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Old 05-13-2016, 09:11 PM   #61
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It would be most unusual to find a spine with no issues, even in young adults. Generally surgeons are looking for any semi-justifiable reason to cut. It's what they are trained to, it's what validates them, and it is what gives them those Porsche buying incomes.

Sometimes it is best to look at things that may or may not help much, but are very unlikely to make things worse.


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I've seen a couple of mine and I'd be happy to trade concerns/reports. Mine talk about multiple bulges, herniations, stenosis, narrowing and a whole bunch of scary terms(yours doesn't sound bad to this layperson. Yes they mention C4-C5. Do you have any symptoms related to these nerves? Have you ever had an EMG?).
Talk with your Doc or get a second opinion, I'm not a professional but I wouldn't worry.

Like said it's almost impossible to have an MRI that's perfect. I had a neurosurgeon reassure me that my scary sounding report could describe millions of people all who led normal lives. Do get someone to explain it to you and relieve your concerns, or give you next steps. Best wishes.
Agreed (at least in my personal experience).

A few years ago, I had an MRI of the neck for something completly unrelated to spinal issues (they needed to check out a growth that turned out to be no problem at all). When I read the report, it listed so many issues with C4, C5 and a bunch of others, you'd imagine that I couldn't move my head, or that I must be in constant pain. It really sounded scary. Yet, I've only had a temporary neck pain issue once in my life, and it went away (and stayed away) with no treatment.

I got the sense that the person diagnosing the MRI is not told of the expected problem, as that would bias them towards looking for certain things. So they list everything they see. Can any medical professionals out there confirm/deny this?

-ERD50
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:19 AM   #62
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Have you been checked for gallstones? I've got very similar pain caused by them. Also, seconding the low inflammation diet. I changed my diet to keep blood sugars low (85 +- 10 even after meals), and after a week or two, my chronic hip bursitis pain disappeared (although the gallstones got worse due to higher dietary fat).

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Old 05-15-2016, 09:42 PM   #63
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This may seem silly to ask - but what is your sleeping position? I had upper back pain for years, a constant burn across my left upper back and scapula. I went through years of MD visits, PT, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic. One day I wondered if my habit of stomach sleeping had something to do with it. No one ever asked me how I slept. The pain went away when I started sleeping on my back. I hope that you are able to find some relief soon.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:51 AM   #64
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I haven't been checked for gallstones but I don't seem to have any of the other symptoms of gallstones. I can ask about them.


I have tried sleeping in a variety of ways - back, stomach, sides, etc. with pillows but have not found a consistent difference.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:07 AM   #65
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Another suggestion is the Egoscue method. He specializes in physiotherapy for chronic pain and has written a couple of books. I have "Pain Free" and find it really works for me (I have different pain, but still chronic pain.)

He even has a clinic in Houston. Houston, TX

I also find that eating an anti-inflammatory diet helps too. Basically minimize sugar and wheat intake, and eat lots of fruits/veg.
I'm sorry to hear about your chronic pain! I'm in Houston and have not heard of this clinic but it certainly sounds worth trying. I'd be remiss in not pointing out the possibility of food sensitivities contributing to your pain. I'm a functional nutritionist and I find many times over that the inflammatory response of a food sensitivity (not necessarily allergy) can cause great joint and muscular pain. Your conventional doctor probably won't be familiar with it but you can ask (mine wasn't until I explained it to her). You want to have an IgG test done if you're interested in ruling out food sensitivities. I use the one by US Biotek. If you have any gastrointestinal distress of ANY type (diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, hearburn), that is also a clue.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:31 AM   #66
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I'm in Houston and have not heard of this clinic but it certainly sounds worth trying.
We recently borrowed the book from our local library - his theories sound plausible and we've started doing some of the exercises/positions.....early days yet.
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Young dad struggling to keep going with chronic pain
Old 05-16-2016, 11:27 PM   #67
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Young dad struggling to keep going with chronic pain

Things that helped me with back issues

1. Buy a new bed.

2. Acupuncture and /or Eastern medicine has been known to work for chronic pain. I was a dis-believer until I ran into a pain issue and acupuncture healed me.

Try every possible avenue

Don't give up. A remedy is out there and just needs to be found.

Last item - how's the mental state? Occasionally depression can rear it's ugly head as a physical ailment. Any thought of trying some anti-depressant meds ?
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:31 AM   #68
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Last item - how's the mental state? Occasionally depression can rear it's ugly head as a physical ailment. Any thought of trying some anti-depressant meds ?
Certainly it's not great. I was on Cymbalta before, it didn't do much for the pain but maybe evened my moods out a bit. I was happy to get off of it in 2015, thought I was managing ok until things deteriorated in 4Q'15.


Would need to find a new primary doctor to get a new Rx since my office moved...such a nuisance...
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:38 AM   #69
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Things that helped me with back issues

1. Buy a new bed.

2. Acupuncture and /or Eastern medicine has been known to work for chronic pain. I was a dis-believer until I ran into a pain issue and acupuncture healed me.

Try every possible avenue

Don't give up. A remedy is out there and just needs to be found.

Last item - how's the mental state? Occasionally depression can rear it's ugly head as a physical ailment. Any thought of trying some anti-depressant meds ?
Unfortunately sometimes for these kind of things there is no remedy..I have a dear friend who has struggled with an issue like this for over a decade. She just did a 3 week inpatient chronic pain clinic...where the mantra was..it's part of your life, let's help you cope with it.

Telling people to just keep looking because there is a fix out there can be frustrating to someone in pain with no end in site.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:03 AM   #70
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This is a long shot but might at least help a little. Have you examined your habits during all 24 hours? Habits are something that few medical professionals can help us with.

Some examples:
1) Do you brush your teeth stooped over the sink so you are putting some pressure on your lower back?
2) Do you wash your face maybe with a wash cloth so you don't have to bend over the sink too much?
3) Do you bend down the proper way using a lot of your thighs to take the pressure off the upper body?
4) When you tie your shoes, do you minimize lower back stress?
5) Do you grab a stool to reach a high place (good) or do you just stand on your toes and stretch upwards (bad)?
6) Do you sit in a position with head turned to view (not directly in line with spine) the TV or while listening to a lecture?

Lots of places where one could reduce the back stress. For me, it took some effort to not ignore the small things. This has improved my situation a lot.

I know when our son was young there was probably a lot of bending and lifting that could have been done better or maybe have been eliminated. I used to carry him around on hikes in ways that stressed my back but then again I was young as your are.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:17 AM   #71
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1) Do you brush your teeth stooped over the sink so you are putting some pressure on your lower back?
Still attempting to combat/resolve my problem with sciatica, I've found that, even if I'm feeling (moderately) 'good' when I go in to brush, after the 3 minutes it takes, I'm really feeling the discomfort.

I even tried bringing a chair into the bathroom, and sitting while brushing....to no avail.....still working on a solution.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:35 AM   #72
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At the risk of sounding like a nagging old lady (who, me? ) I'd like to mention the one really bad habit that some people have and are completely oblivious to, and that definitely causes severe back pain after a certain stage in life.

Here it is: Some people choose not to gradually ease into more activity after weeks or months of inactivity, but instead immediately start using the body like a teenager - - lifting heavy items, jerking them around suddenly, moving awkward large objects alone, playing sports with 18-year-olds when you're over 40, and that sort of thing. Good judgment flies out the window so easily and the result for most of us is crippling back pain.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:41 AM   #73
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Still attempting to combat/resolve my problem with sciatica, I've found that, even if I'm feeling (moderately) 'good' when I go in to brush, after the 3 minutes it takes, I'm really feeling the discomfort.

I even tried bringing a chair into the bathroom, and sitting while brushing....to no avail.....still working on a solution.
This gets into some yucky details. I brush for 2 minutes using an Oral B mechanical thingy which gives off small sounds at 30 second intervals.

Anyway, one has a lot of saliva generated in that time. So the problem becomes do you spit it out and loose the toothpaste? That way one doesn't have to bend over quite so much (to avoid dribble).

I haven't really got my technique down yet either as I just realized a few days ago this habit was an issue for me.
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:56 AM   #74
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This gets into some yucky details. I brush for 2 minutes using an Oral B mechanical thingy which gives off small sounds at 30 second intervals.

Anyway, one has a lot of saliva generated in that time. So the problem becomes do you spit it out and loose the toothpaste? That way one doesn't have to bend over quite so much (to avoid dribble).

I haven't really got my technique down yet either as I just realized a few days ago this habit was an issue for me.
We have the same/similar beeping unit, also with a visual timer...we do 45 seconds per quartile, and end up looking like rabid dogs at the end.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:04 AM   #75
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Forgot to mention couches. We had a nice soft couch with a fairly deep seat (pan). That killed my back. Even putting cushions behind me, I could not make it support my lower back properly. Used it for years before realizing this would be a feature to fix in a new couch.

Got a new one a few years ago from Macy's that is modular. This one has a fairly stiff back so a cushion put in the lower back will not just sink into the couch. Much better support now for watching TV. DW in contrast uses the recliner part of the couch with feet up. This would kill my back.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:06 PM   #76
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Unfortunately sometimes for these kind of things there is no remedy..I have a dear friend who has struggled with an issue like this for over a decade. She just did a 3 week inpatient chronic pain clinic...where the mantra was..it's part of your life, let's help you cope with it.

Telling people to just keep looking because there is a fix out there can be frustrating to someone in pain with no end in site.
Despite the last 5 years of evidence to the contrary, I am not yet ready to accept that there is nothing I can do to at least get the pain down to a manageable level. I am still in the bargaining stage (I will accept some pain, just not all of it).

Going to one of the inpatient chronic pain clinics has been floated before but is a last resort right before quitting my job. I still have some avenues to explore before I get there.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:25 PM   #77
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And all the best to you as you continue to look for a solution that helps you. As a friend trying to support someone, encouraging them to continue to look and stay hopeful, is supportive. Saying just keeping looking because there is a cure somewhere, was not helpful to my friend, because things are much more complicated then that.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #78
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Soup,

How is your posture, do you hunch your shoulders? How about exercise, if you do some exercises with bad form it can also result in problems.

I agree with your thinking to try every possible avenue before resorting solely to pain management, although that might be helpful as you continue to explore different potential things to fix the problem.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:28 PM   #79
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I also wanted to say, the pain clinic was very helpful to her and she commented she should have attended years sooner. Going to a clinic doesn't mean throwing in the towel or that it's a last resort, you have pain interfering with your quality of life right now.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:48 AM   #80
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Soup,

How is your posture, do you hunch your shoulders? How about exercise, if you do some exercises with bad form it can also result in problems.

I agree with your thinking to try every possible avenue before resorting solely to pain management, although that might be helpful as you continue to explore different potential things to fix the problem.
I do hunch my shoulders a bit, but have been paying attention to them as well as doing exercises for posture plus the ones from PT (most of which are variations of each other).

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I also wanted to say, the pain clinic was very helpful to her and she commented she should have attended years sooner. Going to a clinic doesn't mean throwing in the towel or that it's a last resort, you have pain interfering with your quality of life right now.
Good point, I sort of dismiss the pain class as "giving up" but that's not what it is. If it could help, it's worth looking into.
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