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    An_244964 posted:
    I'm new on the site and have a question. I have a herniated disc and degenerative disc disease in L5S1. I have chronic pain and have heard lots of positive suggestions about trying accupuncture. None of my doctors have ever recommended it, but people I know have suggested it to me that have either had it or have heard good things about it. Has anyone tried it and had chronic pain significantly reduced?
    bj1208 responded:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    I have not had this done, however I did have herniated disc and DDD in L5-S1 - I had fusion surgery in 2008 where the disc was removed and hardware was put in place.

    I would suggest that you discuss this with your surgeon as there are a lot of them that are changing their ways of thinking with different treatment options. One thing to keep in mind with the DDD as this will not go away, but will worsen over time.

    I would also suggest that you revisit with those that you have heard from that have tried it where it did relieve their back pains and find out what exactly was wrong with them. In my research of several sites on acupuncture I did not see anything relating to disc problems associated with the back pains - I'm not saying it wouldn't work but if the disc is causing the back pains then I'm not so sure this would benefit anyone.

    But as I said, it would be wise to discuss with your surgeon and anyone who may have had it done to see exactly what their diagnosis was and how it helped.

    Please keep us posted and let us know if you do this and how it turns out - take care - Joy
    agc35 replied to bj1208's response:
    Thanks for your wise response! Come to think of it, most of the people that suggested it do not even have back problems. People say "Hey have you ever tried acupuncture-it has been around for hundreds of years so it has to work." Actually, only one person I know swears by it but,as you said, I need to find out their diagnosis. A "back problem" doesn't necessarily mean a herniated disc and DDD.
    I am going to ask my Pain Management doctor about it. I'm willing to try just about anything for atleast a little relief.
    I read your story and pray you are able to get the pain pump-keep us posted on that as well:)
    dianer01 responded:

    Asking your PM doc might be a good idea. If it is not contra indicated, they might say give it a try. I worked with a PM doc who also did acupuncture and biofeedback. I never had it done but you may find some relief with the biggest risk being to your wallet.

    Good luck, let us know what the PM doc says.
    agc35 replied to trs1960's response:
    Hi Tim
    Thanks for your funny story! It sounds like it was some appointment-to say the least!
    Your so right about keeping an open mind. I figure if you keep looking and looking, eventually (and hopefully) you have to find something that helps!
    agc35 replied to dianer01's response:
    Thanks for your response-I'm going to ask my doctor at my upcoming appointment about the acupuncture. I had the biofeedback and although it didn't really reduce my pain, it did give me awareness that there is a mind-body connection related to pain to some extent. I found the whole thing pretty fascinating.

    I read your story and wanted to ask you if you felt loosing weight for you significantly reduced your pain?

    georgia888 replied to trs1960's response:
    Hi Tim,
    Thanks for the good laugh - sometimes that is the only effective medicine.

    When I was first diagnosed with back issues & fibromyalgia, I visited a physiatrist. When I asked her thoughts on acupuncture she said if it worked, then they'd be using the technique in her office. I was surprised as I've heard others having good results from this alternative treatment.

    We're all different & respond differently to various treatments. When the pain is bad enough, we'll try just about anything if it's affordable.

    dianer01 replied to agc35's response:
    Hi AGC,

    I don't know that losing the weight had a great deal of influence on my pain. I do know that losing weight made it easier to exercise and do things like get in and out of bed and reach my feet to put on shoes. It also helped me better control my blood sugar which helped me heal faster after the second surgery. For the most part my pain levels have been low and manageable for the last 4 years.

    I have since had arthroscopic surgery on both knees and my physical therapist was telling me of one surgeon who insists his patients, who are not in an emergency situation, lose 10 lbs or more before he will work on them. The moral to that story is some people do find some relief even with modest weight loss.

    I have an acquaintance who is probably 100 lbs overweight and was told by the surgeon to get started on the weight loss because he could almost guarantee failure if he had back surgery with the excess weight.

    If you need to work on it, there is no time like the present, not just for your back but your whole well being.
    agc35 replied to dianer01's response:
    Your so right-there is no time like the present. Thank you for responding and be well.
    trs1960 replied to agc35's response:
    Two more things.

    1. It's not any one thing that cures you it's managing everything.

    2. Weight is your enemy. I can tell when I gain 10lbs by the increased pain my lumbar.

    agc35 replied to trs1960's response:
    Hi Tim,
    Yeah, I've been thinking alot about how any extra weight may be affecting my pain level. Not that excess weight could cause the problem or losing weight could fix the problem but maybe losing weight may reduce pain. I think of it like this:I would never lift and walk around with a 15 or 20 pound bag of potatoes or anything, my back would be so much worse and definately go out just for that. So I can't help imaging if I were able to walk around with 15 or 20 pounds less than I've been carrying. . .
    So thanks, worth a shot to try!

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