Hello

I am new here and I am looking for advice about a long term health condition. I am 60 now and have had chronic lower back pain for at least 30 years. I have constant pain and mainly manage with over the counter anti inflammatory pain tablets, physio exercises, and just gritting my teeth or crying when I have to. My problem is that my back spasms have become more frequent and cluster over several days. This completely incapacitates my ability to visit the loo. So I reduce my fluid and food, apply hot and cold, take ibrufen, walk a little and try to wait it out. Having done some further research I have read that when the back is in spasms a GP can prescribe a temporary muscle relaxant to help the spasms. Does anyone know of a GP in Cardiff who is knowledgable about this? I've been with the same practice for over 25 years and as my original GP retired I'm not with a particular GP and see different people. I go infrequently as I find I'm given a catch all 'wear and tear' diagnosis. As I'm getting older and more isolated, I'm getting depressed with managing excoriating pain with over the counter products and home remedies. I am also a full career for my mum (she lives alone) and when I can't drive or walk, she also is without support. I am married, my husband works very long hours and is at work from 8am to 8pm week days and our children have grown and no longer live in Wales. So I have no help to get to the GP surgery when my back is like this anyway. If I could find a GP with some knowledge about how to manage the situation and have pain control to get moving it would be so helpful.

Thank you

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3 Replies

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  • Dbroughton, I have read your message more than once. It seems to me that there is more than one problem here. Have you been told what causes the back pain, in short a diagnosis? How did you cope with bringing up a family? I think you should be referred to see a specialist consultant for back pain.

    I can understand you getting depressed and frustrated with everything. Again, you need specialist help to prevent chronic depression. You could start by finding a helpful GP to help you. Someone you can confide in and trust. Ask around and when you have found one, stick to the same GP, and get a referral.

    It is a mistake to restrict your fluid and food intake. Health problems can arise from doing so. It might be an idea to consult a physio therapist for the back pain.

    You need help with caring for your mother. Speak to Social Services.

    I wish you well and help with your problems. Let us know how you get on. X

  • I'm sorry to hear you are in so much pain and that alone can be depressing and hard to deal with on a day to day basis. I think the comments below are helpful, try to source a specialist who is able to help with pain management but can also get to the route of the problem.

    I'd like to address the support you require to help your mother. I think it would be of benefit for you to contact adult services to request a carers assessment. This way they will help identify what support you need to assist your mum but also any help you may need yourself, including an occupational therapy referral.

  • I agree with both previous posts. In relation to the care you provide it would be worth contacting Adult Social Services for your local area to get an assessment and see if there is anything they can do to help.

    In terms of your back condition a diagnosis would be best. Have you been to see a chiropractor/osteopath or back specialist to determine the cause?

    A GP doesn't have specific knowledge about one area, more a general knowledge of many areas. Perhaps your GP could refer you to someone if you persist. Without knowing the cause it cannot be treated effectively.

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