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Old 08-17-2004, 04:09 PM   #1
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Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Hi all-

Herniated disk L4/L5 with sciatic pain here (sometimes it's easier to identify myself by my injury). I have a question. Now, my pain can be controlled by me if I sit the right way, or stand the right way. In other words, if the nerve flares up (or whatever it is that causes the pain), and I sit quietly, in the right way, I can make the pain stop (or at least decrease to where it's tolerable). For example, I had to get dressed (the pain afterwards was awful), but after sitting for 10 minutes or so, the pain almost disappeared. Is this common? I have been fighting this for 6 months now, and I HOPE that this is a sign of progress (may be wishful thinking). I am getting frustrated by what I feel is a lack of progress, and am trying to avoid the knife. So I am hoping for any sign of progress.

Any thoughts would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

 
Old 08-17-2004, 05:32 PM   #2
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Some conditions are relieved by certain positions. For instance, people with stenosis often find that leaning on a cart while grocery shopping relives their pain. An MRI is about the only way you will know if the herniation has receded.

Good luck and take care.
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Old 08-18-2004, 12:13 AM   #3
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

w,
Are you in physical Therapy? They might be able to give you exercised and stretches that will stave off the pain longer, since you are responding to positioning your body in certain ways to alleviate the pain. Just a thought. Herniation is not my problem, so I'm not really familiar with how the symptoms feel. Good luck.

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Old 08-18-2004, 05:57 AM   #4
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Thanks Jenna's mom-I am calling my Dr. today to get back in PT

 
Old 08-18-2004, 07:31 AM   #5
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

WM--Agree with others. You sound a long way from surgery to me, frustrating as things are. But the fact that you can alter your symptoms that way is probably a good thing and gives some promise that PT can help you find ways to do it more consistently--in other words, build on what you're already doing. There's a thread on this board, "Find the Right PT," which you can find via the search engine. Check it out!

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Old 08-18-2004, 09:53 AM   #6
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

PT should help alot,and strretch every day.hamstrings and glutes tighten up from lumbar problems.certain posirions can aggravate things.i find that when laying down on my back,if icross my legs the back pain gets worse immidiately.
also a chair cushion and sitting properly with feel flat on floor help.
if you have ap roblem and the pain persists try ice,it does help alot.
it sounds like your doing ok and shouldnt even be considering surgery just yet
..............................scotty

 
Old 08-18-2004, 02:03 PM   #7
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Thanks guys-

I am feeling very encouraged. This d*mn thing really can get you depressed.

 
Old 08-19-2004, 11:03 AM   #8
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

pain and depression go hand in hand.its something that ive been struggling with for some time.waking up in pain is no way to start each day.hang in there and give it your best shot as far as exersize is concerned.it will improve things dramatically..........scotty

 
Old 08-19-2004, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Thanks again Scotty. It helps to hear others have these issues.

 
Old 08-19-2004, 12:25 PM   #10
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Are you currently on any medication? I was having daily debilitating pain in my back and hips along with gripping nerve pain for months before I found myself a really good doctor, who sent me for all the right tests and got me on the right meds. Turns out, I'm one of those people born with a congenital narrowing of the spinal column and now that I'm getting older, it was becoming more pronounced and, I also found out I had a small bone spur and a small herniated disc. Anyway, I'm now taking Arthrotec, 75mg twice a day, and 300 mg of Neurontin at night (I know I know, there are a lot of people down on Neurontin because this is an off-label use but it's worked wonders for me). It took a few months for everything to really work but I'll tell you, the difference in me is amazing. I was barely able to walk at times (and still dragging myself thru a commute to NYC everyday thru it) and now, while I have occassional "twinges", I can function daily with minimal complaint. Also, because I feel so much better physically, all the mental anguish I was in has disappeared as well. Mind and body really are very connected! I also managed to lose some weight, which has speeded things along as well.

Just something else to thing about! Good luck!

 
Old 08-20-2004, 06:10 AM   #11
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

right now, the only thing I am on is what I think is a light dose of mobic (7.5 mg) daily, and extra strength Tylenol. I am wary of narcotic painkillers (don't trust myself not to get addicted-I have one of those addictive type personalities).

 
Old 08-20-2004, 06:17 AM   #12
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Not all medications are narcotics. The one I take, Arthotec, is an anti-inflammatory drug. There are many others of its sort out there, such as Vioxx. They are much stronger than Tylenol. These drugs will in no way have any affect on addictive tendencies, as there is no high associated with them at all.

I can relate somewhat to the addictive situation, as I certainly was someone who indulged quite a bit when younger, but as I got older, thankfully I've found narcotics aren't fun anymore - they actually make me quite ill. I recently had some serious dental surgery and only took the narcotic they gave me for a day and a half, switching over to Advil thereafter, because I was so sick to my stomach due to the codeine.

I think you owe it to yourself, if the pain you are experiencing is great, to talk to your doctor about finding another medication which will work right for you.
Good luck!

 
Old 08-20-2004, 06:57 AM   #13
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

Thanks for the input-I have a call in to my Dr. now. By the way, Mobic (which I take) is very similar to Vioxx-it's an anti inflamatory in the same class. I am thinking a slightly higher dose will help.

I see all these people on Oxycontin, Lortab, etc., and it really scares me, because prescription drug abuse is so prevalent, and so easy to get caught up in.

 
Old 08-20-2004, 07:43 AM   #14
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

I'm glad to hear that you're able to find positions that give you no pain, that's a luxury I'm not able to have!!
One thing that does upset me though, is those that think oxycontin etc. are so addictive!! You really should put "addiction vs chronic pain" in a search engine, and then you'll see that those that truly suffer from chronic pain, CAN'T get addicted!! Chronic pain suffers don't get any high from these meds!
This is exactly why those of us that have tried everything else, and require narc meds to achieve adequate relief, have so much trouble getting our meds and are treated like druggies!!
I was bedridden for 3yrs, trying all the other (non-narc) meds, until I was sent to a pm dr, and he saw how much pain I was in!! If it wasn't for oxycontin and percocet, I'd still be bedridden, and my kids wouldn't have a mom to do things with!!
I'd also be careful with the anti-inflams, 'cause I was put on so many different ones to find relief, and now have ulcers from it!!
Anyway, good luck with your dr!! I hope he manages to find a way to relieve your pain completely, take care!!

 
Old 08-20-2004, 08:14 AM   #15
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Re: Pain Question-am I grasping for straws?

OK-I am NOT preaching here, because drugs like Oxycontin have been absolute lifesavers for people like you. These drugs have a very useful place. BUT, there is no denying that Oxycontin, Lortab, etc. can be highly addictive (see Rush Limbaugh). Add to that the fact that I have alcoholism and other addictions on both sides of my family, and my tendancy toward it (if I am not careful), and I personally have a formula for disaster.

So I am in NO WAY criticizing or preaching about painkillers, I am merely stating my concerns about them for me.

 
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