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Back issues. Ugh….a little long.


ScottsGT
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A little background.  I’m no stranger to back problems. This coming Monday back in 1999 I went under the knife for a double laminectomy of L2-3 and L4-5.  Life was great up until 6 or 7 years ago.  Started noticing weakness in my legs, losing muscle control randomly for a split second when I would almost drop to the ground.  Work would never allow me on a ladder again.  
in for an MRI and off to the spinal clinic.  Spinal stenosis.  No cure, no fix other than a complete lower fusion.  Doc said that would be the beginning of the end for my mobility and suggested injections.  They helped, but just for a month or two.  I just take it easy and try not to do stupid stuff.  
stupid stuff happens when I’m feeling fine for a while and get complacent with things.  October 25th I walked my back yard back and fourth spraying pre-emergent for a total of 3.75 miles with the sprayer hanging on my right shoulder.  
Since then I’ve had a nagging low level throbbing pain in my right side.  Started feeling good yesterday morning and figured I’d contort my fat body into position to trim my toenails.  Yea, I was feeling it.   Took some Motrin and Tylenol. Even hurt to sit at my building table. 
Later yesterday around 2:30 I decided to jump up in the F-250 and make a run through the neighborhood just over 5 miles to the dump site.

Sat in the truck and pain was pretty bad.  If I had listened to my body I would have gotten out right there with a big NOPE!  
Hurt all the way there, only managed to throw out main garbage, couldn’t do recycling or bulk items.  Almost  passed out from the pain. Had to hold the dumpster and pain was excruciating.  What kills me, there was an older guy there watching me and didn’t even offer to help me. 
Ride home was murder.  Pulled in the driveway at 3.  Had the wife go in and get me pain killers and muscle relaxers and stood by the truck for 20 min waiting on them to kick in.  Never really did.   Took me 40 min to make it to my bed.  That was just walking 30’ from the truck to the stairs. Stairs were not that bad. 
Once in the bed, spasms were bad, really bad.  Everything tightened up where I could only exhale by screaming in pain if I moved. 
Wife took off to go do planned event with the daughter and grands.  She left me my phone and a walking stick I made.  Somewhere along the line I dropped my phone on the floor so no one could reach me.   I laid it bed hoping things would ease up.  Around 9:30 I finally had to force myself up and to the bathroom.   Pain was unbelievable. Got in there and doubled down on the narcotics I got for my bad tooth.  
Came out to my recliner where I’ve been sitting for over 24 hours now.  Pain has finally let up to a point. I’m moving very cautious.  Gotta get things healed up since I have jury duty come Monday. Following week we fly out to Denver to see our son. 
I’ve had some really bad back pains in the past.  Nothing this severe though.  After the Denver trip I’m planning on an MRI or something. 
back pains are real!  Still eating muscle relaxers. 

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I've gone through this myself...having had two back surgeries. I'm currently experiencing

numbness and pain in both feet....I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. I'm not sure

what I'm going to do about my current trouble...but I'm hoping you find relief soon.

Good luck and God bless

 

Paul.

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Thanks Paul.  Last night I tried sleeping in my bed.  Woke up at 4:30 for a bathroom run.  Bad decision. Should have slept in the recliner again.  Pains are bad again the morning, but not like after the truck ride.   I think I need a new mattress too.  
Im supposed to be on jury duty starting Monday.  I hope I can make it. 

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I feel your pain (literally), Scott. I have stenosis too. I went in for the shots a couple of years ago, and got a cerebro-spinal fluid leak for my troubles. I had a splitting headache that lasted for four months without letup until we figured out what the problem was. I have to get in for a presurgery consult soon. Until I can get it fixed, I have a prescription for oxycodone. Low dose (5mg), it just takes the edge off.

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Scott and Bill, Ditto with the back pain, although compared to yours, mine is a 2, not your 10.  There are times when I just can't walk but fortunately those are temporary.  Good luck to both of you!

Chris

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53 minutes ago, Bill_S said:

I feel your pain (literally), Scott. I have stenosis too. I went in for the shots a couple of years ago, and got a cerebro-spinal fluid leak for my troubles. I had a splitting headache that lasted for four months without letup until we figured out what the problem was. I have to get in for a presurgery consult soon. Until I can get it fixed, I have a prescription for oxycodone. Low dose (5mg), it just takes the edge off.

Oh man.  Never thought about getting a leak like that.  Must be murder knowing things got worse when you were trying to improve things. 
I tried two injections.  First one I was back up and going the next day.   Felt great, but it was short lived. Doc gave me hell because I was supposed to stay in bed next day then two to three days of laying around watching TV.  No one ever told me this.  
Tried that approach on second injection. Lasted a little longer, but reading about risks of brittle bones, etc. decided the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. 

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I know where you are coming from Scott! I suffered with sciatica for several years until I finally had surgery 10 years ago. Worked out well for years but now I've started having problems again. I think something has "slipped" so now I have to watch what I do such as lifting, etc. NOT going to go under the knife again if I can help it. Here's a visual aid showing my implanted "titanium hardware". :)

9-27-17.jpg

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I hate reading about guys suffering with back pain.  There are options!

I wrecked my back when I was 25 and was just getting out of the USMC.  It was just from wresting with another jarhead and landing on my hip when he got under me.  I thought it was just muscle pain and I was already in the process of checking out at my EAS.  I tried to stay in shape afterwards by jogging.  But I had to stop.  I could no longer feel the bottom of my feet hitting the ground...  only the shock coming through my legs.

So, off to a chiropractor I went.  Turns out my lower disc was compressed into a wedge, greatly reducing the area through which passed my sciatic nerves.  Pain, tingles, and a loss of sensation was my daily fare.  After months of treatment, I started to improve.

Now, over the next 31 years I went through various chiropractors as I moved around the country and world, and a lot of highs and lows of back health.  Sometimes I had felt that a gentle breeze could snap me in half.   But I didn't really learn about how to make myself feel better until I went with my wife to yoga.  

I don't go to yoga any more.  I don't need it.  I have an easy stretching routine that takes about 15 minutes including time with a foam roller.  I don't need it every day, either.  I still see a chiropractor for maintenance every three weeks.

None of the doctors I have seen ever told me about stretching if I didn't mention it first.  One even told me that he quit recommending it because people never did it.

I'm telling you:  It works!  It enlarges the channels through which the nerves pass by stretching the muscles and removing the pressure that tight muscles give.  And, it's free....    well....   the foam roller did coast me 15 bucks.

My second ally is ice.  I have about 5 ice packs.  Just like a sports injury, I use ice to relieve back pain.  After I have beaten the inflammation back with ice, I wait for my back to warm up, then I do my stretches. 

I'm glad I never went under the knife.  I still do a physical job, drive a forklift with solid rubber tires, and regularly have to lift cartons that weigh around 40lbs.  I lift carefully...   because I know my back is a wreck just waiting to be re-injured.

I'm not a small, thin guy.  Quite the opposite...   just hate typing the words.

I know...   many people, including my wife, don't believe in Chiropractic.  Well...   my wife is a convert.  After her general practitioner prescribed her muscle relaxers  and pain relievers, she hit rock-bottom after six weeks of suffering and almost complete inactivity, confined to the lazy boy.  Now, after seeing a Chiropractor, she is back to work.  I try to get her into the stretches...   but she has depression.  And trying to get a person with depression to do anything is sometimes impossible.  Still, she can function.

Really...   you've nothing to lose but a few minutes a day.  

 

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Last fall I was doing the winter tire changeover when I picked up a tire the wrong way. Doubled over in absolute agony. I was stuck there in the garage bent over leaning on the tire I had tried to lift. I couldn't call Sue as my phone was in the car which was outside and I was in the garage. After about 15 minutes like that a neighbour happened to be walking by in the laneway. I asked him to call Sue out to give me a hand into the house. I couldn't move for the rest of the day. The next morning Sue booked me into a local chiropractic/physiotherapy clinic. The chiropractor got my back straightened out so I could actually stand upright and walk out. Wasn't 100% but after some stretches (as Gary said, they do work) and a follow up visit, I was more or less back to normal. I still try to watch how I move my back and lift things but once in a while I do something stupid and sometimes pay the price. 

Carl

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I'm thankful all my back problems stopped when I stopped playing cricket. 25 years of bowling means my shoulders have a 1.5 inch height difference despite my spine being straight as an arrow. As an imaging scientist I wouldn't let anyone, medic, chiropractor, physio, etc within 100 miles of my back without getting some decent imaging of it first to know exactly what's going on. I was lucky I could just jump in the MRI at the end of a day and get a quick check up if required.

Hope you get sorted out before the trip Scott.

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Feeling better today. Actually just went downstairs and cut up a metal bed frame for the son in law.  Had my son doing the heavy pulling and twisting. 
Seems that my bed may be aggravating the situation.  Went to bed Wednesday night and woke up yesterday hurting pretty bad.  Loaded up on meds and things calmed down.  Last night I tried the bed again.  Got up at 1:30 and came back to the recliner for the night.  
I think my wife put a curse on my side of the bed so I’d leave the room to get rid of my snoring. 

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32 minutes ago, ScottsGT said:

Feeling better today. Actually just went downstairs and cut up a metal bed frame for the son in law.  Had my son doing the heavy pulling and twisting. 
Seems that my bed may be aggravating the situation.  Went to bed Wednesday night and woke up yesterday hurting pretty bad.  Loaded up on meds and things calmed down.  Last night I tried the bed again.  Got up at 1:30 and came back to the recliner for the night.  
I think my wife put a curse on my side of the bed so I’d leave the room to get rid of my snoring. 

Glad to hear you're feeling a little better. You may be right about the bed...My foot pain

is worse in the morning... Or when sitting on the couch for a long time. No problems

when standing, walking, or sitting upright at the bench. I, at first thought the pain was related

to my diabetes, diabetic neuropathy. However, my diabetes has been well controlled

for over a year now. I now realize that my pain is relating to the position I'm in ....worse

when lying down and the like.

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10 hours ago, ScottsGT said:

Feeling better today. Actually just went downstairs and cut up a metal bed frame for the son in law.  Had my son doing the heavy pulling and twisting. 
Seems that my bed may be aggravating the situation.  Went to bed Wednesday night and woke up yesterday hurting pretty bad.  Loaded up on meds and things calmed down.  Last night I tried the bed again.  Got up at 1:30 and came back to the recliner for the night.  
I think my wife put a curse on my side of the bed so I’d leave the room to get rid of my snoring. 

Ever tried sleeping on the floor?

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9 hours ago, GazzaS said:

Ever tried sleeping on the floor?

Seriously considering it.  Maybe on top of one of the wife’s yoga mats and a rug though.  And it doesn’t help I’m almost pear shaped, wider at the bottom.  

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2 hours ago, ScottsGT said:

Seriously considering it.  Maybe on top of one of the wife’s yoga mats and a rug though.  And it doesn’t help I’m almost pear shaped, wider at the bottom.  

Yes, you want at least a little padding.  But anything is better than a bed that may be too soft.  Sofas...   the absolute worst.

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Right there with many of you, though not as bad as most. I tripped on something Wednesday evening and wrenched the back real bad, next day it nailed me hard, 10/10 for a few hours, couldn't do anything, excruciating. Still dang sore, have to go to the chiro for a massage or two this week to get it sorted. It happens now and again when I don't keep my core strong by working out regularly, and it's all muscular in my case, thank God. No bad discs or anything requiring surgery, just momentary shifts because of weak muscles, pinches a nerve, and a massive charlie-horse that throws the whole system out of whack for days. And on a holiday, too. Yay. Doesn't help that I'm 53, 6 foot 5, and 275 pounds.

Damn sorry for your predicament, Scott. I have at least some idea of the discomfort, but I'm grateful to be able to get it sorted without extreme measures so far. And the foam roller Gaz mentioned - my best friend. 

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