Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    biancalthompson posted:
    Hi my name is Bianca, I am 27 years old. I am new to this community.
    I have Degenerative Disk Disease in my Cervical and Lumbar spine. Wondering if there are any techniques any one has to help with pain control that doesn't involve surgery or narcotics.
    bj1208 responded:
    Hi Bianca - welcome to the support group

    There are many ways to help with pain control that does not involve pain meds or surgery.

    The best advise I can give you is to see a PHYSIATRIST Pain Management Specialist -

    They go deeper into pain management based on what the patients' needs are. they would be your best bet to start there. One procedure may involve steroid injections into the areas of pain and they may refer you to see either a chiropractor and/or physical therapist. this would go hand-n-hand with the injections as those would help reduce inflammation and therapy would help in showing proper exercises to help strengthen core muscles.

    There are some members that cannot take pain meds and surgery cannot be done so they do go this route.

    Hope this helps - please keep us posted how u are doing.
    ~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

    Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

    ~~ Joy ~~
    biancalthompson replied to bj1208's response:
    Right now I see a pain management doctor. I have been using Cymbalta an anti-depressant FDA approved for back pain and Robaxin a muscle relaxant. I have refused any narcotics for long-term pain control and can't take traditional anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery has been suggested as a last resort.
    trs1960 replied to biancalthompson's response:
    A good pain doc is essential, but you must take control and work as a team. Education is key and there are some good books out there to help you understand what's going on with your body and how to understand pain so you can better manage it.

    Dr Michael Lewendowski PH.D. has a great book called The Chronic Pain Care Workbook.

    Dr. Art Brownstien MD wrote The Art Healing Back Pain Naturally.

    And my all time favorite Dr Patrick Wall MD and Pain - The Science of Suffering.

    I've read many books on the subject and I think these are the best. Dr. Wall's Pain is my favorite, but Dr. Lewendowski's is a better tool To assist you with the psychological challenges ahead.

    Best of luck,

    brandnewme54 replied to biancalthompson's response:

    You seem to have the same situation that I do, however I did go on a Butrans Pain Patch, which is a narcotic, and I am now sorry that I have tried it. It has seemed to work a lot better than some other over the counter things I have tried, but I recently was trying to go off them, and I was NOT given the correct instructions to stop, so I started going through some awful withdrawals! This was all over the weekend, and I had no way of getting a hold of the doctor who didn't bother to explain the correct way of going off these patches, so instead I got the "doctor on call" who could only tell me he couldn't help me because I was not his patient, and the only thing he could suggest was to put the patch back on and see what happens!!!
    Well, I decided that putting the patch back on was the only thing I could do because no matter what I tried I could find NO relief from these withdrawals!! It worked and I have to say I do feel a lot better, but my next step is to try the spinal injections! I did have 2 spinal epidurals, which only one worked, so I am hoping this other procedure gives me some relief. The next step is probably surgery, which I have already seen a back surgeon, but it's a big decision to make, and sometimes it's no guarantee either!!!

    Good luck in your search for relief.....any advice you get, please share! I appreciate all help I can get in getting through this!!! I am quite older than you, so if surgery is your only choice being young is a lot easier than being older!
    brandnewme54 replied to brandnewme54's response:
    OH, I also forgot to mention that I am also taking the generic for Cymbalta, and it's helping!!!! I am taking it for the depression all this back pain is causing, and how it has affected my life, but I was happy to know it also helps for the pain!!!
    biancalthompson replied to brandnewme54's response:
    Glad you are doing better on Cymbalta. I have been on it for a couple of years. I have found that walking is beneficial for my pain as well as stretching out on my stomach for about an hour a day. My therapist told me it gently stretches' the tight muscles. I also lean on solid furniture or railing to "off load" my spine. These are all things my therapist had told me would offer some relief. I have flares because of inflammation from time to time but I am overall happy with my treatment.

    Helpful Tips

    Steps For Getting Back Pain Diagnosed And Treated
    Many people come to this WebMD Back Pain Community looking for help in getting a diagnosis of a cause and relief from their back pain. Most ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    226 of 343 found this helpful

    Helpful Resources

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center