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leethecam
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Back pain


I suffer from occasional and intermittent back pain in my muscles, just above the hip but pain can radiate into my bum and legs.

It can be so bad that it will drop me to the ground with excruciating pain that is hard to describe - think muscles feeling like they're being ripped from my body...

Now obviously I'm seeing the doctor, but in 12 years I still await a decent diagnosis and an MRI awaits shortly. There's no spinal issue, just muscular and I can trace its origin to one fateful day in the gym after a particularly hard work day before.

Fortunately this pain only kicks in about once a year for a few days, but this time it's been more than a week. Usually it doesn't impact my work and is occurrence is quite a random thing.

The doc has me on pain killers, but they don't seem to ease the pain much and no alternative suggestions are coming from our medical professionals here in the UK.

Currently per day I'm on:
4000mg Paracetamol
2400mg Ibuprofen (often using the cream for local application)
300mg Tramadol
20ml Morphine liquid

It doesn't ease the pain too much, but it does make me sluggish and drowsy, (so a couple of Red Bull drinks to perk me up). If I need to work then I suck it up and strap myself together with a girdle, but you can imagine it's not much fun.

So just wondering if anyone here has found any solutions to back pain - ie pain killer meds / combinations that have worked for you?

Not trying to replace the doctor, but it would be useful if I can go armed with suggestions.



Aug 07, 2017 at 04:18 PM
tntcorp
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Back pain


have you asked your physician for stretching exercises? especially if nerve impingements or aggravation is caused by tight muscles. while it may not work in all cases, it does help to alleviate back pains and is an alternate or supplement to pain killers.

i personally knows of two people who opted-out of back surgery and were able to manage and reduce their pains through daily stretching exercises and simple routine walks.

while i am not a medical doctor or work in the medical profession, i would like to know if your doctor has ruled out sciatic nverve inflammation?





Aug 07, 2017 at 05:05 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Back pain


I suspect it is damage to torn muscles that flares up for no good reason, so I'm guessing stretching exercises wouldn't help - and when it's painful you can forget any sort of stretching... It's not a constant issue. Most of the time my life goes without interruption and I can work actively, go to the gym, lift heavy things, bend over...

I'll be asking about the sciatic inflammation. Hopefully the MRI in a few weeks will tell us more.

I'm looking for a more immediate stop-gap solution to just reduce the pain without putting me to sleep. At the moment, the pain relief isn't doing much and I'm sleepy far too much.



Aug 07, 2017 at 06:10 PM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Back pain


More than likely you have nerve impingement causing all the sciatica. Likely in the L4/5 and S1 spine.
I too suffered pain for a long time due to bulging disk and stenosis. My savior was MRI guided, live image ipepidural injection. Lasts a minimum of 6 months, although the last one has lasted over two year for me. This is from someone who could barely stand/walk and feel like I had a bear trap clamped on my ass while 120volts shot down my legs; and the only thing that kept me from shooting myself was that I got 100% relief when sitting in reclined position. Sometimes it takes a couple of tipri s to get the epidural right as there are different ways to aim it. They are in the USA typically administered by anesthesiologist. You can search YouTube to see the huge relief it provides. If not working 100% in a few days, go back and have them aim differently.

Good luck.



Aug 08, 2017 at 12:07 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Back pain


Bear trap and high voltage sounds about right...

I'm seein a specialist on the 17th. Here's hoping for more info.



Aug 08, 2017 at 12:05 PM
uscmatt99
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Back pain


This is most likely going to be due to degeneration of one or more lower lumbar discs, facet joints, or a combination of both. Sometimes this can happen if you have a developmental problem or old injury involving parts of your L5 vertebra. The MRI should provide a wealth of helpful information. If it does not explain your pain, then at least you know you probably don't have a problem that can be addressed with surgical intervention.


Aug 08, 2017 at 04:56 PM
Abbott Schindl
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Back pain


I've lived with a lousy back for a very long time. Like you, I could take lots of drugs and get little relief. I was introduced to exercise balls at my first physical therapy sessions. We were trying to take weight off my spine by building up the core muscles.

When I couldn't find a desk chair that comfortable, I switched to a 65 cm Gymnic exercise ball. I've been using it as my "desk chair" for about 25 years and my back doesn't bother me all that much any more. I'm now on my second ball (first one got too squishy). I think there's nothing as good for building "core muscles" as sitting on a ball for long periods most days of the week. Now my wife's caught on and has her own ball.

The balls can now be had pretty inexpensively. Inflate so you're at a good working height if you're using it at a desk; get the right size for your leg length. Reinflate as needed to maintain correct height. If you're using it as an exercise ball to build your core, inflate so your legs are at a right-angle when you sit on it, and do exercises that are easily found online (they're the same ones my P.T. gave me years ago).

It took my back a few weeks of using the ball to pretty much stop hurting, although I need to be careful how I twist. I can also recommend a playful mid-size dog that loves endlessly playing tug-of-war. That's good for the core, muscles and can get aerobic. Just need the right dog. Caution: don't try tug-of-war when you're sitting on the ball!



Aug 08, 2017 at 05:12 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Back pain


I've been suffering from back pin since 93 I've had two laminecomys plus injections, and the full pharmaceutical treatment from tyinol to oxygen. I'm currently on methodone and have a nuerostimulator implant which is like a tens but implanted at the nerve roots to block the pain. It worked better than anything in the beginning now it's isn working that well. I have other issues that prevent standing straight which isn't helping matters any. I do have issues that. Show up on the MRI there's no thing they can do for them they say.

The best I've felt was when I was in a pain program where I hit the gym and did exercises prescribed by physical therapist them hit hit the pool for more exercises by a therapist then ended the day by a classroom group theoropy which was education, relaxation and meditation. This was three times a week for 8-16 weeks but. I. Felt great afterwards but I got sick after the first time that put me in the bed for over a week then the second time I was good until I had a motorcycle wreck that put me in a bed for a couple of months and then the leg prevented activity and the pain of everything drove me to depression for several months I wish the program was still available thru the va but it isn't they changed theit thought about 2010 and transferred the pain program to the anesthesia department and all they want to do is injections.



Aug 09, 2017 at 04:33 AM
rw11
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Back pain


you want to find the best Physical Therapist near you - they, not MDs generally,* are the specialists in soft tissue injuries and rehab; should be a DPT (most are nowadays) and may have several others clusters of letters after their name (each is an additional certification)
(*how the orthopods let that happen I dunno)

a good tai chi course can also help - again a year or two for complete resolution -- by good tai chi I mean something very different from the stuff on TV

if the above do not work out in a few years, then you will want to find an MD who specializes in pain mgmt - you may need to get a pump implanted



Aug 09, 2017 at 06:11 AM
MedicineMan404
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Back pain


Sitting balls are fantastic, they force you to arch and maintain the arched back...this in itself can relieve a lot of pressure on nerves.
Stretching exercises are critical to back health as we age. Once you get the results back from your MRI your PT can tell which specific stretches you need for the damage you have-spine vs. SI-joint vs. muscle damage, etc.

I'd like to suggest another weapon you (well all of us) can use to help the back-spine-SI joint and that is water.
Yeah you need to be drinking lots of water but I'm suggestion enough water to float in.
For most that will be a pool but the idea is to become weightless.
I don't want you to swim per se, seriously, just float.

There is a reason NASA used to train underwater. Per Archimedes Principle we are essentially weightless underwater, and you'll still be very close just floating.
At least 4, 6 is better, sessions per week of 30-45 min's of floating.
What will happen is that all pressure on all joints is temporarily (as soon you are floating and relaxed) be removed. All metabolic byproducts that your body is trying to remove from the inflamed area can be more readily removed and easier access is made for all the little machines that repair damaged cells (think T-cells, lymphocytes) and will allow the macrophages to switch from war mode to healing mode. For that 30 min's of wet suspended animation the pressure is off the muscles used for proper alignment (and all the muscles used to maintain proper stance use a lot of energy) and the energy can be directed toward healing/regeneration.

It never hurts to add some raw materials to help the healing=Vit-E,C,Zinc, etc.

Anyway, just another 0.02 thrown your way (from one who has at one point in time been moribund with back issues but can now dance a Tango



Aug 09, 2017 at 09:55 AM
 

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leethecam
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Back pain


All useful stuff.

I'll update with news from my appointment on 17th. Turns out it is unlikely now to be an MRI, but I'll spend an hour with a specialist who will poke and prod me.



Aug 09, 2017 at 02:30 PM
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Back pain


Each individual is different but I would recommend reading the book by Robin Mckenzie "Treat your own back".

Painful spasms are usually from overworking a muscle or working it when it is cold and without any warmup. I used to get such pain as a result of scuba diving as I would come out of the water very chilled and then be hoisting myself up into the boat and then snatching a fresh tank out of the rack.

There are sports activities like tossing the javelin that would put stress on the back muscles and whatever the athletes do in training and recovery would be another place to investigate.

Ice packs provide immediate relied and reduce swelling. There are special machines that cost around $120 USD that have a small pump and a igloo type container that you fill with ice and water and it circulates a fluid through a special pad that is designed for a particular part of the body. This can be left in place for hours without possibility of skin damage from frostbite as with regular bags of ice and can be very effective. Look for an Ossur Cold Rush Device on Amazon UK.




Aug 10, 2017 at 12:21 AM
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Back pain


If the MRI shows Stenosis or Spondylosis, forget about PT, pain killers etc. In most cases only surgery can alleviate the stenosis impinging on the nerves that give you pain in the belt area, butt and down into the legs. Stenosis doesn't go away with drugs or pt or even chiropractic visits. My surgeon put it in layman terms for me. Stenosis/arthritis is like rust. There is no magic bullet, or exercise etc. that dissolves it. I had L-3, L-4 and L-5 cleaned up, disks removed and cages put in and then 3-5 were fused. I am a different person and can not believe the time I wasted on pt, chiro and even therapeutic massages, let alone the cost. This is me, everyone is different for sure.



Aug 16, 2017 at 03:47 AM
leethecam
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Back pain


Scans have been delayed. Not sure if it is an MRI or something else.

Suspicion is pointing towards a nerve being aggrieved, but I'll have to wait and see. The general pain of late has been muscle spasms, but the original issue was certainly through some sort of injury. The jury is out on why it never healed properly or why it is largely intermittent - but with such insane levels of pain, (like "kill-me-now..." sort of pain).

I also suspect that I'm unfortunate to be immune to the benefits of Tramadol or Morphine, (one of the 2% of people that enjoy this quirk of nature).

Mercifully the constant pain is easing and my pain meds are just a few paracetamol and a bit of cream. Be nice to get to the bottom of this after 12 years of intermittent issues.

I've got exercises in the meantime - lots of fun... but back (forgive the pun) on the mend.



Aug 18, 2017 at 11:54 PM
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Back pain


leethecam wrote:
Now obviously I'm seeing the doctor, but in 12 years I still await a decent diagnosis and an MRI awaits shortly. There's no spinal issue, just muscular and I can trace its origin to one fateful day in the gym after a particularly hard work day before.


I too have suffered with on and off back pain for quite some time due to a previous herniated disc. I luckily haven't had the sciatic pain kick in but MRI's and X-rays show that it may not be far from that.

My question is, if I may, if you've been seeking treatment for this for 12 years why have they not performed an MRI sooner? X-rays can only show so much and an MRI may pin point the problem.

I wish you luck and relief with your upcoming treatments.

Kevin



Aug 19, 2017 at 10:29 AM
MikeyV
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Back pain


techie2 wrote:
If the MRI shows Stenosis or Spondylosis, forget about PT, pain killers etc. In most cases only surgery can alleviate the stenosis impinging on the nerves that give you pain in the belt area, butt and down into the legs. Stenosis doesn't go away with drugs or pt or even chiropractic visits. My surgeon put it in layman terms for me. Stenosis/arthritis is like rust. There is no magic bullet, or exercise etc. that dissolves it. I had L-3, L-4 and L-5 cleaned up, disks removed and cages put in and then 3-5 were fused. I am a different person
...Show more

I agree with everything you said. After having the same operation and fusion 10 years ago, the stenosis progressed and I am now needing another operation. However, I have found that if I keep moving and do as much as I can physically, I can live with the constant pain. I have also found that by taking one or two prescribed 5/325 hydrocodone tablets the pain dulls enough for several hours that I can do the things I have to. These do not make me drowsy at all at the low dosage I take but one does have to watch the 325 mg of acetaminophen. OP sounds like he is/was taking quite a heavy dose of drugs. Morphine would certainly make one drowsy. Just my 2 cents. Best of luck.



Aug 19, 2017 at 01:19 PM
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Back pain


you certainly have the hard stuff!


Aug 22, 2017 at 01:14 AM
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Back pain


Sounds very similar to the issues I have had in the past. Terrible burning and tingling down my left leg, often leading to crippling numbness. Come to find out, I had a herniated L4 disc pinching my sciatic nerve. Flexeril (muscle relaxant) helped for a while, but it knocked my ass out and made it hard to function. Then I started getting epidural steroid shots to reduce the swelling of the herniation which worked wonders. Eventually I gave in and just got the surgery, and the pain stopped completely. Fast forward a couple years, and the same exact thing happened, but with the L3 disc. Don't waste time with PT if you don't have to (often its just for insurance reasons...) and just get the steroid injections or surgery. I've been pain/drug free ever since the last surgery, talk about a good feeling!


Aug 22, 2017 at 11:35 PM
rw11
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Back pain


you'll need a good PT after surgery anyway, so start looking around -- some are much better than others...

Good Luck!



Aug 23, 2017 at 12:07 AM
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Back pain


Do the best you can until the MRI. That will most likely give you and your doctor direction. Most likely nerve pain from some kind of impingement as that fits your scenario of not receiving any relief from pain meds. Depending on what it shows there may be more than one route to try to get some relief.

Finding a good physical therapist for after surgery is a good idea.

I'd be interested to hear the results of your scan. I do anesthesia and have done a lot of back surgery cases as well as more conservative pain management cases. If you get to that point and need clarification, have questions or just want to talk, feel free to PM me.

Good luck,
Richard




Aug 23, 2017 at 01:33 AM
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