I'm a 39 year old male. I was very active prior to the chronic pain. I'm at my wits end. My anxiety and depression are at at their worst. I'm now in psychotherapy, but I don't think one hour a week of talking about how my pain is degrading my mental capacity is helping me. I'm not criticizing therapy, it's just not helping me.
My pain is in my right buttock and sometimes in my right hamstring.
I wake up everyday at a 2/3 on the pain scale. Driving and sitting in my office chair cause my pain to rapidly increase from a 2/3 to an 8/9. When I say rapidly I mean 10 to 30 minutes. of driving or sitting upright. My right butt muscles spasm randomly every day from one spasm to multiple spasms lasting anywhere from 1 to 10 seconds. The spasms do not trigger painful sensations.
Over the last 3 ½ years I’ve had several MRIs (with and without contrast) of my lower back, right hip and hemi-pelvis, x-rays of lumbar spine, ultrasound of ischial bursa area, and whole body bone scans. The latest MRI shows:
• L4-L5: minimal posterolateral disk bulges are identified bilaterally. There are no focal significant disk herniations or evidence of central canal stenosis. There is mild narrowing of the neural foramina bilaterally.
• L5-S1: There is a small broad-based posterior central disk protrusion at this level. There is no evidence for compromise of central canal or nerve roots. There is no significant foraminal narrowing.
Over the last 3 ½ years I’ve tried the following treatments, and have summarized each treatment’s effectiveness.
• Cold and Heat Therapy: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• Piriformis stretching: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• Core muscle strengthening: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• Psoas muscle release: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• Piriformis muscle release: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• About 3 months of weekly Physical Therapy: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• TENS unit: Delays the onset of the pain.
• Sitting on a 70cm exercise ball versus office chair: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• Sitting on a FitBall disk on top of office chair: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• Sitting on pillow on top of office chair: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• About 1 year of weekly Chiropractic manipulation: Relieved the pain for two weeks after manipulation and taping of my arches. Provided me ortho inserts due to fallen arches proven by Gait scan. Since then the pain is worse.
• Acupuncture (3 visits): Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• CT-guided Epidural steroid injections: First injection relieved the pain for 6 months, second injection relieved the pain for 3 months and third injection relieved the pain for 2 weeks.
• CT-guided Ischial bursa injection: Doesn’t relieve the pain.
• CT-guided Piriformis injections (steroid and Botox): First steroid injection relieved the pain for a couple of months; second steroid injection relieved the pain for 2 weeks. Botox injection doesn’t relieve the pain.
• RF Ablations of T-11 through L3 twice with 3 month periods (Sept 5 and Dec 2, 2011), Doesn’t relieve the pain
• 3 years and 3 different chiropractors, and no relief from the pain
• Ibuprofen/Aleve/Tylenol: Doesn’t relieve the pain. Took Ibuprofen almost every day for 1 year and ended up with Gastritis. I stopped taking NSAIDs. I cured my Gastritis by drinking Aloe Vera Gel over a 3-week period.
• Darvocet 10MG: Decreased the pain by 1-2 points for 30 to 60 minutes.
• Hydrocodone/APAP 10MG: Decreased the pain by 2-3 points for 30 to 60 minutes.
• Oxycodone/APAP 10MG: Decreases the pain by 4-5 points for 1 to 1.5 hours.
• Lyrica: No change.
• Gabapenton: Couldn't tolerate.
• Topirimate: Only been taking it for one month, no change.
• Lidodoerm Patch: Just started wearing these five days ago. Doesn't relieve the pain.
• Baclofen: Stops the buttock muscle spasms but doesn not relieve the buttock and leg pain.
In summary, the only way for me to not have pain is to never stand up or sit up, or not in other words to not have a life.
Hi My name is Sue,
I am so sorry you are going through this chronic pain.
I don't think I can help you solve the problem, but I do understand what it is like to live in chronic pain. And I understand not getting relief from surgery or chiropractors.
I do get pain relief from drugs, but they always give me so many side effects that I can't tolerate being on them! It is like a catch 22 you trade off pain to ruin your stomach. That also happened to me from taking Nsaids.
My chronic lower back pain and spasms started in my late 20's, with each pregnancy my L4 and L5 were moving out of place. I really had no idea what was going on and was told it is normal to have back pain when you are pregnant! I have had a few back surgeries, and have had my s1,L5 and L4 fused.
I also ended up very depressed. Living in pain is miserable and depressing, but pain actually changes your brain chemistry! So I don't know if you are taking an antidepressant, but most people who live with chronic pain do need to take something. I have found Effexor helpful, but everyones brain chemistry is different so you may have to try a few before you find one that works for you.
Please hang in there, I know it is horrible and most people really don't understand how chronic pain can take over your life. So It is very difficult to get support from otherwise caring family and friends.
I was going to ask you if you have tried botox injections into the muscles that spasm. But it sounds like you've gone down that path already. I get injections once every 3 months. It doesn't relieve the pain, but helps with the huge knots I was getting in my muscles. These knots were really annoying, but the regular botox injections have really helped.
Regular massages have helped relax my muscles too. I've tried going to a chiropractor, and it didn't help at all. But a deep tissue massage seems to help keep my muscles relaxed, but I am still in chronic pain and need meds to dull the pain.
This chronic pain journey has been 20 years for me, I am still sane (most days) I survived the depression (which I think is the worst part of chronic pain) and I have raised 3 children with my husband.
Yes I feel very left out when I can't dance, play tennis or go skiing with everyone else. But I am thankful I am still here to enjoy life. I have had to change my priorities and expectations of life. Don't get me wrong, I still feel ripped off by my body and sorry for myself :(
I too have tried many pain relief techniques, tens, acupuncture...
I have tried so many pain meds, and have become dependent on most of the opioid meds. It sounds like you are trying so hard to find an answer,
and hopefully you will find one that works for you.
This is what I am doing right now to manage my chronic pain.
Tylenol 3's as needed, a muscle relaxant when needed, and medical marijuana when the pain becomes intolerable and to help me sleep at night.
It hurts me to stand and to walk for distances, so I use a wheelchair when I go out for the day. I can pop into a grocery store for 15 minutes and walk. But if the kids want to go shopping at the mall or we are doing a day out, I will use my wheelchair.
The botox and deep tissue massages also help. Swimming is the best exercise for me, I don't feel any pain :) and I feel free in the water. I also use a heating pad everyday. And the heated seats in the car, make driving so much more comfortable.
You may not be able to fix your problem? Then you need to look at managing your pain and discomfort.
I hope you can find some pain relief. I go for counselling on and off depending on how I am coping. It is always good to talk about your problems. So please don't give up.
Thank you for your kind words Sue. I did try Botox. 100 units into the Piriformis but it did nothing for the pain. In the last 1,500 days the best I've ever felt was last Saturday and Sunday. I wore my Lidoderm patches and took my medications and didnt drive or sit in my office chair. I HAD NO PAIN AT ALL. I felt so good that I went to work Monday morning without my TENS unit. By noon on Monday I was practically in tears. I might as well not even have had the Lidoderm patch on.
For me, the catalyst seems to be sitting at an angle particular to sitting/driving. But what does this mean?
Your story is identical to mine. I swear I could have written the exact same story describing the exact same treatments with the exact same results. Nada. I am at my wits end. I've been doing some research lately. Have you read anything about tissue remodeling? I'm checking into that now and have read testimonials and seen video testimonials of people who were cured after one to three treatments. It would be a miracle if it worked because my quality of life has diminished so much that I barely feel like going on.
This is horrible to read. I can relate. I also have the same issues in the same area. Most of the same treatments. I am speechless to offer anything. For me injections are helping. I do need a lot of them but can only get them once a month.
PLEASE, ANYONE THAT CAN OFFER ANY INFORMATION, PLEASE REPLY.
Piriformis syndrome is something here that needs to be addressed. Appreciate any responses.
I can surely offer advise on this one as I have had 6 back surgeries myself.
""" • L5-S1: There is a small broad-based posterior central disk protrusion at this level. There is no evidence for compromise of central canal or nerve roots. There is no significant foraminal narrowing. """"
Your problem lies in these 2 disks. While the bulging at L4-5 are quite common and will generally get better with time, your disk at L-5 & S1 are in trouble. This basically says that you have a herniated disk in that area and without strict bed rest can rupture these disks requiring surgery. usually a Fusion is needed at this point.
Since there is no narrowing of the central canal, it is minor. However, the pain is not minor. These types of injuries are very painful, sometimes limiting the ability to walk and your pain scale can go from 0-10 in a matter of seconds.
If this pain continues then it's time for another MRI... you could have further damage to that area.
Please keep a close eye on this as this type of situation can rapidly deteriorate.
What helps for me....
I use Solonpas -HOT Capsicum patches, THE BIG ONES, over the area of pain. It is only a temporary fix but it gets me through the night. I have used these patches for quite some time. They do get how but it is a good distraction method from the pain and they help for a few hours, enough for me to dose off to sleep once the heat dies down.
I have also had a treatment at the hospital which was experimental. They used this capsicum (under a chemical name but again experimental) and I did try this treatment but it burned my skin, so that procedure did not work but the over the counter Solonpas patches, I can tolerate.
Wish I could offer something more but ANYONE who has anything to offer, FEEDBACK would very much be appreciated. Thank you for your replies up to date and thank you for listening.
Thank you for your feedback. I may do the same.
Because of the steroid injections I had over time, I developed osteoporosis and I can feel it in the top of my hip bone, but again, this is the bone I feel. The muscle spasms I feel in my buttocks and ham string are related to the pull on the area of the piriformis muscle (according to one doctor).
Would be interested FROM ANYONE, what diagnosis they have received.
I did have a spinal fusion to the L-4,5 many years ago and developed scar tissue but that is 'normal' as a result of the procedure. The S-1 treatments I have had include many procedures, too many to list, including years of physical therapy but that only intensified the pain.
The Botox injections seem to help. Would appreciate any further experiences with this Botox injection from others who have had this procedure.
As a group who experience this pain DAILY, any feedback would be appreciated, so we can educate the doctors on paying attention to what needs to be done TODAY! Thanks...
I am not sure what the marijuana is supposed to do. I had tried this many years ago but did not like the TCP effect. I was also given Marinol which really did nothing for me, but that is just me.
Tell me a little more about what this plant does for pain issues. Maybe be worth checking into again, maybe?
google it for comprehensive info.
For some it acts as a muscle relaxant and for some as a pain reliever.
Just ask a cancer person about how it helps with nausea and appetite during chemo.
And for some----nothing.. Or they do not like the "high".
BTW not addictive. Not a gateway.
BTW `a big threat to tobacco and other businesses. $$$$$$$$
BTW for some it opens their eyes to the ******** going on around them---to the sick society---hypocrisy of politicians----abusiveness....war...poverty......opens the Eyes!!!!!!!~
So....google or wikipedia it-----interesting stuff.....quite the adventure to read about it..........om
Thanks appreciate the info.
I know when I was younger, my eyes were opened to many a drug back then. I am surprised I survived with all that I did to my body back then.
Now a days, after being on all the 'legal' drugs, they did more damage to me than I care to remember and I am thankful that I no longer take those drugs.
Alternative medications I have heard from others and they appreciate what that does for them. I am not so sure I am a candidate for these alternate medications but have an open mind to listen and learn.
It sure as hell can't be any more damaging than what the medical profession is giving people now a days, including the addiction that doctors prescribe with just a flick of their pen.
You know what they say about weed, it's the most natural pain reliever NOT on the market. Why is it that alcohol and tobacco are legal and pot isn't? Indians have used it for medicinal and heightened spiritual aspects for hundreds of years. Hmmm
Neurodynamic therapy a branch of physiotherapy: This is comparative a new therapy.Kinesio tapes are used. I am searching a physio therapist who is using this neurodynamic therapy for the tightness of my feet.Kinesio tape is a name of the brand of tape.
Good luck in your quest. Anything is better then just prescribing another pill.
When my caregiver has pain in the bottom of his feet, I massage the balls of his feet as in reflexology, which really helps him. He really believes in this reflexology.
I used to have a Doctor with a DO after his name. He would message the shoulder blade area and unlock all those tight muscles. If he would have let me, Ii would have sat there all day. There is nothing like a good massage to loosen the tightness and relieve the pain.
I actually purchased a massage machine to help with the tight muscle spasms I get in different areas of my body. When I went to the acupuncture doctor, he would do the treatments and then give me a massage afterwards. It was only for about ten minutes and I BEGGED him/her NOT to stop! Now I can massage the pain areas at leisure and enjoy the home treatments.
Beautiful machine! Works wonders! Trying to get my caregiver to try it, still working on it.
I think I am in love with this machine! Do they have a therapy group for this?
I have very similar issues due to a recalled hip replacement and I take
Hydromorphone and oxycontin. It works very well for me.
4 mgs for the hydro and 20mg's for the oxycontin. Plus as much excersise as I can handle keeps me from feeling pain all the time...
Staying active is the key to managing my pain, but honestly could not do it without the pain meds, unfortunately.
Groundhog, I've read your post with interest because 8 months ago I started having the same symptoms and nothing so far has made the pain go away. Have you had any new developments? I'm seeing a new doctor for this and he first wants me to try a few sessions of active release technique. If that has no effect I'll get an injection of some sort. If that makes the pain go away he'll know it's one thing, and if not then it could be another. So looks like it's the process of elimination here. It's such a depressing and discouraging thing to live with, and I have no idea why this even started in the first place.
Anyway, I hope you see this because if you found the cause and/or treatment I'd be really interested to know. Thanks.
I went through the complete thread. It has covered almost all therapies. I did miss feed back therapy and i do think that learning self hypnosis can help to a great extent. In the past hypnosis was quite popular.Maybe, it will come back in a newer form.
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