Is there anything else I can do for my low back pain? I just found this site today and I have been noticing all sorts of topics on back pain. Such as candida, discitis, etc. Long story short I injured my back in 07 by lifting. I was in a minor collision in 08 and had another lifting injury in 09. I had therapy, chiro, injections, meds etc. It was an ongoing process. In Nov 09 I had a discectomy/laminectomy. Things went from bad to worse about a month after surgery something changed. I was now in a state of pain that I never knew existed. They did and MRI and said it was just scar tissue and inflammation. I couldn't really stand or walk for 6 weeks. I did 8 months of physical therapy but in the end my doctor released me as MMI and I had to end my work comp case. The pain is still constant. I need a cane to walk because I can't feel or control my left leg very well. I was on a lower dose of narcotics for a long time because I don't like the side affects. But since I was turned away from social security disability I had to increase my meds. I now take flexeril, gabapentin, morphine, and Norco. Even with the increased meds Im barely able to cope with my pain working 20 hrs per week.Is there something Im missing or something I can do? I just turned 28 and after all this time every doctor I've seen has no answers. They just offer more surgery. Im not doing anymore surgery. The last one I did failed big time and made me worse. So what can I do or what should I look into?
Sadly, I see this situation all too often: young person injured, poor surgery outcome, and person out of options. I first want to point out my recent article called "Final Options for Treating Chronic Pain". Next I want to add some specific solutions for back pain.
Because you had a laminectomy, you are probably being offered a spine fusion to help stabilize the spine. If a majority of you pain is coming from the weakened spine structures, then fusion could help. But first, try a Zero-gravity chair like the Perfect Chair (Relax the Back stores) or Lafuma chair (amazon). Sometimes, all the spine needs is some depressurizing for short periods of time throughout the day to control the pain.
Because you are also experiencing leg problems, it is safe to say that you have nerve damage. That's why the doctors have you on Neurontin (Gabapentin). Sometimes adding an additional medication to relieve nerve pain can help. Desipramine, methadone, Nucynta, and tramadol all come to mind. If you can see a pain specialist that really understands the treatment of nerve pain, that person could help.
I would also recommend some health related changes. Anything you can do to improve your health will help you. Chronic pain is related to smoking, to sugar, and to stress. Maintaining an ideal weight is crucial for treating back pain as well.
Keep reaching and exploring for a solution, explosive blessings will eventually come your way.
Dr. Christina Lasich, MD