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20 years of back pain needs to end, stenosis, sclerosis, arthritis, herniation, scar tissue
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MarkFive posted:
This is my first post. All comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I am 36 years old and have recently had an "episode" of back pain that has utterly ended the life I had.

I have suffered with periodic back pain ranging from minor to severe for 20 years. My initial back pain began after a serious auto accident and has slowly but steadily gotten worse despite my active nature and general good health and core strength. Five months ago I injured myself resulting in my being bed-ridden and urinating in a jar for 3 weeks (the toilet 5 feet away was unreachable). In the past when I suffered an episode I was able to work my way through the pain with a combination of stretching, exercise and OTC pain meds. This last episode was exponentially worse. I recently had an MRI and have been diagnosed with severe stenosis, severe arthritis (radiologist said it looked like an 80 year old not a 36 year old), sclerosis (this does not run in my family and was not present at the time of my initial accident), a herniated disc resulting in ciatica, disc degeneration and more than my fair share of scar tissue.

I recently began treatment at a spinal pain specialists office. Per my request we've began a conservative course of treatment that does not involve pain meds. My initial treatment began with steroidal injections. Since then I've suffered from severe night sweats, insomnia, lethargy, GI problems, headaches and a general feeling of "icky ness" that I can't shake. I was told these were possible side effects and it seems I hit the side effect jack pot . It's been a month since the injection and the side effects aren't letting go, however the little pain relief I did receive are all but gone.

My designed course of treatment calls for surgery as a last resort ( it's highly unlikely I would choose to undergo major surgery unless paralysis was in the cards). Injections first followed by non evasive electro stimulation, if that doesn't work then Radiofrequency discal nucleoplasty to follow.

Thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions?

I'm very reluctant to take pain meds. I lost a sibling to opioid dependence/abuse. I have never had any problems with addiction myself. I've spent time reading many of the threads here and keep running into the opinion that a lifetime on meds is better than a lifetime in pain. I am wholly unconvinced that this is a prudent course of action given my siblings death.

Best regards,

MarkFive
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davedsel responded:
Hello and welcome.

Just so you know, this is a support group comprised of lay-people who have far more experience with back pain than we would ever want. There are no health experts that reply to posts anymore. As per the terms of service you agreed to when registering for an account in the WebMD communities, we can not diagnose or provide any type of back pain.

We can share our experiences and what has worked for us. IMHO, you are on the right path to managing your back pain. You can read through the Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community that lists the recommended steps for diagnosing back pain. Within that thread are links to websites that have good information about spinal problems and treatments.

Is your current spinal pain specialist a physiatrist? This is a newer "breed" of pain management specialist that goes deeper into many methods of treating chronic pain. My wife sees one and he is excellent.

I am allergic to all prescription pain medications - narcotics and opiates. The only thing I can take is enteric coated aspirin and a muscle relaxer. As my signature says, click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story. I have been managing moderate to severe chronic back pain for over 35 years - since I was in my late teens.

Sometimes we have to come to a place where we accept our condition and limitations. This is not easy but possible. There are days where I still get depressed and frustrated because I can not do things like people do who are not disabled. I had to stop working 5 years ago at age 51. Fortunately, I applied and was approved for Social Security Disability through a good attorney in only 2 months. My favorite hobby has always been gardening. I can do some things, but they take a lot longer to do than they used to. My wife is also disabled due to a work-related back injury 2 years ago. We have to rely on our sons and friends to help us get projects done around the house. A major accomplishment for me is when I can load the dishwasher and clean the kitchen. Then I am in extreme pain and done for the rest of the day. That is exactly what I did today and how I am feeling, plus it is raining now which only increases the pain levels. So, you can see that I fully understand and empathize with your situation.

Keep a positive attitude. Keep doing your research. Keep moving as much as possible.

Please post again and become part of this great support group. Activity is sometimes slow but there are great people who also understand what you are going through.

I pray you find ways to find relieve and accept your conditions.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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trs1960 responded:
I don't know how to answer, but first it seems you're on the right path of conservative , but realistic treatments. I'm assuming you're working with medical professionals on your options.

As for opiads, we're all individuals and opiads are not an answer, but they do allow some of us to manage our pain. If many of us had it to do over again we may have chosen different paths.

Best of luck

Tim
 
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bj1208 replied to bbtalk's response:
Before trying anything that "seems" to cure or help reduce back pains that is offered on the internet etc., it is wise to check with your pain doc and/or spine specialist to see what they say - there are some back problems that if these types of items are used they could and may cause more severe back problems~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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bj1208 replied to bbtalk's response:
BBTALK - you are advertising an item that you have not received approval from WEBMD and therefore your posts will be reported as so
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~


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