Chronic Back Pain for Years

Posted by jlfisher56 @jlfisher56, May 2, 2017

6 back surgeries (extensive cervical and lumbar fusions) with neurological complications. Left with chronic pain. Accident happened in Nursing career 1992 and worked with first fusions until 1999 (failed fusions). At my age, and as a former nurse educator, I never wanted to had to rely on medication/s for the severe pain. Having thoroughly exhausted exploring sites using non-pharmaceutical methods, using psychological methods, biofeedback, trying to accept my limitations, i.e., I still believe somewhere…out there…is hope. The strong medicine has caused gastroparesis, further complicating my health problems. They are too numerous to write and I will not focus on them. I am looking for “help” and guidance. If I can be of assistance to anyone throughout their trials, (perhaps similar to some of what I have gone through), I will.

@grandmar

Hi All!

It's been some time since I posted.
Thank goodness, since my 2 spinal surgeries, I haven't had to.
But I am getting a little worried.
The last 2 mornings I have been woken up by bad headaches.
These headaches are all too familiar.
That was how things started when I need surgery on my cervical spine.
The surgery was a success and the headaches have been gone since March 2018….that is until a couple of days ago.

Looks like here we go again……and I just booked a 3 week vacation that cannot be refunded.
Guess I'll mention it to the doc but just live with it until we after the summer.

And so it goes………………….
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

BTW…When I told my pain doc that I was having the surgery, he said HE felt that instead of C5/6, I needed the surgery further up. Who knows???

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@grandmar Ronnie, I hope you can get relief from the headaches. I have a very hard time functioning “normally “ when I have a headache that bad. Do you feel it in a certain place?

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@grandmar

Hi All!

It's been some time since I posted.
Thank goodness, since my 2 spinal surgeries, I haven't had to.
But I am getting a little worried.
The last 2 mornings I have been woken up by bad headaches.
These headaches are all too familiar.
That was how things started when I need surgery on my cervical spine.
The surgery was a success and the headaches have been gone since March 2018….that is until a couple of days ago.

Looks like here we go again……and I just booked a 3 week vacation that cannot be refunded.
Guess I'll mention it to the doc but just live with it until we after the summer.

And so it goes………………….
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

BTW…When I told my pain doc that I was having the surgery, he said HE felt that instead of C5/6, I needed the surgery further up. Who knows???

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@grandmar Ronnie, have you tried physical therapy? I have had cervicogenic headaches too before my cervical spine surgery and occasionly I can still get similar headaches. What causes them for me is a muscle spasm that moves the cervical vertebrae around and it rotates or tilts one or more levels that in turn affects the muscles attached that connect to the back of the head. My PT does myofascial release which helps a lot, and you can physically feel if there is misalignment. My PT can gently nudge them back in place and the headache stops. She also used to use a Dolphin neurostimulator on the nerve roots which helps pain by temporarily blocking the neurotransmitters that send the signals. I've become aware of catching this early and can stretch and prevent it. My thoughts are that by maintaining proper alignment, there will be less pressure on the other discs. A PT can give you a home program of things to do that can help and buy you time if you are headed toward more spine surgery. I had a fusion at C5/C6 a couple years ago, and I have thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) which makes one side of my neck and shoulders tighter helping to create the issues of rotating vertebrae. I'm in physical therapy for that and making progress.

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@jenniferhunter

@grandmar Ronnie, have you tried physical therapy? I have had cervicogenic headaches too before my cervical spine surgery and occasionly I can still get similar headaches. What causes them for me is a muscle spasm that moves the cervical vertebrae around and it rotates or tilts one or more levels that in turn affects the muscles attached that connect to the back of the head. My PT does myofascial release which helps a lot, and you can physically feel if there is misalignment. My PT can gently nudge them back in place and the headache stops. She also used to use a Dolphin neurostimulator on the nerve roots which helps pain by temporarily blocking the neurotransmitters that send the signals. I've become aware of catching this early and can stretch and prevent it. My thoughts are that by maintaining proper alignment, there will be less pressure on the other discs. A PT can give you a home program of things to do that can help and buy you time if you are headed toward more spine surgery. I had a fusion at C5/C6 a couple years ago, and I have thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) which makes one side of my neck and shoulders tighter helping to create the issues of rotating vertebrae. I'm in physical therapy for that and making progress.

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@jenniferhunter
Jennifer,
Thank you for sharing your information.
I went through PT after my surgery.
I continue to do the exercises as well as work in the pool.
I did not have a fusion on C5/6, I had a total replacement, that is why I think something is going on somewhere else, or like you said, it could just be muscle tightening.
I go for theraputic massage and he always tells me about the knots he feels.
I don't let him do too much for fear he'll hit the new disks and move them in some way…..I don't know if that is even possible.
I had a massage Friday, so it could be possible the headaches are from that.
I'll have to keep a closer eye on that and see if there is a correlation between the two.

Thanks again for your suggestions!!!!!!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@sandytoes14

@grandmar Ronnie, I hope you can get relief from the headaches. I have a very hard time functioning “normally “ when I have a headache that bad. Do you feel it in a certain place?

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@sandytoes14
Hi Jen!
Thank you for your kind words.
Actually, within minutes after I get up and out of bed, my headache is gone!
I was just having a conversation with someone else and it got me thinking…..
I had a theraputic massage Friday.
Two massages ago, he worked so hard between my shoulder blades, that I had terrible pain a couple of days after.
I am wondering if that is why I got the headache.
I'm going to keep better tabs on the headaches and when they happen.

Have a great day!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@lioness

@grandmar Of all times ,right .I hope you can go on vacation ,but I wouldn't want to be miserable. Maybe Dr can give you something so you can go 😉 I hope so 😁😊👍

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@lioness
I already paid the airfare and booked the rooms….no refunds.
I've had a tough 1-1/2 yr. and a vaca is in order!
Actually, once I get up and out of bed, I am fine within 15 minutes or so.
I'll be sure to pack my pain meds, just in case.
So, he can do all the tests he wants, but I will not do a thing, if necessary until we get back.
He already gave me approval and I won't let him take it back. LOL
Thanks for the concern!
Ronnie

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@grandmar

@lioness
I already paid the airfare and booked the rooms….no refunds.
I've had a tough 1-1/2 yr. and a vaca is in order!
Actually, once I get up and out of bed, I am fine within 15 minutes or so.
I'll be sure to pack my pain meds, just in case.
So, he can do all the tests he wants, but I will not do a thing, if necessary until we get back.
He already gave me approval and I won't let him take it back. LOL
Thanks for the concern!
Ronnie

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@grandmar Good glad your going yes vacation is in order I read about your massage I can't take a hard hand so I always tell them not to press so hard then I can enjoy the massage maybe that would help so you don't get a headache

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@grandmar

@lioness
I already paid the airfare and booked the rooms….no refunds.
I've had a tough 1-1/2 yr. and a vaca is in order!
Actually, once I get up and out of bed, I am fine within 15 minutes or so.
I'll be sure to pack my pain meds, just in case.
So, he can do all the tests he wants, but I will not do a thing, if necessary until we get back.
He already gave me approval and I won't let him take it back. LOL
Thanks for the concern!
Ronnie

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In the future by trip insurance. We just canceled $1,000 worth of tickets and got a full refund because I bought trip insurance for $70. Well worth it when you have illness in the family and you know that a trip could be interrupted 0p

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@grandmar

@lioness
I already paid the airfare and booked the rooms….no refunds.
I've had a tough 1-1/2 yr. and a vaca is in order!
Actually, once I get up and out of bed, I am fine within 15 minutes or so.
I'll be sure to pack my pain meds, just in case.
So, he can do all the tests he wants, but I will not do a thing, if necessary until we get back.
He already gave me approval and I won't let him take it back. LOL
Thanks for the concern!
Ronnie

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@grandmar Have a fabulous vacation, when are you going? I could really use one too but since we will be going to Denver in August for our son's wedding I am not sure our travel budget will allow something else before that. Maybe we will just do a weekend in NYC to visit our daughter. Not quite the relaxing, warm vacation I would like but at least it will be a change in scenery, plus she loves it when we visit her.
If I had my preferences, I would go to Hawaii. I love the Caribbean too but I am a bit nervous about going there due to the medical care not being on a par with what we have here.
JK

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@contentandwell

@grandmar Have a fabulous vacation, when are you going? I could really use one too but since we will be going to Denver in August for our son's wedding I am not sure our travel budget will allow something else before that. Maybe we will just do a weekend in NYC to visit our daughter. Not quite the relaxing, warm vacation I would like but at least it will be a change in scenery, plus she loves it when we visit her.
If I had my preferences, I would go to Hawaii. I love the Caribbean too but I am a bit nervous about going there due to the medical care not being on a par with what we have here.
JK

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Hi!
We won't be leaving for vacation until the middle of August.
Before we go, we usually like to take our oldest, who lives near us, away for a few days before school starts.
This year, I am hoping to take her to Maryland to visit her cousins, our other 2 grands.

Well inadvertently, you guessed our vaca. We will be going to Hawaii! Oahu for 5 nights and Maui for 12 nights.
Can't wait!

Any place away from home and the daily routines and reminders are a nice vace!

Ronnie

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@lioness

@grandmar Good glad your going yes vacation is in order I read about your massage I can't take a hard hand so I always tell them not to press so hard then I can enjoy the massage maybe that would help so you don't get a headache

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This guy I am using is new to me. We are getting to know each other and what works. We'll get there!
ronnie

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@grandmar

Hi!
We won't be leaving for vacation until the middle of August.
Before we go, we usually like to take our oldest, who lives near us, away for a few days before school starts.
This year, I am hoping to take her to Maryland to visit her cousins, our other 2 grands.

Well inadvertently, you guessed our vaca. We will be going to Hawaii! Oahu for 5 nights and Maui for 12 nights.
Can't wait!

Any place away from home and the daily routines and reminders are a nice vace!

Ronnie

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@grandmar We were in Oahu and Kauai on our Hawaiian vacation in 2017. Loved both places. We stayed in great VRBOs, which worked out very well – both were right on the water. I am envious that you are going there. My husband was not really interested in going to Hawaii but my son got us to go — I wanted to. After being there my husband would like to go back for a month every winter!
JK

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@grandmar

Hi!
We won't be leaving for vacation until the middle of August.
Before we go, we usually like to take our oldest, who lives near us, away for a few days before school starts.
This year, I am hoping to take her to Maryland to visit her cousins, our other 2 grands.

Well inadvertently, you guessed our vaca. We will be going to Hawaii! Oahu for 5 nights and Maui for 12 nights.
Can't wait!

Any place away from home and the daily routines and reminders are a nice vace!

Ronnie

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@grandmar Ronnie, My husband and I were saying today that we need to return to Hawaii next year. We lived there for nearly 5 years. I know you love it there as much as we do.
A thought on your headache…maybe it's from pollen? I know we still have tree pollen here in FL and I think you are not too far from me. I'm near Tampa.

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@sandytoes14

@grandmar Ronnie, My husband and I were saying today that we need to return to Hawaii next year. We lived there for nearly 5 years. I know you love it there as much as we do.
A thought on your headache…maybe it's from pollen? I know we still have tree pollen here in FL and I think you are not too far from me. I'm near Tampa.

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Good Morning!

When I was still working (and younger), we went to Hawaii every year for 10 days to a week. These trips made work more tolerable! I truly came home more relaxed and in a much better state of mind!!!!
It is my dream to take my entire family there.
All the kids have been, but I want my grands to experience it, too.
I don't know if they will understand how I feel about Hawaii, but I hope they love it.
It is my hope to be able to take the entire family next year.
I have a time share that I switch over to Hawaii when we go there.
I already saved enough time (points) for rooms for the family for 10 days (going all that way for a week is a lot).
Just hoping something good happens with air fares.
We shall see!!!!!
Where in Hawaii did you live?
Why did you leave (if not too personal)?
I ALWAYS look at real estate in Hawaii.
Maui has gotten toooooooooooo expensive.
We should have bought a condo years ago when we had the opportunity.
We looked at a new built in Lahaina that was VERY reasonable, even for the time, but we chickened out.
It seems that real estate in Waikiki/Honolulu has not risen as much.
But that is a pipe dream.
I'd NEVER see my kids and grands unless I sent them FIRST CLASS air tickets (LOL).
Oh well!

Yes, we are not far from Tampa.
We are in the Lakeland/Bartow area.
We are in Tampa all the time for a variety of reasons including my favorite……….shopping and my not so favorite……..docs!!

Yes, we do still have lots and lots of pollen.
My lanai is full of it.
You dust and BAM, it's all over everything, again.
Although your thought is a good one, I don't think it is the pollen since the headaches are only in the early, early morning (or late, late night) and I NEVER open a window in my house and we NEVER leave a door open.
Thanks anyway for the thought!

Mahalo and Aloha!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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New to this group. I've had back pain since I was 33. I'm now in my late sixties. Have had two lumbar fusions. As of three years ago, I have a Medtronic Stimpulation Implant at PRC, pain management in Ormond Beach, FL, which relieved some pain. Got me off the couch, anyway. Now experiencing new type of pain in bilateral hips and the backs of both of my thighs. Yes, I've had the stimulator adjusted two times with no results. Two weeks ago, I had six facet joint injections in my lumbar spine. Experienced a total of two days total relief. On the third day, the pain returned with a vengeance. Now, I'm scheduled for a second set of facet injections. The next step is nerve ablation, which I understand, may last anywhere from six months to one year. I haven't decided on the ablation. So frustrated.

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@ruby2019

New to this group. I've had back pain since I was 33. I'm now in my late sixties. Have had two lumbar fusions. As of three years ago, I have a Medtronic Stimpulation Implant at PRC, pain management in Ormond Beach, FL, which relieved some pain. Got me off the couch, anyway. Now experiencing new type of pain in bilateral hips and the backs of both of my thighs. Yes, I've had the stimulator adjusted two times with no results. Two weeks ago, I had six facet joint injections in my lumbar spine. Experienced a total of two days total relief. On the third day, the pain returned with a vengeance. Now, I'm scheduled for a second set of facet injections. The next step is nerve ablation, which I understand, may last anywhere from six months to one year. I haven't decided on the ablation. So frustrated.

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Hello @ruby2019. You may noticed that I moved your discussion and combined it with another discussion titled, "Chronic Back Pain for Years." I did this so you could meet all of the members on Connect already discussion chronic back pain. If you are replying by email, you can click on VIEW & REPLY to be brought to the new location of your post and so that you can read through some of the other posts from members.

Here are a few other discussions you may find interesting as well:

Spine Health > Facet Joint Injections – Anyone had success? > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/facet-joint-injections-anyone-had-success/
Spine Health > Chronic Pain and Spinal Fusion > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chronic-pain-and-spinal-fusion/
Spine Health > Spine Lumbar fusion surgery > https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/spine-lumbar-fusion-surgery/

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