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22 with Degenerative Disc Disease
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22 with Degenerative Disc Disease

Hi, I am 22yrs old and have degenerative disc disease, annular tear, and spinal stenosis. I am very frustrated because I am in so much pain because it hurts to stand, it hurts to sit. My legs get pain,numbness, and like cold tingle down them. My doctor said to go to physical therapy but, I tried and its hard to get through due to pain. He refuses to give me any pain relievers, probably because I am so young and they think I will sell them for money, but thats not me. I just need help what do I do? Its hard to work! I stand all day and its not good after work all I do is go home and lay down. I am so young, I am scared about my future. Will this pain ever go away, will I walk normal again? Any help will be appreciated...Thanks
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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874521_tn?1375890587
i am so sorry for u honey 2b so young and hve ths horrible dx of DDD, i am 59 and hve the same as u, same pain.
i've been on oxycontin for 8 months and it does help..however dependeny is a reality, although not the same as addiction wth chrinic pain people.
this disease unfortunately isn't curable with luck and care you may not get anyworse off but NOT better.
You need to find a good pain management doctor (PMP) who will regulate your pain and medication and will prescribe stronger pain meds when needed.
good luck to you
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks that does help sorry you gotta deal with it too. This *****!! I am looking for a PMP now....hopefully it will get me through the day. God Bless...
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867491_tn?1242749349
hi astahl1530,
i understand the pain youve been experiencing but my gosh ur only 22. and u have ddd and spinal stenoisi?  where is ur stenosis located? i  was diagnosed too with the same thing..although sometimes it gets better but sometimes it gets worst also. i was diagnosed at the age of 33. i am now 38 , i thought i was young then to have this disease.. i was a very athletic and i never thought this will occur to me, i was really frustrated dealing much of the pain. but i guess this is something that we should know how to accept but in good spirit,, know what type of exercices is suitable for you and do it with patience.. i was diganosed with ddd in my cervical , thoracic and lumbar area.. i have  stenosis in my lumbar and pincehed nerve. during the flare up it really hurts but then i engaged in a specific exercise  wherein i could get a benefit from it. not ionly it will strengthen ur cores but it stretches the spasm taht caused by stenosis. i was living in pain on and off since2003.. you are not alone in this battle there  are hundreds or thousands around here who wants to share their experiences with u. tahnks to medhelp. i hope u could find relief here and  to uplift your spirit.. u are not alone in this battle.. during the flare up, take pain releiver let it subside and start to engaged in specific exercise. your physiatrist knows about it..good luck to u and may GOD BLESS US !!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks alot I really appreciate your feedback. I have tried physical therapy but I was a chicken and gave up due to pain hah. I have a good attitude about it, its just so painful and annoying. I am going to go back to physical therapy and I will get through it. Do you know if u can still have kids with this type of problem. Since i am so young I just would like to know if being pregnant would hurt me more? Not that I am lookin to have any kids right now but maybe in the future it would be nice. I hope u are doing well with your pain. I know it can be frustrating. GOD BLESS u too, I believe God will give us all the strength to get through are issues.  
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Avatar_m_tn
i'm fixing to turn 31 in a couple of months. i got diagnosed with DDD at 23. since then i sometimes go for 6 or more months without pain and sometimes the pain comes and goes between 1-3 months spirts. i have gone for almost a whole year without very bad pain. in july of this year i had a sevear back pain right around my butt crack. it was so bad that i was walking down the hallway and when it hit i had to grab ahold of the hand rails on the stairs and i couldnt move, AT ALL. it was like i was paralized. i stood there holding my self up for almost 4hours until my wife came home from work and had to get her to call the ambulance to get me. i truley dont know what was wrong with my back because i wouldnt allow the doctors to move me out of the hospital bed. so they gave me a few shots and i stayed ther for about 5 hours and they sent me home. i think i had a spasm, like a cramp/charlie horse in the back of your leg. that was the worst pain i have ever felt. it was felt so bad that i couldnt even cry. i wouldnt wish that pain on SATAN himself. but since then i lost my job and every night i fear that the pain will come back. as far as pain medication for me vicadin, hydrocodone, loresett/plus do not work for me. my doctor just now started to give me percocet. i kinda dont like it because it makes me feel like im tipsy, but it's the only thing for me that works, and because its a narcotic i can only get 30 pills at a time and that only lasts for 15 days since i take 2 perd ay. he gives me pecocet (percocet) 7.5-350 or if its real bad he'll give me percocet 10-750. they also have 3.5-350, 3.5-750, 7.5-750 and 10-350.
if nothingelse works for you ask him for the 3.5-350. when i took that percocet 10-750
i could not move. it was scarey as hell, i can move my eyes but couldnt controll my head, i'd talk with a severe slur. my wife said she couldnt understand me. when i was able to function i told my wife "NOW I UNDERSTAND HOW AND WHY PEOPLE POP PILLS". i personaly dont like taking these kind of pills, but if i had to choose, PERCOCET would be my choice .if you get a pain medication that kind of puts you to sleep or make you VERY relaxed then that is the one you need, nothing stronger.  i pray that you or anyone else has to go through this. i almost feel like im becoming a hypocondriac. i feel that no matter what i do something is wrong, something bad is about to happen to my back. and out of all these years dealing with pain, i just started acting like this since this last incodent in july.
but, this is just my experience, this may just be a isolated thing for you. you may not feel any more severe pain for years to come and i pray that for you or anyone else,
this is just an isolated insodent, which i know that my pain is nowhere near others.
i pray every night that this pain will stay the way it is and not get worse and now im going to pray for everyone the same way.
ive read books on exercises and stretches that help with SOME pain relief. and it works. find any and all BOOKS and every peice of information you can about DDD. if you smoke, which i do, smoking DOES in fact worsens DDD. it causes rich oxygen from going where it needs to go in your back, well, causes your blood not to receive ALL the oxygen it needs.
   another thing to remember, which i found out the hard way, since you just found out you have it, keep in shape and eat right. also, this happends to me each time i have a bad episode, tell you doctor if you start having bathroom trouble. going number 2. pay VERY close attention to what happends to you body that normally doesnt happen when you get severe pain. when i have an episode i wont go number 2 for atleast 2 weeks. this last time it took over a month for me to have the urge to go, and yes the urge came and nothing moved, had to take a sepository and a laxetive by mouth to get stuff flowing.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PAY VERY, I MEAN VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR BODY DOES AND WRITE IT DOWN/TAKE NOTES AND PUT IN NOTE BOOK SO YOU CAN GIVE TO YOUR DOCTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it does matter if you feel its petty, it could turn out to be VERY SEVERE.
i dont mean to preach or to go on and on, i just dont want to see or hear someone dealing with what im dealing with.
  please take care of yourself

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Avatar_m_tn
another thing, if you doctor wont give you pain meds than you  need to fire his sorry ***, espeacially if he knows what you have. if he had you get a MRI and he can see the problem, then to me, thats melpractice. take your medical records especially that stats what you have and find another doctor. my doctor wouldnt give me anything stonger than 750 mg of hydrocodone until this last time. he told me since i have a history of this pain that he will give me something stronger. so find another doctor and ask him about hydrocodone. i know you wont get PERCOCETS because its a NARCOTIC meaning you can become addictive to it like cocain or any other drug, but seriously fire his ***. never mind dont find another doctor, fine a SPINE SPECIALIST. that what i did, well i got refered to one from the emergency room.
i have ddd in my L3, L4, L5 and S1
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPINE SPECIALIST,SPINE SPECIALIST,SPINE SPECIALIST,SPINE SPECIALIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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874521_tn?1375890587
so sorry for both of your pain situations....just want to add that Percocet has alot of tylenol as an ingredient and you must be very careful of taking to much tylenol!!!!!

better to ask abt oxycontin its the same med without the tylenol and its a long acting med. meaning you take it every 12 hrs (usually)...sometimes every 8..thats what I am now on....the percocet is usually only added for 'breakthrough' pain...and it is only a 4 hr pain relief med..

please talk to your doctor more abt this..
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel ya, on all this pain ****, Im so sick of it i lost my job, and i dunno what to do. Im going to see the cheif of neurosurgery on the 19th. I hope and I pray that I get a good answer. Im sorry you have this, I know it ***** real bad and none of us deserve chronic pain everyday. I hope we can all stay in touch, Ive noticed that ppl who dont have this **** thing your crazy! That you should just suck it up and deal with it. Id love to kick em right in the *** for that ****.

Also I wanna thank all who have responded to my post, makes me feel better knowing that there are other ppl who cant take this **** everyday, and who strive to get better. It keeps me motivated. Thanks to you all!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
hon, i am 42 have 8 kids and been on Tramadol, percs, now on tramadol and vicoden and lyrica and flexeril. addicted to all..  i have DDD also with alot of arthritis in my discs. the pills will sometimes help take the edge off. If i could say anything to you... this is what it would be...  i found a doctor who did a faceta nerve block i had L5, L3, and L4, L2 AND S1  the results have been awsome.  i am gonna have my doctor wean me off my meds. you know they help but only for a bit. then you need more and more and more. eventuraly you will end up a junkie stuck on pain meds and a hurt back. i am also going to a good crunching  chiropractor. that helps too. i know it will never go away but when i drag my hurting body out of bed and have to take pills just to get up (with 8 kids alreay running around screaming i cannot do it) you are 22 find a good back pain specialist who does injections and try it. i dont like the steriod injections for me they didnt work but the block did.  they also told me that if it worked i could have the nerves burnt where the block was so ii would have perminent pain relief in the spot where she did the block.
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1293752_tn?1272327419
do not have your nerves burnt. THey said that the internet made it sound worse than it is when I questioned them then after I could not hardly walk for 3 months and then they said sometimes that happens. And for the block after a year it does not work anymore. I am at the point where I will have to stay sedated on heavy meds if they can not do anything and I hate that feeling.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi

I need help ASAP. I am a 21 year old guy living in South Africa and have severe back and neck pain. I was involved in a serious car accident, but doctors diagnosed me with a  degenerative spine. I am currently on Lentogesic, Xefo 8, as well as non-prescription Adco-dol and Neurofen. I'm currently using a back brace as well.  I am always in pain, but it's worse in the mornings and late evenings. I do not get much sleep as the pain does not go away. Also, I have noticed that the neck pain has now also spread to the base of the neck and the shoulder.

I am seriously concerned as I am only 21, on really strong meds, and with no ease of pain in sight. Some days I can barely get out of bed. I have tried accupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic manipulation, nothing provides much relief. My doctor refuses to put me on a course of morphine, or oxycontin, as he says I am still very young.

I am running out of options. Any advice would be really appreciated. If you or anyone can be of help, please send me a mail at videsh_maharaj***@****

Many Thanks.  
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1305507_tn?1273174945
I am 6months post op ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) C2 to C7 for cervical myelopathy and cervical spinal stenosis due to DDD, Degenerative Arthritis, Reverse Lordosis and Pernicious Anemia....

First...my suggestion is go to a neurosurgeon that specializes in your specific disease/disorder.

I can say that, while I still have some pain, it is NOWHERE near the debilitating pain I experienced the year and a half prior to surgery. I am 39 (this march) and have always suffered muscle pain/strain (specifically neck, shoulders, back) (i was very active) which had been written off as PTSD symptoms (abused as child, Desert Storm Veteran)...even migraines that would not respond to ANY meds... I just lived with it... HOWEVER, about one and a half years ago I started slowing down to a crawl in life due to the pain...stopped working, stopped sleeping, heck...I just stopped living...  

My primary doctor finally decided to run head to toe MRIs since I was having burning, itching pain in my arms, hands, legs etc... WOW....took awhile and many many tests including the myelograms and nerve function tests to decide surgery was necessary to prevent further spinal cord/nerve damage (which is not reversible).

I can say that surgery WAS the option for me. I am in physical therapy and slowly adjusting to a life with chronic pain; however, I feel blessed that I am still ambulatory and self sustaining....

All my prayers for strength and courage to you all!
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Avatar_f_tn
hi i got ddd and i got so much pain lost so much lost of my arm and neck don.t know how to do 4 yrs of pain and get wrong everday 53 yrsold
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Avatar_f_tn
sorry my comment don,t make to much sense .being french
got ddd for at least 3 yrs   started with neck pain heathache
my doctor never told me until i went to the emerg ,i had  lot of pain in my arm and shoulder neck pain and i found that i got chronic ddd, never being told ,  in the last 4 month my pain double ,can,t hold my grand kids, left my job and i getting scare becauce it going fast .multiple level degeneraion of my dics in one month it going fast ..morfine and other med don,t seem to work to well    can.t not open door with my right  arm .pick up anything that trigger a lot of pain ..hard to explain to my kids and my partner the pain i,m going thought ,tied of smiling  so they don,t see my pain ...please does,t it get better    my doctor today still saying nothing is wrong that   is arthritic  .put my mri  say that i got chronic ddd.....and my other test too...
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Avatar_f_tn
So sorry to about this because you are so young. I know what u are going through. What people wrote they are right! Need to find another pain doctor, MRI showing you having ddd and spinal stenosis, well there's your proof and u shouldn't have to suffer.  I have been suffering 7 hrs now and I am 39. Had neck surgery at 33 and now finding out I have a herniated disc in the next level.  I do also have low back problems, bulging disc L5-s1 and that flares up my sciatica goes wacky and that's very painful.  Try doing pilots using the reformer machine, that's helps me a lot even my neck.  Also try a little yoga and make sure you stretch at home every day.  Oh don't forget to ice it and also use moist heat not dry heat for about 15 minutes both ways.  I wish you well    
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Avatar_m_tn
   Grit your teeth, my friend, and keep pushing forward. I was diagnosed at age 16 with DDD & now I'm 24 and it's gotten nothing but worse over the years. Physical therapy is good to a point in regards of flexability but the repitition can really aggervate the problem discs early on. The revolving door of medications became ridiculous, starting from low level Vicodin at 16 to the high of Oxycontin 80 mgs 4 times a day washed down with 8 mgs of Dilaudid every 4-6 hours plus an additional amount of Percocet 10mg/325s for breakthough (all at the same time). I outright rejected Morphine lollipops & Fentanyl patches on top of that. Then because I couldn't afford a $1000 blood test, out of pocket, that particular day, I was tossed Motrin and dismissed from my pain management doctor at 20 yrs old. The meds sound like alot and it was - for a normal person - yet it barely masked the pain. L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1 all shot with added stenosis (and bone spurs) throughout the lumbar region. T6 & T7 levels in my throatic are shot too before hitting age 20. Now I have my C5-C6 in my neck compressing heavily and I'm fighting arm/chest pain & to avoid surgical steel in my neck at the age of 24.

   If you are still with me after all of that... it can get BETTER! Focus hard and grind through the physical therapy. I know it's hard at times but it will build strength and stamina to better take the everyday strain you go through. An occasional epidural works for some people at easing a decent amount of inflamation (inflammation). It's short term but it helps in a pinch.

   If you are looking surgical route, look into the LASE procudure. It is a minimally invasive laser surgery that is outpatient and takes 2-3 hours to complete. I had two stitches at the site they worked through, one for each entry point. I had it done on the right side of my L5-S1 disc and it relieved so much pain down my right side and leg. It was amazing. Then my insurance dropped. I get by now-a-days, years later, with 30 mgs of oxycodone (percocet without the tylenol) 4 times a day and workouts 3 times a week of calisthenics & elliptical work.

   This god damn disorder robbed me of a scholarship, a choosen career, and a chunk of my youth but it WILL NOT maintain a stranglehold on my future. It won't for anyone else either. Stay active, stay on point with your goals, and believe me sweetheart, you'll be good to go. Good luck to you and everyone else in the same boat!
- Brandon (***@****)
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so sorry you've been dealing with this pain so young.  I am 36 and just had an anterior discectomy and fusion with plate and screws in my neck for a bulging disc, spur removal due to arthritis, and a larger whole drilled for my nerve opening because of stenosis.  I have had DDD and arthritis since my early twenties. I endured 5 years of excruciating pain, went to physical therapy, a chiropractor, acupuncture, and massage and nothing helped.  Pain meds do not help nerve pain, they only take the edge off. Muscle relaxers gave me some relief from muscle spasms and Lyrica did help with a nerve pain.  I also worked out daily with cardio and strength training.  I have a few places in my spine that have fused themselves after bulging discs dehydrated completely.  I am only 3 weeks after surgery and although it was pretty rough, I would do it again.  I would personally not take narcotic pain medication daily at your age because of dependency, but would look into nerve medications if possible.  The surgery has already given me amazing pain relief and I am regaining strength in my arm and hand.  I made the mistake of ruling out surgery without educating myself on my condition and I wish I had done it earlier.  I know it is hard to get this diagnosis young, and it is frustrating there are no black and white answers, only what works for you.  Keep researching and find a spinal specialist, neuro surgeon, or Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in spine disorders.  If one doctor or PT doesn't help, keep trying to find someone knew.   Good luck.  
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