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Thread: Chronic back ache--need help

  1. #1

    Chronic back ache--need help

    I have had a back ache for more than a month at the level of my injury (t11-a12 incomplete). It is worse in the AM. The pain radiates down my R leg and interferes with my transfers and when pushing up steeper inclines. This isn't a spinal cord pain, but more like someone able-bodied whose back "goes out". I am very active and this is restricting my lifestyle greatly. Can I have this evaluated by my primary or should I make an appt. with my SCI doc, who is 65 miles away? Is there some kind of wrap or binder I can use in the interim to add support? Is there any OTC med that might provide relief? I take neurontin and Aleve now. If this is helpful, I have a laminectomey and metal plate at the site of the injury. I'm 30 yrs. post. I don't think it's a syrinx, as I have had this problem for many years intermittently. It's just a lot worse now. TIA

  2. #2

    back pain

    Free - I would suggest that you start with an appointment with you primary care physician. Does he already know all of your history? If not, it is important that you provide this for him. If you have had this episodically over time, has anyone evaluated it before now? You should not add any OTC without first discussing this with your doctor.

    You have noted that your back feels that it has 'gone out'; someone with SCI is at the same risk as others for spine/disc problems.

    What can you do? There is a lumbar support that wraps around the trunk and fastens with velcro. You should be able to find this at a local pharmacy or medical supply store or a back store. When you put this on, it is important to be lying in a prone position; be sure that it is positioned correctly over the lower portion of your trunk. This will give you support until you are seen. I would caution you to check for any pressure areas under the support.

    You can also try either warm or cold packs, being careful that you do not use extreme temperatures for either. For some people warmth is comfortable and helpful while for others cold is more beneficial. You should also lie on your side with knees slightly flexed (body somewhat curled like a fetal position), when in bed, with a pillow between your knees to keep your legs in good anatomical alignment. If you lie on your back, be sure to have a small pillow or towel under your knees for slight elevation and a small towel folded or rolled for lower back support. When transferring, try to keep twisting of your back to a minimum. CRF

  3. #3

    Thank you, SN

    Today is the first day I really feel better. I will discuss this problem with my primary. I have full sensation and mobility in the affected area, so I'm not worried about breakdowns. I am trying to be more deliberate in doing transfers.

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