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Old 07-31-2007, 02:23 PM   #1
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maggieloop HB User
Chronic Back Pain, need advice

Hi,

I've been reading these boards for about a month now and this is my first time posting. I have been suffering from major back/hip/sciatic pain since the birth of my 2nd daughter in April 2006. I gave birth to my 3rd daughter 2-1/2 weeks ago and am having even more pain.Here is a brief (I'll try to keep it brief) background of my problems:

Sept 2003 (7 months pregnant): I fell down a flight of stairs at the house and broke my right ankle, sprained both knees and sprained my left ankle. After the birth of my daughter in Nov 2006 I had slight back pain, but nothing that I needed to seek medical help for.

April 2006: I had an epidural (thus could feel nothing) and hubby dropped my right leg between contractions and it swung back and forth 4 times before the nurse and he noticed and put the leg in the stirrups. I had the epidural then pain meds while in the hospital and felt no pain in my back (or anywhere for that matter); however, 2 days after going home I was in such pain that I couldn't stand straight up and I shuffled instead of walked. My pain was in my lower back and I had sciatic pain in the right leg. For this I was prescribed oxycodone (which got switched to hydrocodone since the oxy made me loopier than normal) and an MRI. The MRI didn't show anything wrong. I also went to PT, which didn't really do much of anything (I could do the pilates at home for free).

September 2006: Found out I was pregnant again and I stopped taking valium (for muscle spasms) and hydrocodone. I then started taking the hydros again during the 2nd trimester due to terrible pain in my back/hips/leg.
After my daughter was born, I fell 2 times in the hospital. My left leg just went out from under me and I thought it was an effect from the epidural. Now, its 2-1/2 weeks later and I have fallen 3 times in the past 4 days (luckily I wasn't holding the baby) and have extreme sciagtic pain in both legs, lowe back pain and joint pain in the hips and knees.

My dad has had surgery on his back and other pain issues and bought a device on TV (Dr Ho's Massager). I borrowed it from him and it seems to help while I'm using it and for about an hour or so after I'm done. I have a call in to the doctor for an MRI (she thinks I may have a slipped or bulging disc) and for different pain meds. I went in last Monday to talk about the back problems and she prescribed vicodin, but sometimes I have to take 3 at a time and they don't really do anything, even if I take an ibuprofin with them. The nurse called this AM and said the scrip for the MRI is on the docs desk and she will call me back about the pain meds. I just hope that I can get something....I took my last vicodin this morning and ibuprofin isn't cutting it. I'm sure I've left some details out, but you get the idea of myy problems.

If you've gotten this far, thanks for listening. I guess my question is: Has anyone used a nerve stimulator before and has it worked? Is there anything besides narcotic pain meds that will help with the pain? I've been using Tiger Balm and that works for a few mintues and that's it.

Thanks, Maggie

 
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:39 PM   #2
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GracefulOne HB User
Re: Chronic back pain and TENS unit??

Maggieloo, Welcome.

I also read your post on the back problems healthboard. I'm sorry your feeling horrible after such a wonderful addition to your family!

I tried a TENS unit prior to my surgeries and didn't have alot of luck with it. My husband is a Physical Therapist and he would also take me in to the office after hours and do ultrasound and stim on my lower back.

I think your on the right role with having your doctor get you in for an MRI. If you have a herniated disc or another structural problem, it's very likely what is causing your pain. In addition, with all that falling down it wouldn't suprise me if that is what you had (this coming from "Grace" herself - how I ended up with 2 herniations!)

I'm sure as joyful of a time as it is for you and your family it is stressful as all get out with two little ones and a newborn!

The only advice I can give you is what has worked and still is working for me...rest and ice...or rest and heat...depending on the day! Try to ice your back for about 20 minutes out of every hour or heat if it makes you feel better, however, if you have any inflammation heat could make it worse.

Lastly, make sure your doctor knows all medications you are taking - especially if you are breastfeeding!

Good Luck!

Jennifer
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:47 PM   #3
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GracefulOne HB User
Re: Chronic Back Pain, need advice

Maggieloo, Welcome.

I also read your post on the pain management healthboard. I'm sorry your feeling horrible after such a wonderful addition to your family!

I too have the upper butt, hip, and upper thigh pain - I ended up having two herniations at L4/5 and L5/S1.

I tried a TENS unit prior to my surgeries and didn't have alot of luck with it. My husband is a Physical Therapist and he would also take me in to the office after hours and do ultrasound and stim on my lower back. If you can get a hold of a TENS unit however, it's worth a try.

I think your on the right role with having your doctor get you in for an MRI. If you have a herniated disc or another structural problem, it's very likely what is causing your pain. In addition, with all that falling down it wouldn't suprise me if that is what you had (this coming from "Grace" herself - how I ended up with 2 herniations!)

I'm sure as joyful of a time as it is for you and your family it is stressful as all get out with two little ones and a newborn!

The only advice I can give you is what has worked and still is working for me...rest and ice...or rest and heat...depending on the day! Try to ice your back for about 20 minutes out of every hour or heat if it makes you feel better, however, if you have any inflammation heat could make it worse.

I just thought of another thing...most likely your doing a lot of lifting of the new little one...maybe get a hold of a lumbar-sacral or abdominal binder - just to give you that extra support so your not over using your back muscles when you lift...I got one at a home medical supply store for about $30.

As far as medication is concerned, I've been taking Vicodin and am also on a Fentanyl Patch...however...neither one does a whole lot for my pain...I know I've taken more than a standard dose of Vicodin trying to make it through an eight hour day a few weeks ago when I returned back to work...I know that taking the 800mg of Advil is considered prescription level, however, I'm not sure of problems in mixing the two.

Lastly, and I'm sure you realize this, make sure your doctor knows all medications you are taking - especially if you are breastfeeding! I would also recommend you pestering them until they get you in - it's miserable enough to be in pain - you don't need the extra stress when your trying to take care of a newborn!

Good Luck!
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:12 PM   #4
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mudbone HB User
Re: Chronic back pain and TENS unit??

I use my TENS unit just about everynight. Somtimes on bad days I take to work with me I like it so much. Its summer now but during the winter try an electric heating pad that helps too, but I had to get rechargable batteries for my unit I use it so much. I does take the edge off the stabbing pains. Hope you feel better!

 
Old 07-31-2007, 04:20 PM   #5
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ozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB User
Re: Chronic back pain and TENS unit??

Hey Maggie-
I used a TENS unit for a couple years, and for that time it worked for me. It eventually stopped working to help keep my pain levels managable unfortunately. My PM dcotor prescribed the Alpha Stim for me to use, and I have to say I adore that little thing! It's similar to a TENS, but works for me about 10 times better. The particular one I used is the Alhpa Stim 100, and it comes with the electrode pads the same as a TENS, but also comes with wands and these neat little ear clips. The ear clips are what I use at night time if I'm having a hard time sleeping because of the pain. During the day, I use the electrode pads, and then I also use the wands around my knee and on my leg.

This little piece of machinery has been a God send for me on numerous occasions!!

PS- I ended up outright buying the TENS unit and paid quite a bit of money for it since my insurance didn't feel I needed it. The Alpha Stim was considerably less because I was able to purchase it through my PM doctor. That was a huge plus.

Last edited by ozzybug; 07-31-2007 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Added information

 
Old 08-02-2007, 04:39 PM   #6
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monkey5 HB User
Re: Chronic Back Pain, need advice

mudbone, i have posted alot on here without much success but i know everyone has thier days with thier pin as i havent been on the net for three months since falling. Just today my councler asked me about a tens unit how can i go about getting one? I feel it's worth a try and can't hust as i am going insane waiting for Dr. to get to the bottom of all this. I am a mother of five boys two you are on disability and all under the age of 18 and my husband has to pretty much all the work, so anything at this point is worth a shot!
Love, Discouraged

 
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