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Back Again! Back Pain Support Thread

(1000 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 17:01:25

Only right I start the new one seeing as I was responsible for the last one ending so abruptly !

This is a support thread for people with back pain (that does not even cover the description of hell that back pain causes). It's for all types of back pain, for long term posters with chronic pain (including those on the upwards journey to recover), short term advice through tough acute episodes and all the in betweens.

We moan, winge, share successes, guide each other and hand hold through the maize of a million medical routes and options, treatments, investigations. We internet shop as a form of pain relief, drink wine, take strong painkillers, eat cake and we go through lots of heat packs!

We don't always have the answers but we do have a lot to say about it all grin

Here are the links to our previous threads:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/1871592-The-Back-Story
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/1992406-The-Back-Story-Continues
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/general_health/2023274-More-Terrible-Back-Stories

PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 17:06:48

ps. blush I used up our last posts on the previous thread with indulgent Frank Turner music! Sorry Didn't realise I was in the last few posts! blush Although, the last song was quite fitting I think grin

LoonvanBoon Wed 09-Apr-14 17:11:15

Ha ha Pavlov, I was just thinking "Back Again" would be a good thread title for the next one. grin

Matildathecat Wed 09-Apr-14 17:13:19

Hear, hear. Sufferers of chronic back pain, the poor forgotten ones Have A Voice! Quite a loud one wink.

See previous threads for our very own Back Stories if interested. Otherwise jump straight in.smile

iklboo Wed 09-Apr-14 17:30:26

<hobbles in>. Hello. I have suffered from lower back / sacral pain for a few years. It's got worse since I lost quite a lot of weight, not better. Had a spectacular spasm on Sunday & it's still 'twitchy'. It's interrupting sleep confused

On the plus side, DH & DS have bought me flowers & a cake to cheer me up.

livelablove Wed 09-Apr-14 17:40:32

pavlov you filled up our last thread with Frank Turner videos! For any newbies he is our music hero as he also has a bad back. Pavlov you should put one on this new thread too.

iklboo sorry to hear about your back and it seems even more unfair when you have just lost weight. Have you seen the G.P?

iklboo Wed 09-Apr-14 17:54:31

Got an appointment next week. It might be connected to joint hyper mobility. I had a 'working diagnosis' of it in hands, wrists, feet, ankles, lower spine & pelvis a few years ago but just got painkillers.

livelablove Wed 09-Apr-14 18:01:51

Sorry I don't know much about joint hypermobility myself, but would physio help? Have you got lots of strong painkillers, plus a heatpad? Pavlov has already started the wine which is a good anti inflammatory btw.

iklboo Wed 09-Apr-14 18:33:40

I have Zapain & a hot water bottle on standby. Will ask about physio but as my joints are more flexible than most I'm scared they'll pull me leg off smile

Matildathecat Wed 09-Apr-14 19:08:17

Iklboo hello. Am I right in thinking that if you have hyper mobile joints it's super important to keep as strong as possible to keep the joints in place with strong muscles? I don't exactly have hypermobility but was born with hip dysplasia, have dislocated a patella (very ouch) and am pretty bendy in places. I've always tried to keep as fit as possible to stabilise these.

Is it similar? Swimming and Pilates were the ones for me plus walking.

iklboo Wed 09-Apr-14 19:45:03

The syndrome itself can cause quite a bit of joint pain but I've heard stretching exercise (like yoga & Pilates) can really help. Now I've lost the weight it'll be much easier for me to exercise (I hope). I don't swim well. I do like walking - brisk, flattish surface rather than yomping round hills - and I'll be asking about physio. It's my back & right ankle that causes the most problems.

Le1890 Wed 09-Apr-14 19:46:34

Hi does anyone have mid back pain?

I've had this on my right side for years. It comes and goes and mainly rears it's head after a period of intense stress. It's like bottom rib on my back round to the side of the rib.

DowntonTrout Wed 09-Apr-14 20:03:29

Found you!

Sorry you've had such a crap time with the surgeon Pavlov.

FWIW I don't think there are any answers, not complete "you're going to recover and not have any problems ever again" type answers. But he could have shown a modicum of interest, at least.

I've taken some Naproxen tonight, have driven to pick DD up from the station, an hours round trip, and it's too long. I know it's AI but the muscle spasms are bad and it's all down my legs, soles of feet throbbing- that's new. Should I take a Tramadol? I've not had one before.

Matildathecat Wed 09-Apr-14 20:32:58

Tramadol is great for throbbing pain but only if you haven't got to drive again. I can remember my first doses of Trammy, I could literally feel this warm, woozy sensation washing over me. Bliss. But, must caution it can interfere with sleep and it gave me a couple of awful faints at the beginning ( a listed but rare side effect). On balance I'd say take it but don't start making any impactful financial decisions! I always take two but only because I was told to.

Hope it help and gives you delightful sensations . In fact I may join you. Had a lovely day at Wisley but walked too far.

PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 20:33:12

downton it's his birthday, he was late back from lunch, he was probably taking out his annoyance at having to see someone when he wanted to be nattering with his partner/colleagues for a bit longer. I am being kind, but hey, I don't want to hold a grudge. Apparantly his stitches are quite neat. But, then, I expect he didn't do those anyway grin

downton the napraxen takes a while to build up in your system, so yes, take some tramadol to help with the pain in the meantime, that kicks in much quicker! Sorry you are in pain and it's new pain too, that's not so good.

I just noticed, MN changed my posts around like I asked, and also they put a 'ps' in my second post so it makes sense - they are clever in MNHQ aren't they? grin and Matilda, was it you who did links to our other back stories? good on you for that too! So, now everyone has 3,000 posts to plough through grin

ikl we have spoken before about pain etc, I am sure. Did you ever post in 'waiting for results' threads? I am sorry I don't know much about hyper mobility, but I can learn quickly and add to my armour and support you as best I can. With at least <wine>. Pilates is fabulous for so many things, as it strengthens gently (ish, you can control the level which I like) but firmly.

le welcome. I have mid side flank pain when I get pain elsewhere as transferred pain from below, or as it causes muscle spasms upwards. Are you sure it's the back and not possibly kidney pain? I always take my flank pain seriously as I have one fucking huge single kidney so there is always a potential for it to be problematic (never been so far) and it can apparently be mistaken for back pain. Although the stress suggests possibly muscular as our muscles tense when we are stressed. What do you take when you are in increased pain? anything? how do you manage the pain at the moment?

LostInWales Wed 09-Apr-14 20:35:51

This thread is no longer accepting messages <-- panic panic panic. Sorry, deep breaths, found you grin. I am looking forward to listening to Frank in bed with my groovy headphones, lovely man.

PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 20:39:04

<sigh> oh for the first days of acute pain when things could be vaguely managed by being really fucking out of it, when it was ok to just give up for a few days and stop interacting with the world completely and take whatever was prescribed with limited questions. I remember just being in a haze.

I find that painkillers don't stop the pain, the pain is there still, it's just sort of in a box or at the back of the mind, not at the front. It's a weird sensation. Apart from napraxen which actually helps to take away pain, and diazepam which also takes away pain when it stops the spasms, but that's because they do actual work to stop the cause of the pain (the surface cause of course).

I would like to find a way of getting that kind of control over pain, putting it in a box but it still being there, without medication. I used to meditate as a child (didn't know that's what I did at the time) where I could take myself out of my body and just be 'me'. I can't really explain it, it was like the person I was, it was not my body, it was something else. I can't do it now, there is too much other information I can't stop coming in. If I can work on that, perhaps I can control my pain myself a little better.

matilda I am going to google Wisley now.

LostInWales Wed 09-Apr-14 20:42:31

Pavlov * I can't believe he wanted to spend this valuable time arguing about his bloody surgical skills and use of language* from the last thread really you don't know a lot of orthopaedic surgeons then grin talk about an excess of confidence and self importance. Don't really miss working with them much! well some of them had quite a sexy arrogant air but we won't go into that.

Hellooo newcomers, welcome, so you all like shopping for nice sensible shoes and handbags? We like that round here. I have thoracic back problems Le1890, kind of bra strap height. It's proper annoying because most people have lower back problems or neck pain.

Just realised today that I've been on 100-150mg of tramadol for over 12 months now, I miss the lovely fuzzy days, I don't even notice the stuff now. Anyway, today's word of wisdom is that driving for a 2 hour round trip, shopping in a minuscule heel and then doing football training is not a very Good Idea. I am sinking happily into my wheatpacks as I type.

LostInWales Wed 09-Apr-14 20:44:50

Pavlov I think it is good that he was looking at a specific area of your spine on x-ray and then got flexion and extension views, he wouldn't be doing that if he was giving up completely. Will have to remember that people don't like me looking too intently at their insides on a monitor next time I'm at work wink.

mamicar Wed 09-Apr-14 20:47:37

Just came to post my own thread but found this. I have a bulging disk at the bottom of my spine. It's flared up again this week. I could cry with the pain sad I am taking naproxen and codeine atm. I am going to gp tomorrow is there anything else I could ask for pain killer wise? I have assignments coming out my ears can't afford to be stuck sad

PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 20:48:01

losty <hugs> <strokes hair> it's ok, we are here. I did ask MN to put the link in the thread title as I selfishly filled it up with Frank songs. But, a nice way to end that thread eh? Recovery is a fab song! <sigh> I am so sad he is not playing at BD. Shame I can't see him in Wales, but that is a Proper Hardcore Festi, no way I could do that, with or without children grin it appears to involve a lot of wake boarding and drinking of alcohol and parting hard...

Le1890 Wed 09-Apr-14 20:56:48

Hi Pavlov

I did see gp today and she is wondering whether I have kidney stones, but from what I've read kidney stones is excurciatng and although this pain is sore it's more constant achy. Plus I also have neck and shoulder problems on same side.

Also I'm not sure about the kidney problems as surely it wouldn't come and go over past four years?? I had an abdominal MRI scan 4 years ago to check a benign cyst(was found during gallstones scan and is believed to have been there since birth) on my liver so they would have seen kidneys then... Also when I asked the consultant if the cyst was causing the pain he said no.

The reason it makes me think muscular is because I seems to have other muscular issues on right side and Becuase it seems to settle then re-appear.

I've taken co codamol tonight as it's sorer than normal. Normally I don't take anything, it's there but I able to just get on with it.

What you think?

PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 20:59:02

mamicar oh no, you poor thing! what level of codeine are you taking at the moment, how long have you been taking the napraxen? Do you have a heat pack of any kind - hot water bottle will be fine, if not, make that a priority as heat is fabulous for easing pain. When did the pain start, can you tell us more about where you are at in the diagnosis/treatment process - right at the beginning, further forward? It will help people suggest some next steps to know what's being done already, in terms of what types of things to explore pain management and treatment wise.

losty I get what you mean about the sexy arrogance. I almost sort of forgave him last time for his abrupt air of super confidence 'i am the only person that would have spotted this you know, not to blow my own trumpet' (except the extended scope physio already had, didn't tell him that…) because of his handsomeness and charm - he had the balance of arrogance and coolness about him, I felt partly cross, partly wanting to like him, and the first time I met him I was impressed with his confidence (don't want someone cutting open my spine who is hesitant in his decisions and not confident in his abilities), it made me feel assured of the decision how he behaved. This time, he was plain bloody rude and I no longer consider him good looking <annoyed> If he were to perform surgery on me again I will not endeavour to wear my best knickers for him (that I had to take off before surgery as he 'prefers his patients without knickers on…') grin

I am sure he only asked for the x-ray to shut me up. I asked the radiographer how far I needed to bend each way to ensure she got a good image of whatever movement might be happening, she said as far as I could without causing too much pain, I said I would deal with the pain if needed <regret that now!> she was very lovely though, helped me bend into the right positions.

PavlovtheCat Wed 09-Apr-14 21:06:50

le are you able to take anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen? If you are, then I would suggest taking some of those. If you get some relief, but not enough you can talk to the GP about some stronger/different ones which might work better - if muscular and there is spasm of some kind ibuprofen is a good start. You can take it alongside co-codemol, it works better in fact with those as a 3-way drug interaction for pain relief. But, if you take it longer than say a week, talk to your GP about it if it works as you might need to take stomach acid reducing meds to counteract potential long term issues with NSAID meds (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, napraxen, just so you know when you read posts about those drugs, they are all different versions of an NSAID, different people respond better to particular versions).

If it is getting worse, check those kidney stones to rule it out, as back pain can mask kidney pain, so if you normally get flank pain and this is worse, it could be masking something else. I am not saying it is, but worth ruling it out. I remember when PG with DS, I felt unwell for a few weeks. I didn't consider it was kidney pain, as I was about 30 weeks pg so presumed that the sickness I felt was due to HG which I suffered from badly and the back/side pain was DS hanging off my ribs. I ignored and ignored and eventually when I saw GP she was like shock you have a kidney infection! Luckily I didn't know at the time I only had one kidney else I would have been sent straight to hospital! Anyway, get it checked out and let your GP know the pain is worse than normal.

Matildathecat Wed 09-Apr-14 21:21:02

le, I get the side pain sometimes. I have a mild scoliosis in my lumber spine and think the muscles are straining to pull it back if that makes sense. Anyway it hurts but does respond to heat and strong drugs .

mami are your cocodamol the 30/500s? If not ask for that as it's much more effective than the 8/500s (inevitably). As said an NSAID is good and if you are actually sobbing diazepam and tramadol. Only you can tell how bad it is. At first I was literally in agony and couldn't do a thing. Misery Plus.sad

Hello losty, nice to see you. Shopping? Anything lovely?

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