Spinal pain for the last 10 years

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I've had a spinal fusion operation for a grade 3 spondylolisthesis 27 years ago I am now 45. I had the operation at Harlow Wood  at Mansfield Notts. I also have a scoliosis & the start of cervical myelopathy, sciatica, a tethered spianl cord & pain all over my body which has got considerably worse over the last few tears. There is nothing  surgically that can be done so it is just a case of trying to manage the pain which is hard work in itself as nothing really seens to work. As a result of this I have become more isolated as nobody seems to understand what is wrong with me, because its not cancer or an illness they recognise they don't want to know. Being like this has taken my life even though it is not life threatening. I just wondered if there was anybody else out there in a similar situation who has had a fusion a while ago and now has problems with the rest of their body being in constant pain. I just feel like I am on the scrap heal at 45.

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  • Posted

    I deal with a pretty messy OA body wide and started at 18 and I'm 76...I also deal with spondy............. and an osteopath told me in my 30's that I had the back of a 90 yr old....I've NEVER had a back surgery and don't want to do that one....

    There are exercises for spondy and I do a lot of supplements and ice and heat and I'm retired but led a busy hectic life and since hip replacement in 2010, everything is structurally worse with body and I just deal with it and manage...

    I just posted in the Alternative group about a oxygen therapy I will be trying very soon for knee and foot/ankle.....it's been in Europe for many years and now spreading to the US.......Joy 76 US 

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    • Posted

      Hi Joy,

      I have had spondylothesis for 20 years and am getting much worse. I have been told to have a spinal fusion but do not want to go down that road. Can you please tell me what exercises there are to help as I cannot get on the floor as my back and knees will not allow this. I am 71 and at the end of my tether because of the constant pain. I cannot use my TENS machine anymore because I have a pace maker and that was the only answer to the pain.


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  • Posted

    Hi Claire, I feel for you with the pain aspect. I had a hip replacement 7

    years ago and thing have gone from bad to worse until I am now in

    constant pain. I have constantly been told it is my back and have had

    spurs removed and have regular nerve block injections. Nothing works.

    There was a nerve trapped when I had the hip done but some days

    I hurt so much and no-one can see it so don't think its that bad. I give

    up with pain killers and I am limited with anti-inflammatories as I am

    a diabetic. I have been referred again to the Orthopaedic Dept. at

    the hospital on 8th Dec. so.........I wait with an open mind! I hope you

    find some help soon.

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    • Posted

      Annette, I think you are the FIRST person I've read about who has many yrs behind them with hip replacement, I'm 4 yrs post op and only thing I don't have anymore is groin pain....left with nerve damage, IT band damage, worse knee due to it all, worse ankle/foot from worse knee...it's been short of a nightmare from I expected from this JOB.

      I deal with BACK OA mess and now know all my issues are related to back stuff too.....    I stretch, ice/heat wear a back support, knee support and  foot support.....I don't want near a orthopedic doc again....

      I just posted on the Alternative Group here what my next move is for knee and ankle help.....can't fathom knee surgery.   Joy 76 US

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  • Posted

    Claire, I have had spondylolisthesis for over 20 years so I really understand the pain that can lead to surgery.  I saw many consultants, some advised spinal fusion whilst others were against.  I followed the opinion of the consultant who arranged for a surgical corset to be fitted and advised me to avoid surgery and get in the water and swim on my back.  On telling him I was a non-swimmer, he told me to just get in the water with floats.  I joined an aquarobics class but was careful not to compete with the others, just move about in the water at my own pace.  

    I have had several bouts of sciatica, often brought about by simply going over on an ankle.  I have also had a few episodes with my back going into such spasm that I've literally been unable to move.   At such times, I don a support girdle (the surgical corset no longer fits, and I haven't got on with the later medical versions) and wear it for about 3 days.  It gives me relief quite quickly.  I'm unable to take anti-inflammatories, after some months on them in the past for an inflammatory illness caused chronic kidney disease on my sole kidney.  My spine is mis-shapen in that my right hip sticks out further than the left and my left shoulder is lower than my right.

    BUT, as long as I sleep on the right beds, sit in the right chairs, have daily walks and generally avoid lifting anything heavy, I am managing.  In fact, I have recently started attending the gym twice a week - GP referral to try and tackle high blood pressure.

    Have you tried going to a hydrotherapy pool - gentle exercise in warm water might help?

    Also have you had a Vit D blood tests?  Many people are deficient and such deficiency can lead to additional pain all over the body.  I was found to be deficient and now have a 3-month course of Vit D3 every winter.  The additional benefit for anyone who is deficient is that the Vit D helps more calcium to be absorbed into our bones thereby helping to protect them from thinning as we get older (osteoporosis).

    Look up anti-inflammatory foods and try and stick to a diet containing them, especially lots of oily fish which can really help to ease inflammation and pain.

    Finally, I'm sure you will find it interesting to look up The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino, a lady with Lupus.  

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire,

    I do understand exactly how you feel because our pain does not show people think we are just complaining about a "back ache". I have not had a spinal fusion but have been told twice in the last 12 years that I need it. The pain I get on arising in the morning is not possible to put into words and the weakness in my legs causes me to fall down. I have to sit for at least an hour before I try to get up and walk. I am 71 and cannot go shopping or out with my husband as I cannot walk because of the pain and weakness. I never wanted the fusion operation and now at my age I definately do not want it but the pain gets me very depressed. I have tried every pain med there but I cannot have any anti inflammatories because I am on Warfarin. The best thing I used to use to stop the pain was a TENS machine. I cannot use this now because I have a pace maker but you should look into getting a TENS machine. It really works to stop the pain and there are no horrible drugs involved.  Let me know how you get on.


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