I am experiencing lower back pain now for 2 years. I've put in multiple requests for an MRI, but my insurance refuses to allow it. Says a 2007 MRI showed something wrong with 2 of my discs (sorry I don't know the terminology), but it ended there. I was given Tramodol and sent home. What is the next step? The pain and stiffness is not in my imagination, and can get in the way of being an efficient Mom (can't carry kids etc.) I know I'm not the worst case out there, but I'm in a rut. My GP has written me off, said to go to a back pain specialist. What do I expect to find there? I don't have to money to spend on a specialist if they're going to ignore me also. Any suggestions?
Cathleen I am so sorry that you are having such a difficult time, I have 2 vertebral compression fractures along with other chronic pain, I first saw a neurologist (but I know what you are talking about... Oh the expense) he placed me on a Duragesic patch sometimes there is no other answer than to seek help from a Dr. who treats chronic pain, I was fortunate to find a physician, she has been a best friend even though I struggle with finding medications that work I think you have to keep trying until you find what works the best for you, I in no way am trying to give you an easy answer I don't think there is one I just pray that you find the help please take care, I do care
You stated you do not have the funds to spend on a specialist. If your pain is severe enough that it interferes with your ADLs (activities of daily living), which you indicated, it would be in your best interest to get the funds together and schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic physician; specifically one that specializes with spinal issues. Hopefully, you will be able to do so. In all likelihood your insurance would approve an MRI if after an examination the orthopaedist deems an MRI as medically necessary and provides the proper documentation. Often times, most especially when requesting an MRI, PET scan, CT, this requires that the physician completes a pre-certification form to be sent to your insurance company for their approval or denial. If denied, you and your physician may appeal.
Footnote: If you would like to send me an email with the state in which you reside, I would be happy to help you find an orthopaedic doctor who would not ignore you.
Please find out from your insurance company if you need a referral for the pain specialist. If so, see your GP and get one since that's his suggestion anyway. Usually an insurance company will take a specialist more seriously when it comes to diagnostic testing and approve a new MRI. Be sure and bring copies of all your records, x-rays, even the old MRI. I hope you can get this resolved soon. Chronic pain really sucks.
Keep trying! No one feels your pain but you. Like others have said-see if you need a referral for a specialist. You could see an orthopedist if you were contemplating surgery but it doesn't sound like that is the case since they sent you home with medicines. See if you can see a Pain Specialist. Look for one with multi-specialty. A really good clinic will treat pain in more than one way. Look for one with Drs who treat pain as well as physical therapy, chiropractic and psychiatry if you can find it. Pain is best approached by multi-discipliary approach. Keep at it! If your PCP won't work with you get a second opinion. I know it can be expensive. You can always call a Dr's office and ask to speak with someone like the Dr's assisstant or an office manager to find out what their approach to pain management is to save you from going somewhere with an approach you won't consider.
Sometimes you have to keep at the Drs to get them to take you seriously but like I said-no one feels your pain but you. Be honest with your Dr or other healthcare professional and let them know how much your daily quality of life is affected by pain. It helps get an insurance company to pay if they know your quality of life is impaired. Hang in there! You are in good company here!!!
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