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Suggestions for back pain management

I was injured by a patient at work and now have two badly herniated disks with nerve impingement. My doctor, whom I loathe, suggested steroid shots into the spinal cord but I'd prefer to deal with the pain less invasively if possible. I do daily yoga and core exercises and rotate Motrin with Tylenol but it's not enough to keep me pain-free for a 12 hour shift. I'd love to hear how others deal with chronic back pain.

Flexeril and Baclofen have not been very effective. I've been reading about gabapentin (neurontin) which makes me hopeful. Thank you.

by Anonymousreply 2502/13/2013

[quote]I was injured by a patient at work

What happened? Where do you work?

If no one else comes up with good advice (I'm sure they will), I'll call my mother she has chronic back pain and post it here.

by Anonymousreply 102/11/2013

Your problem sounds more serious and immediate than mine, but I had back pain and I found that lots of walking and biking tended to help.

by Anonymousreply 202/11/2013

Study the Alexander Technique.

by Anonymousreply 302/11/2013

R1--I work in an ER. A patient grabbed me, slammed me into a wall and tried to throttle me. The severe concussion and back injuries caused me to take 4 months of unpaid leave. I've been back for 3 weeks now. The last couple hours of a shift are excrutiating and sitting hurts as much as standing.

by Anonymousreply 402/11/2013

My brother had chronic lower back pain for 25 years, and then he read some books about how most lower back pain is psychosomatic. That doesn't mean that the pain isn't real: it means that it becomes a manifestation of other stressors in your life. After years of physical misery he went to a cognitive-therpay specialist in lower back pain and for the first time in years has learned how to manage it successfully. So that's what I would do if it continues to be chronic over more than a few months.

That's probably what you don't want to hear. But remember: hard laborers people in rural developing nations (like India and Viet Nam) don't have chronic lower back pain--it's a chronic problem only in wealthy developed nations among the middle class.

by Anonymousreply 502/11/2013

Yes, I know of these theories but my injuries are obvious from medical tests and I'm just looking for some non-narcotic ways to manage the pain.

by Anonymousreply 602/11/2013

Have you ever heard of RSD?

by Anonymousreply 702/11/2013

Massage therapy; it will keep your muscles from tightening & cramping. Depending on the extent of your pain, you may also need a chiropractor.

by Anonymousreply 802/11/2013

Thanks, R8. Is there a specific kind of massage I should be seeking?

As you can tell from my multiple posts, I'm pretty desperate.

by Anonymousreply 902/11/2013

my SO tried: steroid shots (2x) accupuncture (3x a week for 3 months) pain killers (like Flexerall) inversion table (2x a day)

Inversion table helped but very temporarily (30 minutes of relief after hanging upside down)

Steroids helped reduce pain by 50% but lasted a couple of weeks only

What helped? Surgery. Disc-ectomy. In patient by a neurologist. Perfect and has lasted 7 months so far... knock wood.

by Anonymousreply 1002/11/2013

Look into Prolozone/Discosan.

by Anonymousreply 1102/11/2013

PT, muscle relaxants, Oxy, and steroid shots didn't help me at all. Gabepentin helped with severe nerve pain I had, but that was it.

Pain management doctor finally put me on Trezix. It was like a miracle for me. I could finally complete a whole month of work without having to take 1-3 days off a week. Let prescription lapse, and went into collapse. Will pick up refill tomorrow.

My neurologist has me on a very low disease of the ancient antidepressant amitryptilline (Elavil) for insomnia. It also helps take the edge off my pain.

Good luck, OP. Chronic, intractable pain is a bitch and a bear.

by Anonymousreply 1202/11/2013

DMSO oil in a glass bottle, no plastic. Rub on skin. Edgar Cayce's legendary castor oil packs. Follow instructions carefully. If all else fails, consider an intensive marijuana therapy protocol.

by Anonymousreply 1302/11/2013

Don't let them give you injections. They only subside the pain for a while and you're back to pain afterward.

Exercise, stretching and other ways to eliviate the pressure on the spine is the best way to handle the pain. I've also heard something about Cryogenics or something like that where you sit in basically a freezer or something similar and it's supposed to help lessen the pain for a longer time. I need to look into it.

by Anonymousreply 1402/11/2013

Regular acupuncture works wonders, see if you can get your Dr to recommend that as physical therapy if your insurance doesn't outright cover it.

I just started doing steroid injections and am very mixed about them. Yes, it took away the pain in my back for a couple of months but wasn't worth all of the shitty side effects. I have to have one more round done per my insurance company before I can get a more permanent procedure done.

by Anonymousreply 1502/11/2013

My SO has had chronic back pain for over a decade. He had the surgery and wished he hadn't waited so long. Shots help 50% of the time he says. Also walking or running.

by Anonymousreply 1602/11/2013

I had two herniated disks and sciatica to the point where I could not walk. I avoided the spinal injection, thinking it was too medically intrusive. My doc tried gabapentin, and it has been a lifesaver. It wasn't an immediate fix, but over time it has helped a great deal. IF I forget to take it for a few days, the pain comes back. I am fine with taking gabapentin long-term, as there are no adverse side effects, and it even helps with my sleep.

by Anonymousreply 1702/11/2013

[quote] That's probably what you don't want to hear. But remember: hard laborers people in rural developing nations (like India and Viet Nam) don't have chronic lower back pain--it's a chronic problem only in wealthy developed nations among the middle class.

People in rural developing nations don't sit on chairs or stand for long periods of time -- they squat. They also don't carry heavy objects -- seriously, they don't. You don't see them dragging boxes of heavy slate or tile around. You don't see them sitting in cars, on buses or trains for long commutes every day. You dont see them hauling packages all day for UPS. You don't see them working at loading docks. You don't see them in wheelchairs, because people who can't work are pretty much set in a corner to die.

In many of these countries, the women do the heavy work and they are hidden out of sight or draped from head to toe, so you can't tell if the bent-backed woman you briefly saw round a corner is 25 or 75 years old. The men hang around outside squatting and chewing straw or tobacco or betel nuts. In huge swathes of Central Asia, the men drink tea, play chess and backgammon while gossiping and smoking. The women "man" the stalls at the bazaars, weave cloth and rugs, sell fruit, vegetables and spices they grow and harvest, sell chickens they raise and shop in the bazaar for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nobody carries a heavy briefcase or a laptop. Third world fishermen don't work on trawlers where they haul in tons of fish. They work on small boats and catch maybe 10 fish a day.

Squatting is a lot easier on the back than sitting in a chair or standing up. I have worked jobs where I am on my feet for hours without a break, running up and down hallways and stairways; no lunch break, no bathroom break. When I sat down, it was to input information into charts and computers and to answer pages. I pushed 100 lb beds loaded with 250 lb people, full oxygen tanks, metal imed pumps and I maneuvered those beds with one hand and one hip because i was using my other hand to Ambu bag the patient while I transferred them to ICU. I'm in pain every day.

None of that is psychosomatic.

by Anonymousreply 1802/11/2013

I remember seeing videos of the Indonesian tsunami. Fisherman had small boats and didn't go very far offshore. The fishing villages were kind of idyllic -- until the tsunami, of course. People in the cities get around on motorbikes because they don't travel very far. Life in the right third world area is not bad at all. Less stressful, less painful.

Now a place like Haiti or Mexico is not idyllic. But that is because they don't respect the environment and refuse to stop producing more children than they can care for. They cause their own problems.

by Anonymousreply 1902/11/2013

OP, Pfizer has been conducting massive research studies testing for new forms of medication for both back pain and arthritis. One was in the form of a monthly shot with a slow-release mechanism.

by Anonymousreply 2002/12/2013

My cousin also benefited from discectomy done by a neurosurgeon (not a neurologist--they don't do surgery although they do perform tests and do injections). She researched the doctor extensively. After 11 years of pain, she was completely pain-free when she woke up from surgery and has continued to be so for 2 years. I think the right surgeon is very important, however.

by Anonymousreply 2102/12/2013

Soma is an excellent muscle relaxant medication. I don't know if that would help the OP. Flexeril and Baclofen are weak medications.

Neurontin if very good also. I hurt my knee a few years ago and tried every medication (I worked in a pharmacy), hot packs, cold packs, a knee brace. None of those thing helped at all. Vicodin and Percocet did not touch the pain at all. My grandmother had some Neurontin for diabetic neuropathy. I took it and it was fabulous. Within 4 days my pain was gone.

It can't hurt to try it.

by Anonymousreply 2202/12/2013

R12 and R22, did gabapentin/neurontin cause or exacerbate hissing/ringing in your ears? I've taken it a number of times, but I have to give up after a few weeks because of the tinnitus it seems to create.

by Anonymousreply 2302/12/2013

I had a case of sciatica, I believe my L5 was herniated. I was put on a steroid treatment. Nothing. I was given Vicodin. Nothing. I did physical therapy. Nothing. Then I got a cortisone shot. Bam! Zero pain. Instantly! I was told that the cortisone shot would either not work at all, work with the pain reoccurring about a year later or would cure it. 13 years later, I'm still good! Ask your doctor about that...

by Anonymousreply 2402/12/2013

I didn't have that problem R23. I didn't have any side effects, but I wasn't taking that much. I just took 400 mg twice a day

by Anonymousreply 2502/13/2013
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