Back problems and ongoing pain

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7 months 4 days ago #29511 by DCAU
Replied by DCAU on topic Back problems and ongoing pain
Hi Peter,

Many thanks for the response. :-)

I did a fair bit of reading prior to the injections, and you're absolutely right - they can take a while to kick in (if they kick in at all). Their effectiveness over time is also quite questionable - some people have reported them working for a day or two, while others have reported them working for up to a year.

In my case, I did see a slight change for two days, however, I also experienced a few weird side effects (headache for two days, and loss of strength in my hands for two days). Headaches are common (and if they perforate the dura, the headaches are even worse than standard), but the loss of strength was weird - I was unable to lift the lid of a plastic bin, and couldn't even open a can of soft drink).

Since then, the pain has become even worse than it was to begin with.

At the time of the injection, the specialist doctor mentioned that he wasn't sure if it would work, simply because there was a lot happening in my lower lumbar region, including lumbar canal stenosis, severe foraminal stenosis, pars defects, severe osteoarthritis and a few other things (I don't quite understand all the medical terms and they seem to find a new problem every CT scan).

ESIs apparently work well with sciatica, but not so well with some other problems. :-(

Cheers,
Darren

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7 months 3 days ago #29512 by Peter
Replied by Peter on topic Back problems and ongoing pain
Sounds like you are doing all you can Darren.

I have never had an epidural and probably never will. Unless of course I am forced to due to a stenosis, which I do not suffer at the moment. I have lots of arthritis, fusing joints, scoliosis and pinched nerve roots to keep me busy with pain in the meantime.

I have had facet joint injections. Felt bloody good when I had them, but within an hour or two all was back to normal. Knowing that I get little to no benefit from any of these injections, I have decided to not bother with them near my spine ever again, unless as I said, I am forced into it out of desperation.

The exercise I do at the gym, which I am going to shortly this morning, is the one major thing that is keeping me moving and a lid on my pain levels. So I'll keep that up until the Good Lord knocks on my front door!


Peter

I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)

So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)

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7 months 2 days ago #29518 by DCAU
Replied by DCAU on topic Back problems and ongoing pain
Hi Peter,

That's a big shame about the facet joint injections not working. And I certainly don't blame you for wanting to avoid injections near the spine.

I did a lot of research into them prior to finally deciding to get it done (which was out of desperation). I've learnt a lot more about the injections since then, and like you, I'm not sure I'd want it done again.

So, the exercises that you do help with the pain? What sort of exercises do you find work best for you?

I used to be quite active and walked daily on the treadmill and did weights, however, my doctor has warned me about both. I gave stationary bike riding a go, but found that also quite painful and caused problems.

I've been advised to take up swimming instead, so once I pluck up the courage to hop into the pool, I'll give that a go.

Cheers,
Darren

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7 months 2 days ago #29519 by Peter
Replied by Peter on topic Back problems and ongoing pain
Darren,

The exercises are simple movement exercises. We do use some of the machines in the gym, but with light weights. Most of it are balance, stretching and movement type exercises.

But you have a spinal stenosis, which means you do need to be careful. Doing the water aerobics in a heated pool would probably do you the world of good.

Where I live, we only have an outdoor pool in town and it is far too cold, even in the summer, for us broken down old farts to swim in. So unfortunately, we don't get to have those exercise classes.

Give the pool a try Mate. You'll get some complaints from your body to start with. If you are careful and don't over do it to start with and just slowly increase the amount of work you do, then your strength will increase and eventually over time, some of your pain will reduce.

And when I say reduce, it isn't your body that is hurting you, it is your brain. So once you can convince it that you are capable of doing things and not hurt yourself, it will start to back off with the stick and leave you alone.

If you haven't already, do some research on how the 'fight and flight response' in our brains is responsible for chronic pain. Once you understand this, you will no longer have any fear of it and you can then dismiss a lot of this pain, because you know you are not injuring yourself. It's just your damn brain trying to stop you and get you to go back to bed.

Never give in Darren. Give these things a try and do it with a smile, while verbally telling yourself (and your brain) that this is fun and you are doing it well without causing any injury. Positive reinforcement accompanied with laughter and enjoyment, goes a long way to changing the narrative in your brain that you would otherwise have little to no control over.

Peter

I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)

So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)

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7 months 19 hours ago #29531 by DCAU
Replied by DCAU on topic Back problems and ongoing pain
Hi Peter,

I'm kind of looking forward to the pool, it's just the other folks who visit the pool that I'm not looking forward to (I just don't like crowds). And kids that pee in the pool.

Pain itself doesn't worry me all that much, although the exercises that an exercise physiologist had me doing left me in agony (he seemed to be treating me for muscular pain and ignoring the actual physical problems I had).

Cheers,
Darren

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7 months 17 hours ago #29535 by Peter
Replied by Peter on topic Back problems and ongoing pain

DCAU wrote: Hi Peter,

I'm kind of looking forward to the pool, it's just the other folks who visit the pool that I'm not looking forward to (I just don't like crowds). And kids that pee in the pool.

Pain itself doesn't worry me all that much, although the exercises that an exercise physiologist had me doing left me in agony (he seemed to be treating me for muscular pain and ignoring the actual physical problems I had).

Cheers,
Darren



Yeah, sometimes these people think they know better than we do when it comes to exactly what is wrong and how to fix it. And in general they do, but when you tell them that what they suggest isn't going to work because you've been there before, they won't accept what you say and just push the point.

I guess try it out and if it continues to be really painful afterwards and things get worse, then I'd be saying no more.


Peter

I wish the ring (this Chronic Pain) had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened. (Frodo Baggins)

So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide, is what to do with the time that is given to us. (Gandalf the Grey)

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