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Mon, Nov 25 12:00pm · Herniated discs, history of injections, is it time for surgery? in Bones, Joints & Muscles

I had a nasty "severe" herniation of the L4/5 discs one year ago in October. Dr. had me see surgeon who said I "completely blew it out." What I still did not understand was their terminology and how bad it was. In retrospect would have done the surgery. My family Dr. said to give it some time as I was scared by the surgeon's comments about the angle/complication a surgery would be for me so I suffered 9 months. I also "broke out some cartilage that looked like shredded chicken lying in the vertebral space" between those lower back joints. Needless-to-say, I was in horrible pain from Oct until April and it was difficult to work at a computer all day…sitting was rough, tried a standing desk, but couldn't stand long either, concentration on all the meds was hard. At first they did an injection into the joint, didn't work. Had a set-back in January where it a few Prednisone helped w/the inflammation. They did a 2nd injection right into the spine this time in the disc area, was awful for 2 wks, then a little reprieve for 2 weeks, then it ended. The end of the year is busy @ my job, so I was working long days, came home and dropped…was miserable. By February/March, I asked for something, even small, to be removed from the desk but was denied.

Any way, I did some "physical therapy" if you can call lying on your stomach and pushing up to elbows, then hands and hip stretches therapy. I was disappointed with Baldwin PT. I spent a few trips lying on the back seat of our van on ice. You name it, I tried it. Massage therapy was a godsend! To get the muscles around the discs to relax really helped, but it takes time as the area is easily irritated. You can't snap muscles back into place, especially if it's been awhile. I did daily icing of my back and Epson salt baths before work, then ice during the day and evenings (only 20 minutes or it can backfire). Heat felt good but only made the swelling worse, so don't use heat unless you are over the main inflammation stage.

Once the inflammation was down, I still iced daily but started a gentle chiropractic treatment getting my upper back and neck to the mid-back lined up again. I was nervous, but my chiropractor was gentle and stretched the muscles. What helped was a doctor telling me to GET OFF from sitting, and to walk, but also let it heal by laying flat on my back with my knees straight up at a 90 degree angle, then bent over 3 pillows so a whole week. He said it would bring blood flow to the area and give the vertebrae a break, stretching out that area, and it did work. Doesn't fix the vertebrae problem, but allowed me a break to heal, which wasn't happening due to my job, then I'd go home exhausted hurting and sit on ice at night. Sleeping on my back with a pillow under the knee was key also so my spine wasn't angled putting more pressure on those vertebrae.

One chiro said maybe enzymes to help your body absorb the herniated part of the disc. I tried a few different kinds, but I did by a Co-enzyme called CO q10 with a HIGH dose of turmeric (is a natural anti-inflammatory) with Cucurmin and black pepper extract (supposed to make the cucurmin absorb 2000 times more). My husband thought I was crazy, and the doctor just smiled at me saying with how bad mine was, it wasn't just touching the nerve, it was out and down alongside the nerve the entire space! Well, it eventually worked… In July, it had reabsorbed to the surprise of my spine doctor and family doctor.

I had also tried acupuncture, walking as much as I was able, moving around at work/standing desk, a tilt table, massage, physical therapy stretches, and sitting in a hot tub running the jets up and down my muscles on the weekends at an athletic place. I was finally feeling better early August, but unfortunately because my "core" trunk muscles are weak, I turned funny and landed in the ER with a compressed the L3/4 above the original (like squashing it down but not too bad) and herniated the L5/S1 disc (when it protrudes way past the vertebrae and usually touches the nerve or goes beyond the disc and down alongside the vertebrae at an angle like mine). This time because I have the 3 vertebrae that are no longer separated like they should be, but the facet joints (bones) along side those vertebrae did not compress, those facets are touching. A 3rd set of 4 shots into the facet joints were miraculous and worked! Takes the edge off. The problem with cortisone is, while you can feel better and it numbs up the pain, those bones are still rubbing, so you can end up worse…they are not a final solution.

What I was told is I need to do physical therapy, starting slowly, but need to do it consistently to first strengthen my muscles deep inside my stomach and back, then I can start to strengthen the rest of my core, otherwise it will continue to happen. I am watching my posture, sleeping and sitting better as well. Hope this helps.

Bottom line once the inf

Mon, Nov 25 9:36am · I have Dupuytren's Contracture Disease . How can I cope with this? in Bones, Joints & Muscles

Would Physical therapy where the therapists actually DO the exercises with you help? Like Active PT in Rochester, by the Rochester Athletic Club.

Totally with you on Botox! Botulism…

Mon, Nov 25 9:33am · Walking without a hip joint in Bones, Joints & Muscles

If you do surgery again, see if they can do a bone graft. My husband just had a total shoulder because he was bone on bone, and also where the bones are in the shoulder, the bone was narrow on the curve, and unfortunately he has some really large "cysts" that filled up with synovial fluid, but REPLACED the bone, so had he fallen, he could have crushed it. The surgeon said he was fortunate to do the surgery now, had he waited, and the bone area got less than 50%, they would never be able to do the surgery. When they did the surgery and scraped out the bones, those cysts break open and fluid comes out. So when they cut off that round shoulder joint bone, they used his own bone material, packed in into the "holes" created by the cysts, and they said his own bone will now fill the empty bone areas, and fuse/grow! Maybe something like that would help you. He did his at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Mon, Nov 25 9:25am · Walking without a hip joint in Bones, Joints & Muscles

I would see if the Lim Lab in Rochester can help you out. They have all sorts of creative solutions for medical issues related to mobility. My husband has struggled to walk after 4 foot and ankle reconstruction/fusing surgeries. He literally was walking on the SIDE of his foot at one point. They have helped him immensely. He had his doctor write a prescription for CUSTOM orthotics, both feet.

Besides the "routine" orthotics, I know there is something pending that might help a lot of people who have foot sores that won't heal, unusual custom braces, etc.

Dec 31, 2018 · Throat pain right side only, sore right ear, nose sores 4 months in Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)

Gosh, I'm no doctor, but I'd seriously consider chiropractic care with someone reputable and who has long-term experience. When my neck was off it took a long time to get the muscles to relax and they're easily agitated, but just getting it aligned properly was an absolute relief. I also had muscle therapy since one side gets tight and the other shortened, but seems like alignment could at least give you more movement and massage along w/that would help the muscular complications. Even if it's a friend doing massage. I don't know what I'd do if I hadn't done those things. At the time, ortho really didn't suggest it, but it changed my whole life. I wish you the best.

Dec 24, 2018 · Soft tissue rheumatism syndrome? in Bones, Joints & Muscles

No, unfortunately, but the place I am now going to for my back gives a huge discount if you pay cash and they don't have to deal with insurance.

Dec 24, 2018 · Soft tissue rheumatism syndrome? in Bones, Joints & Muscles

Gosh, barring something else medically going on, it really does seem that if your spine is all off, it's causing other problems mechanically and muscularly.

I'd think a broken ankle might cause some long-term muscle/ligament healing, so stretching and then exercises to strengthen again would help from getting re-injured. I doubt that could cause one leg to be shorter. However that could be an issue from scoliosis, if your back is misaligned.
My daughter was in college and complaining of low back pain but hadn't done anything. Sitting too much doesn't help matters, but we took her to a chiropractor for an adjustment and he pointed out how much shorter one leg was. We ended up getting her custom orthotics for her shoes (she has 1 pair and just moves them). She's never had to go back to him, the orthotics worked like a gem, balancing her leg length solved the back/leg pain. They're sturdy also so she didn't need to get the orthotics adjusted (they'll do it free early on), and she's had them for several years.

If you can try go to the chiro a few times. It might make a world of difference to all of the pains you are having. I'd also suggest gentle yoga, which has been recommended to me. Just this weekend someone told me they met a man in their class who had almost been crippled for years, barely moving from different pains and after doing 24 months of yoga is like a younger person, agile and back to sports and enjoying life more. That you could do at home free.

Dec 24, 2018 · Soft tissue rheumatism syndrome? in Bones, Joints & Muscles

@momof2gems have you considered your spine may be off balance? If one side is off everything from your head to toes can be painful and throw off your entire body mechanically. I also feel like surgeons only see things how they can fix "surgically," they aren't thinking integrated medicine to help their patients. Fortunately that tide is slowly shifting.

My sister has suffered with fibromyalgia and I've wondered if I had it also, because I've had the carpal tunnel, tendonitis, golf and tennis elbows from overusing my hands/arms, car accident messed up my neck/upper back, beach accident started R hip bursitis, pain all over my body and now lower back herniation because my core was weak. I've had to take 6 Aleve a day but you can't do that long-term for anti-inflammation! 2 is Rx strength @ one time, but they last longer than Advil/Motrin. However though I've had these incidents, I do not want to assume I also have fibromyalgia, and honestly feel there's something else mechanically that throws things off. I believe having my spine aligned has helped me, along with massage to get the muscles back and balanced. I do NOT go routinely to a chiropractor like some (I've read stories), but I DO go when I feel out of whack, and will say that I've felt instant relief.

I will add that I waited too long to try a chiropractor after a neck injury, and wish I'd gone in earlier. Also, later because I type for a living I became desperate when I could hardly move/sleep due to hand pain and later elbow/forearm pain. Nothing but massage helped my arm/elbow so I tried acupuncture the 1st time after seeing a TV show. My husband laughed at me, but I couldn't grip/move the steering wheel driving into the Dr's parking lot my 3rd treatment, and I literally walked out of the office PAIN FREE that day. I honestly could hardly believe it myself! I decided that the Chinese have been using some techniques for thousands of years, I'd give it a shot. It basically resets the nerve impulses.

Nothing is fixed in a couple minutes when you've been suffering long-term, it's worth trying chiro, acupuncture, massage and things like natural anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric, ginger, etc and additional water to flush out impurities.

Relaxing the muscles with Epson salts (the magnesium relaxes the muscles), a short-term hot tub visit or warm baths help relax the muscles, but short-term ice calms inflammation, followed by short term heat to get blood flow to an area can help specific areas of inflammation and tenderness also.