Back pain

I had back surgery last August for a large herniated disc in the l5 s1 region. Since then I have been struggling with back pain that has been limiting me to what I can do. I don't have any energy can't do things I used to be able to and can't stand or walk for long periods of time. How long till I am back to normal. All the pain doctor wants to do is give me injections and medication. Also Saud I have fibromyalgia.

23 Replies

  • I had the same surgery in 1996, I now have other herniated discs all the way up my spine. The pain from scar tissue has caused more problems for me than the actual disc at L5/S1. As for "Fibromyalgia" I have to say that I think it has gone from doctors saying that it doesn't exist, to the answer for everyone suffering chronic pain. Think about it: pain makes you tired, it wakes you up in the night, that in turn causes problems with thinking, it also makes you lethargic during the day!

    Now for the bad news... I don't know how bad your disc was. In my case I had gone numb all below the waist, an emergency operation saved me from being in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. But, I never went back to "normal".

  • Have you been offered physio? I know it sounds cruel but exercise is a must. I've been there. I do agree with JaneP that "Fibro" is the in word for chronic pain not an illness in itself. Go back either to you GP or hospital and ask for help, the longer you leave it the worse it will get.

  • I am seeing a PT and doing aqua therapy and dry needling, i am also seeing pain management. I can not afford to go back to the hospital for treatment as it is not that bad. I take muscle relaxers and tramadol and aleve. The muscle relaxer i take is robaxin anyone suggest anything stronger. It only acts up every once in awhile if i do to much at one time.

  • Hi there I've unfortunately suffered a similar fate to you and 3 years on I'm worse than ever! I wish I'd never had the surgery. I have steroid injection but only every 6 months that work very well but only for 9 weeks and due to funding restrictions they won't give me more. The Gp no longer knows what to do I'm on a 12 hour release morphine and pregabalin which help me get thru the day. Exercise is impossible!!! I'm in a really bad flare up currently and am off work again. I really don't know what the answer is. I just wanted you to know your not alone and hopefully your ending will be different.

  • I am glad that i had surgery because i was nto able to do anything before then. I also had the injections but they only work for about 2 weeks and then they quit and with a change is insurance i can not afford to get them anymore. I do not excersize either. I just want to get back to the way i was as i have a 10 year old and feel like i can not do anything.

  • Hi Leagle81,

    Like you I have had back problems which started with me breaking my back in three places at L2, L3 and L4 since then i have developed degenerative disc disease along with my neck has started to fall apart from what I have seen in myself and in many others once you have damaged your back it is never going to be back to normal all you can do is manage the pain so you get the best control that works for you every body is different what works for one it does not work for an other over the years I think I have tried just about everything available and I have found out what works this year will do nothing next year or even next week, sometimes just applying heat can give the best relief.

    so for you the best thing you can do is find out what type of pain relief works best for you and try to stick with it for at least a couple of weeks to give it a chance most medication needs to build up to work the best it can also try to keep moving your back do not let it lock up if you can manage to exercise then so but do not over do it all you are trying to do is keep the back muscles working as the worse thing that can happen is for them to spasm and you lock up.

    good luck in finding what works the best for you.

    Regards Poppy Ann.

  • with Fibro you won't get better as such it will come and go.. I was diagnosed with this 3 years ago and I have other back problems to now I just try to be gentle with myself and if I have a flare up I deal with it by resting and when I have good days I do gentle stuff.. you might find you have to just accept this now.. at first I fought it but it only made me depressed when I accepted that thousands of others went through the same as me every day and it was just something I had to live with it became easier good luck :)

  • Sorry for your pain, I totally sympathise as we all do on here. I had a hip replacement aged 47 for arthritis and also in 2012 I herniated a disc in my lower back taking my shoe off! Had steroid inj which worked completely and then in Dec 2012 some bloke decided to run me off the road, write my car off and givce me whiplash and bulging disc in neck and set off lower back again. Alas two further injections with no relief. My osteopath does this treatment call IDD therapy (google it), not available on NHS and costly but it absolutely got rid of my lower back problem. My back is very weak as it will always be. As another user said once you have a weakened back I think you will always be prone. Its difficult to exercise, at least for me with Fibro and CFS and tbh I'm a bit lost with it all and knowing how to treat it. Hate popping pills all day but what else can we do?

    Gentle hugs

    Jo x

  • I unfortunately am in the same position having had a micro discectomy in 2005 (L5-S1) and a laminectomy in 2014 at three levels. I had been diagnosed with degenerative Disc disease in 2010, every level affected. I hardly ever have a day without pain (about 3 times a year) and am on morphine, pregabalin, and other drugs for other complaints. All you can do is take a day at a time and don't be slow to apply for disability benefits. My heart goes out to you and the other people above in their postings, unfortunately you cant get a new back.

    Take it easy on yourself, Val

  • I am still working and do not want to apply for disability. I have a 10 year old and want to get back to my old self again

  • I had a back op on two lower discs after a bad parachute landing and after a years physio gave into key hole surgery. Next day I was a new man and touch wood have not had any problems despite a very physical life. I always bend with my knees never my back and save pressure on it. Roughly twenty years later I was diagnosed with fibro and I am in near constant flare with my neck shoulders and above the knees. But not the part of the back they operated on. My humble opinion is your back was not done quiet right and they are chucking it into the coverall label of fibro. Perhaps insisting on an MRI scan to see what's going on would be a good way forward. I am not saying you don't have fibro, but we have separate problems like others too!

    Best of luck

  • i have insisted on another mri and they want to do a xray of my si joints because they think this is where my pain is coming from but my rhuematoid doctor thinks otherwise. I just want to get this take care of and get back to my normal self again as i have a 10 year old to take care of.

  • I have insisted on another MRI and they will not give me one as they say that it is not needed.

  • Must be so frustrating. I know back pain never leaves you alone and affects every part of your life. Let them do the X-rays they are quick and painless. Is it the cost of the MRI they are objecting to? I think maybe in your position I would write a letter describing pain levels and effect on everyday life. Then ask why they don't think an MRI won't help. You run the risk of pissing them off verses getting something done. Doctors hate writing anything down because of fears of law suits. Your Rhume could authorise the MRI by himself?

    These are just my rambling thoughts. I don't want you to alienate your healthcare team but sometimes I believe we need to manage them as you would professional consultants on a project! Your health is more important.

    I have a thirteen year old who knows how to make tea now - heaven!

  • They are going to do xrays on my si joints to see if that is where the pain is coming from as i have been getting steroid injections and they help for about 2 weeks then i am back to square one again. If this is where it was coming from the rhume thinks that it would be getting better by now. It is not the cost of the MRI the docs are worried about i do not have the money to pay for one as i am sure that my rhume doctor would do one for me without any problems. I really dont care at this point if i piss them off as i have been dealing with this since last feb when it all started.

  • The amount of time it took me to get diagnosed with FIBRO was nuts. They don't realise we are dealing with pain everyday not just when we see them! Are you in the UK or States? I have never had them, but my Dad does in his right shoulder and it lasts for three months, two weeks doesn't sound very long? Are you on any muscle relaxant like Diazipam? I take 5mg twice a day and they really helped at the start but I think I have built up a tolerance to them. What painkillers do they have you on? I have one of those microwaveable bean bags, it's sausage shaped so goes around the back of my neck. Short but intense relief.

  • i am on tramadol and take robaxin for muscle relaxers but have built up a tolerence to them and think i need a higher dose or something different . Any suggestions.

  • I think there are three or four different muscle relaxants out there perhaps swapping over to a different one for a while but it's really a qualified Dr you need to chat to. I think there all in the same family of drugs anyway. I don't know an alternative to Tramadol but I have stopped it a few times when going through good patch then with flare up start again and I feel them working again.

    Are you on MST? I am 30mg slow release one in morning, one at night. I also have Oramorph for breakthrough pain. I only use it when pain is unmanageable, usually because I have over done it the day before. This illnesses can easily make you house bound and bed bound if not careful. I can't do much but I try and do a few chores a day get outside for ten mins. To be honest a trip to the shops is too much for me now but I am lucky enough to have a wife that likes to spend! Lol 😂😂😂

    The other thing is heat, shower, hot water bottle or microwave bean bag. It's just too uncomfortable to have a bath but lots of people swear by them with Epsom salts.

    Good luck keep fighting fibro!


    Fibro is not fibro, Sarno changed my life

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