Hi Everyone! New poster here!
Dealing with pain in my lower Right back and pain/numbness/tingling down my right leg.
A little history of my situation - have had chronic back pain for about 2 years now. I am 35 years old, female, school teacher. At first I thought it was from working out, lifting heavy things improperly, or sleeping in a weird position. Around last November, the pain got worse. My Primary Care Physician sent me for an x-ray and ultrasound on my kidneys, thinking it was possibly a kidney infection. Neither showed anything so he referred me to an orthopedic dr. This dr. diagnosed me with a lipoma, which he explained was basically a fatty tumor sitting on the nerve. Gave me 2 cortisone shots spaced 1 month apart, and I got HUGE relief from that!
Fast forward to July 2011, pain returned, this time much worse than before. I ended up in the ER at 6 am on a Sunday morning because I could not stand or walk, I was in that much pain. In the ER, they sent me for a CAT scan, which didn't really show much. Gave me Valium as a muscle relaxer and Percocet for the pain via IV. I do not do well with Percocet (found out the hard way last summer when I had a tonsillectomy - vomiting after a tonsillectomy is not fun) and I became nauseous. They gave me something for the nausea, then gave me Dilaudid, which worked wonders. ER doctor sent me home with a script for Tylenol with codeine and Valium.
I went back to orthopedic dr. that week, he gave me another cortisone shot and prescribed Tramadol (which I found out here I should NOT have been prescribed, as I am on Lexapro) and PT sessions.
I went to 10 PT sessions, and returned to ortho. Because the pain was still present, he ordered an MRI on my back/spine and right leg because of the sciatica symptoms.
Because I am a school teacher, I cannot take "heavy duty" pain meds on a regular basis. Also, I have a very sensitive stomach, and can only tolerate certain meds - Advil is OK, Aleve is not.
On the Tramadol issue - I just happened to find this forum, and I just happened to read a thread that mentioned "seratonin syndrome" in conjunction with Tramadol and anti-depressants. I googled it and was horrified that neither the ortho dr. nor the pharmacist picked up on the combination of meds! I discontinued the Tramadol immediately and am hoping there are no lasting side effects or damage...
OK, so for my questions - I am interested in alternative healing methods, i.e. accupuncture, chiropractor, etc. I started a yoga class, and explained to the instructor my back issues (I had taken a "boot camp" class in May and the instructor placed a kettle bell on my back while I was in the "plank" position without asking! so now I made sure to tell the yoga intructor so that she could modify the poses for me if necessary).
What are the pros and cons of these as alternative healing methods, and are they safe for someone with my condition?
I go back to the ortho dr. next week, and I plan to tell him what I found out about the Tramadol/SSRI interaction risk.
Also, not sure if this is relevant, but I did have a very bad case of shingles last spring (spring of 2010) that had me bedridden for 2 weeks. I know that is a virus, and is probably not related to the pain I am experiencing now, but the back pain did get significantly worse after the shingles.
Any insight, information, suggestions, etc. are greatly appreciated!
Post Edited (Circe) : 9/7/2011 3:05:23 PM (GMT-6)