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backpain induced anxiety
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An_255590 posted:
this kind of anxiety can actually increase your pain way past your ability to deal. For me its the fear of a certain pain, and i work myself into a inconsoleable mess.I had fusions at L4-5 L5-S1. MY dad brother sister and me all had fusions. everyone but me had it in the higher lumbar area and only 1 fusion done successfully.
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cweinbl responded:
1. Therapy. Nothing will help as much as a good therapist. In this case, I recommend a psychiatrist because they know much more about pharmacology and can write an Rx, if needed.


2. Mind-Body pain management techniques. Biofeedback, systematic relaxation, hypnosis, meditation, Yoga. I can reduce my pain by as much as 20% with biofeedback alone. You can learn to stop your anxiety before it becomes a problem. These services are often found in comprehensive pain management programs.


3. Medications. A combination of long and short-acting opioids, plus a mild sedative could help a great deal. Over time, the side effects dissipate and the patient only feels less pain and less anxiety. This should be an important part of your treatment regime.


I know how you feel. My dad and several members of his maternal extended family had DDD early in life. He had two disc herniations and two surgeries (laminectomy, followed by another laminectomy lumbar fusion).


My DDD began days after my 17th birthday. I have had three disc herniations and four failed spine surgeries, including multilevel (L3-4 to S1) fusion. I now have another disc herniation around c5 or c6. It turns out that we were born with a condition called central canal stenosis. My dad, a neurologist & psychiatrist, was able to work until his heart gave out in his 70s.


But I was forced into retirement by severe chronic pain at age 51, almost ten years ago. Today, I can tolerate five minutes of standing and 15 minutes of sitting. Otherwise, I must be horizontal. Even then, I'm in constant pain.


The success rate for all forms of spine surgery is a little over 60%. It's obviously lower than that for fusion and lower yet for multilevel fusion. Compared to all types of surgery, this success rate is deplorable. I wish that I had never had surgery.


What's missing from your post is the pain management options you have attempted. A comprehensive pain management program will offer dozens of non-invasive and minimally-invasive treatments. Some of these options could work for you. The better your pain is controlled with medications and with other forms of pain management (especially mind-body techniques), the less you will fear pain and the lower the chance of having an anxiety attack over it.


Here is the latest, greatest most comprehensive and well-appreciated research for all forms of contemporary spinal interventions: http://www.painphysicianjournal.com/2009/july/2009;12;699-802.pdf . This report is today's Holy Grail for spine conditions and the milieu of treatments and therapies that can be brought to bear for pain management.


Good luck.


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