My doctor is not going to allow me to continue taking tramadol as part of my pain management for my back . I have had 3 spinal epidurals which helped a bit and use a tens unit that helped at first but not much anymore. The tramadol does not take the pain away it does take the edge off.
I have been advised by two different specialist i will need a laminectomy, two disc removed and spacers inserted and spinal fusion. This does not guarantee relief from the pain or a second surgery in 10yr. I am trying all conservative measures and would appreciate any suggestions.
I just turned 53 and have a fairly physical job as a self employed contract painter, house keeper and odd jobs. If anyone could share their input on managing back pain other than surgery it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Added 25 Feb 2011:
first i want to thank all who have responded to my question and to let them know how much it helps to have the support and info provided. secondly i want to update my info for those still seeking help for relief of their pain and for those who where kind enough to ask for an update.
i have not had surgery nor have i received any new pain medications (07/2010) from my dr. who has moved from the area so i'm now without a family physician. so i now need to find a new dr. one who will be willing to prescribe medication and not just a surgical approach and work with my present wellness team but i'm hopeful because of the great people put in my path who have been helping with my current pt activities that there is also a dr out there for me.
i did find a dr. who is a licensed acupuncturist who has been very helpful both with her treatments and referring me to a great physical therapist who's treatment are based on a total wellness program, not just rotate exercise. Through my pt i found a chiropractor and have completed a spinal decompression, laser therapy, chiropractic adjustment treatment of 3x a week for the last 4 months. During this time i have reduced my work load and as long as i don't work my pain rating is a 5 and on the days i must work my normal job it is a 9. as i have had to pay for all my treatment my insurance does not cover any of my treatments the need for me to return to work is a necessity and i know that my level of pain will also return to a higher level.
but for those of you that are seeking conservative measures instead of surgery and who do not have a physically demanding line of work please try alternative treatments instead of surgery first. i have also found that the professional who have helped me the most where referred by friends and neighbors and not by advertisement. so one must actively seek, ask and be willing to go the distance to find good caring health/wellness professionals.
i do have a new question about a procedure called MILD, Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression and will post it soon.
again thanks to all and i will let you all know how things progress.