I've had chronic pain since a car accident in 2004 that caused a lot of back problems (an MRI in 2006 had a pain specialist telling me I had the spine of someone in their 70s and I was 26 at the time). Over the past few years, I've been getting more and more of a tolerance to different pain meds and I would prefer to be off the pills if possible. I've had trigger point injections many times, several steroid injections in parts of my spine, hips, SI joints, etc. and went through PNT treatment at Walter Reed. The PNT treatment worked the best, it's like acupuncture with electricity - needles going in a few CM and being hooked up to a machine that sends electrical impulses through it. Unfortunately, since my divorce, I can't get treatment at a military health facility and I have not found any civilian practitioners that offer it. I do have both a TENS unit and a EMS unit and they provide some relief, but it's limited in that the sweating I get from the narcotics makes it hard to keep the patches in position for more than a few minutes.
I'm looking into possibly getting a nerve block or something else. I was wondering what experiences anyone has with various medical procedures to help control pain. My medical conditions include osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs with impingement on nerve roots, buldging discs, muscle spasms, bone spurs, ulcerative colitis - recently out of remission, migraines, asthma, allergies and GERD.
Any advice and experiences with medical procedures would be greatly appreciated.
Regarding the PNT, I would think you could find an interventional pain management doctor who could offer this to you. Is has been approved by the FDA since around 2002, I believe...so there must be doctors out there who offer it. Make some calls to see what you can find out. Perhaps some physical therapy clinics are offering it as well.
I've called around and asked around all kinds of places (physical therapists, pain specialists, spine specialists, sports medicine specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, insurance companies, etc.)and no one in the area seems to have it. I also am no longer living in the DC area where people frequently make 6 figure incomes.
I have not yet considered surgery as I see that as a "last resort" and I want to go through the other options first. I'd appreciate anyone's experiences with different medical procedures, including surgeries, so that I can get a feel for things to discuss at my next appointment. Thanks!
I think people need a few more details about what specifically is wrong with your back before they might be able to share some of their own experiences.
Is your pain stemming from the lumbar spine? I presume you have degenerative disc disease, but what else is going on? If your pain is stemming from DDD and spinal arthritis, there are only limited treatments available.