Re: Spinal Stenosis and Fibromyalgia
Sorry you have joined those of us with so many problems, especially the back and Fibro. You are doing good by asking and becoming informed because you will be your own best advocate.
What I can tell you is that I did the injections and got so little relief for myself that it was not worth it for me. But, just as it is with any other medicine, it may work great for some and even have no effect or even adverse reactions for someone else.
Don't know who you have as a primary doc, but hopefully you can get them to work closely with the doctor treating your back. From here, there are two points I wish to make and other readers probably get tired of me saying this, but especially with Fibro, I urge you to have a spine specialist treating your back problems and not just a general ortho or general neuro. If you are not familiar with the difference, the two more important points to check when looking at their credentials and licensing is that they have completed a spine fellowship (better if a two year fellowship) and they truly specialize and devote their actual practice to the spine thereby are not doing brain surgery if neuro and are not doing knees and shoulders, etc if ortho.
The reason I stress this is that only a true spine specialist is going to be up on the latest and greatest techniques AND already experienced iin the procedures as they are the ones the companies are going to cater to and train first. These specialists devote their time to the one, very complicated area of our body instead of spending maybe 15-25% of their time on it like a general ortho or neuro might do. Does it make a big difference? Definitely!
Why have your doc work with the spine doc? With Fibro, my Osteopath is my primary care provider and by his willingness & my spine specialists willingness to keep each other informed, along with my own attempts to make sure that my Osteopath knows where I am regarding treatments, the Osteopath has made adjustments in my other meds in preparation for surgery and injections and this has made things a LOT easier for me in that I've not experienced any significant side effects to make the Fibro worse, the asthma worse, the migraines, etc. For instance, the spine specialist being aware of my conditions may have been even more alert and spotted several areas of fluid seepage that he patched and considerably reduced my migraines, and was willing to do further films when they increased again, confirming all was okay and that the new increase in migraines was medicine related. He made changes and worked with the migraine doc so that things were brought back under control in no time.
So, back to the injections, they are worth trying, as they do work for some individuals and you won't know if they will help you unless you do them. But just be aware of how many you get. You do want to limit the amount of steroids you get, with no more than 3 injections within a 12 month period, so that doesn't mean just spinal injections. Keep track, because with Fibro, if you've had shoulder or other problems, you may have had injections within the last 12 months. Steroids in excess are a major problem creator.
For instance, not only do I have the Fibro, the back, heart, etc health problems, but as a chronic asthmatic, had to have prednisone in order to live. In the high doses that was required to control the asthma, there has been a lot of damage to the vertebrae from medication. Between that, hard work and a wreck which broke a prior spine fusion, I have had 8 spine surgeries. The last was a 10 level fusion in Dec including yet again addressing the stenosis along with all the other conditions in my spine, BUT because of the right doc's working so well together, adjustments were made to meds on a frequent basis, as my Ostepath insisted on seeing me right after I came home from the hospital, and every 4-6 weeks until now it is every 3 months, and I was able to rebound quickly and strongly. Thankfully, even with 10 levels fused I was able to return to a lot of activity at 3 months and this summer have been able to do a lot of yard work and repairs on the house. Oh, I'm probably older than you; I'm a 59 year old female and still going strong. So, if I can rebound so well against the odds, work with your docs and get them to work together to ensure you get the best techniques for your condition and body and not just what a general ortho or neuro is limited to doing, and may you have many good pain free days and years ahead.
Last edited by Quietcook; 09-21-2005 at 08:47 AM.