Back Issue

Hi All,

I am seeking some advice on what to do with my lovely back. I apologise in advance as this is a long message.

The scene

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I have suffered with chronic back pain for over 2 yrs which has effected my mobility.

My main issue is stiffness in my lower and mid back which has resulted in me not wearing a bra for the last 2 yrs. I find that the NHS does not treat my back as a whole rather the NHS deals with my lower back separate from my mid back.

My last scan showed subtle spondylosis at C5-6, subtle endplate changes at several levels within the thoraic spine, deslccation of the L2-3 and L4-5 discs and degenerative change in the L5-S1 with loss of disc height. Facet joint unremarkable. When I show that to a professional they say there is nothing significant in it, just wear and tear.

What is means to me is the following: I am as stiff as a board every day and it is in my lower and mid back and sometimes my neck. Now 2 yrs down the line after 2 yrs of private physio my lower right back effect's my leg and right hip and makes it difficult to walk and I have a lot of pain under my right ribs.

I do stretching every morning and evening and 300 mins of crosstraining a week. I left work at the end of October as I could not handle the pain and did not want to live on Naproxen.

Where I am now

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So now 3 mths later I am in a bigger mess, I am awaiting a scan on my liver and an endoscopy due to pain under right ribs, have been to the Pain clinic who said my choices were physio and or CBT (both have waiting lists) or a steroid injection in to the spine but they said it was my Facet joint which the scan indicated as unremarkable (it is 4 mths since the scan) , have puts on loads of weight especially on my stomach (13.7 stone) and have become deflated. Obviously I need to go back to work as I need the money and finding work in general is tough at the moment. Currently I take 1000mg of Naproxen a day and I can't sleep at night. I used to work in mgmt but now do anything as long as it requires limited travelling.

I have a preexisting bowel condition and have a scaring condition so I know that the injection is only time limited and may or may not work and I only have 1 back so I don't know what to do next.

The Question is

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I think if I try and shift the flab, strengthen the core, do physio for Facet joints, look for more flexible work and suck up the pain for another 3 mths to see how it goes or just take the injection???

Any thoughts as not working is not an option for me and these back issues I guess are for life.

Sorry about the longness of this.

Anyone else out there struggle with similar issue's, what has worked for you?

19 Replies

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  • Thanks, it makes sense.

  • I have noted the exercises you do. Who gave you these? Trained physio? Wrong exercises can make things worse....

    For me going to a swimming pool and doing some gentle exercises in the water has significantly helped my back issues.

  • Hi Od,

    Sorry for your pain and situation... The injections aren't too much in themselves and can often be diagnostic so I wouldn't be too worried about them but your back picture suggests to me that after two years of physios (!!) your back is actually worse! In my experience exercise regimes (core stability) and physio can often make higher lumbar and mid thorax problems worse.. You definitely should not be on a cross trainer - no wonder you're having facet joint injections! All that powered twisting on top of some dry discs! You need a new plan. In my view (only an expert on myself ) you might consider deep tissue massage (try get a recommendation as all therapists are not equal) if you can afford it every week for a few months to loosen up all those muscles and spinal segments glued together. You need to relax your back and get some normal movement going again before doing any exercise.... Also, have you been checked for ankylosing spondylitis ? With your bowel problem and stiff back this may explain things...

    Keep us posted. Best wishes

    ;)

  • Thanks Boozybird,

    I have not been checked for ankylosing spondylitis but I am definitely will take up the massage idea, lower cross training and increase walking.

    Thanks again

  • Sorry to hear you're in pain.

    I agree, pool based activity, (I relax in a hydro-pool periodically - it's so nice!), and brisk walking daily is what I do. Along with a yoga back class once a week, and daily yoga, (stretching, breathe control and balance).

    Also when I get the chance I like to relax at home, it sounds silly but stress makes my back pain worse, and getting into the chilled out zone for a while actually relieves the pain, for a short but pleasurable time at least. (Brainwave Audio Entrainment - just google it).

    My meds are cocodomal, naproxen & methacarbomol - somedays they don't touch the sides and can be useless, but other days I'm ok'ish, if i'm careful.

    Lots of water too, if I don't drink 3 litres a day it can start a flare up.

    I do hope you can find some relief soon, good luck

  • Thanks FFUDON, good food for though there.

    Thanks a million

  • Aren't you on any real pain meds? That naproxen will destroy your liver if it hasn't already accomplished damage, (as it sounds like it may have). FIND A DECENT PAIN SPECIALIST who will give you some decent pain Med support!

  • I am suffering a stomach ulcer after being on a much lower dose of Naproxen its agony so please be Naproxen aware

    Regards Sheryl

  • Hi Dexter1,

    when you mention a pain specialist, the only pain specialist I am aware of is the NHS pain clinic who recommend CBT, Physio and/or injection.

    Are you talking about a private pain specialist or other?

    thank you

  • I'm sorry but I don't know how to answer your question because I'm from the US and not sure how things work there.

  • What is CBT?

  • Cognitive bahavioural Therapy

    nhs.uk/Conditions/Cognitive...

    have a look

  • Oh...I'm actually searching for one here for my son!

  • Tapentadol.is a great medication to treat severe pain. Can add Butrans to that as well. I'd dump the Naproxen and cocodamal which are both mild medications.

  • Excuse me, you didn't say you were taking cocodamal.

  • Thank you, I have never heard of either.

  • Where are you from? Someone posted from UK saying it's available there.

  • Regarding Dan 9878, she has already been through physio and exercises on a regular basis. She is only taking an over the counter medication, Naproxen which is doing nothing but hurting her liver. I never suggested she should not try injections, pool therapy, massage, etc., simply said she needs something stronger than Naproxen given the pain she is experiencing. I also think she should start with the milder meds but when it fails Tapantedol is a good option for this severe of pain. Paracetamol and codeine are not meant to treat severe pain and in my experience are worthless. So by all means try everything else and if you don't get adequate relief try the Tapantedol.

  • Refer to my post on New Pain Med Added for my story.😊

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