hello! new member here

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/30/2011 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
I've been lurking around this forum for the past two weeks, I finally decided that I should post. I am a 20 year old female college student, I have been dealing with back pain since march. I had some back pain before that, but in march my back started spasming more often and hurting constantly. Most days I am at a 6.
I recently (last monday) saw a new PCP, because when I saw my old one in the spring he just referred me to PT (which I stupidly didn't go to) and sent me to the orientation for a "pain management class". The actual class doesn't start until January. She told me that I need to "strengthen my core muscles" and work with my psychiatrist/therapist because my depression could be part of it. Which, duh, but also being in pain constantly? kind of depressing. She did an x-ray (only because I was insistent) and everything looked fine. She only referred me to PT again, I have an appointment with them in a few weeks. I am thinking about emailing her and asking her if she could refer me to the pain clinic to see someone because she told me that internal med docs aren't good at musculoskeletal stuff and she wouldn't be able to diagnose me, most likely.
I was seeing a chiropractor, who thought that my leg length discrepancy and cervical and lumbar kyphosis was causing my muscle tension and pain, but after being in treatment with him since May with little improvement, he told me to go see my doctor and figure out what is really going on.
My pain is in my low back and my neck/shoulder region. I usually wake up with a stiff neck, but my low back feels ok in the morning, mostly gets really bad as the day wears on.
I am taking two classes right now, started with four this term but didn't realize how much my pain would affect my studies and had to drop them. I am also going to have to petition my school so I can go part time next term, I know I can't do a full load right now.
I've been really frustrated and sad. My boyfriend has been amazingly supportive and my mom is trying to do everything she can but we don't really know what to do. I'm worried that I'm not going to get the care I need and I really hate how much this is impacting my life in different ways. I don't leave the house much and school has been a huge struggle... we're in the last two weeks right now and I just feel like I can't do it. I am so exhausted and this is taking all my energy. I wish I could be optimistic right now but I haven't been having a lot of support from the doctors I've been seeing (my chiropractor was the first one to make me feel like I'm not totally crazy... because he could feel the tension in my back). I am getting acupuncture weekly now through my school, I'm going to see if I can get some acupuncture during my winter break as well.
Sorry for the long post, I just spent an hour crying in my shower and I felt like I should come share with people who understand. Thanks for reading

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 11/30/2011 5:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Wist....I am so sorry that you are hurtinng so much, pain is hard to deal with, I understand. My suggestion is to try to get an appointment with a Rhuemy doctor. They are very knowledgeable in this they know what tests to get.
I think you have come to the right place, this forum is great for supporting one another. Many members have had chronic pain for years and can offer great advice.

I hope you keep posting and keep us updated on your journey.

Take care and bless you, Amy

Chronic pain(nerve), fibro and mild depression

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/30/2011 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with sos007 on maybe seeing a Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor, but
maybe ask your current doctor for an MRI of your lower back...X-ray's
don't always reveal the hidden damage that you could have...I'm
not saying you need a whole body scan, but a mri of your lower back.
and look into getting one of those heated massaging lumbar supports
you can place in your chair in your room at school...or just getting
a good moist heating pad, mine has auto shut off... might help at this cold time of year...
Many well wishes to you and do keep us posted as we do care...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 12/1/2011 2:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Chart....you have a heating pad that has auto shut off, were did you find this? I love my heating pad in the winter but am always scared to fall a sleep with it on. Thanks in advance

Bless you, Amy

Chronic pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others turn turn turn smurf smurf smurf

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 2861
   Posted 12/1/2011 5:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I buy mine at walgreen's and I thought they all had auto shut off now because of possibility of burns...I go thru 3 a year-lol

Good luck to you wisteria...I hope you find some answers very soon..let us know
"We never realize how strong we are, until being strong is the only thing left"
Major Depressive Disorder, ptsd, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, l3/4, L4/5 gone, bursitis arthritis sciatica

cymbalta seroquel hydrocodone klonopin magnesium potassium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 12/1/2011 8:44 AM (GMT -6)   
To Amy sos007,
I got it at either Wal-Mart or Walgreen's...it's nice to have the Auto shut off...
Many Blessings and well wishes...
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 12/2/2011 3:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Wisteria, I am Kathy/nini, just wanted to say hi and am glad you found the HW cp forum, I cant add any more advice than what you have been given, because everyone gave you great advice, and to the auto shut off heating pads, thanks guys, that is something I have not heard of, it will go on my Christmas list for sure.
Ok welcome, and good luck
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

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 12/2/2011 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wisteria
I too have suffered back pain for years and started out pretty much the same as you are.
I know it can be very frustrating trying to find good help but I can't emphasize enough how important it is to get the right doctors on board. You may feel like giving up but please don't. Do your part by educating yourself as much as you can about your condition and keep at it before your problem becomes worse. I don't mean to sound negative but I know from experience it's easy to just take what you get and hope you can deal with it on your own. This site is a wealth of information and a great bunch of people who will support you. Hang in there and stay strong and keep at it until you find the help you need. I wish you all the best. Keep us updated .
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 12/2/2011 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Maggie and Chart......I am heading out to Walmart tonight...lol....I really need one. This is just another reason I love this forum and the members in it...always so helpful!!!!

Bless all. Amy

P.S. Guess who will be warmer tonight...lol

Chronic pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others

Heather Lynn
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 283
   Posted 12/2/2011 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
wisteria, welcome to the Healing Well forums. I'm sorry you have pain that has caused you to be here, but I hope you find it to be a supportive group.

It sounds like you are frustrated with the responses you have gotten from your doctors, but I think your new doctor sounds pretty on track. She is right that pain and depression are very linked - over half of people with depression also have chronic pain, very often back pain, and improving the depression improves the pain. It also sounds like both the chiropractor and your doc think the pain is muscular rather than bone or disk pain. That is good news in some ways because it means there's nothing major structural going on.

Physical therapy can be very helpful for muscular pain. When you have pain, you often compensate with certain muscles, while other muscles get weaker. This leads to imbalances and causes even more pain. So going to physical therapy and being RELIGIOUS about doing the exercises can make a big difference. Other things that help muscular pain are heat, ice, baths, mild exercise like walking and generally keeping active.

I know you've received a lot of opinions about specialists you could see. Another one to consider is a physical medicine doctor or "physiatrist". These doctors specialize in the non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. You will probably have to suggest it to your PCP, because often doctors don't think to refer to physiatrists.

Also, are you taking any medication for depression? Cymbalta is a medication that works for both depression and pain. You might want to talk to your psychiatrist about that.
Fibromyalgia, low back pain/SI joint dysfunction, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, endometriosis, asthma

White Beard
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 3702
   Posted 12/3/2011 1:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I too want to welcome you to Healing Well Chronic Pain forum, you definitely have come to the right place for support! I think you will find the people here to be like family, a caring and compassionate family who will listen and always try to be there for you. Has your PT tried  ultrasound and muscle strengthing exercises on you? and also hot pack on your back? It sounds like this has been going on for some time. I often think that some doctors do not take back pain seriously with younger people, and that is to bad. So if you do not get any relief, keep pressing your doctors for answers. Xrays show bones and bone structures, but little in the way of nerves and soft tissue, and cartilage. So if you are having any type of nerve impingement that is causing your problems an MRI would be the thing to have to show that. Anyway if you start developing any problems with pain going into your limb, or numbness and tingling make sure your see your Doctor promptly. Because that is an indicator of something else going on that definitely needs to be addressed!  But in the mean time you have been given some very good advice, and strengthing your muscles in your back and also in your abdomin will go allong way to helping your back and possibly relieving some of your pain.
You have definitely came to the right place wisteriawhispers and when you are frustrated, come and vent here, well all care about each other, and we will always lend you our ears and listen to you! You are nolonger alone with your pain when you are here on this forum!
I do wish you well, and hope you find some relief to your pain, and I hope you are successfull with your classes!  I know it must be really tough on you to take classes and study while suffering in pain, but try and do your best, education is so important in todays society!
Good Luck to you!
White Beard
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 12/3/2011 2:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Wist...I hope you have found some helpful ideas from some of the members. What a great sympathetic support team. Wishing you all the best.

Dear Chart and Maggie.....I bought myself an auto shut off heating pad and it is wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing a great idea. I am loving it.

Bless you all, Amy

Chronic pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/5/2011 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone :) I will keep you updated as I bounce around the healthcare system...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9255
   Posted 12/5/2011 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Another warm welcome on this chilly day....at least it's chilly where I live. I hope you find some tidbits of help on the forum. I know you're surely find warmth...the kind that warms the heart.

Glad you're here...
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
Fibromyalgia, IDDM. UC, , Osteoarthritis and others slowly meandering their way through.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest...Benjamin Franklin

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 12/15/2011 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Pain is tough, especially the back as you need your back for just about everything you do! A lot of great suggestions so far. The only other things I would add is ...
1. to strengthen your stomach muscles, it's better to have a flat abdomen at your age as it's need to hold up your back, that's what the doc meant by strengthening the core. As we age, the larger our gut is, the more back problems one will have, similar to back problems with pregnant ladies, see a nutritionist if you need help with your diet or losing weight
2. take a look at what you're sleeping on, a good mattress will help; and having a pillow placed between your knees will provide support for your back; having a good pillow will help support the neck. It's recommended to replace one's pillow every year, the mattress every ten years.
3. exercise and stretching will help build muscle, along with helping the spine keep flexible
4. hot baths with epsom salts, saunas and hot tubs will help relax the muscles. It's a cycle, nerve pain causes muscle tension, then vice versa

good luck and take care! take the time to be good to yourself!
Neuropathic pain since 2000, born 1960, Fentanyl, Oxycontin
Therapies: Epsom salt baths, sauna, therapeutic yoga, visualization, NLP, massage and chiropractic
Supplements: Source Naturals Multi-Vitamin, Minami Omega Fish Oil, Co-enzyme Q10 Ubiquinol, DLPA, N-Acetyl Tyrosine, Magnesium Glycinate, 3000 IU Vitamin D, Megafolonic, B12 Methylcobalamin, Magnesium Ascorbate (Vitamin C)

Betsey Ross
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1056
   Posted 12/16/2011 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Wisteria...welcome to our online family.

Everyone gave you excellant advice. Keep us updated on your health.

Happy Holidays
crushed lower knee and vertical fx of tibia/external fixator placed/plates and screws and tried to place big pieces of cartiledge under knee cap/tremendous pain in affected leg continously without improving/allergic to metal in left leg/leg isnt straight/ metal removed in July//then total knee replacement/straighten out leg/more phsyxical therapy/take oxycontin,flexeril,cymbalta,vicadin for BT

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 12/16/2011 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW.
I see you have been given lots of great advice.
Hoping your pain decreases.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1276
   Posted 12/16/2011 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome from me too, and my apologies for not having done so sooner. You've been given some great advice so far, and I hope it can help set you on the track to finding some answers to your pain. Back pain is the absolute pits to deal with and I'm sorry that you're suffering so much.

Best wishes, and I hope that today is a 'good' day for you.

Moderator - Chronic Pain Forum

Full body CRPS with spasms, dystonia & contractures, gastroparesis, orthostatic hypotension,bradycardia/tachycardia, bursitis, CTS, osteoporosis, multiple compression fx, disc bulges.

Oxycodone ER/IR, Topamax, Mobic, Somac, Cipramil, Midodrine, Vit D & C, SCS, baclofen/bupivacaine pump

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 12/16/2011 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Wist, you have been given a lot of great advise here, I can't add much except to remind you to be persistent with your doctors on all issues. I know you have had an x-ray but your lower back pain sure sounds like a bulging or herniated disc. ? i.e. hurting more at the end of the day, and don't forget about a good neck and shoulder massage to relax those muscles too ! you would be surprised how much this will help. also do not be affraid of trying different meds. there is no sense in living with these pains if you do not have to. Hope your better!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16796
   Posted 12/17/2011 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wisteria and welcome aboard. I really do not have anything to offer up, I think the others did a great job at throwing out some ideas about different things to try .I do hope that you can get started in physical therapy. It really can be very beneficial to you. Its sure worth giving a try, who knows that may be just what you needed. I am sorry that you had to drop a couple of classes, I know that is not what you were wanting to do. Perhaps you can get back up on your feet and get things caught up the next time around. Its tough carrying a load like that when you are not feeling well I am sure. Just don't give up on the idea of getting back in track.

You know it seems like every one that comes here and says they have seen a chiropractor first thing we always hear is, oh the chiro said I have one leg longer than the other. I firmly believe that probably 99% of us have one leg a little longer than the other.Or, I have heard them say, oh, one of your shoulders is higher up than the other, of course because one of them is hurting, lol. It just seems like the old leg deal seems to be one of their favorites.

One thing I did not see is you having an MRI of the lumbar spine. This is something you internist can order and get the insurance to pay for it. If nothing shows on the MRI then perhaps your dr can refer you to a pain mgt dr for a consult.

Anyway, I wanted to pop on and tell you welcome aboard & take care.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum
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