• chris101899 chris101899
    July 08, 2009
    Treatments for spinal stenosis?
    chris101899 chris101899
    July 08, 2009

    Does anyone know of a treatment for spinal stenosis?

    I have been told that surgery is not an option for me, and physical therapy only helps a little. Epidurals are useless. I am seeing a pain management doctor, but Im starting to think he doesn't get the concept of "pain management" because he isn't very helpful. I've had problems with my prescriptions. I have seen other doctors in the area, but I don't want insurance to start sending notices saying I'm doctor-hopping for drugs. That has already happened with my family doctor, but insurance failed to check (of course) what each doc was for and that the two others were surgeons for an entirely different problem.

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  • Karen Lee Richards
    Health Guide
    July 15, 2009
    Karen Lee Richards
    Health Guide
    July 15, 2009

    It sounds like you've tried most of the non-surgical treatments.  You didn't mention whether you're taking anti-inflammatory medication.  While opioids can help the pain, you need something to deal with the inflammation, which causes much of the pain. 

     

    Here's an article on spinal stenosis that might be helpful:  http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spinal-stenosis/spinal-stenosis-treatment

     

    An alternative/complementary treatment option you might want to consider is acupuncture.  Here's more info:  Treating Pain with Acupuncture

    • chris101899
      July 16, 2009
      chris101899
      July 16, 2009

      Thanks for your reply.

      Turned out that I have side effects from the anti-inflammatories we've tried. I also tried acupuncture. It didn't help with the pain, but it sure made me feel relaxed! That was nice all by itself Laughing

      I saw my dr this past Monday to try pinning him down about the stimulator. He had originally told me he'd have an answer and a general plan around 2-3 weeks after the first appointment. It's now a month and a half, so I finally went in because I was tired of phone calls.

      He said they did finally figure out how to work it out. Before any medical parts, the insurance company says I have to have a psych eval. Do you happen to know if this is normal? Or why they would need this? Even the doctor wasn't real sure about it.

      That can't be done until early to mid August. After the insurance approves the results, we'd do the test to see if it helps at all, and then the actual procedure. Going by this time frame, I'm looking at the end of October.

      He did raise my med dosage though, which helps in the meantime.

      So, any ideas about this psych eval?

      Thanks!

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    • Karen Lee Richards
      July 17, 2009
      Karen Lee Richards
      Health Guide
      July 17, 2009

      I'm not sure if a psych evaluation is standard practice, but it is recommended in a Continuing Medical Education course about neurostimulators for doctors.  Their reasoning is that chronic pain is complex and involves physical, psychological and emotional factors that can impact treatment.  They say, "It has become apparent through years of experience that careful patient selection is one of the best predictors of success with neurostimulation..."  Although they also state that two studies have found that psychological factors were not significant in predicting the outcome of treatment, they still recommend a psych evaluation as part of the screening process before deciding to try a neurostimulator.  I suspect the reason the insurance company is insisting on it is they don't want to pay for it if there's any reason to think it might not have a good chance of helping. 

       I hope all goes well for you and the neurostimulator relieves your pain!

      Here are some articles that you might also find helpful:

      What Can Be Done About Nerve Pain?

      Let's Talk Pain Meds

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