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    new back pain
    officer0 posted:
    I am in law enforcement and got hurt on the job. I have really bad low back pain with sciatica down my left leg. It hurts to take full deep breaths and to sit for long periods of time. I have had an MRI and am waiting for results. Anybody have any tips for sleeping through the night or just getting through the day? Thanks!
    bj1208 responded:
    HI and welcome to the support group -

    A BIG Thanks for all you do and to all of your fellow officers.

    I hope that you have a worker's comp claim submitted so that you can get the proper diagnosis and treatment plans.

    A lot of us will use extra pillows while we are sleeping. when sleeping on your side put a pillow between your knees and under your knees when you sleep on your back. this will help keep your spine more straight when you sleep. NEVER sleep on your stomach as this will add to the pains.

    Please let us know if you have made a worker's comp claims and what they are doing for you.

    Again, thanks for keeping us safe and putting your life in harms way~~
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    officer0 replied to bj1208's response:
    Thanks for the tips! I got more sleep then I usually do. My MRI shows that I definately slipped my disk. I have submitted a worker's comp claim and they want to go through the steps of physical therapy, then an injection and finally surgery.
    aprilrose9 replied to officer0's response:
    I am brand new to this site. Noticed your info about your new injury/workers comp claim. I sure wish I was in your shoes and could start over again. I worked in an ICU and injured my back in 1988. I have not had a pain free day since. Some days so awful, I just tried to make it minute to minute. Of coure, I don't have much info, but I thought I would remind you of a few things. #1You should be able to go anywhere you choose to see a physician and to possibly have surgery. Do not opt for convenience. Cleveland Clinic was an hour from me, but I was in so much pain I had surgery closer to home. You have a "virgin" back and are in the best position to do things right, not mess up your back further, and have a future for yourself and those who care about you. #2 Consider all conservative measures of tx, if appropriate for your dx. #3 Surgery is not a quick fix, is not without risk. I can only tell you surgery made me much worse for several reasons. A big one was, I now have "a lot" of scar tissue. Scar tissue is inelastic and can trap small nerves within, thus causing constant pain. #4Consider a pain control clinic while you do your physical therapy. If you are medicated, under a Dr.'s and PT's care, perhaps you will be able to tollerate PT. Most spine surgeons are terrible at providing patients with appropriate pain meds. Do follow Dr.'s instructions. But, beware. I was told I would make it back to work and I could get back to my daily 5-6 mile runs. Neither ever happened. As I got older, it all became worse. The pain increased, I lost muscle strength, became bedridded, isolated and financially ruined. I hope I have not overstepped my bounds. I am only trying to help. Take care and good luck.
    aprilrose9 responded:
    I am the RN who worked in ICU and left you the earlier reply. The first person did such a good job , I didn't have a whole lot to add. A caution you about surgery; its not always the best solution. But, after my reply, I did have a thought which is closer to your question regarding comfort. If your pain continues, and you have the finances to purchase a new matress, you could try to see if that helps with your day and night pain. A wise physical therapist once told me, whatever my weak link was, it would add to my pain, i.e. loss of sleep only increases pain the next day. I found the memory foam style matress workes the best for me, due to the matress comes up to all parts of your back and provides the most support. Of course, the old idea of a hard chair or a hard matress, is so fifty years ago.
    trs1960 replied to aprilrose9's response:
    Aprilrose. You are a wealth of knowledge...sadly you point out that such knowledge comes with a price. As you correctly point out and I want to scream from the top of my lungs, OfficerO has a virgin back and needs proper medical treatment.

    It is my sincerest hope that he finds such treatment and that his injury is treatable without resorting to surgery. The success rate (pain mitigation) of a back surgery is around 50%. The success rate of pain control with a second surgery is less than 10%. Hence the importance of the "virgin back"

    OfficerO. Don't settle for good enough lets close out my case. Doing so sets you up for a few years of tolerable nagging back issues and then a trigger event that finds you back here as a resident back injury expert instead of an active LEO.

    I too thank you for all you have done and want to see you continue to do it. Think of this as a year long ( or more) investigation rather than a speeding ticket.

    If you can't sleep seek your doctor's help. Sleep deprivation interrupts the healing process, causes anxiety and stress which interrupts the healing process which makes it hard to sleep which... You see where I'm going.

    Aprilrose. Best of luck with your burden and struggles.

    aprilrose9 replied to trs1960's response:
    A Big Thank You to BJ1208 and TRS1960, for their kind words. Despite being very strong, we can all hit low periods, when the pain is prolonged and events beyond our control hit our lives. I am feeling a bit more optimistic. After hitting a low point a couple of days ago, I was fortunate to find this site. After decades of pain, with the last 6-7 bedridden, I was running out of steam. My most sincere thanks for your kindness.
    officer0 replied to aprilrose9's response:
    There is pain with physical therapy and my therapist said he was holding back a little bit during sessions. I am on quite a few different pain medications and wear the therma care heat wraps to work just to get to where I can sit at my desk for my light duty. We are still talking about the lumbar shots.

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