Can Not Take Back Pain Anymore

At the end of July 2010, I was playing golf and at the start noticed that my back was a little tight. I did some stretches and decided I would walk, more than ride. By the 12th hole, I had to give it up. I could barely walk and it hurt to breathe. I chalked it up to "overdoing" it and thought when I get home I would do the hot bath, ibuprofen, stretches, ice/heating pad exchange.

The pain didn't subside and progressively got worse. On August 19th, 2010 I went to see a highly regarded chiropractor in my area and received x-rays, foot imaging, measurements of hip, shoulders, etc and a machine that showed a 3-D image of my back. The chiropractor reviewed and said that my problems could be corrected with chiropractic treatments (adjustments, electrical stimulation and decompression therapy).

I went for 12 days straight and received no relief, and to be perfectly honest, the pain intensified to where I went to see a general practice doctor on September 3rd and at at this time he prescribed Hydrocodone 7.5/500 and Flexaril 10mg. This offered no pain relief.

On September 7th, I received an epidural steroid injection, and on September 10th, had an MRI performed. Without the paper in front of me, I can only state that a bulging disc was discovered at the L4-L5 level and a herniated disc at the L5-S1 level. On September 15th, the pain was so intense that I was placed on Oxycodone 5mg, which I could not tolerate and vomited.

I received a second ESI on September 27th, no relief and began a routine of physical therapy, where I receive 20 Minutes of electrical stimulation, 5 minutes of ultrasound, 15 minutes of stretches and 15 minutes of traction.  I have been doing this 3 times a week since September 27th, while also maintaining my visits to the chiropractor 2 times a week.

I have also purchased a back pain machine, drink a gallon of water a day, take plenty of B-vitamins and 2400MG of ibuprofen a day and walk 2 miles a day and am still in intense pain.

My last visit with the neurosurgeon was on October 4th. I was scheduled for a 3rd ESI on October 13th, but my neurologist said since the first two didn't work, the third would be a waste of time and money and subsequently scheduled me for a myelogram for October 25th for one of the 3 surgeries to follow: microdiscectomy, laminectomy or spinal fusion.

I know a lot of people battle back problems for years and I'm looking for anything that can help. As a matter of fact, I'm scheduled for an acupuncture treatment Friday October 8th. Now I know from reading your statements, sorry to use the pun, "Mind over Matter" but the problem with me as I've had no traumatic problems in my lifel

I lived a great childhood in a small midwestern farm town, joined the military had a successful career (made E-6) was honorably discharged and have been happily married for 15 years and have 2 great kids.  Both my parents are still alive, and I have one brother who I'm very close too. So I guess my question is I've tried everything under the sun, is surgery the best option? - Christopher


COMMENT: I just read "Can Not Take Back Pain Anymore" and I am sickened, but not shocked, at the treatments this poor soul was given! 1st off how in the world was an ESI ordered without an MRI? How did the anesthesiologist know what nerve root level to inject? Then the MRI was performed afterwards? Talk about putting the cart before the horse. Now onto what really scares me.

The talk of surgical fixes only weeks to months into this flare up. 80% of all patients have some sort of pain relief at the end of the conservative care - 6weeks. Also the Chiropractor is not helping with constant corrections. The stim and disc decompressions will help.

Is there anyway to get some words to this poor man? I just hate seeing people lured into surgery by bad physicians. I'll pray for this one! Keep up the great work, Sensei.

- Phil



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