Hello.. I am new to this board and after a few months of lurking around the internet searching for a community, I feel compelled to join this one because I feel the majority of you are reasonable people in real pain.
I am 47 yo and have dealt with chronic neck pain since my early 20's. My cervical spine did not develop normally during my teen years causing it to be kyphotic rather than lordotic. I also developed mild scoliosis in my thoracic spine. A couple of car accidents, babies, a career in health care, arthritis...and lets just say I am a crunchy mess. I have not had surgery but have had multiple episodes of exacerbation in my pain over the years, which I have managed with yoga/pilates/walking/ weight control/ NSAIDS, steroids. Seven months ago, I spent 6 hours in the dentist chair..neck hyperextended and left the office in the worse neck pain I had ever experienced. It took me a month to get into my favorite ortho doc...summer is a busy time. After Xrays, and a MRI, the doc tells me I have 2 'mildly' bulging discs, arthritis, DDD. I have little neuropathy. I begin PT. Traction. TENS and continue with my other pain relieving measures. The pain worsens. After refusing his initial offer of Robaxin and Percocet, I capitulate at the next office visit because I am miserable and becoming less active. Now, this is not a comfortable place for me. Narcotic use is something that scarrs a person with life long pain issues. I know that nothing will cure the underlying reason for the herniated disk and I know that once they start this and do not heal in timely manner, they will likely remain lose and vulnerable. For a couple of weeks, life seems better..I am running on all cylinders. Then...the pain escalates once again...this time radiating down my arms and scapular area and back of my head. I press on. No change in care until...the pain in my thoracic area , that once showed itself only after a very active day became excruciating after standing or sitting for 10 minutes. MRI shows nothing untoward in the thoracic spine except the aforemention scolilis. My doc theorizes this is facet pain. So, I undergo a bilateral, 3 level steroid epidural. Nothing changes. I undergo another along with T8-T12 facet block just last week and am so, so, discouraged. Firstly, within an hour of the blocks last week, my LOWER back starts hurting. The one part of my back that has never failed me no matter what..and the pain is so bad 10 hours later, that I have my entire spine from base of skull to tush on ice. Stabby little zingers that just suck the breath right out of me. I tell the nurse ...she says this is probably a reaction to the nerves being irritated. Five days latter, it is better, but my lower back is still sore..on my tailbone. Plus, my mid back and neck are no better. The intensity of the neck pain is better since we stopped the traction in PT (it felt helpful at times, but within an hour ..my pain would escalate). I am feeling scared. I see the doc in a week and know he will want to do a discogram. Not thrilled..but given that MRI's are performed flat with no weight on the spine...I can see the usefulness of a discogram. Then what? Given my symptoms..will he have to test my entire spine? If he finds more faulty disc...surgery? Not something I am too keen on..If nothing new is found? This is what I have to live with? Arthritis doesn't go away . Curvatures don't correct themselves..Life must be lived. Percocet and Robaxin is doing bumkas for the pain. I am not willing to go up on my initial dosage. Not because I am a saddist...narcotics scares me. I am clueless and feeling alone. Not sure what to think. Meanwhile, I keep on moving every step vibrating painfully and aware that damage is continuing on some level, Why didn't the epidurals help? I seemed the perfect candidate for them. Thank you for reading.View Thread
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