Discussions that mention relafen

Back Problems board

:wave: Hi everyone. Here's what is going on in "brief" with questions at the end.

September 1996: 2 car wrecks, injuring knee and low back. Surgery on knee in 2001. Fast forward:

July 2005 Started having back pain in low mid back to right hip down right side of right leg that would cause my right two toes go numb at times.
Went to orthopedic doctor and they had me to go to Chiropractor from August-October 2005. No progress and was getting worse the more I went.
Had MRI done with L5-S1 disk bulging.
EMG showed Nerve Root Irritation and decreased range of motion on left side.
Went to Physical Therapy for a month with absolutely no progress.

November 2005: Another MRI completed with L5-S1 disk bulging & degenerative disk disease diagnosed. Told to go to Neurologist for treatment.

December 2005: Go to Neurologist #1 who didn't even have me get into a gown, didn't even look at my back. Looks at an xray and said that nothing is wrong. A waste of money and time....

January 2006: Finally get another neurologist appointment with a different one. She said that I needed to go to an orthopedic surgeon because I have arthritis and nothing is wrong with my nerves (even with numbness in my leg... :rolleyes: ) She refers me to a pain management clinic.

One week later, go to pain mgmt clinic only to find out they only do cortisone shots. I specifically told them that I'm allergic to cortisone (found that out a few years ago). They said there is nothing they can do for me, but yet tried to set an appt to do a shot of cortisone. :confused:

February 2006: Go to my regular doctor.
Have another MRI done. Bulging disks now at L2-L3, L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1, along with degenerative disc disease progressing faster.
She refers me to a different orthopedic surgeon with the joint stuff. Go to him and he says the only surgery I need is bariatric (I am only 50 lbs overweight). He barely looked at my MRIs.

Go back to regular doctor and she refers me to another Pain management clinc that took a month to get an initial appointment.

March-April 2006: Have initial appt with PMC and then 2 days later with the doctor. Several things going on and she recommends having facet block injection to determine if the nerve to the L5-S1 joint is the one causing my pain. Have shot on April 27th with much success. It blocked the pain and numbness for about 5 days. It didn't have cortizone, so it wasn't "long term" and that was told beforehand. I was prescribed Topamax, but insurance would not cover it.

May 2006: Go back to doctor for followup. Given the success, PMC doctor will be doing the radiofrequency nerve shot where they heat up the nerve to kinda deaden it. She said that I would have to have it done for about 1 time a year or so, but given the success with my facet block injection, there is hope that this would work.

Now: I'm taking 300 mg of Neurontin (just started) for the numbness in right leg and Relafen for the antiflammatory. I've taken in the past: Vioxx & Bextra (and had the side effects that actually caused it to go off the market), Ultram, Ibuprofen, and many other antiflammatories but no success. Relafen is in a different family so hopefully this will work.

One other problem is that where I have had to lay on my left side, I'm starting to have muscle cramps in my neck on the left side that will last a day or two and then go away.

My questions:
1) What to expect with the radiofrequency shot? Will it be the same as the facet block? I felt some pain with it but I didn't know if I would be totally knocked out for the shot.

2) Any side effects I should be aware that are common with Relefan and Neurontin?

3) Any advice on getting rid of the cramps in my neck?

4) Any exercises that actually help strengthen your back without hurting?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks for listening!
Hi! I have gone through the same facet testing as you, and had the radio frequency lesioning in Oct. 2005. It worked well for me, then it wore off, so I'm re-doing it on June 22. The procedure lasts longer than the facet test, it is about 45 minutes. They do give you more sedative too, I had Versed and did not feel much pain. With each level they burn, the doctor will ask if you feel anything when he touches the nerve. You will only feel a tingling sensation. Then he will heat up the pain nerve (which I did not feel due to the Versed). They did L3, L4, and L5 on me on both sides. I was glad to find something that worked for me, I had been through all the epidural shots first with little success. How is the Relafen for your back? I tried that, but did not get much relief. Like you, I had been through the Vioxx, etc. Now I am on Voltarin which helps some. If the Relafen doesn't work, you could ask about that.Good luck! Let us know how your procedure goes. Kera4