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Back pain not improving- Any ideas?

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Post  Paradox Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:27 am

I just got sent home from work because I couldn't stand up straight. I had leave yesterday afternoon too.

Two months ago I had steroid injections in both sacrio ilieac joints. I've also been doing water therapy and physical therapy since before Xmas.

When the injections didn't work my Dr ordered a MRI it was turned down by my insurance company. I finally investigated why and was told they wanted me to do PT. HELLO? I've been doing it for months! So now Im running around signing releases to get my PT reports sent.

I'm under a pain contract with my neuro so I can't get stronger pain meds from my back dr. My neuro has been super working with me to get through the wedding. He increased my pain meds to accommodate my back. When I went for my refill the insurance company wouldn't fill it
because it was too soon.

On top of that I have a bladder infection from soaking in the bath so much.

If he prescribes anything stronger I have to drive over three hours to pick up the script since it can't be called. For the past two months if Ive had to drive over fifteen minutes Ive had to have a chauffeur so I can lay down in back.

I have no idea what is wrong with my back. I've always had problems standing or walking. One of the reasons I hate to cook.

I feel good when I first wake up so that rules out arthritis. It's once Im vertical the pain starts down my right leg and burning across the back of my hips. Yesterday the pain started shooting up my back. Oh yay.

Any ideas what it may be and how I can get my insurance company to take this seriously? Now that I have my head under control I can't keep missing work.
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Post  tecky Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:50 am

I'm sorry for your pain, Charlotte. I don't have any constructive advice from personal experience for you since my back pain is my upper back, shoulders and neck.

My husband had some sacrio ilieac symptoms like you describe several years ago and he traveled 4 hours one way to a chiropractor who specialized in this area. It really helped him. He went back, I think, 3 times or so and hasn't had any problems since.

Have you tried moist heat, 20 minutes every hour to try to relax the muscles (this avoids the problems with baths)? I have a microwavable heat pack that works wonders.

I hope you can find some relief, Charlotte. I know how disabling this can be. As if migraines aren't bad enough.

Please take care. flower
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Post  alli Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:30 am

Oh ouch. I had back pain like that for years. Thankfully I rarely throw my back out anymore. My chiropractor was able to work wonders with my back. My L4 and L5 vertebra slip out of position fairly easily as the ligaments are not tight enough to keep them in place. As I've aged, they've tightened so don't slip as easily. But when they do, the pain is excruciating.

Have you seen a chiropractor? If not, give it a try. Also, if you are in that much pain, would going to the emergency room help? Waiting around to be seen is agony but the documetation might help your case.

I love the hot pads and ice pads. I use both. Getting in and out of the tub hurts too much when my back is out. I get just as much relief from the hot pads.

I hope you feel better soon.
Hugs
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Post  Brent Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:14 am

Heat is always going to increase inflammation. It might feel good at the time but in 24 hrs it will be worse. You should use ice.

At least twice a week I treat someone who used heat and it got worse. I make money doing it but that is not a good thing for the patient.


Last edited by Brent on Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  newtothis Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:32 am

"It's once Im vertical the pain starts down my right leg and burning across the back of my hips."

Almost sounds like a pinched nerve. Nerve pain is probably the worse pain i've ever experienced (from a broken neck and subsequent nerve issues that luckily corrected themselves after the bone graft). I also had a pinched nerve in my back that caused my legs to go out from under me and was quite painful - a chiro took care of it luckily with a few adjustments!

Good luck to you - I hope you can find relief!
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Post  LizzieB Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:41 am

I'm sorry you're having so much back pain - I can only suggest an osteopath or chiropractor too. My husband and I both suffer on and off with back problems and our osteopath usually manages to sort us out, especially for me the shooting down the leg pain.

Hope you get some relief somehow.

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Post  lesherb Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:04 pm

As I've mentioned before, I don't have back pain (please, don't let this be a jinx!). I did have shooting pain in my forearm and thumb and index finger about 10 years ago. Long story short, my doctor determined it was a pinched nerve and PT helped me. It's amazing how the problem can be actually no where near where the pain is felt. (I don't mean this to sound like you should do more PT. I was just amazed at how my doctor diagnosed me by my symptoms and not by imaging tests).

It sounds like you need a new doctor to take a look.
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Post  Paradox Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:21 pm

Thanks for all your responses. Brent, you'd be proud of me, Ive been icing off and on all day...no heat.

Spent close to an hour on the phone with the insurance co. Each person was very nice but had to keep transferring me. The last person I spoke to said it shouldn't be a problem once the MRI request is resubmitted indicating that I had physical therapy.

Also talked to hubby about our eating habits, which are very poor. It's time to take care of this body so it will take care of me.

I'm tired of living on pain killers and want to do more to be pro active.

I quit smoking two months ago, so that's a plus. I'm about fifty pound over weight though. When I went on Topamax I lost forty pounds, when I went off (and gained my sanity back) I put sixty back on. I know the weight around my middle is not helping the back situation.

I know I can't walk very far but even a little would be better than nothing. hubby said he would walk with me.

Now, to make it through the work day tomorrow.......
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Post  Brent Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:54 pm

My success with ice therapy is both personal and professional. And the science behind it is still not widely circulated to docs and PT's. I was fortunate to have an Olympic trainer that studied massage in Russia for ten years as my sports massage instructor. After the first one I took his advanced class also since I was so very amazed at his knowledge.

When it comes to soft tissue injuries Russian "medicine" is light years ahead of the US and most other western countries. It's all hands on and does not rely on imaging type diagnosis. In a country that for ages did not have state of the art medical technology they still cranked out some amazing athletes. Desperation is the mother of invention. And ice therapy is used far more then here in the states. And when it is used here 90% of the time is is not done correctly.

But it's not surprising since nobody makes any money off of it. So there is not much money being thrown into researching it either.
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Post  Hal Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:00 pm

Charlotte,

I had a badly pinched nerve in my lower back with pain like you describe for three years. Cortisone shots helped and I was able to start walking. Just a half block at first and then a little more. I am up to about a mile now, but only once in awhile. I also am about 50 lbs over weight, but have lost 5 lbs since I started walking the last few months. More exercise, less fat. You need to be able to walk first so get the doc to document the PT.

The ice is much better than heat, Brent has that right. As for the Chiropractors, give them an opportunity. I had an Uncle that was a Chiropractor and he helped me once in awhile.

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Post  Paradox Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:53 am

I'm sitting at work with a ice belt around my back. I had one sharp pain that made my leg buckle. I'm going to avoid standing as much as possible.

The vicodin is not touching it, but the ice does seem to be helping a little bit. I think the ice plus the pressure of the belt holding the ice is giving me more comfort than anything else.
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Post  Brent Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:09 am

The gelled ice pack should only have a paper towel between it and your skin. It has to be on for 25 mins. That starts the frost bite process and your body will flood that area with natural cortizone. It protects the cells from rupturing from freezing. The cold also neutralizes the inflammatory chemicals within the muscle and tendon.

When my low back blows out I will ice 4-5 times a day along with muscle relaxants.
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Post  Paradox Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:47 am

Ohh, YIKES, Brent! That will be cold! But, I'll try it, I'm desperate. Makes sense too. Thank you.

So frustrated with the insurance co. The Dr. was good enough to send in a new script so I could get the extra 40 tablets. He also sent new directions increasing the dosage. The pharmacy called and said now I can't pick it up til the 27th!

I don't HAVE to have it. I have enough to last til my next refill, but Jiminey Christmas! What if I was desperate for it? But, at least the pharmacy said I could pay retail and pick it up. At one point I was thinking about going to a new pharmacy and saying I didn't have insurance and paying out of pocket. The insurance co. gives me such headaches whenever the Dr. increases my dose...
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Post  Hal Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:34 pm

A year ago last October 31st I was rearended by somone talking on their cell phone. I suffered with extreme back pain up until this spring. I was starting to feel fairly well. Yesterday, while at the McDonald's drive through, the guy behind me rammed the back of my truck. He was an old geaser and said he couldn't find the break pedal! It felt as if some linebacker had hit me square in the middle of my back and gave me an instant headache. The guy had no insurance!! The cops said that there was nothing they could do because it happened on private property. I feel like suing McDonalds for not having a traffic cop directing traffic in the drive through lane. I have been rearended while sitting still in traffic four times in the past three years. MY insurance is going up and they are thinking of canceling me because they think I am doing this on purpose.

I know exactly the pain you are going through and now I get to go through all of this again. I hate it. I still have the headache and my back feels as if an elephant is standing on it.

Sorry for the rant, but the back pain is the same as the migrains. No one can see the pain so you must be faking it.

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Post  Paradox Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:09 am

Hal,

I'm so sorry.

Yes, the back pain is terrible. I guess my shows more than my m as I can't stand up straight and limb. I try not too but find myself hunched over.

I hope you get relief soon.
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Post  kimsmom Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:21 pm

Wow Hal, I was sorry to hear that about your back and the rear end hit at McDonalds.

I too suffer from back pain. I take muscle relaxers at night (when needed)but I found if it really is bad I have a Lidocane patch that I put on the area. It numbs it right up. I used one the other night and realized just how much pain I am in nightly.

With the numbing after a while you just do not feel the pain. It is so nice to roll over in bed and not be babying my back.

Back pain is awful. The poster ahead of me ( sorry I do not remember who) was right when the pain is not noticable it is hard for anyone to believe you. Getting up slowly and holding on to tables or whatever is available in the beginning is a big give away for me thou...

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