Spinal stenosis

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Had acute pain in right leg for 15 months which Gp was saying was hip and knee osteoarthritis and was prescribed cocodamol and later Tramadol which only took the edge off. Had knee and hip x-rays which showed minimal arthritis. Eventually I insisted on seeing a hip surgeon privately and he not only was the first person to listen to me but actually agreed that it was my spine. At last I was able to get an MRI scan done which confirmed lumbar spinal stenosis. The acute pain has eased now but I'm not able to walk far and have back pain as well as now both legs weak. I'm informed that steroid injection don't last long and surgery may have to be repeated after a couple of years or so. I'm not sure that it is worth the risk and considering to try acupuncture. I know there isn't a cure but some pain relief would be nice.

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  • Posted

    You seem to have the same symptons as me,,,very painful I did have a slipped disc about 30 years ago and went through life trying different exercises for my back and just putting up with the pain....privately I went to various specialists ...massage and manipulation and all my doctor said was that I probably had arthritis in my hips. I finally had an MRI scan which confirmed that it was Spinal Stenosis my doctor just explained that I had degeneration of my spine and suggested paracetamol. In 2010 the osteotherapist I was seeing privately suggested she write a letter to my doctor because I might benefit by going to a Pain Clinic which was something I hadn't even heard of. At last I saw a specialist who knew what was happening but he wasn't interested my my story just said I could have surgery which might work or tablets which again might work. I chose tablets to start off with. These were Pregabalin (Lyrica). I started off taking two a day morning and night and have now just increased to three a day after 12 months. They have relaxed my muscles in the thigh which has made me more comfortable. I am now unable to go out without leaning on someone or a shopping trolley and after about 1 hour am totally exhausted but I can sit down and am forever looking for the next seat. I have thought of acupuncture but haven't tried it yet. Because of my age I have resigned myself to this way of life but sometimes get a little depressed...I'd love to find someone else to chat to.
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    • Posted

      I have 2 discs missing and lower atheritic back, that was 4 years ago, the pain has now got considerably worse, I am plagued with sciatic pain which now am at screaming point with and cramp in my left hamstring muscle, I am okay for about one hour in the day, then it gradually gets worse and worse, I live on co codamols, I had gabapentin but I had some very nasty side affects from it, my doctor gave me sodium valproate, but it goes against my breathing difficulties and my auto immune problems, and plus it gives you rapid weight gain, my son slipped his disc two years ago he had injections for the pain, he said it was horrendouse so its rather put me off getting any injections plus you have to have them every 3 months, my mother is already bedbound with thiscondition and the way things are going the outlook looks grim, I recently purchased a pressure cushion with a hole cut out in it to relieve sciatic pain but to no avail, am just continuously doping myself up on co codamols at the moment, they wont operate because I have sleep apnea and its quite bad. has anyone got any clues for the way forward with regards to pain control, I am told this pain will slowly go and the spine will fuse together, but I am not sure about this.
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    • Posted

       I know someone who had back problems for years and spine did fuse together and she is now good .  Are you doing exercises?... because for myself I went to the physiotherapist as well as my Doctor Who mentioned strengthening the muscles are very important  in helping managing pain .

       acupuncture is also helpful for a lot of people 

       

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    • Posted

      I don't recommend surgery to anyone unless you have tried everything and your pain is still to much to bare. I decided to try Inversion and I would recommend it to anyone. I didn't buy the expensive one from the infomercial but got a really good one from Academy Sports for about $500 and it is awesome. I used it the first time and was amazed at how awesome I felt as soon as I was done. The pain was gone and I didn't need to use it again for a few weeks. Anytime I overwork myself and start having pain I get in and hang for about 2 to 5 minutes and when I'm done I feel like a new woman. Talk to your doctor first but honestly if you have stenosis or bulging disc you are a candidate. If you have had surgery and have a cage then you should NOT use it. Good luck. Praying you have or find relief soon
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    • Posted

      I had an automobile accident on Christmas Eve 2005. Since then I have been miserable. I had been awake since 4am on the 23rd and was finally on my way home at 1am on the 24th. I stopped to get some rest and don't recall waking up and driving away. The highway patrol officer who worked the scene said that I should put my keys on the bumper of my car so I would have to get up and walk around to wake up. Not really much of an option since it was below 30 degrees. Since I laid down in the seat I wasn't buckled in. I hit a hedge tree and the airbag probably saved my life. The truck spun and threw me into the windshield. I slid down on top of the 4 wheel drive shifter. I still have a very tender tailbone and my lower back is absolutely miserable. My head hit the windshield and I had surgery to replace a ruptured disc. It helped my neck but I now have a bone spur that rubs on my spinal cord and 2 more herniated discs above my t1. The va is/was my healthcare for the past 4 years. They won't do the necessary surgery that was recommended by a neurosurgeon on the spur and they do nothing for my tailbone. They say I have a growth on the side of my spine and degenerated bone tissue. They give/gave me hydrocodone 10 mg. 2 a day. When I was working in Missouri I was using fentanyl patches that were wonderful but I couldn't feel any pain at all and that wasn't safe. After 5 years following the accident I sold my house and moved to different places to find a job with better healthcare. That was after Obama implemented his healthcare plan and made insurance too expensive. I have given up on the idea that the va will do anything to help me, other than give me 60 hydrocodone a month. I get 800 mg ibuprofen too but it only helps the headaches that are an everyday occurrence. I'm not going to go to the va anymore. I can't accept that I can't be helped. That would leave me with no hope. I will be out of pain pills in a month and that's frightening. I'm thinking I might go to Mexico. I'm out of options. I hope that you find some relief. As for me, I'm just about done with hope.

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    • Posted

      Don't give up keep searching. Ask the VA for a bio drug for your back. The VA is very good here where I live. 

      Ist like a good fight for your life it's all about a better quality of life.

      sometimes it gets so aggravating even private care is frustrating. I've had issues with care from doc in private care too .

      I have had a bad accident and serious back problems . I wear a back brace and take OTC meds don't like pain meds. Have had two fusions which helped in my case. Everyone is different heeling is important and I hope you find a solution soon. Don't give up keep searching . It took me 8 disc & 10 years to find a solution. It was worth every disappointment compared to that one dr who could help me. 

      peace & heeling

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  • Posted

    Since my last post I have had some massage followed by acupuncture and it has helped a little, I'm having a bit of remission though so not sure if the acupuncture would help when the acute pain comes. At the moment the pain is duller and easier to cope with but walking hasn't improved that much. The acupuncturist gives my back and leg a good massage which helps for a while. My doctor has said he will arrange surgery for me if I change my mind but I'm 76 and worry about complications such as pulmonary embolism or stroke afterwards as this has happened with 2 family members after surgery. If the pain comes back like it was a few months ago I may have no option as it was excruciating. I was sent for physic by two doctors and each time the physic said they couldn't help because I am quite flexible and could do anything they asked me to. I did Pilates for about twenty years so I am very supple, only symptom is the pain. I find lying flat on my back several times for ten minutes each time between chores helps. I have accepted that it won't get better and I will get trapped nerves again at some point but at the moment I'm coping. I find it frustrating as well as depressing as I have always been so active and enjoyed life and going out for days or holidays. I just keep thinking that there are people with much worse so shouldn't complain too much. Good luck and hope you get some relief soon.
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  • Posted

    Hello to both of you. I have the same problem along with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis in just about all of me. I've had 6 surgeries, countless epidurals and injections (some worked for a short while, some didn't work at all) and bucket loads of pills.

    It doesn't sound as though you have adequate pain relief. These days no one should be left to suffer in pain. There are lots of types of medications to help chronic pain, including transdermal patches, sometimes it takes a while to find the ones that suit you best but there's bound to be something out there for you.

    Please think carefully and research fully any surgery you may decide to have. I know people who have had spinal surgery and wished they hadn't. It's a lot to go though and then find you still have to take pain medications and maybe not actually have gained anything at all. It is a frustrating and debilitating thing to have to live with. Gerry the Neck has posted a long post on this site called Cervical Spondylosis Ruminations, it's very helpful and informative and worth a read if you haven't already seen it.

    There are also other online forums such as Arthritis Care and Pain Support, both bring together people who suffer from various arthritic and other conditions to offer help and advice.

    Have you a comfortable mattress? a foam topper can often help sore joints. I'm sure you already know most things to help you feel more comfortable.

    Well I don't suppose I've actually helped but don't let age stop you looking for relief and help. I always say there was a serious design flaw when the human blueprint was drawn up......

    What a life! Good luck to you both. Fanny Jane.

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    • Posted

      My husband has also undergone surgery. He has had 3 time in 5 years with no relief. The first time was because of a fall he took of a scaffold, from 12', that malfunctioned. The next one was because after the first fusion, the one disc above and the 2 directly under the fusion began to show damage due to the hardware. The doctor said this was come with fusions. The 3rd one was because the 2nd fusion didn't take. Like you we don't recommend surgery but do recommend back exercise and inversion for those who haven't had surgery yet. I love inversion and recommend it to everyone.
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    • Posted

      Hello Fanny Jane

      after reading your letter I will buy a foam topper for my mattress. I am a bit despairing at present,being in chronic pain day and night. CoCodomol,Tramadol and Naproxin all made me ill. I have been on Diclofenac for 5yrs and am nervous of talking much in case of extreme reactions. Have you taken Diclofenac? The GP's at my surgery all seem to have differing views on the safety of it. I can walk and even drive when on 150mg a day but got put off by one GP who believes it is potentially very dangerous.I now take 25mg twice a day and can barely walk and am housebound.

      What is the nerve drug you were given? This has never been suggested for me.My pain is all below the waist,thighs,knees,ankles and feet, burning pain plus numbness.

      I am 77 and do not fany surgery.

      You have helped me Fanny Jane,I love your attitude. I am a very positive person and enjoy high spirits but beneath the surface I really am in agony and would give anything for just one day without chronic pain.

      I would ideally like to go back to 150mg Diclofenac and have my life back,but my GP is against me taking it at all!!

      I would be interested to hear anything more about you and your experiences.

      Very best wishes, JUNE

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    • Posted

      Hi june40050

      I have taken most of the medication you mentioned above. I currently take naproxen twice a day and I am now on Gabapentin 300mg a day. I take usual things like paracetamol and have dihydracodien too but I try not to take this too much. The gabapentin seems a bit more effective for me. I have been on tramadol, pregabalin & cocodamol, but they gave me horrid side effects. I sleep with a pillow (bolster type) between my knees. You can get them from mothercare or somewhere similar. This gives some help with pressure off my spine at night and getting up in the morning isn't quite so hard. I have chronic lower back, hip pain and sciatic pain going down my legs. I have several spinal conditions recently discovered and I'm 35. The next step is acupuncture as I'm waiting for the pain management team at my hospital to get in touch (gp referral) surgery isn't possible according to my specialist either. Not sure on the diclofenac but you might suggest gabapentin to your gp if you haven't had it?

      Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Hi I am 71 and my doctor took me off that a few years back. It can increase your risk of fatal heart attack or stroke, especially if you use it long term or take high doses, or if you have heart disease. Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can kill you. These conditions can occur without warning while you are using this medicine, especially in older adults. Tramadol will make you sick but only the first few days, and is a very safe drug. I have been on it now for 3 years and gabapentin and it the pain is now down to a minimum and I have my life back. I also invested in a good 6 inch matress topper, rather firm as the soft one left me a mess in the morning. I think you might want to try the tramadol again if the pain is that bad, the side effects I had was sweating and feeling ill but after a week that got better but never take more than reccomened, this does not work better with more...it makes you feel bad. Take care, hope you feel better! Dolly
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