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.

@commongood

I had a lumbar fusion many years ago. Recovery was uneventful and I was able to resume all activities with no pain. But many years later I started having low back pain, esp. after lying prone for several hours. Had MRIs. Doctor at HSS said that original fusion was still good, but it needed to be expanded and reinforced with a device placed around the lumbar spine to relieve stress above and below area of prior fusion. I’m very reluctant to have another major surgery, but after sleeping several hours the pain is acute. I’d appreciate hearing from anyone who may have had same problem.

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@painless

I take Norco 10-325 and it helps some but mostly if I stay off my feet. I can take up to 6 per day but seldom do so. I also take Neurontin which works better for me for nerve pain than Lyrica did. I recently began using Cannibinoids and while I am not sure how helpful they are for the pain, they take away a bit of the anxiety that I have from the pain and some of that “woe is me” feeling. I know they work because I stopped taking them for a while and realized they were helping a lot with my attitude about my pain. So I began taking them again. It takes a while to get built up in your system but once it does it is helpful. I also use the Hemp Oil Tincture under the tongue. This is quite helpful as it works quicker than the capsules. Again, mostly helpful for attitude about your pain which for me is a big thing. I use the Iron Horse Organics version of it because I can get it reliably locally or online through Fitness Doctors and it is all legal (I am in Texas and I am not holding my breath for legal marijuana here anytime soon). My pain doctor is aware of it and he is very open to it. I try my best to minimize stress which is not always easy but I find that I hurt more when I am in a stressful situation. My pain doctor who I have been going to for over 10 years has never offered me anything stronger than Norco and for that I am glad. I also purchased a Quell stimulator which goes around your leg and it works very well for me because a lot of my pain is sciatic down the leg. It is covered by insurance so I gave it a shot. I did a trial with spinal cord stimulators when they first came out years ago and did not like it. But I know they have come a long way since and my pain doctor thinks I should try again with the Burst Stimulator. I am considering it particularly in light of the good comments about the Burst on this chat.. I find pain extremely isolating because it is difficult to plan things since I don’t know how I am going to feel on any given day/night. I live alone and spend a lot of time with my dog. I can go many days without talking to anyone and sometimes that is great. Sometimes not so much. I am open to any suggestions that anyone else has but hope that this can provide some help to you or others who are suffering.

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Injections, therapy etc have not helped me. Has anyone used accupuncture?

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@jenapower

Thanks Jim, I’ve hear about them and wondered if it helped. Mine is mostly cervical disc degeneration, some nerve damage, and some lumbar problems. I didn’t know if it worked just for one specific nerve or an area. Thanks, Jennifer

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@jenapower

Jen, you would talk with a neurologist to find out if the stimulator would help you.

Jim

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Hi, My name is Eve. I too have had back problems for years. I have had two surgeries, Kypoplastie, pain stimulator and injections. None worked for me. I don’t want to rely on pain medications either. I have degeneration and 5 compression fractures. If I don’t do anything, I don’t hurt to much, but if I try to do anything like walking much or using my arms, then I really hurt. I am now trying water exercise. Hope it will help. I really feel for anyone who has back problems. One time when I was waking up from surgery, my girls told me I kept telling them to ‘Take care of your back’ over and over again! I hope that someday they will come up with something to help us! Thanks for letting me vent.

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I wish I could be of some helop to you. Back pain is awful. I suffer 24/7 and had spinal fusions and both hips replaced. My back has too many problems. Susrgery would never help. Injections and therapy have not helped. I stay away from all heavy drugs. Ibuprofen (2 three times a day). Sometimes it makes it bearable. I will not try a stimulator, so I am limited as to what to do.

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@bblinder

I wish I could be of some helop to you. Back pain is awful. I suffer 24/7 and had spinal fusions and both hips replaced. My back has too many problems. Susrgery would never help. Injections and therapy have not helped. I stay away from all heavy drugs. Ibuprofen (2 three times a day). Sometimes it makes it bearable. I will not try a stimulator, so I am limited as to what to do.

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@bblinder

I understand not wanting to be over medicated. I know that I have been at times, especially when I was just starting a new medication. I take a low dose of MScontin, which is morphine in a pill form. I was taking 90mg a day, but in June, I had a spinal cord stimulator implant, and I have had more than 80% pain relief. So, I’ve been able to reduce the morphine to just 30mg, which doesn’t mean I’m pain free, but I can handle it. I stopped taking the morphine awhile ago, and realized how much it was helping. I was happy to see that I could taper off it without any problems. I don’t want to be addicted to it. But. …I will continue taking it as long as it helps with the pain.

The drug epidemic has made us all scared, which is too bad, because the pain medications, when they’re prescribed and used responsibly, are of great benefit.

In her final weeks of life, my mother-in-law was afraid to take the morphine, because she was afraid of being addicted to it. We had to reassure her that needing it for pain relief wasn’t the same as addiction. It was intended to reduce her pain, not to give her a high.

Our bodies are wonderful things. When they become less than wonderful, as they often do at my age, they need a variety of supports. Eye drops, arthritis creams, skin cream, spot removers, protein supplements, and the list goes on. I never needed any pills until I turned 50. But after that – !!!

Pain control or management is a reality of life after a certain age, or for certain problems, and I don’t have a problem with taking what I need, to be able to keep going.

But that’s just me. We’re all different, aren’t we? Why not have a conversation with the pain specialist about how you feel. He might be able to recommend something that he and you are both comfortable with.

Jim

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@bblinder

I wish I could be of some helop to you. Back pain is awful. I suffer 24/7 and had spinal fusions and both hips replaced. My back has too many problems. Susrgery would never help. Injections and therapy have not helped. I stay away from all heavy drugs. Ibuprofen (2 three times a day). Sometimes it makes it bearable. I will not try a stimulator, so I am limited as to what to do.

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You sound like a very wise man, Jim. I agree that what works for one, might not work for another. I’m glad that the pain stimulator is working for you. I wish it had for me. I pray and with God’s help, I will get through this!

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@For Back pain readers I just read a good selection about spinal injections by Dr. Aranda (pain advocate) in the Pain News Network (PNN on Facebook) that I received Oct. 2. This maybe of interest for those considering spinal injections, I recommend reading the comments section where several comments are from those who have had these injections. Good Luck, 19lin.

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@bblinder

I wish I could be of some helop to you. Back pain is awful. I suffer 24/7 and had spinal fusions and both hips replaced. My back has too many problems. Susrgery would never help. Injections and therapy have not helped. I stay away from all heavy drugs. Ibuprofen (2 three times a day). Sometimes it makes it bearable. I will not try a stimulator, so I am limited as to what to do.

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Thank you, @hosta . I do pray for and rely upon God’s wisdom. “If any one lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…” Bottom line, it’s all in His hands.

Jim

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@hosta

Hi, My name is Eve. I too have had back problems for years. I have had two surgeries, Kypoplastie, pain stimulator and injections. None worked for me. I don’t want to rely on pain medications either. I have degeneration and 5 compression fractures. If I don’t do anything, I don’t hurt to much, but if I try to do anything like walking much or using my arms, then I really hurt. I am now trying water exercise. Hope it will help. I really feel for anyone who has back problems. One time when I was waking up from surgery, my girls told me I kept telling them to ‘Take care of your back’ over and over again! I hope that someday they will come up with something to help us! Thanks for letting me vent.

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@hosta I can sympathize with what you are going through, back problems are awful. I too had kyphoplasty for a broken vertebra. It did help, thankfully. I am a huge advocate of water excercise. It’s so good for you and without much impact. I think it has really helped my back (and knees) because I sort of march up and down the pool and doing that causes me to keep my back straight. I do that on my own and also water aerobic classes with a great group of mostly women, ranging in age from their 40’s to their 80’s! Give it a try.
JK

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@hosta

Hi, My name is Eve. I too have had back problems for years. I have had two surgeries, Kypoplastie, pain stimulator and injections. None worked for me. I don’t want to rely on pain medications either. I have degeneration and 5 compression fractures. If I don’t do anything, I don’t hurt to much, but if I try to do anything like walking much or using my arms, then I really hurt. I am now trying water exercise. Hope it will help. I really feel for anyone who has back problems. One time when I was waking up from surgery, my girls told me I kept telling them to ‘Take care of your back’ over and over again! I hope that someday they will come up with something to help us! Thanks for letting me vent.

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Thank your for you feed back. Yes I am in a water exercise class. My problem is that it is so hard to get there. I live about 15 mi;es from where the class is held. With so many different doctor appointments etc: I haven’t been able to get there on a regular basis. All the specialist that I see, say that all my problems come from the back. The first kyphoplasty did work (done next day) this time it was 6
months after I fell that the told me. So I went to the same doctor that did the first one. He said it was to late to do it. He showed me how much damage I had in the spine. Yesterday the neurologist said I had nerve damage which causes the pain in my legs and feet and shoulders. The pain management doctor might do the burning of the nerves (I don’t know the right term) I must get back to the water exercise class. I am 81 years old, but there is so much that I want to do. My faith in God will help me do it. I have good support from my family and my church family.

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Hello, New here. After reading every one of your stories I don’t feel so alone. I also realize many people seem far worse off than myself. I too have been worried about all the new regulations on pain medicine. It makes zero sense to take away drugs that often can and do change people lives for the better. I would not be able to get out of bed let alone keep working 50 hours a week without help. It drives me crazy that a few bad eggs ruin it for all of those who need them. I have a failed fusion currently. Found out about 18 months ago. My rods fractured in 3 places and a few screws have also detached. The pain I have been experiencing is excruciating and some days seems unbearable no matter the amount of pills I take. My next step is acquiring insurance and finding a neurosurgeon that isn’t affraid of touching me. Dealing with the stress and anxiety daily is also very difficult. I constantly worry that even if I Can find a Dr willing to help that I won’t be able to support my family while I recover. Life is so hard sometimes. I have incredible pain tolerance but I’m really getting tired of dealing with this every day of my life.

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