I have lived with some degree of back pain since age 13 when I fell down the stairs.I have since had many slips, falls and injuries from lifting. I worked with individuals that were confined to wheelchairs and had to lift them and position them several times a day so as to prevent sores and increase muscle tone. Over the years I have done a lot of damage to my back and learned to live with chronic pain from my sciatica. Most of my treatment centered around chiropractic, masa rand exercise with the only medication being ibuprofen.
Two summers ago, I lifted a fifty pound suitcase several times on a trip and immediately knew that I had hurt myself. I could not get to a chiropractor right away as I was out of town, so I treated myself to a massage, took mass quantities of ibuprofen and used Therma Care wraps to get through the week long conference I had travelled to. When I returned home, I went to my chiropractor. After about a month I realized it was not working and my doctor reccommended an MRI.
We found out that I had 3 herniated disks C4/5, C5/6 and C6/7. I tried one cervical epidural, not wanting to go the narcotic route and the pain was getting worse, running down my left arm making it virtually useless.the experience with the epidural was so horrendous that I never went back. I have since learned that although the pain clinic I went to was highly recommend, the doctor I got was not. At that point, I felt I had no other choice than to consider surgery. I have never had any kind of surgery in my life so this decision was a last resort as a result of the terrible pain I was in. I did my research and went to an extremely reputable neurosurgeon who recommended a multi level ACDF on C 5/6 and C 6/7 and removing bone spurs from one of the disks. The surgery was very successful and was immediately relieved of much of the pain only taking a percocet at night after a hard day occasionally. My doctor told me that since I still had one herniated disk in there I would probably always have some flare ups and may need surgery on that one at some point inthefuture due to the added stress from the two fused ones.I was fine withthatuntil recent Yquem my husband blew his knee out and was incapacitated and required knee surgery. That meant that I now had to do many of the chores that he usually did, including lifting 40lb bags of salt into our softener. This was a big mistake! My pain returned almost to it's original level, maybe even higher! I went back. To my surgeon, who ordered an MRI and upon examining it he said it was not bad enough for surgery and I would just have to consider using medication to manage it. We also discussed another try with epidurals and he recommend a different doctor who does it the surgery center under sedation to help relieve my anxiety born from the first experience. After meeting with him, I agreed to the procedure which I am scheduled for tomorrow.I am pretty anxious but do not want to be on these med any more and can't hearths pain and the poor quality of life. If theepidural does network, does any one have any other suggestions?
The epidural should work for pain relief, though its effect may wean off with time if the inflammation is not controlled. Additional anti-inflammatory medications and physiotherapy to strengthen the neck muscles may be recommended after a period of initial rest. I would suggest discussing the management plan in detail with your treating doctor.
Hope this helps.
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