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Thread: Chronic Back Pain

  1. #1

    Chronic Back Pain

    Hey all,

    I posted this in the care section but I think I just found the right place.

    I'm a T-6 ASIA B 3 years post. I have chronic pain in my back. When I got out of rehab I was raring to go on with my life. I went skiing, got a handcycle, and did all kinds of things. Over the years my back has had more and more pain in it. Since my injury, it always felt tired but now I go to work and after spending the day in agony hopped up on painkillers I go home and spend the rest of my time laying down. It’s not much of a life. I don't know what to do. I had my rods and screws removed. I'm seeing a pain management specialist as well as a PT and chiropractor. It seems like the muscles in my back are super tight and spasiming. Everything I've done so far has been temporary. I'm currently on lots of Percocet. I tried Oxycontin but it didn't seem to cut it. Pain management gave me trigger point injections right into the muscles when that failed to work they tried nerve block injections with no relief. Does anyone have any better suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I've had cronic pain and totaly disabled for 21 years now had 23 operations ,and take 15 medications a day I wish I could do part of the things you do to ride on a bike , I forget what that feels like I'm 50 and the DR.'s say not much else can be done for my back , now due tto 7 back operations ,that caused me to have a neurogenic Bladder now my Bladder isn't functioning at all I have to wear a bag all the time that collect my URINE and when it fills up I empty it and that's how I have to live the rest of my life cronic Pain ,and I take 2 percocet every 4 hours I take 30 MG of Oxcontin 3X's a day 10 MG of Valium 3X's a day and the list goes on!!! good luck I hope you don't have to suffer to much like I do.

  3. #3
    I would first of all not assume you will be in chronic pain for the remainder of your life. I would go to your neurosurgeon or spine orthopaedic surgeon to see if there is any specific pathology in your remaining spine that is causing your pain. It could feel like muscles are spasming and tightening but the problem is a disk or narrowing of the openings around the nerves where they come out of the spine.
    My example - I am 4 years out from SCI T12/L1 and I spent the first 3 years in agony taking narcs yet cross country sitskiing and alpine sitskiing like crazy. After much agony ,I finally went back to the neurosurgeons and they found out that I had trashed the remaining lumber spine segments that was causing stenosis (pinching) of the spinal nerves. I had fusion/decompression of those damaged vertabra and now I feel like someone gave my life back to me. Pain - gone. No more narcs. Just Lyrica for some neuropathic burning.
    My pain management doc kept saying , 'oh, this is the way you are going to be for your life' without reexamining the spine for new pathology.
    I finally went myself to the neurosurgeon for a fresh look at my spine and I am so glad I did.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I had my first operation in may 1985 due to a convayor falling on me at work my injury was L5-S1 ,so I had that operated on , then one day alls I did was sneeze and that blew out L4 , then It was going up my spine from degenitive Disc disease , and scar tissue and then Arthritis set in ,but my best proceedure was having a SPINAL STIMULATOR put in my back that instead of a pain in my bottom , and going down my legs I have a tingleing feeling that I can control ,I have sewn into my bottom a battery pack ,and I have a remote control that I can increase or decrease the tingleing or turn on and off , it works much like a tens does ,but now I have bluging discs L3-L2 it's going right up my spine and I've seen 5 different DR.'s and they all say no more operations ,I don't want anymore but they all said I will be on pain medication the rest of my life , I also have been trying trigger point injections ,but they only last 2 days ,I've been through a lot in 21 years I wish I could walk without a cane or walker , and living in New England with the weather always changing doesn't help and as I said before now my bladder no longer funtions ,and I know there are many of other people out there worse off than me , but please becareful at what you do because it doesn't take much to hurt another part of your spine ; LBUSH

  5. #5

    Questioning the nerve blocks

    Hi, I just saw a Pain Management Dr. and she has me scheduled for the testing and then the nerve burning (sensory). I have read so much stating that it doesn't work or that there is only temporary relief until the Lidocaine wears off. I already hate needles and I am getting more nervous by the day. Do you have any advice for me?
    Also I recently had a MRSA staph infection that was caused from an ER DR cutting open a "boil" and draining it, but I had no open wounds prior to this. . . He gave me a shot of Lidocaine and it did not numb; I FELT EVERYTHING. It was worse than childbirth. I wonder if the shots to numb my back will work.

  6. #6
    I was hoping to get some ideas not more stories from people. So far Ive tried nerve block, hardware out, percocet, oxcycontin, chiropractic, PT. On my way to try acupuncure and possibly lyrica or nourotin. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

  7. #7
    if your muscles are really super tight , massage therapy may help, acupuncture can also help.
    a new MRI to make sure there is not a new physical reason for the new pain and back muscles seizing up as arndog said.
    cauda equina

  8. #8
    I agree with Mike, a new MRI, my husband had serve lower back pain so he did another MRI, he now has a pinched nerve L5- we are seeing a surgeon to decide on fusion, the steroid injections did not work.
    Please get a new MRI- before it gets out of control

  9. #9
    Have you tried simple muscle relaxants to see if they do any good? Massage, as mentioned above, also sounds like a viable option. Can you do any stretching?

    Ditto on getting it checked out to be sure something else serious isn't brewing.

  10. #10

    I think David has the right idea. Central Pain just spooks the heck out of orthopods. You would have to find a gung ho type, who is also smart enough to know what he is doing. I am not exactly sure how you find out who does scauplectomies. My guess it would be at some really major institution like Duke, or Hopkins, or Mass General, or NIH. Since NIH is nearest to you, maybe you could give a call to the orthopedics secretary at NIH and find out who does most of the scapular repairs. I did a search on PubMed and there were quite a number who reported surgery on the scapulae in a novel way, implying that it wasn't all that common. Orthopods actually need a bunch of subspecialties since there really ought to be about six specialties instead of just orthopedics. The trick is to find guys who actually pride themselves on work on the scapulae. I think maybe ninety percent have never even observed the kind of surgery you have talked about here. It is an odyssey, but I dont think I would give up, until you have talked to every major center. That would include Ochsner in New Orleans, Jobst in LA, Cleveland Clinic etc. I realize you are not well enough to travel, but maybe those places could refer you to a scapular surgeon near you. Those big guys go to the academic meetings and they hear speakers and would be the most likely to know who is in this narrow area of the specialty. Again, I would hound NIH for an answer first, because they are close to you. Sorry to hear you are suffering so.

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