Back pain

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Hi everyone I am female aged 61.   I have suffered back pain since slipping in the rain at 19 and falling heavily.   I have suffered ever since and cannot stand for more than 2 minutes before feeling pain.  As I am not usually bent over my doctors have always ignored it and I think they think I am making it up to get attention or something. 

I had an X-ray done by a chiropractort 16 years ago who the pain was caused by my lowest disc wearing away.   Would physio help please? 

I am in the middle of my worst attack for years which came on last Tuesday.  I cannot walk more than a few yards and am bent like an old woman and unless I am very careful the pain is excruciating and I am getting some spasms.  I went to the pharmacist who advised 500 x 2 paraceutomol every 4 hours. I am taking this along with my sisters naproxen.  This and a hot water bottle is helping a bit.   I am making sure I keep moving gently to keep myself as mobile as possible.

My questions are is there a better painkiller than I am using please?   Can I get it from the chemist or do I need to go to a doctor?   Will physio help?  As far as I know I don't have arthritis or anything else wrong with me. 

Many thanks for your advice.  x

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh I should also add while I have not got sciatica (thank goodness) I am getting some twinges and funny sensations on the outside of my left ankle.  x
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  • Posted

    Hi hypercat, I can totally understand how you feel, I have two ruptered discs.and degeneration of the spine and discs also....you must see your doctor and ask for a hospital referral to an orthopaedic surgeon....in the meantime, ask your GP for medication to keep the pain under control, otherwise you stress every other muscle in your back. Which just adds to the pain.....you must get help, if you leave it ....it will get worse and worse...I wish you MUCH luck and an improvement in your pain issues...hugs Deirdre xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Deirdre thank you very much for your prompt and kind reply.  Much appreciated.   I have had attacks before like this but they have always gone away eventually to be replaced by just the normal pain.   I am hoping this will too but it is good advice to go to the doctors for stronger painkillers.   This is more severe than the previous attacks and I am terrified it will become permanent.

      I will ask to be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon but I am not hopeful and my doctors do not refer if they think they can deal with it themselves.   I know i can insist but they get quite nowty and I get nowhere with them.   They keep insisting I just need physio but I am worried this will harm it further if they don't recognise or acknowledge my disc problem.   I will go Monday.  Thanks again.   Bev x

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    • Posted

      I had severe sciatic pain and was seeing a chiropractor and it wasn't helping!  I didn't wait on a referral and made my own appointment with the orthopedic doctor bypassing all the other doctors!  I ended up getting spinal injections which helped but as the years wore on I had to have 2 More in the last 2 months!  My back is a mess!  If you can get by with it make your own stinkin' appointment!  The doctors seem to not be so interested if it's not them with the pain!  Good luck!  Keep us posted!
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    • Posted

      Hi again...you can also ask to be referred to the pain clinic at the hospital...they prescribed excellent pain killers for me...I also had twelve injections in my spine and a caudal block....they are very understanding and helpful...pain needs to be controlled or it takes over...they also prescribe powerful medication to help with the pain....it. was the best help I have ever received...bless you...Deirdre xxx
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    • Posted

      Hi I am in the UK so I need a referral from a GP unless I  can afford to go private (I can't).   All I ever get from the doctors is 'take more exercise;  or 'make an appointment for physio'.    I have tried to tell various doctors how bad it is but they refuse to take it seriously.  I got told last time that discs wearing away is common in older age!    i have always had sit down jobs so have been able to manage it without treatment fortunately.

      I was told by an osteopath many years ago that I needed treatment otherwise one day I will end up in a wheelchair.  Well I am still a long way from that thank goodness.  x 

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    • Posted

      Hi Deirdre thanks for your reply.  You too Buckeyes.   I am not in constant pain with it,  only when I get at attack like this or when I stand up for more than 2 minutes.   I do get it sometimes when I am walking too though but a sit down for a few minutes normally helps.  I am concerned though that it is getting worse as I get older. 

      My surgery doesn't believe in referring unless they can't deal with it so it will probably be just a case of getting painkillers from them.   I doubt they will give me anything strong enough though....probably paraceutomol or a low dose of co-codal.    I am going to go and see them very soon and demand more action though.   You have all given me a lot of food for thought so I feel more able to tackle it.  Thanks.  x

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    • Posted

      Wow!  That sounds so familiar!  I went to the orthopedic with similar symptoms!  Trying to walk to go shopping or even walking to the car after church caused me spasms!  I was okay if I leaned over or sat down and the pain disappeared!  Grocery shopping with a cart is okay.  Apparently leaning on something relieves the pain.  I found out by research that that is common with stenosis.
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  • Posted

    Hello Bev, I am also suffering from back pain, thou i know mine is Arthritis. Any back pain by whatever cause is awful. Pain management clinics can prescribe stronger medications. I have tried acupunture and that didn't help. I was prescribed Naproxen thou my GP as just taken me off it as it's not recommended for long term use. I went to a theatre yesterday and the chair had no support at all, it was a metal chair and now i am in chronic pain and can barely move today. I can sympathise with you or anyone else that suffers. I have no answers but just wanted you to know that many here understand and cares. Hope you get some relief soon. 

    Best wishes.

    Elizabeth xx

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much Elizabeth it's very kind of you to reply.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone but it is a comfort to know that others understand and can emphasise.   It has now reached a certain level and it won't improve any more though I am still hoping.  Every time I try and do anything it just goes into spasm and I stop wherever I am and just have to wait for it to ease.   I am definitely going to the doctors tomorrow (if I can get there) and get something sorted coz I can't go on like this. 

      Will let you all know how I get on.   Bev x

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  • Posted

    Hi Hypercat, sorry to hear about your troubles. I've suffered with back pain myself for the longest time and know what it's like. As you already know, paracetamol and NSAIDs are the most common recomendatons, I was taking a COX-2 type medicine for a long time, until an osteopath helped me. I'm glad to say that I've been meds free for several years now. Medications should only be used in the minimum dose and for the shortest amount of time possible, to get rid of the attack. They should not be used on daily bases in my oppinion, unless you've discussed the risks and benefits with your doctor. From your words, I get that your doctor wasn't much use. Pain clinics are better at handling pain management than your tipical GP, who will tell you to take paracetamol most of the time. Physios are good to keep you moving, which seems to help, but I would suggest an osteopath if you can find one as one helped me. Aslo consider pilates or thi chi once your pain subsides. Hotbottles and acupressure mats, like Osteomat, can increase bloodflow and relieve spasms and pain as well, massage will do the same but you have to leave the house for that.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply roman,  much appreciated.  Fortunatly my back is improving now every day thank goodness.  It is still painful and I daren't lift anything yet but am getting there.   There is a good osteopath near me so I am planning to make a visit soon.   When it is better I am going to do back exercises to try and strengthen it so I don't get this pain again.   I have a wheat pillow and a hot water bottle and they have been helping as well.   x.
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