I have degenerative disc disease, fibro and osteoporosis. I was a dancer/teacher when I was younger and even after I quit teaching I was almost militant about keeping in shape. That all changed about 12 years ago when I developed interstitial cystitis, which is like having a permanent UTI most of the time. I am trying to do some exercise, but my bladder pain and back pain make doing so very difficult. When I get home from work I usually fall asleep for a few hours with one heating pad on my back and one on my stomach.
My rheumatologist sent me to a neurosurgeon for the second time recently because I now need surgery on my neck. The first time I went was back in 2004, and the first doctor was gung ho for doing surgery, so I went to Shands Teaching hospital in Gainesville, Florida, and the head neuro there said surgery could be delayed for several years. When my rheumy saw my latest MRI on my neck and lower back, he pleaded with me to go back this second time. I am having an EMG with nerve conduction studies done this Friday, and will probably try to go back to Shands. I saw a neurosurgeon that was recommended, and he wanted to do this test so he could see the whole picture.
I do see a pain management doctor who has done many injections and a rhyzotomy on both my back and neck. I get trigger points on my lower back almost every month when I do my med refills, but nothing gives me any lasting relief, plus I can feel that my neck is getting worse, with numbness that shoots down my arms and legs that occurs whenever I bend my head forward. I also find that my neck feels weak, like it's hard to hold up my head sometimes.
You said that gabapentin has worked for you, and I am about to add that to my list of meds, as I have alot of nerve related pain throughout my body, and it has been found to help Interstitial Cystitis pain, which is usually my very worst pain, with all the other issues next in line.
I have resigned myself to having the neck surgery, and I was so glad to hear that it helped with your functionality, as I am losing mine day by day.
I have several bad discs, and from a picture they showed me from an MRI it looks like two of my discs have fused, which the doctor says usually doesn't happen on its own. I have bone spurs impinging on nerves, so it is my fear of ending up with a permanent stiff neck or some paralysis that is telling me I need to get this done.
There is a Laser Spine Surgery facility not far from where I live, but I don't know if that would work for me. The neuro told me he would do the "traditional" surgery from the front of my neck, and I would have to wear a collar for 3 months afterwards. This is not something I am looking forward to, as I am divorced and need to get back to work as soon as logically possible. With the laser surgery it sound much less invasive.
How was your surgery done, and how long was the recovery time? Have you heard much about the laser spine surgery? I would love to know how your surgery went, and if you have any ideas about what methods are viable.
I too have a chronic back problem, but was given nucynta by my urologist. When I first took it I did feel some minor overstimulation, but then my system began to adjust, and it was working beautifully. I took the 100mg dose (not ER) and it helped very much for breakthrough pain to complement the Avinza 60mg I take mainly for Interstital Cystisis. Unfortunately the pain doc would not add the nucynta for breakthrough pain so I'm back to tramadol 50mg 1 per 2 daily..and it does nothing for me. A also have Fibro and IBS, but the pain from my neck and back precludes all these other conditions. Back to the back issue, I am seeing a new pain doc that is seriously working on my back issues...have had x-rays, and MRI is scheduled and he has done 1 round of 4 injectiobs in my back. I will talk with him about getting nucynta for breakthrough, since I will NOT be seeing my former pain doc. He told me he was a provider for my insurance and he is not, so so far I've paid him $200 out of an empty pocket..ha,ha!!