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Old 05-09-2016, 05:21 PM   #21
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Most recent version of Consumer Reports deals with this in depth, worth a look.

In recent years, previous chronic pain syndromes have given way to alternative diagnosis and treatments - not only musculoskeletal. Examples: fibromyalgia, irritable bowel diseases, chronic fatigue, chronic cough. Keep on carrying on - maybe you'll get lucky. Mean time best wishes for your recovery.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:00 PM   #22
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The sciatic went away by itself after 3 years but the upper back pain continued.
I have had everything wrong you described and I am fine now but it took a long time to find the right treatments. The problem with most of the traditional physical therapy I received is the PTs would focus on one body part so the tension just shifted somewhere else instead of being eliminated. Or they would focus on where the pain was occurring, which was often stretched out muscles, but the cause was actually tight muscles some place else.

I second the recommendations for miracle balls. I also have some massage balls for larger muscles. I started with trigger point therapy / massage balls / foam roller to get out of pain and then the long term solution for me was individualized yoga therapy to keep my muscles balanced and improve my posture. There is a book called Structural Yoga Therapy on Amazon I found very helpful. I bought the Egoscue books, too, and got a lot out of them for understanding why I hurt, but for my issues the yoga therapy books worked better at resolving my posture problems.

I also found less wheat, more fruits and veggies helpful.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:04 PM   #23
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Another vote for Egoscue. He looks at the body the way a mechanical engineer would.
+1. There should be a field called biomechanical engineering.
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Old 05-09-2016, 06:15 PM   #24
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I would like to highly recommend finding a local Feldenkrais practitioner. Have you tried a standing desk at work and yoga? I too had chronic back pain but exercising and switching to a standing desk worked wonders. The standing desk was tough on my body for the first month but I pushed through and that's the only way I work now.


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Old 05-10-2016, 09:24 AM   #25
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OP, in addition to our best wishes, some of us would surely like to know if you are able to try any of our recommendations/suggestions and especially if you get relief. It may be months before you're sure, but we'd like to hear about it. Good luck!

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Old 05-10-2016, 10:06 AM   #26
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Well this idea might sound totally out of the box, but it has been working for me for well over 10 years. My issue was neck/shoulder and when bad at the junction of my butt/leg. No visible cause either, but greatly worsened by 30 years of 2 a day sessions of milking cows.

a friend mentioned a natural healing doc and showed me a VHS tape..so it goes way back.

Buy one pound of habanero(yes the orange ones)peppers and the cheapest jug of vodka you can find. Take the stems off and put the peppers and vodka in a blender, grind up completely. (open your windows while this is going on). take about a half gallon glass jar put in the pepper mix and fill the jar with vodka. Leave it sit for 3 or 4 days.

Wear a latex glove if you need to, use a cotton ball and apply the liquid everywhere that you have pain. I apply bare handed and use soap and water on my hands after applying.Do not do this just before or just after showering, I usually put mine on just before bedtime. The first few times it might burn like a son of a gun. at this stage for me I don't even feel it on my skin, but it still works. If I have a knot on my neck /shoulder area it literally goes away almost immediately.

Last week I did yard work all week and had to supplement the pepper liquid with some Advil but kept it pretty much pain free. At it's worst I was like you either not being able to fall asleep or waking up after 3 or 4 hours in so much pain I couldn't sleep anymore.
I have no idea if it will help you, but it was a life changer for me and kept me off a lot of drugs.

Most people I talk to about it either think it's stupid, to simple to possibly work, or don't want to actually put the stuff on their skin.Good luck and keep us posted on your efforts, I really feel for you.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:20 AM   #27
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Buy one pound of habanero(yes the orange ones)peppers and the cheapest jug of vodka you can find. Take the stems off and put the peppers and vodka in a blender, grind up completely. (open your windows while this is going on). take about a half gallon glass jar put in the pepper mix and fill the jar with vodka. Leave it sit for 3 or 4 days.
Interesting! How much vodka to a lb of habanero? Just enough to cover the habanero in a half gallon jar?
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:29 AM   #28
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Seconding Dr. Sarno's books/methods. And mindfulness meditation or something similar to address frustration and anxiety component of chronic pain - in my case changing how I reacted to episodes significantly decreased my suffering until I eventually stumbled onto a PT who could actually help. Be gentle with yourself, may you find relief soon.



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Old 05-10-2016, 10:29 AM   #29
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I just eyeball it,the vodka is the carrier and usually separates to the top of the jar. Most of the time when the vodka liquid is gone I just add more vodka and refill the jar and let it sit of a couple of days. the peppers are almost like a starter and can be reused, it doesn't seem to lower the heat units on the skin. I get a migraine maybe once every 5 years and I will put a drop directly on the inside of my nostril, you will cry like a baby, but no more headache for me. One drop is all it takes for that...!!! I've done that when I had horrible heads colds too.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:31 AM   #30
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Interesting! How much vodka to a lb of habanero? Just enough to cover the habanero in a half gallon jar?
No fill the jar I've found the heat units seem to be the same, no matter how much vodka you use, you only want to use the clear liquid not the actual pepper itself.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:39 AM   #31
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I've had similar issues. Used to have intermittent lumbar issues, due to a six pack gut☺. Later c-spine(ouch).

I'll second a good pain management doc can perform miracles. One look at my pain management for cluster headaches and this guy suggested the opposite of my PCP, he was right.

One thing I have had luck with too is an old fashioned DO that does manipulation. It's sort of chiropractic but better. Don't know where you go to find one that still actively practices that skill. The one I know his father taught at a local Osteopathic college.

I would also try a different diet, a lot of folks believe in anti-inflammatory diets, it can't hurt. For me lumbar was solved by changing diet and dropping weight. C-spine can go at any time. I am doing a lot of strength training to help muscle mass to protect me but a good rear-ending may show who is the boss. Sadly I lose those every time.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:07 AM   #32
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I just eyeball it,the vodka is the carrier and usually separates to the top of the jar. Most of the time when the vodka liquid is gone I just add more vodka and refill the jar and let it sit of a couple of days. the peppers are almost like a starter and can be reused, it doesn't seem to lower the heat units on the skin. I get a migraine maybe once every 5 years and I will put a drop directly on the inside of my nostril, you will cry like a baby, but no more headache for me. One drop is all it takes for that...!!! I've done that when I had horrible heads colds too.
Got it. Thank you! I used to use Deep Tissue Oil by Dr. Schultze (which contained habanero and it worked great for my shoulder pains), but I haven't needed anything in years. My DH sometimes get pain behind his knees, and so far, he has been using Icy Hot kind of patches, so I might make a smallish batch for him.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:18 AM   #33
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You are welcome, when I milked the cows I used it at least one a day, now I just turn to it when I am very active or feel a twinge in my neck. It's low cost and last forever and has the bonus of being topical so it cuts down on the pills intake for me.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:22 AM   #34
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You could probably use rubbing alcohol instead of the cheapest vodka you can find, but I'm not sure it would save you any money.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:58 AM   #35
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I feel for you. I've had back pain since I turned 40 (7 years ago) due to herniated and bulging disks and degenerative disk disease. Nothing works for me either. We have 4 kids and I do my best to be available for them. But it really frustrates me when my pain gets in the way of enjoying my time with my family. My husband has his own pain issues which seem to be getting worse over time (he is in the military and hopes to retire soon). Pain is really an energy drain and can mess with your emotions. I hope you find some relief soon!
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:59 AM   #36
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True but what I didn't mention is that is you have a really bad spasm or spell you can take it internally, I have done this a few time BUT usually with a bowl of ice cream...the video I watched also said if you have chest pain or other Heart attack indicators swallow a spoon full immediately as it would be aspirin on steroids. So I would only use vodka for my tonic. 99.9 % of my use is topical. Stick with the vodka for peace of mind and safety.

If anyone out there has stomach issues, you can follow the same recipe and use fresh mint instead of peppers. You will have to take this orally but it's the go to in our house for tummy issues.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:52 PM   #37
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Well this idea might sound totally out of the box, ...
Buy one pound of habanero(yes the orange ones)peppers and the cheapest jug of vodka you can find. .... apply the liquid everywhere that you have pain. .... If I have a knot on my neck /shoulder area it literally goes away almost immediately. ...
Not really 'out of the box' at all. The active ingredient in many OTC pain creams for a very long time is Capsaicin, which is the 'heat' in hot peppers, so you can buy a box of it at your local Walgreens/CVS, etc:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsai...maceutical_use

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Research and pharmaceutical use :

Capsaicin is used as an analgesic in topical ointments, nasal sprays (Sinol-M), and dermal patches to relieve pain, typically in concentrations between 0.025% and 0.25%. It may be applied in cream form for the temporary relief of minor aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with arthritis, backache, strains and sprains, often in compounds with other rubefacients.[24] It is also used to reduce the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy such as post-herpetic neuralgia caused by shingles.[25]
I'd be curious if your home-brew is more effective and/or cheaper than store bought? Maybe yours is stronger, and maybe the OTC versions are tamer to avoid too many people having reactions? The key is it works for you, and it isn't 'voodoo', so go for it!

I think I've read that it works by actually causing some pain, and your body reacts to that pain, kind if 'shutting down' its receptors to avoid overload, so the background muscle pain is kind of 'tuned out'.

Back to the OP, it is surprising to me that so many specialists have not been able to help. I guess pain is just a very complicated thing, and hard to measure objectively, and 'fixes' may not take effect for a long time. I guess you need to follow other suggestions, and just keep trying different approaches.

My back problems seem mostly resolved, though not as severe as what you are experiencing, but still pretty bad (laid up for weeks at a time, and had re-occurrences for almost a full year, really limiting me in that time). My PT approach, and my follow up has been to try to do a wide variety of core exercises. For me, the key is to keep everything toned up. I can't say that any one thing helped, I think everything together has helped.

Good luck.

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Old 05-10-2016, 01:02 PM   #38
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The use the "name brand" tube when we travel. a tube the size of a small tube of toothpaste cost well over 10 dollars..I think the Vodka is a better carrier thru the skin barrier and in my opinion the mix is more potent.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:22 PM   #39
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Poor Soupcxan! He has been suffering a long time, and in different parts of his back, too.

Need help diagnosing unexplained chronic pain in early 30s

Young guy with chronic upper back pain

Somewhere there's just gotta be help for him.
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:42 PM   #40
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Soup,

I've read your posts on this subject for several years and really feel for you. I am wondering if your sciatic nerve issue may have triggered some other nerves shutting down which can lead to muscle imbalances (some muscles stop working) and pain. There is something called Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) that very well may help you heal. This is being used quite a bit in the sports world and they try to identify where a muscle imbalance may exist and then getting the nerves to help those muscle start doing what they should be doing. I would recommend you find a good MAT specialist and try some therapy. It may take a month or more of sessions and doing various exercises they prescribe. I have done this myself and was amazed at the imbalances that existed and how quickly the MAT specialist fixed me.

I think you are down in Houston and assume you should be able to find someone local. If not and are willing to travel to Dallas, I know a really good guy who worked on me, as well as several football and baseball players. Just PM me if you want his contact info.
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