Discussions that mention niaspan

Back Problems board

:cool:I have read a lot of the postings on here about ESI's but they most they seem to be from the gal's perspective and some interation with their monthlies so I thought I would tell my story. I am a 51 year old accountant (spend most of my time sitting for 30 years.) 5' 10" and 157

I went for two years with burning pain all the way from the base of my butt to the bottom of my feet. I was taking Niaspan for cholesterol so I stopped that thinking maybe it was neuropathy from that but no help. Also had severe pain in my right foot. First went to an ortho who diagnosed a bone spur in my big toe and some other miscellaneous arthritis in the rest of my foot (flat feet). Gave me cortisone shot in there that helped for a few weeks and have been on NSAIDS for at least 3 years. Then started noticing pretty severe ringing in my right ear and decided I needed to try something else.

Went to a neurologist who diagnosed nerve inflammation in both legs. CAT scan showed compression with nerve impingment at L1-S5 and S5-S4 with some stenosis and impingment on the sciatic nerve, which explained all the leg pain. I just had the 3rd ESI yesterday. I had them about a week and a half apart. The first one was like a miracle, but only lasted for about a week. The second one didn't last nearly as long, but I drove to my parent's for Thanksgiving (550 miles and back) and I'm sure that didn't help. Today, I am lying in bed on ice on a little Percocet buzz.

For anyone who is contemplating this, make sure that the dr. that does it uses the fluroscope/dye method so they can put it right where they want. I haven't had any side effects from the steroid itself at all that I can tell. As far as the actual procedure, I took a couple of xanax before I went in so I was pretty mellow. They give you a choice of Versed or not, take the Versed. The procedure is not exactly pleasant, but I've had a lot of worse things done to me medically and with the Versed you really don't give a crap. The xylocaine or whatever local they give you first keeps you pretty pain free for about the first 6 or 8 hours. The second day you are pretty sore (that's why I get them on Friday, you probably don't want to go to work the next day). Based on the first two, I don't expect any miracles. Maybe a few weeks before the burning is back in earnest.

My main problem is that I can't sit for a long time before the base of my spine starts to throb. I can't stand on my right foot because of the bone spur, and I can stand on my left leg because I had a major spiral fracture of both bones from a ski accident and I have some arthritis in my knee from that. The job I have is pretty intense mentally, so I can't take any pain meds at work. Basically what I do it just tough it out for a couple of days and then when I can't stand it anymore I take a Percocet holiday for an evening.

I have an appointment Monday to start PT. They have me set up for aquatic therapy, massage, a TENS unit, and a couple of other things. Hopefully some of that will help.

I think at the end of the day I will need some kind of surgery, but as far as back surgery is concerned, the longer I wait, the more chance there is that the technique will get more refined with less chance of unintended consequenses. My pain doc doesn't seem to be too anal about the pain meds so as long as I can take my little "vacations" I think I can tough it out for now.

I am really interested in anyone's experience with TENS with this kind of back problem. I have used it for muscle cramps and soreness, but not back.

I really love these boards. I have been using them for at least 6 years and they really let you know what you are getting into before you make major medical decisions. :)