Lumbar disc prolapse and other problems, advice please

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hoping someone can help smile i injured my back october 2010 and was diagnosed with a lumber disc prolapse between L4 nd L5 i then had a car accident makin things considerably, along side the obvious lower back pain i have chronic leg pain down the back of my right leg nd down the front of my right thigh. towards the middle of 2011 i developed a problem with my bladder, not being able to start to urinate, leaking considerable amounts after urination and loosing full control, i was sent to a specialist spinal unit who did tests for cauda equina syndrome, some of the physical tests pointed to a positive diagnosis but after a mri scan they ruled it out, i went through this twice the second towards the end of 2011 on this occasion they told me my prolapse had reduced. this threw a spannet in the works as i was still having the chronic pain, and the problems with my bladder, at present im still in the same ammount of pain in leg and back, and still have the problem with my bladder if anything this is worse, and i have no answers from anyone, i have tried physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, steroid injections and nothing has helped if anything somethings have made it worse. my current medication is 52.5 mcg/ph buprenorphine, 900mg gabapentin 3 times a day, and laxatives for constipation caused by my meds. im so confused to what could be wrong, and no one seems to have an answer. sorry for the long post just wanted to put the full story so maybe someobe might have some answers.

many thanks in advance


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  • Posted

    Hello Darren, I'm sorry to hear what has happened to you.

    Everthing you have said and the treatment you have had is usual for the damage done to you. I'm sorry to say there are a great many people out there in the same position, including myself.

    There is only so much doctors can do/offer you and you seem to have been down the usual roads.

    There are other pain meds out there that you could try, as some suit some people more than others.

    Low dose anti-depressants really can help as can muscle relaxants. Obviously a chat with your gp would be needed.

    There are also meds for bladder control, which I have taken in the past and did help a lot.

    There are also things like Tens machines, electric heat pads, microwavable heat packs or even cold ones if that's what helps you. Do you have a comfortable bed? Pillows? A nice warm bath can bring a bit of relief sometimes. We all have to try and think positive and keep going.

    Your injuries are also very new (I know it feels like forever). It may be that in time your body will recover a bit more and the pain levels will decrease a bit.

    I'm really sorry that I don't have answers for you. You say you are confused as to what could be wrong.

    What is wrong is that you have been badly affected by the accident on top of an already bad back . Coming to terms with long term pain and problems is very difficult. It does sound like you need a bit more help in understanding what has happened to you. Would you consider a Cognitive Therapist via your gp?

    Also have you been referred to a Pain Clinic? Truthfully some are very good and some are not. Basically they offer various treatments and medications similar to what you've already been through. A new look at your problems may help though.

    Hope this at least makes you feel that you are not alone.

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  • Posted

    many thanks for you reply, i will be talking to my gp about the bladder meds as this is starting to control my life, and is also so embarrasin, i have tried all the heat packs and things but not tried a tens machine so thats something to consider.

    whats a cognitive therapist?

    yes ive been to a pain clinic and ive just started a back pain management program. which im abit sceptical about but at the minute id try anything to give me abit of relief.

    i cant believe the ammount of emotional and mental affects a physical problem can cause, theyve got a physcologist ob the pain managment program so im hoping to make good use of her.

    ive lost my life to living in pain, takin medication nd going to and from hospital appointments. and just want to get bk to some normality.

    many thanks for your reply :-)

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  • Posted

    I truly understand how you feel. For many years I also thought I'd lost my life to the chronic pain and disability that life has thrown at me. However as time has gone by I have learned to live with it all ( with occasional irrational moments mind you) ). It is horrible but life goes on and so do we.

    Cognitive Therapy wold be similar to the physcologist you hopefully will be seeing.

    In case your're not sure what a Tens machine is - It uses an electrical impulse at the point of pain. It is a small device and comes with pads that attach to you. It then sends pulses of different kinds through the pads and can in some people soothe the area and also helps to stimulate your natural endorphins to help in pain control. if you Google it you will find many types available and some are quite inexpensive. Mine was given to me by my consultant years ago. It does not remove pain but gives your brain something else to think about and may not be for you. The pain clinic/back management people may be able to offer a loan of one or you might find you have a friend that could loan you one to try.

    My experience(and many others I'm afraid) - of 'pain management people' is not that good so don't get your hopes up too high but do make sure you give everything they offer a go, as there may be something out there for you..

    My bladder control medication is called Oxybutynin, but there are different ones that your gp may consider more suitable for you.I originally took it for ages but now only have to take it occasionally.

    At least you are still in the loop of help. Sadly a lot of us chronic pain bods end up at the end of the road with just pain meds and self help.

    Try and do something that makes you smile sometimes, music/tv/hobbies etc. It sounds trite I know but doing something that we enjoy can help us feel better and take control.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you find some relief and positive help soon.

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  • Posted

    i will look into the tens machine and give it a try. ive heard from many people that the pain management has been ineffective but time will tell, i will definatly visit my gp about my bladder. i need to find a new hobby cos all my past hobbies have been quite active, but maybe something new will give me something to concentrate on.

    many thanks for your kind helpful reply :-)

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