chronic back pain - or is it all in the mind??

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I have suffered chronic back and neck pain for around ten years now, starting after a whiplash accident and then a fall, I've paid for numerous treatments from Bowen therapy, physio, acupuncture, chirocpractic, osteopathy, have taken all sorts of pain killers, codyromol, tramadol, paracetamol, I have now been reffered to a 'pain clinic' I have been given all sorts of diagnosis's in the past from muscle pain to slipped disc/worn discs. I am in pain most of the time, sometimes i get a really bad bout, i got in the shower yesterday, i couldnt get back out, my back just went! I have now insisted on an MRI scan, which I am waiting for, meanwhile the pain clinic seem to think its my pain receptors playing up, they are trying to say i'm depressed and my mood is contributing to the pain. RUBBISH. I just get on with it as well most of you probably know, i still work full time, and have a socal life. If i was depressed it's probably because nobody can make their mind up what to do with me, and ten years of pain is enough to make anyone depressed. Is it all in anyone elses mind (like mine) HELP!!

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  • Posted

    I have had pain since 2001 when I was thrown from seat on local transport. The first Orthopaedic Dr X I saw said there was nothing wrong with me, just told me to loose weight and to wear flat shoes!!. In 2005 when I was pregnant my back locked and I couldn't move from the chair, I had to send for the doctor, It took over a week before I could walk with some ease..... Last year Dec 06 I went to docs he said I had Burstis and ignored my pain I had in my back.... said there wasnt nothing wrong in back region? I have now been on the sick for over 10 weeks now and thanks to a locum Doctor he sent me for an x-ray......the Orthopaedic Dr Y this time said my lumbar spine is straight and my lower vertbraes has thinned and could be pressing on spinal nerve. I have pain in my back, hips and around my waist, it is ice cold to touch, my legs go from burning hot tingling to my toes - pins and needles(mainly on my left side) and as I am wanting to go back to work I am trying to keep active, but to no avail mowing the garden was a major chore hands burning and seizing up!!!! I have had a M R I scan and I am waiting for the results?? People I have spoke to say it sounds like ostioarthritis???? but who knows??? I am 34 with three kids I just hope the MRI can pin point whats wrong as I am sick of being on medication, Dicloflax and Tramadol, these two seem to work but they are not working the same as when I first took them together!!!!!
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  • Posted

    [quote:4e255ecc46=\"s\"]I have suffered chronic back and neck pain for around ten years now, starting after a whiplash accident and then a fall, I've paid for numerous treatments from Bowen therapy, physio, acupuncture, chirocpractic, osteopathy, have taken all sorts of pain killers, codyromol, tramadol, paracetamol, I have now been reffered to a 'pain clinic' I have been given all sorts of diagnosis's in the past from muscle pain to slipped disc/worn discs. I am in pain most of the time, sometimes i get a really bad bout, i got in the shower yesterday, i couldnt get back out, my back just went! I have now insisted on an MRI scan, which I am waiting for, meanwhile the pain clinic seem to think its my pain receptors playing up, they are trying to say i'm depressed and my mood is contributing to the pain. RUBBISH. I just get on with it as well most of you probably know, i still work full time, and have a socal life. If i was depressed it's probably because nobody can make their mind up what to do with me, and ten years of pain is enough to make anyone depressed. Is it all in anyone elses mind (like mine) HELP!![/quote:4e255ecc46] hi there just to say the MRI showed I have two degenerative discs and I have to go to pain clinic, I hope you will get your correct diagnosis as my own doctor said I had mechanical back strain and could go back to work no bother as I was more or less imagining things!!!!!, but as the pain continued I saw another doctor and i had a xray first which lead to my MRI results keep telling your doc you need this scan as i phoned the hospital and kept pestering them for the MRI (not a nice experience though as claustrophobic), however it has taken three weeks for results!!!!!! :roll: Good luck smile
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  • Posted

    To \"S\"

    Rubbish is right! Your pain is not in your head, it is in your back and I'm glad you have requested an MRI. I have read allot of posts about patients requesting MRI or Catscan I don't understand why the patient has to request these tests. Here in U.S.A, the doctors are more than willing to suggest these tests to get a proper diagnosis. Why are patients in UK needing to request these tests to get proper diagnosis?

    Regina

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  • Posted

    Hi there Regina and S

    I went to the doctors today to see what suggestions he would consider? I asked \"is there any other test that may show whats wrong?\" he said no your spacing has narrowed in your hip but this is due to nerves from my ddd putting my hip into spasms..... said physio would help??? and said I was to stay off work until I had the physio?????

    No answers....... I think he thinks it is in my head!!!!!

    Regards

    Sara

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  • Posted

    Hi Sara,

    welcome to the UK all in the head or you must be depressed pain treatment, if your pain is like mine severve and constant a multi pain releif treatment might be appropriate. Or/and the new wonderful Butrans patches which release a constant Morphine type painkiller, the side effects can be a bit a bit much though. For associated nerve pain a blocker like Gabapentin can really help, if you suffer from muscle spasm a muscle relaxant which would help prevent further pain from spasm and cramps. Anti-inflammatories if your stomach will tolerate them and a good painkiller 30/500 Co-codamol is fairly strong, or DF118 dihydracodeine a lot stronger, added to tramadol or just the Butrans patches on their own, which are not always tolerated by everyone. Butrans patches would have to be reccomended by the local pain clinic as they are a CD controlled substance painkiller. Apart from that push for anything else that you can get MRI, physio, the doctors in the UK are not the most helpful on the NHS. I have been through the whole system over 20 plus years and found things out about my condition that I was not informed about at the time!

    I am sure your pain is not in your mind

    Andy

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  • Posted

    HI there Andy thanks for your reply ,

    Yeah I have been like this for over 6 months and I have been on anti-inflammatries for months, along with tramadol, I went to see pain clinic and he was very abrupt and basically said 'get on with your life ' as he apparently had a broken coaxic and 'he didn't need medication' and he made me feel like I was there for no reason and yet he prescribed me Gabapentin for my imaginary pain...... I am still awaiting physio and an appointment to see a rhuemotologist for the overall pain....I have ddd and my local GP thinks I have Polymalgia??? and my Occupational Doctor thinks it is Fibromylgia so at the moment its is just a waiting game........ MY GP said ignore the pain clinic doctor as he said \"I will decide when you can go back to work' the chronic fatigue attacks I get though are also troublesome too ......absolute nightmare along with numbness in my hips and top of thighs..... the gabapentine hasn't relived this??? I was on steroids for a week and they were wonderful.....I felt kinda 'normal for a few days but I have to wait and I just hope the rhuemotologist has the answers????? mid september only time will tell.....my story continues .....

    Kind regards

    SES

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  • Posted

    Hi Ses,

    it sounds like the pain clinic where you live is hopeless you should put a complaint in and request to see someone else there, it sounds like the guy you saw was totally un-professional. A broken Coaxic is a normal minor injury and not that painful, obviously the guy had no understanding of pain whatsoever.

    I get a lot of numbness down my legs and in my feet, have done for years, strong painkiller meds help to releive the pain but the numbness is permanent, often have to think heavily about where my feet are. In your case I would have thought that Butrans payches may give you a lot more releif. But the side effects, as with most strong meds, can be extreme, I recently increased my patch strength and have been dizzy and feeling sick when I lay down to sleep, after a week hopefully it will calm down. The consideration with Morphine pain releif can be your lifestyle as it can affect things like driving and reaction times, it may make you feel drowsy or edgy. Driving can be a problem especially during the initial period as it slowly builds up in the system, I gave up for 3 days when I started and hardly drive now, only drive when I feel up to it. If you are taking a lot of Tramadol a day one of the side effects can be numbness in the lower back and hips, it used to make my numbness worse.

    Good luck with further consultations, I hope they find what is causing it and can treat it properly with the right meds.

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi there Andy

    I have the numbness before taking the Tramadol, no-one has had the answer to why I get it its like a thick belt sometimes across my stomach /my waist and above my hips going down into the front of my thighs and the side of my legs and it is ice cold to touch as though there is no circulation??? very bizzare I suppose it is due to neurological things....who knows? I don't drive so I am ok there....I do hope the rheumatologist may have the answers along with some neurological background????

    I wont be going to the pain clinic again as I have told my GP this even though I was suppose to go back in six months....., I didn't want to travel as far as Lancs anyway so I refuse completely now, I just hope that the pain doctor isn't at my local hospital!!!!!

    Thanks for your reply Andy

    Three weeks till I see the specialist en-counting .............

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  • Posted

    Hi Sara,

    I get numbness down the legs and often my feet feel like blocks, often cold, much of the touch sensation is lost in my legs and many other symptoms of bladder problems and numbness or burning sensations in the spine. These sort of symptoms seem to be very common when there is nerve damage in the spine and possible narrowing of the spinal tunnel which affects the spinal cord.

    I hope that you get a diagnosis and the docs all agree mine's everything from Spina Bifida Occulta, my dad has full Spina Bifida, degenerative disc disease, narrowing of the spinal canal and arthritis. They seem to have given up on me, as my upper back, neck and shoulder have all got worse too, I only want an accurate medical reason not a cure. They all seem to change year to year, 20 years ago I had a lumber puncture injection of Gold steroid, which helped for a few years, now I can't even get a nerve root injection.

    I wondered also if you may benefit from a pain block injection in one of the spinal nerves, they can help releive some symptoms for up to a year, especially if you reacted well to oral steroids.

    I would push for Butrans patches first as the pain releif is constant, once its built up in the system, it outweighs the side effects and is much better than pills. I have just increased to the 10 microgrammes/hour patch and the worst side effect is the itchiness now it's settled down a bit, I did throw up a few times thou, part n parcel of strong meds.

    Please do complain about your treatment at the pain clinic as it is possibly the worst case I have heard of, if you don't some other poor bugger will be treated by that idiot and things won't improve. My pain clinic in Eastbourne would frown upon people being treated like you were, the nurses and doctor's who run our clinic here are extremely competent as they are in many hospitals.

    Hope you get some releif

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi there Andy

    I have bladder problems too I have had this foe years since I had the accident and Gabepentin seems to have relieved it a little but as I force myself to exercise by walking down the local post office my bladder is irritated as my pain in my back and my hips are irritated too I have had investigations with the bladder and nothing showed up (camera looked round and xrays, bladder stretched etc etc) The doctor thinks now it is all due to the ddd but I am 35 tomorrow and I should not rely on tena lol, again I hope I get to the bottom of this mid September!!!!

    Regards

    Sara :roll:

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  • Posted

    Hi Sara,

    the bladder weakness can be associated with chronic lower back pain as I have seen several doctors who make the link if there are no other factors. Tramadol can cause numbness and increase the need to urinate in some people, I took it for a while but found these side effects worse than its pain releif. But the numbness before taking the Tramadol is more likely to be pain related if it is releived after you have taken Tramadol. If the pain is not sufficiently controlled by Tramadol alone an extra pain killer like co-codamol should help.

    Bands of numbness as you have described seem very similar to what I have had in the past, do you also get tingling, crawling or burning sensations? Much of these sensations may be a direct result of a trapped or damaged nerve or nerves, if there are no other explanations. If Gabapentin seemed to help the numbness why not try increasing the dose, I take 900mg a day but some people take a lot more, see if it helps the symptoms as it may well be neurological. Nerve damage in some people responds better to Gabapentin than many of the more traditional anti-inflamatories and with less long term side effects, especially as the higher doses can give more benefit to some than codeine.

    If you pain releif is not good enough do not be afraid to hound your doctor regularly till he gets it right, as good pain releif is often more beneficial than exercise.

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi there Andy

    A lot has happened since the last update.......I went to Rhuematologist and she didn't care to have my file with her, to look at my x-rays of the ddd of my spine or spacing in my hip joints and she basically said as I had widespread superficial tenderness and my peripheral joints were hyper mobile, lumbar flexion was some what limited, and my Scheobers measurements were reasonable at 4.5cm and my hip movements were normal??? she said I was unfortunate to have mechanical back strain for so long......:doh: and she was complaining and asking why I hadn't been to see the physio?? but it was a case of waiting list, as it is always on the NHS :roll:.

    I have since been to a physio and he has diagnosed me with arthritis of the hips and I have to use a crutch/walking stick and now I have a diagnosis a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, as I we know our own bodies, I knew it wasn't just back strain....I know I wont get better but I can now ensure what I can and cannot do as my physio said that I have to pace myself!!!!!! :tennis: and as it is I am going to have to go back to work as I haven't paid enough stamp to get I B, but now I know what to expect I can arrange things better !!!!!! :cheerup:

    Kind Regards

    SES

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  • Posted

    Hi, I have read your posts and thought I would add my experiences from Australia.

    I am 37 yrs old and have had back probs since having children 8 yrs ago. I had Pelvic Girdle Pain / Pelvic Instability and did rehab and physio for that. I ended up in a wheelchair with my second pregnancy 4 yrs ago. It required 2 yrs rehab/physio. I also have hypermobility syndrome.

    Since then I have developed L hip pain when walking any distances. I have been diagnosed with arthritis in both hips and an injury of cartilage and femur of L hip (MRI showed). I am having a hip arthroscopy/surgery for that.

    The interesting thing is that I have lumbar spine/back problems now due to the injured hip. I have the same symptoms you both have described. I am also having a MRI of my spine.

    Just thought it might be worth getting a 2nd opinion about your hips with a specialist who does hip arthroscopy surgery. This is pre-hip replacement surgery which is relatively new and suitable for our age group.

    Once my hip's done, I can do the physio for my pelvis / lumbar spine and hopefully my symptoms will improve.

    At the moment though I survive with home aids, lumbar belt, pick-up stick, cleaners, hydrotherapy, physio and pain-killers. Hard with 2 kids!!!

    Regards, jess

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  • Posted

    Hi there Ozjess

    Thank you so much for your reply, I am going to see my GP on Wednesday of this week to inform him of my diagnosis as he will not get my notes from physio until my treatment has finished apparently? So I will see if there will be any other course of action he will look into?......

    Do you have bladder problems too? and if so what is being done for this? as being under 40 I am wondering whether my bladder weakness will get worse? :oops:

    Kind Regards

    SES

    :diva:

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  • Posted

    Hi everyone i hope you don't mind me posting here but after reading your posts about pain i just wanted to give you some advice on alternative pain treatment (rather than conventional medication).

    The first suggestion i have for those suffering from pains is to take up yoga.I know its not exactly the same, but I have suffered from back ache all of my life due to a slight scoliosis of the spine. I’ve had physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic treatment and although they lessened the pain, it always came back after a few days.

    In October I had a breast reduction and went from a G-cup, to a C-cup. This has helped enormously. With my new, more streamlined breasts I can now do Yoga and have been practicing at a class once a week since February. The result is incredible.

    The next is breathing and relaxation, which are of course part of yoga, but can also be done alone to cope with pain. Try imagining the pain as a color, then breath deeply in and out and on the out breath imagine breathing out the pain as the color into the room. Eventually you will have filled up the room. Then imagine blowing the color (and pain) out of the window.

    Massage can also be very beneficial for pain relief.Recently i started doing some work for Waterfall Spa in Leeds. They do a treatment called the tension busting massage which uses deep tissue massage and aromatherapy oils to relax the body and mind. That followed by a stint in the hydrotherapy pool at the spa and an hour or two in the aromatherapy steam room practicing those breathing exercises and you should feel a lot better-i know i did!

    Hope this helps.

    Holly x

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