My boyfriend is only 23 and works as a carpenter, and 2 years ago had mri scan and was told he had 2 bulging discs. He had pain injections then, but as they never helped he has just lived with the pain which is in the right side of the middle of his back. The pain is a constant stabbing sensation, and he also gets sciatica. Somedays he can't stand straight and this seems to be happening a lot lately. He had pain killing injections on 21st september 2011 and at first they worked a bit for a few days but now the pain is back again. He went to the doctors last week to say he still in pain, and they prescribed Naproxen,which he started taking yesterday but not working at all.
I think he should be referred to a proper back specialist now, as he has tried the pain injections,physio and exercises but his chronic pain not improved. I would really appreciate the advice of anyone of you who have been through a similar thing. Am I right in thinking that he should be under the care of a specialist, and given another mri scan to see if his condition has got worse in 2 years. Can he demand that his doctor refers him. Really need answers as soon as possible as he suffering so much, and he is such a kind gentle person, and deserves better than being told by his doctor to take yet more painkillers.
You have to give the naproxen a few days to a week or two to see if it is going to help. Anti inflammatories are commonly used to help reduce the inflammation in back pain. Injections help some times and not others, so it is really no surprise that they don't always help with the pain.
Getting a new MRI would be a good idea, since it's been two years since he had one. Especially given that his back is giving him problems more frequently. Buldging discs are common and can happen because of the position of the person when the scan is done, but it also can be indicative of a problem with the disc, depending on how much it is buldging.
If there is anything on the new MRI, ask to be seen by a board certified spine surgeon or neuro spine surgeon. They can tell you what recommendations , PT, TENS, referrals back to Pain management might be in order.
In the meantime, using ice and a heating pad, alternating 15 minutes on and then 20 minutes off, along with some of the topical stuff that is available over the counter might give a lot of relief. Don't let him sleep with either the ice or the heating pad since both can cause burns and damage to the skin.
The Following User Says Thank You to backhurtz For This Useful Post: tara24 (10-18-2011)
I agree with backhurtz; probably needs to get a new MRI to get a good look at things. Also yea naproxen can take a week or two to kick in. Most doctors will start with medications and physical therapy first, normaly a month each, and then go to shots and then to other tests if needed.