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Topic # 112466 10-Dec-2012 10:30 Send private message

So, I've been having ongoing poblems with a dodgy disc in my lower back. I initially tried babying it - no particular treatment, just being gentle and trying not to anger it. After a month or two, I gave up on that plan and signed on with a Physio who proceeded with various manipulations. After another 6 weeks or so it had improved, but not a whole lot, so the physio passed me to her colleague who did acupuncture. Again, things improved, but not cured. During a gap in ACC coverage, i went back to babying it, and it got markedly worse, so, on the advice of various folks, I went to an Osteopath. He manipulated things a bit, with no noticeable improvement and then it got wayyy worse. So I went to my doctor who prescribed me morphine and referred me to a specialist for an MRI, and to another physio.

After a week on the morphine, I have improved back to about the point I was when I first decided to go see a physio. And it all started back in early August or so.

So my question, how may others have had the bad back with the nerve pinching and the shooting pains down the back of the leg? And if so (or if you have your own pain issues) what sort of treatment has done the trick for you? Physio? Osteo? Chiro? Homeo? Drugs and modern medicine, or herbs and new age quackery?

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  Reply # 729587 10-Dec-2012 10:37 Send private message

Ipinched a nerve last year and I know how you feel. absolute agony.

New age stuff (homeopathy, acupuncture etc) only works based on the placebo effect, and since I trust in science rather than bull that means it wont work for me.

I just took as many drugs (legal) as I could get my hands on. starting with the easy stuff, Neurofen, paracetemol etc, moving onto codeine and morphine.

I tried chriopracter/ostepath, but they didnt do much for me.

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  Reply # 729591 10-Dec-2012 10:40 Send private message

My wife had really bad neck/back pain from a whiplash injury a few years ago which no one could seem to work out what it actually was. Actually turned out to be a rib cage problem that was eventually discovered by an osteopath during a vist for something else.

As for pain, ask ACC to refer you to a pain management specialist. Rather than going for a broad spectrum pain reliever like morphine, they'll most likely go for something targeting the specific nerves.

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  Reply # 729608 10-Dec-2012 10:55 Send private message

NonprayingMantis: Ipinched a nerve last year and I know how you feel. absolute agony.

New age stuff (homeopathy, acupuncture etc) only works based on the placebo effect, and since I trust in science rather than bull that means it wont work for me.

I just took as many drugs (legal) as I could get my hands on. starting with the easy stuff, Neurofen, paracetemol etc, moving onto codeine and morphine.

I tried chriopracter/ostepath, but they didnt do much for me.


Did you try pot at all? There's a reason places in the states have medical marijuana!

(If you google around, i'm pretty sure there have been studies about what it can do for pain management, would be more studies if it wasn't demonised. As for the harm it does, well, alcohol causes more harm than pot. Alcohol should illegal and pot legal, not vice versa)


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  Reply # 729611 10-Dec-2012 10:56

At the risk of not being helpful at all - I think it has been noted that most back pain gets better from just 'trying' to live as normally as possible.
That said back pain can be terrible I know, but where a few studies have been done on chiropractors etc and the alternative of just trying to live as normally as possible - they both have a similar recovery rate.

What Byrned said is probably good advice - try a pain management specialist if you can.

It sounds like you have tried the MRI/Xray investigations and there isnt a magic cure.

One thing I did see on TV (yes - I know - infomercials!) was this:
http://www.drhonow.com/product/decompression-belt.php

Sort of makes sense that it actually decompresses your spine a little - It would make some logical sense that taking some pressure off that part of your back could help???




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  Reply # 729684 10-Dec-2012 12:26 Send private message

Sitting all day at my new job caused my L5/S1 to spread pain down the back of my legs and into my groin.
While it was the Osteopath who found that issue, he went straight for the more exercise route which after 4 months has not done a thing. After a bit of trial and error I have found that if I sit with my feet up on a box then I can reduce/remove the soreness.

Reverting back to sitting normally even for 15 minutes brings back the pain though so I am still looking at finding a fix for the root cause of the issue.

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  Reply # 729701 10-Dec-2012 12:52 Send private message

Back pain is a curse. Have you had an MRI at all, it could be that you have a herniated disc? If you have on going problems it's definitely worth seeing a specialist, they'll probably want to cut you open (but you can always say no), left untreated you could have ongoing problems with sciatica from scarring on the nerve from where it's pinching, or even incontinence or impotence.

I've experienced something very similar and still recovering from it, basically 3 months ago I hurt my back while loading my daughter's buggy into the boot of our car. I had the most painful sciatica I've ever experienced for 10 weeks after that and saw a physio for 2 weeks who then suggested I speak to my GP, who referred me to a surgeon, after seeing an orthopaedic surgeon at week 7 he ordered an MRI which discovered that I had a large disc herniation that was pressing on the sciatic nerve in my spinal cavity (from the image it looked like it was taking up almost half the spinal cavity). Because of the amount of pain I was in he suggested surgery and I was booked in for that 2 weeks ago, but 5 days before surgery the pain started reduced so it's been decided to wait a month to see if it continues to reduce - apparently the body eats away at it.

For 10 weeks I was intense pain and no pain killers helped. My GP first prescribed ibuprofen in case it was just muscular, and then when that didn't help put me on 75mg Diclofenac (also an anti-inflamatory) and codeine to help me sleep at night (it helped me get 4-5 hours at night instead of 2 or 3). They also tried me on Gabapentin for a while which is actually an epilepsy drug, it interferes with nerve signals which my GP thought might help but I found it was messing with my balance too much and didn't seem to help me.

The only things that helped were:
* Lots of walking - it's tempting to do nothing but keeping moving helped me and getting out of the house helped me keep sane
* Lying flat on the floor - I couldn't sit for those 10 weeks (and I'm still limited to about 4 hours a day at the moment), keeping flat reduced the pain after about 20 minutes, focusing on something else like TV took my mind off it

Back pain and sciatica is a curse, you have nothing but sympathy from me.

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  Reply # 729712 10-Dec-2012 13:00 Send private message

I had recurring back pain and I find the best fix is to take painkillers for a while, which allows you to live normally, and let your body work it out.

I find if I just 'live through the pain', I end up sitting/lying/sleeping in funny ways to try and get comfortable - which never happens. But if I take some pain killers for a couple of days, I start sitting/lying/sleeping normally and things start to right them self.




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  Reply # 729715 10-Dec-2012 13:03 Send private message

When I suffered extremely bad back pain, I got through it with the following:

I don't recommend any of this without discussing with your doctor first.
  • Keep moving! Walking, swimming, exercise as normal (or start, if you don't).
  • Good comfortable shoes (You might need to wear good quality sports shoes for a while).
  • Codeine (although taking max dose for more than a day starts to give mild euphoria which is unpleasant when you just want to concentrate and work).
  • Chiropractor - some of what they do is quackery ("hold - press/manipulate/hold - press, see the difference I made" <<< quack quack, and a few other things), but I found some genuine help and relief in manipulation, and not just for my back.
  • Tilcotil - if the codeine aint working, and you just want to work, ask for Tilcotil, I took 1 a day (you NEED food first!!), and it always upset my tummy quite badly, but after 60 mins, pain was virtually gone for about 5 - 6 hours).
  • Make sure your workstation (indeed anywhere you sit, stand, work, play, rest, watch tv, sleep) is comfortable and not contributing to your problems.




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  Reply # 729735 10-Dec-2012 13:21 Send private message

If you're seeing a physiotherapist remember to give them feedback. If they're giving you exercises/movements/stretches to do that aren't helping or are causing you discomfort then TELL THEM. That's my best advice. I've had a bad back for 20+ years and it's never going to get better. I've only recently started pushing back on health professionals though - telling them what does/doesn't work for me.

If you let them know they will respond and tailor something to you. It can be trial and error for a while but you need to keep on at them if something isn't helping.

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  Reply # 729775 10-Dec-2012 13:57 Send private message

Be VERY careful about treatment - it can make things much, much worse. 

I had a car accident a few years ago resulting in severe back pain. It wasn't a very serious accident so nobody bothered with a scan initially. When the scans were finally done it was made clear that physio and osteo had made my condition worse. I don't take pain killers except when I have had several nights of not being able to sleep. Then I knock myself out to get some rest. I have constant, unrelenting, never-ending pain and there isn't a thing that can be done about it except surgery. There is only one doctor in NZ that can do what is required for me and it took two years to get in to see him. He prioritises his work and told me straight that he can't help people over 40. His suggestion was cortisone injections, weekly, at a cost of $1800 a time (these would be directly into the spine). So, I live with it. 

My situation is extreme as I have spinal damage and nerves are compressed. I don't let it stop me doing anything. Resting a back and not exercising is the worst thing you can do. Get a physio to show you the exercises for stretching out your back & do these regularly. If you sit a lot, get a cushion that has a gap beneath your spinal area - making sure there is no pressure when sitting is important. Also, do exercises that strengthen the muscles in your butt and hips. The gluteal muscles are extremely important for back support and all of us who work with computers lose tone - especially in the gluteus maximus. Get these really strong and your back will have better support thereby reducing the level of compression. 

Apart from this, pain management clinics can help. I didn't bother because my local one consists of group sessions and a lot of that peer-support hocus focus that I can't stand. I deal by accepting that my back is stuffed, its full of nerves that its fraying to shreds, there's not a damn thing I can do about it so its not going to beat me. I'd rather have pain than a foggy brain. YMMV. 



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  Reply # 729831 10-Dec-2012 15:14 Send private message

A lot of useful comments/advice there. Seems to bear out a lot of my experience - once the pain is managed, KEEP IT MOVING. It might hurt to get up and going, but once its moving, it will feel a lot better, and the longer you sit for the worse it will be.

Plus, office chairs are the devil!

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  Reply # 729833 10-Dec-2012 15:27 Send private message

BlueShift: A lot of useful comments/advice there. Seems to bear out a lot of my experience - once the pain is managed, KEEP IT MOVING. It might hurt to get up and going, but once its moving, it will feel a lot better, and the longer you sit for the worse it will be.

Plus, office chairs are the devil!


Not mine :)  My office chair is the best chair I ever sit in.  Wish I had the same sort of support at home, as it is I get really sore after an hour or two of chilling out on the sofa at home!

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  Reply # 729836 10-Dec-2012 15:33 Send private message

I've had Intermittent and agonising pain (Every 6 weeks or so for 2-3 days) in my back since I was 13. Almost anything can trigger it and I've been in so much pain I BEGGED my doctor wife to kill me (I can assure you I am no wimp), so I completely sympathize. Brufen 600's and Codine have been helpful, but surprisingly my last severe incident I took something called Maxagesic

http://www.aftpharm.com/nz-products/maxigesic

To my utter surprise 2 of these was all that was required last time. My wife and Doctor (separate people) are kinda stunned.

Two people who have helped :

James Watt of Musculoskeletal Pain Management
Unit 1B 3 Ceres Ct Mairangi Bay Auckland

094794130

Body Tech Mt Eden is the Gym I did my Core Program at, they have a nice swimming pool I used a bit as well.

http://www.functionalphysio.co.nz/Contact+Us.html


The Physio has an amazing machine, it changed my life. PM me if you want more details.

Strengthening my core has really changed my life.

It's worth noting I have tried every medical professional I could find and then some alternatives as well, and I have come to the conclusion that acute back pain can not be helped with Chiropractors or pretty much anyone else and that Chiro's and Osteopaths are a bunch of Quacks (In my opinion). 







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  Reply # 729839 10-Dec-2012 15:37 Send private message

gehenna:
BlueShift: A lot of useful comments/advice there. Seems to bear out a lot of my experience - once the pain is managed, KEEP IT MOVING. It might hurt to get up and going, but once its moving, it will feel a lot better, and the longer you sit for the worse it will be.

Plus, office chairs are the devil!


Not mine :)  My office chair is the best chair I ever sit in.  Wish I had the same sort of support at home, as it is I get really sore after an hour or two of chilling out on the sofa at home!
Mine too, I managed to get a ponsy ergonmic chair off a client and it has made such a difference to my back at work




Hmmmm

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  Reply # 729843 10-Dec-2012 15:48 Send private message

Mine's a Haworth Zody chair.

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