none I have found.

    Try to save your disibility until after you have a full diagnosis. It's possible that surgery may be recommended and if it is needed (and only as a last resort unles you have pinched nerves), you may need to take several weeks off.

    Please stay in touch with us and keep us updated on what is happening with you.

    tpennell replied to maltlover's response:
    Surprisingly most of my the pain is gone! I still get a bit of pain but right now it is very manageable I did still have my blood work done today but I suppose this is a good sign that the pain is subsiding.

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