Pain management for lower back issues

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1909
   Posted 8/24/2011 6:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all, I usually post on the crohns forum but I also am having pain issues with my back.  I was dx several years ago with arthritis in my lumbar spine both osteo and degenerative.  Anyway,  I've been in PT for about a month now for the latest round of chronic pain.  I'm not responding like I did in the past to the treatments, I'm doing strength & stretching as well as adjustments from the physical therapist.  When we talked yesterday he said he might recommend pain management since it seems like it's all nerve related issues I'm having.  Can anyone give me more info on pain management?  I think I'll go to the orthopedist first to see what and "expert" has to say before trying PM, but it might be in my future and I just want some more input.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 226
   Posted 8/24/2011 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
My PM doc pretty much just gives me injections and prescribes my pain meds... They push the idea on injections on u, and for a lot of people (including myself) they don't work!... I don't know if you've tried those yet?
Bi Polar 1
Anxiety/ Panic disorder
Major depressive disorder
Severe Scoliosis/ Degenerative disc disorder/ Arthritis/ 45 degree curvature of the spine, and 2 of my vertebrae are fused together.

Lamictal 300mg daily
Seroquel 300mg daily
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Xanax 1mg as needed
Vicodine 750mg as needed
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 8/24/2011 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lorraine,
I'm surprised nobody has responded to your post, thusfar.  It's really a simple question, if I actually understand it. 
Pain Management therapy lists a whole myriad of therapies combined.  Among them is Physical Therapy, which you already are participating.  There are exercises, stretches, hot and cold packs, hot baths and massages within this modality.  A TENS  (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator) unit is also helpful.  This is a device about the size of a pack of cigarettes or small transistor radio that is attached to small square electrodes that are placed on the skin externally and delivers pulses that interrupt the nerve conduction signal to the brain to alter or actually, block out the pain.  They are relatively inexpensive and most insurances cover this, I do believe.
There are also Pain implant devices that are placed under the skin, but I don't have a lot of expertise in this area.
Then, there are pain medications to help reduce the effects of pain.  These include oral medications taken every 4, 8, 12, or 24 hours.  Additionally, there are patches applied to the skin which are changed every 8, 12, 24 or 72 hours, as I recall.
There is psychotherapy and bio-feedback which also helps.  Speaking to a therapist can be a great help in overcoming a lot of the pain you may be experiencing, alleviating alot of the muscle tension and stress physically felt by the body via talk therapy and through machine feedback.
Then there is surgery which is usually a last resort, but can often lessen the pain of a condition as well.
Hope this helps somewhat as I have tried to answer your question. I'm sure your doctor will review some of these areas which I have touched upon, when you go see him.  I wish you the best of luck.  Keep us posted on how you do and how your pain level is best managed.  Thanks for visiting the chronic pain section of our forum.
God bless you.
Co-Moderator Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Forums
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 8/25/2011 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lamb, thought I would throw my two cents worth in here for what its worth., lol. You are on the right path I think by getting checked by an ortho or even a neurosurgeon if there is a possibility of some nerve involvement. Sometimes people have what is called a pinched nerve or compressed nerve. This can cause pain down the back of the leg all the way to the foot, or have pain in the buttock usually on one side only and sometimes it will stop at the back of the knee. There are some variables here as you can see.

Lindaloo gave you a good description of what PM is like. Something I would like to point out is there are two types of PM drs out there. One will do nothing but procedures and injections only, no medications, the other of course will do the same but will give medication if he/she feels its warranted. So, if you end up seeing a PM dr, if you need medication be sure ahead of time you are seeing one that will write a script. A phone call in advance to the PM drs office is all that is needed. All you have to do is ask the receptionist if this dr writes prescriptions because you know some will not give medication. You will not sound like drug seeker asking that question either.

As far as the injections and such, each person is different on how they react to the procedure. Some epople are helped and some are not. There are also many different types of injections done by PM drs, everything from trigger point injections to Radio Frequency Ablations of the nerve roots. None of these injections are a cure. Its another tool to help reduce pain.

If you have any specific questions by all means post them here and someone will come along and hopefully be able to help you out. Take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 8/25/2011 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Lamb, I am nini53/kathy, I going with Straydog on this, always check prior to a pm doctor before wasting your time, if they only do injections and no medications.  Although I have had injections in the past, only one did significant improvement for the burning sensation after a fall, and finding out much later it is neuropathy.  But beware of dr's who only do injections, this is the lucrative way to make there living as pm doctors and keep the DEA and other law enforcement  people off there backs.
The injections work for some and not for others, so you should really do your homework while finding a pm doctor.  If they are really good, they do both.  They give injections as needed and prescribe as needed.
Good luck to you and take care, hope you feel better soon.
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson
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