I also have 5 herniated discs and the possible cause is also degenerative disc disease according to my doctor. My pain is so severe I must spend most of my life lying down. My doctor just increased my pain medication so I hope I can go to physical therapy now. I am going to get the first injections of steroids this week. Has anyone had serious problems with these injections? I gave my doctor records of this pain from 7 years ago after a car accident and she still calls the pain acute but this event happened and all the tests after trying to pick up a friend who fell down. I think it is more chronic and need to be treated for chronic pain, but I am going along with her program which seems reasonable. I cannot take Tylenol due to portal hypertension cirrhosis and get oxicodone which I found only works if I eat with it. If I don't eat the stomach does not seem to digest it. I do fine on the new dose. However she just changed it and I have to pick up the new prescription, kind of awful you must show up in person to get this class of medications, even though they are for very bad pain, so I must get a driver! I live outside the city so it is a one hour drive each way, very painful. Anyway. Please let me know your experience with steriod injections if possible and nice to meet you. It looks like I will be dealing with this a long time. I also realized so many odd symptoms, it is hard to tell what they are from. I have swelling in one leg and not the other. weird tingling sensations that are very uncomfortable, pins and needles in feet. and sometimes severe cramping on one side of the ribs... to say the least my life has stopped and I am not able to pursue it right now. That has been emotionally difficult, so is the pain situation. Please don't tell me to not take the pain medications because they are dangerous, because I will just think you don't understand this type of severe pain. I am open to ideas to go along with the medications and also recommendations for chronic pain specialists that are good in Washington State..thank you and hello! Amanda
5 Oct 2011
Just another quick note about your prescriptions, my doctor mails mine to me. I have been told by several people that this is illegal, but if you canot drive, & it's hard for you to get around it is a possibility. I send or give them stamped, self addressed envelops & it has worked out so far. Just a thought...
5 Oct 2011
I don't get the chance to read every day about new questions so I am trying to catch up on some of the past posts.
You have a long post but I am trying to narrow down the concerns you have. I have Degenerative Joint/Degenerative Disk disease for many a year now. I have had a continued series of steroid injections and to answer your post, YES, the injections do help. Sometimes my doctor had to put a stronger dose of 'numbing' medication which lasted for hours, so don't make any fast decisions or exercise until you can fully function. I have reached the maximum I can get for steroid injections and the next step for me was surgery. This took a lot of research to find the right doctor who would not scare me with the 'threat of paralysis' but this is always a concern when doing surgery on the spine. I went to an orthopedic specialist who specialized in diseases of the spine and he put a titanium rod at my L-5 - S-1 area. This surgery was successful for about 5 years but age caught up with me and I had continued pain issues over the next couple of years. I then had something called Radio Obliteration treatments, where they burn or fry the nerve to the S-1 area which is where most of my pain was radiating from. The first treatment was successful but the nerve does grow back so another procedure was done but unsuccessful.
At this point, I had to get my pain management doctor talking to my surgeon to explain all my pain issues and what was done. This was successful (finally) but the results was that the hardware connecting the titanium rod to the bone was causing some swelling (after many a year) and now the hardware will have to be taken out BUT this is a one day hospitalization. Since the rod fused to the bone, there was no reason to keep the extra hardware.
This may not be your case. Get your doctors to talk to one another. One medication I took that I liked was Voltaren Gel. This gel took the pain level down at least one notch and got me through a nights sleep. I have also taken Gabapentin for many a year with success for tingling of the legs. Pain medication does not work on the nerves very well. It only masks the pain route to the brain so if you can do without the pain medication, ask your doctor what options you have open to you and if surgery is recommended, find out more about what needs to be done, and get a second or third opinion if you are not comfortable with the results. Education is the key to your health here and the more YOU understand about what is happening to you, the more YOU are in control of what happens to you, don't leave this up to the doctors! Physical therapy is also important so keep yourself as active as you can and research, research, research, so you can learn more about modern medicine.
Sorry the post is so long but I will try and answer more of your questions as I see them posted. Good Luck!!!
4 Oct 2011
I have chronic back pain and extreme muscle tension in my neck, shoulders, and back. The injections do help. I get steroid injections and collegen shots in my neck, shoulders and back. The collegen shots loosens the muscles in your back. It's the same stuff the mega rich use to get rid of wrinkles because it relaxes the muscles in your face. I hope this helps. Good luck. I wish you well.
4 Oct 2011
Hello Amanda & welcome to the site. I am sorry for your pain, & you are right, you have chrontic pain not acute. I would be goin to a pain management doctor altho I have heard from another pain patient in the state of Washington that the pain clinics out their are very very strick with the amount of meds they will prescribe because of the new FDA rules.I have had the injections you speak of as has many on the site. My personal experience was a mixed review. Out of 9 in a 13 week period, only 1 seemed it helped, but everyone is different. It may help for a while, but then you have to keep getting them. If you have a definate stenosis, why aren't they operating?This is usually the hallmark for surgery on the spine for most doctors. Are you seeing a neurosurgeon? If not , you should be re-evaluated for a second opinion. I'm not advocating surgery, but it does help many, & with all the new techniques, it's a process that some thought should be given. My best to you...
5 Oct 2011
Hello Amanda and welcome!! I don't think that you will have to worry about people telling you not to take narcotics on this site, as we are very understanding. Some people don't take narcotics because they have reactions to them and choose not to do that. You and I are lucky that the narcotics 'help' us. I truly understand where you are coming from and feel really bad about your situation. You can't even drive?? How awful. i know that you would rather be in bed all the time, but the best thing to do is to force yourself up several times a day and move around. Get the most amount of exercise that you can, and you will be surprised how quickly your body wants to move. I have gone from not being able to walk, twice in my live, and I am fighting it again. Maybe you could go to physical therapy.
The injections will probably help you. My husband has a SEVERE herniated disc in his neck which the surgeon wants to fuse, but he knows too many people with a fused neck, and only wants that as a last resort. Therefore, he gets epidurals three times in three months (this month is four times because he was in a car accident), and they are his miracle. Me on the other hand can't have epidurals, (which is the steroid injection you are talking about), as I have really bad reactions to cortisone. I also have severe spinal stenosis through my thoracic, lumbar, and sacrum. I was getting botox for awhile for the muscle knots, but it was too expensive, without enough relief. I am now FINALLY, after over six months of 'study' from the doctors ready to get my trial for a spinal stimulator. I just have to go through one more dreaded MRI. The only thing the surgeon might suggest is a morphine drug pump, if the problems in my back go all the way up to my cervical region. I really DON"T want the morphine drip as no doctor in this town FILLED with a major university hospital will fill it monthly, and I will have to drive 3 hours to get it filled. He also mentioned meningitis, and other nasty things that I don't want to take a chance on. So I am hoping very much that the stimulator will work enough. I want to walk and stand again for more the three minutes!! My son is getting married this year, and I want to enjoy his wedding instead of counting the minutes until I get home!!
So you see, you are not alone, and we are very, very understanding here. You might get a lot of different opinions, but that is a good way to form questions for your doctor, since we have such a wide variety of situations.
Good luck, Amanda, and welcome. Ellen
23 Jan 2013
Hi Amanda. This is my first time on site. I take pain meds and have lost "friends"over taking narc's. I hope you will not be judged as harsh and you will accept any and all help you are given. Before I was given help, I visited a good chioprater ( sorry 4 spelling ) and he did help. Please note, if you feel worse than did after your appt, find a new one. This was the case for me. I informed the "dr." he was hurting me and I was not feeling better and he advised that I must have fibromialga. Went to new chiro and he was wonderful.
I have DDD, bulging C5&6, cervical and thorasic stenosis, and T1 hemanogoma's!!! I too have the leg, feet hand and arm tingles and numbness. I do not drink and have such nerve damage I can not pass a road side dwi test. Funny... I will be having surgery but am very afraid. I take 80 oxycotin twice a day and 60 oxycodone 5-6 times for breakthrough. Insurance changed 1/1/13 so next week he will change meds. Best of luck to you. Oh posted 4/12... How are you Amanda?
4 Oct 2011
Hi, Steroid shots are usually very painful during and after the injection- about 24 hours. You need to keep getting them, as Mary pointed out. I know people that like them and find them helpful. My son didn't find them helpful at all. My husband took some and they helped him-so it's a mixed bag.
And, yes, you have chronic pain
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