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Thread: Seeing a back specialist

  1. #1
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    Default Seeing a back specialist

    I’ll be seeing a back specialist at the end of this month. I suspect I have some sort of disc issue. Severe lower back pain, sometimes I can barely walk. Maybe my back issue is also connected to my chronic headache/migraines. Does anyone have experience with these issues? I’d really like to have an MRI done.

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    @Outofideas I have multiple disc issues in both my lower lumbar and c-spine (neck). I often get terrible headaches because of the pinched nerves resulting from a misaligned vertabre in my neck that has cause a herniation of the disc.

    A back specialist should be able to determine if you have a possible disc issue fairly easily and I don't see why they wouldn't refer you for an MRI anyway if you really wanted one given the circumstances. Although doctors are gonna provide more treatment options to those with better insurance of course...

    I do hope your able to get some answers about what is causing the pain. I know all to well the problems back issues can cause.
    Helpful Outofideas, Blackbird123 Rated helpful
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    I have spinal stenosis. A good neurologist should be able to diagnose and direct a course to treat. Try physical therapy. I did not want to go, but it has helped.

    Tom
    Helpful Outofideas Rated helpful

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    @Outofideas...I've got multiple back and neck problems. .. Bulging disks, arthritis in every joint, scoliosis, pinched nerves. If this is your first visit, they're probably do a thorough evaluation, range of motion, neurological eval, etc. depending on what the doctor finds you'll most likely get sent for an MRI or it could be an X-ray.

    Most insurances require s step treatment which starts with physical therapy and anti-inflammatory OTC meds. PT only aggravated my problems to the point of not being able to walk and triggering migraines.

    After that, if you're still having problems you might get trigger point injections or you might get nerve blocks which are steroids injected into the facet joints. If the nerve blocks work (again, that didn't help me) then they might suggest ablation or basically frying the nerves which would give longer relief. The nerves eventually grow back though.

    The very last option and one to think long and hard on would be surgery.

    With all that said, it really comes down to your own situation as to what's causing the problem. Good luck with the specialist - keep us updated on how your doing.
    Helpful Blackbird123, Outofideas Rated helpful

  6. #5
    I tried the whole back specialist road and drew the line with pt, I know it is going to increase my pain and to be honest I felt it would be more aggravating to me. It was the only thing I drew the line on, I just wasn’t on board and took a look at my progress in the pain management arena had been like. For me I felt like I jumped through a lot of hoops for Celebrex (that does nothing and baclofen that isn’t effective). That is just my personal feelings, I am sure other people had a more positive experience and I respect that.
    Helpful Outofideas Rated helpful
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    DulyNoted has a reputation beyond repute
    Quote Originally Posted by Outofideas View Post
    I’ll be seeing a back specialist at the end of this month. I suspect I have some sort of disc issue. Severe lower back pain, sometimes I can barely walk. Maybe my back issue is also connected to my chronic headache/migraines. Does anyone have experience with these issues? I’d really like to have an MRI done.
    I dealt with "Degenerative Disc Disease" quite awhile back. I periodically would strain my lower back and just getting to my feet and to the bathroom was an excruciating adventure. Long story short, an excellent orthopedic sports medicine specialist when asked "Can I avoid surgery"? replied "yes, if I really pursue PT to the maximum". He was right. With 10 exercises with exercise balls, stretch bands and leg lifter (stretching hamstrings) I was able to COMPLETELY overcome the back pain. It too 45 minutes every day for about a year. I saw marked improvement within 2 months and continued to improve steadily for a year until my back was better than it had ever been. Now I just swim laps regularly to keep pain free.

    As an aside, everyone's discs degenerate. The cushioning effect in those lower discs diminishes as they harden with age. Your idea of getting an MRI is good. If you rule out any herniation of disc or ruptures and just have degenerative discs you can definitely beat it with aggressive PT. Best of luck!
    Last edited by DulyNoted; 4 Weeks Ago at 10:23 AM.
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    Outofideas will become famous soon enoughOutofideas will become famous soon enough

    Years ago I did PT and then chiropractor route. Both made my issues worse. I had some insurance issues and doctors were never keen on giving me an MRI. I hope I have finally found a good place to look into everything thourougly. All of my issues point to degenerative disc. If it can be fixed with surgery I’ll take it!
    Helpful Gullible Rated helpful
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  9. #8
    @Outofideas when I was trying to work my back issues out through pain management I actually had a consultation with a surgeon. Basically a 5 minute waste of time and he scheduled me for a follow up in a year. I really did try to get relief by working through pain management Drs. The only thing I did not do is pt, because I know it cause more pain. I really hope it works out better for you, I just finally gave up and quit out of frustration. Looking back the best advice I would be able to give is research the Dr and see what other patients have experienced while in his/her care rather than going blindly into an appointment, make sure that the dr is the best fit for your needs.
    Last edited by DW4210; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:10 PM.
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  10. copays for pt can be expensive. i've avoided for that reason.what is minimum visits do you think to get enough help? wish i had a local pool.

  11. #10
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    Sorry to hear. Get the MRI done, then there is proof.
    Assuming you will be getting injections done first - ask the Dr if they have any experience with Sarapin (pitcher plant extract). I've had more relief from that than anything else, it was part of a cocktail injection.
    Helpful Outofideas Rated helpful

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    Morning of my appointment office called and said doc had two emergency back surgeries and wouldn’t be available that day. Pushed my appointment back two weeks

  13. #12
    Have you ever tried physiotherapy for your pain? I suffer from regular back pain (due to bad posture) and l find that certain exercises help me lots more than regular MEDs. Hope you'll find the root of the issue with the MRI
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  14. #13
    2 weeks ago I said I have tried everything except pt and I refused because it is going to be painful. I still believe it is going to be painful, but I am going to do it. I have read how it has helped some of you a lot and others had more pain. So far I haven’t had much relief so I am going to try it and will call to work on the arrangements tomorrow. My Dr PM Dr (is still an arrogant jerk), but he prescribes Celebrex and I honestly cannot tell any difference so I won’t be having that refilled, I read the side effects and they are as bad or worse than what I am working with. So I will stick with Advil and look at Aleve to rotate the two. (I thought they were both name brands for the same med). I can’t use Tylenol, I have really bad reactions and I am going to keep my heating pad (I have “overused” the heating pad and have scarring from it) but my DH bought me a new digital one that heats up on a timer and it won’t heat up again until it cools all the way down so I can’t just click it back. The pt is combined with pm coping skills and it is only a 6 week program (2-3 times a week - I think). I am going to take it seriously and if it works I will have more relief than I do now and I will be honest and admit the Dr was right. if it doesn’t work the arrogant Dr will hear about it! On my last visit when I was still trying to work through the pm center he mentioned that by treating me for so long and the limited relief I receive that the symptoms indicate fibromyalgia. I never considered and haven’t researched it, but he is a professional and competent and I have no reason not to believe his opinion. So, I am investing the time into myself and hope he is right & I am wrong.. I will keep you posted with my honest opinion.
    Helpful Outofideas, bluu Rated helpful

  15. #14
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    I had my appointment and I am waiting for my insurance to approve an MRI and X-rays. They said it could take a few days. So once it gets approved which shouldn’t be an issue I’ll be going in to get those done ASAP. Doc said she noticed I had some sensitivity in my right lower side of my back. I hadn’t even noticed when she was examining me. Place seems to be very helpful so far. I’ll know more once I get my tests done.

  16. I can say the one thing that truly helped my back pain was using a "Tilt Machine" (inversion therapy). Was bit skeptical, but saw one on sale and thought, after seeing a few of those "infomercials" on late night TV for them, what the heck. Felt almost immediate relief after the first "treatment". Lots of cautions for them, for people with a number of preexisting conditions, like high blood pressure, but if other wise pretty healthy might be worth having a look at. Can pick up one for around $100 -$150 on Amazon, (search inversion table) about the cost of just one of my traction sessions with a specialist chiropractor. Read up on them, and take it slow with inversion angles at first.
    Helpful Outofideas, grannyof2boys Rated helpful

  17. my mother had lot of back pain spine issue . coz she had accident 2 years back. got treated from many doctors. some were saying bone is injured . some saying spine is pressed . she were exhausted by taking too much medicines. also scared from operation . coz sometimes it got successful sometime not. with time pass also got cervical issue. bad time lot of dizziness. at last with god grace we met a local doctors he just gave simple and light medicine i don't remember the name but it was just for multivitamins and calcium and some others. but the most importantly he suggested that start eating mutton and chicken soup and fish 3 days in week. and suggested not to sit for long time , not to walk for long time, take rest according to body situation don't give pressure or stretch to back bone and also asked for forehead pressing i mean yoga with hand for cervical problem every morning and movement of neck while standing. and told to take a bath not with cold in fact luke warm water.
    that's it
    you will not believe now my mom say i don't feel enough pain now . she is 54 now , healthy.

    God bless everybody . if anybody have similar issue. i would like to recommend it.

    Regards,
    dexter.
    Helpful Outofideas Rated helpful

  18. #17
    Well, I have been known to change my mind... the whole pt thing is back in the “Hard Pass” for me. Plain and simple, I don’t want to do it. I must have temporarily lost my senses. Right now I am going to continue to use Advil. In the morning when I get up my muscles are so tight, I kind of walk slightly bent over to the left. Eventually I can walk upright.

  19. Careful with over the counter pain meds, I used up to the max daily dosage for a number of weeks (probably 6-7 weeks) of Ibuprofen (Advil) started to effected my kidneys. No real symptoms the abnormal results were picked up in a routine physical. Stopped the NSAIDS and in a follow up a few weeks later, kidney values returned to normal. Found out that over the counter NSAIDS are one of the main causes of kidney failure/damage every year. I was unaware of this until this happened. Also, Tylenol, a pain med, but not in the NSAID class can be hard on the liver. Again watch dosing, as they are a leading cause for liver failures/damage every year.
    Helpful jaders, Outofideas Rated helpful

  20. #19
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    I have had two different compression fractures of my back. L4 and L5 and L1 and L2. I have been recommended for surgery in the past but have always put it off hoping that the longer I wait the better the surgical procedures will get. Whenever my back gets cranky I have found that rest and stretching help. If I have spasms then I use Soma. My brother had surgery for a compression fracture and he said not to do it...... His back is almost as bad as it was before.
    Helpful Outofideas Rated helpful

  21. Good luck and be careful. My family has a ton of that mess. L5S1 is the most common but it helps to narrow down if it's more a structural pain and/or nerve pain. Does it run down your legs? Out to your hands? Do certain positions make it worse?
    MRI's are fine but they won't always narrow down a nerve issue. It's a good start. Did you get contrast and non-contrast?

    Next up= fun of the EMG test. Needles and perhaps electric shocks to test out your reflexes and "listen in" on nerve issues.

    Do not rush into surgery. They should not do that unless you have a serious nerve issues where they feel you will have loss of feeling and so on.

    Physical therapy is normally the first course I believe and some NSAIDS. Watch out for any heavy medications. Not a good way to go.

    Again, avoid surgery if you can. How long have you had this issue? I see it has been years but has it differed? DO NOT RUSH SURGERY.

    I think if you have lasted this long it would be a mistake to get surgery. Especially if they start talking about a fusion. Those seem to fail a lot. My mom never got better from that mess.

    Good luck.
    Helpful Outofideas Rated helpful

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