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  • Recurring degenerative disc pain

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    Old 08-16-2017, 01:34 PM   #1
    melody84
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    Location: Montana, USA
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    Question Recurring degenerative disc pain

    Hi all,
    I am suffering again from a flare up of sciatic pain for about a month. This happened 2 years ago and I resorted to epidural cortisone injections and NSAIDS, that helped a bit, but not worth the side effects. That last flare up lasted about 4 months and started decreasing slowly. I live in a rural area and have limited access to specialists, but I eventually went back to the surgeon that performed my microdiscectomy in 2011 for advice. He said that because my symptoms had started to fade, he would only recommend physical therapy, and to see him again if my condition worsens. I have continued to exercise with walking and kayaking, and may have pushed myself a little too far again. I thought I was getting much stronger over the years, but am now having recurring pain. I have my pain journal from the last time and I think my symptoms are less severe this time, but it's hard to say. To see my surgeon is a 4 hour road trip one way and I'm still walking 3-5 miles a day, though sometimes painfully. I have pain most severe in my right leg, but also some in the left, some burning sensations in my right foot and sometimes back and butt pain. Mostly strange sensations, sometimes shooting pains or restlessness and weakness. My surgeon believes that this may be from chemical irritation from the disc leaking, as my last MRI did not show anything but degeneration of my L5-L6 (extra lumbar vertebra). I am in need of conversations with people who have been through this. What do you do to deal with your chronic pain? It has definitely started to wear on me and though my husband is supportive, I know it wears on him too, and I live far from my family for work reasons. Does anyone have any suggestions for non-opiate pain medication or supplements that have helped you? I do not like pain pills that intoxicate me and don't want to take sleeping pills or antidepressants. I do light stretches that sometimes ease the pain a little. Looking for advice on how to get through the hard times.

     
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    Old 08-17-2017, 06:22 AM   #2
    MississippiJean
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    Re: Recurring degenerative disc pain

    I don't know if you are taking any kind of anti-inflammatory or not, but that's what has helped me the most.
    I started with Mobic (not much help), then Celebrex (worked great for a few years until it didn't anymore), and now I'm taking Voltaren (generic version). The Voltaren is working really well. The only problem I've has is when I don't take it with food - it upsets my stomach, but not bad.

    As for physical therapy, I did that for 4 weeks and it helped tremendously, mostly just to learn which stretches and exercises I needed to be doing. Even though I went because of back pain, it turns out that it was partly because my hips were "tight".
    If you don't want to, or can't, actually go to physical therapy, google "pelvic tilt", "hip rotation", and "figure 4" stretches. As long as you don't overdo it, it won't hurt to try.

    Speaking of "overdoing", if I were you, I would cut back some on the walking - maybe walk just 2 miles a day for awhile. There's no reason to continue something that is painful.
    I had walked about 3.5 miles a day on a vacation trip and was having pain. My orthopedist said that I needed to continue walking, but not that much!

     
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    back pain, chronic pain, degenerative disc, degenerative disc disease, depression



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