Back & Neck Community
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Avatar universal

in pain management, need help!

I'm currently in pain management and am quite young (21 y/o) living with chronic pain. Two major car accidents, and one sports injury lead to 4 herniated/ruptured discs. I've had steriod and epidural injections (6 in last year), radio-frequency, and disectomy, and nameless other procedures. P/M put me in chiro after p/t ended. Currently on skelaxin and desiprimine for spasms and nerve damage however nothing for breakthrough pain. I'm fed up, i feel like they just want to keep putting needles in me that ultimately do not work. any suggestions for better medications considering my age, or if this will get better?? any advice thank you!!
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Avatar universal
Sorry to hear you are going through this, especially at such a young age. We have very similar situations, nearly identical. I know how discouraging it can be. My advice is to create your own exercise based therapy for your back and do it RELIGIOUSLY every day, multiple times a day. Use only back friendly movement, by this I mean do not do things that hurt Our bad backs make tend to make us move LESS and this contributes to the pain and the problem but select your exercises carefully and modify, modify , modify according to your pain. Opiates also can contribute to the pain believe it or not! Use them with caution. I would NOT visit a Chiro, they can cause you more problems. Be very careful using them. I used one at first ( my injuries occured 2000) and the Chiro made my pain situation WORSE. Thankfully I was also seeing a doctor who explained to me why that might be happening. Stopping the Chiro helped quite a bit. Stretching and daily walking, some yoga movements and some pilates helped me enormously. The key is doing them regularly and never missing a day. Possibly swimming and other low impact movement therapies can work for you. Rest is as important as exercise. Building up your muscles to support your compromised skeletal system is the answer. Diligence is paramount. I was told I would not improve but I did. Do not listen to anyone who tells you it will not improve, unless they have a crystal ball they do not know. I would keep doing the epidurals, at 6 I didn't have much of an improvement, by the 12th epidural I started to improve. Make sure whoever is administering them is doing so with the aid of the latest machinery where they can see where they are putting the steroids so they are being placed in the correct area. You want to limit steroid use but in our cases over time they can be extremely beneficial. I used alternating periods of exercise/rest. I learned the difference between "good" pain and bad, good pain keep pushing yourself, bad pain REST. Listen to your body. Get out of bad pain immediately. Do not do activities that increase bad pain. You absolutely have to lie down or find a pain free position and get out of pain when that happens. Be patient. Do not give up. Frustration leads to stress, stress works against you. employ the " I think I can" mantra continually. I WILL improve, it WILL get better.Say it in your head every time you have a discouraging thought. Think of Christopher Reeve or someone else worse off than you to remind yourself it isn't as bad as some have it.

The meds you are on didn't work for me, I use Vicoprophen one 200mg pill 3X a day. It works o thepain and does not impede my cognitive abilities. I occasionally use muscle relaxers but the side effects from them were worse than the help they offered for the most part.

It takes a LONG TIME. Keep a positive attitude that it WILL get better. Your youth works greatly in your favor. Use relaxation and low impact exercise and rest. Keep going with the epidurals, give them time. My first epidurals actually increased my pain, very discouraging but for those of us with dramatic skeletal situations, that can happen. THis doesnt mean they arent working.
Use good nutrition and take your vitamins daily,investigate supplements that can promote healing and cell regeneration. Above all keep a positive attitude and do not let it win. Empower yourself to heal with positive thoughts. I know it sounds new agey, but it WORKS.
Avatar universal
Kalio1, thank you so much for your information and advice! How exactly, or what type of exercises do u suggest? Similar to the ones I was doing in my grueling rehab and P/T ?? i.e. strenghtening, bike, crunches, etc? It has been discouraging, as i am sure you can relate. I am an athlete however it has been hindered do to all of this to get back to my old self :(. I can't even run anymore. Of course i understand i need to gradually work up to what I used to do, and running is wayyyy down on the list. I actually finished with chiro, and I agree, along with others that the manipulation actually makes it worse (feels better for a litte though). It is currently 3am and my sleep is terribly disturbed. My doctor's don't seem to understand the words that are coming out of my mouth when i say things like this! I understand my age has something to do with it of course (referring to opiates). Any thoughts on Ultram? Should i mention breakthrough pain and ask for a rescue medicine such as a Vicoprofen or Vicoden ES? Im currently sitting here with my TENS unit (muscle stim that costs me $1500) on my neck and lumbar, and writing a check for my massage therapist tomorrow. Have you ever tried accupunture? I am curious about that as well. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
172715 tn?1285498090
CONT. Sorry I forgot to mention a new drug that is used for the nerve pain for diabeties and shingles.  You might want to look into LYCRIA
172715 tn?1285498090
Hate to hear of someone so young in that much pain.  I have had back pain since I was 25. I am now 46.  I had a herniated disk L5S1 that was pinching my sciatic nerve.  It went undiagnoised for a year ( 5 diff DRs. & none got it right) Because of the duration of the nerve being pinched I have had sciatic symptoms since then.  My surgery was a success though.  I take Ultram for pain issues and I can't really tell if it still works, I am afraid to stop it though. I also take Vicodin for break though pain which the longer you take it the more you need to take, to get rid of pain and it doesn't last long enough anymore.  I think that my Chiro makes my pain worse too.  I have had more luck with PT (only if you get a good PT) I have been messed up by bad PT's.  I have so many diff. ailments that cause pain and I've burnt my friends and family out with my moaning.  I do suggest a good psychiatrist to talk to and something for anxiety and depression.  Elavil has been known to work miracles if you can stand the weight gain.  Prayer works miracles too even if it just gives you some peace of mind. No bad side effects either!  Best of Luck to You and hope you have a nice Christmas season.
Avatar universal
hi, thank you for the advice. elavil actually made me so extremelly drowsy they switched me to another tricyclic called Norpramin, or desipramine...useless. I think i may switch back to ultram, however i just recently lost the 15 pounds i gained which stunk. I think I may start p/t again as well. your advice of a physitrist, i agree! i started seeing one last year, however she moved, i need to see who my insurance will now cover. thanks again.
Avatar universal
hi i have several back problems, both cervical and lumbar, but, my primary reason for seeking this site is my son[s situation.  he is 25 and have a 16 mm L5-S1 disc herniation which is a result of an undiagnosed fracture of his spine about 10 years ago..Mind blowing..but true..not entirely unbelieveable as they missed his fractured arm as well times 3 months..it was a bad motocross accident with traumatic head injury..still no excuse.
At present..he is age 25, in unbelievable pain...has been to 3 ortho's with 3 different recommendations...
He is told by the general physician's to have surgery...the ortho's say go conservative...the epidural route..I suggested the epidural/pt combination.  
I know that when I was faced with cervical surgery or live with the pain..I elected the pain...situation was different..and the pain was immense...but, my son is not gonna be able to continue on this was...he can barely walk, sit or sleep...I see that surgery is less than sucessful... one surgeon said "epidural times 2 then discectomy..another..pt...then fusion if pt fails...another..epidural only.  I will show him this site and perhaps he will communicate with you himself..I know he needs to talk to others...not "mom"  and to you.."backpain"  aged 21..my heart does go out to you..perhaps you and he can chat...have a blessed holiday to all.
Avatar universal
I mistyped your name on my previous post..sorry.  but, you probably knew who I meant...that was not my only error...perhaps I should turn on my lights and I might be able to see the keyboard..lol.... will sure show my son this site...hope you and he can speak...it so helps to compare notes..etc..as you know..and you have been given some really good advice I can see that from others on this site.  The yoga stretches will be of great benefit to you....I have dealt with the back problems for 20 years and also MS and now a rare disease called Zollinger Ellison Syndrome..which is what lead me this site..in hopes I might find someone else out there in the world fighting this deadly cancer.  I will see if I get any hits off that posting..any way, you take care any listen to that good advice by..was it Kaio?  I'll learn these names...
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