back pain

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Any suggestions for bulging disk? husband is in obvious pain, worse and worse. He had three epiderals a few months ago. Then was given Vicoden. He use to take 1.5 a day to make it through work. He is noticably in a lot of pain. I noticed him taking 5 vicoden to work the other day.

    His actions show a lot of pain. Just moving. He is never one to complain about himself or pain. Actually, never talks at all.

    I know he goes to the neurologist on Monday. But this doctor (specialist) has only been refilling the pain medications for the past few months. Shouldn't there be some type of therapy...anything ? Doesn't want surgery.

    I have suggested chiropractor, but he doesn't seem willing to do anything.
    We belong to the health club (which nobody goes to)..Whirlpool - swimming pool to move around. Doesn't have to swim.

    He has bad arthritic knees so excersizing is painful. To me, he should be doing something.

    Any suggestions?
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    husband has similar issues. Sometimes he goes to the chiropractor and it helps...other times he has to let it go back on it's own. He also uses one of those electrical zapper thingies and that seems to help some too.

    Also, he will have me massage some Icy Hot type stuff in. It doesn't do anything for the disk obviously, but seems to relax him which helps some too.

    I know messing with your spine can be scary but a good chiropractor may just be able to help if you can get your husband to go.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My uncle endured years of back pain, using all of the usual methods (including chro) with no real relief. Finally as a last resort he went the accupuncture route and that helped a great deal.

    Maybe a pain relief clinic would be a good route to go.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    He should probably have another MRI. A bulging disc shouldn't cause that much pain. Most people have bulging discs and go on with no pain or symptoms whatsoever. If he is in that much pain, it may have herniated. OR he may have spinal stenosis that is pinching down on the nerve, resulting in what's called radiculopathy. If it is severe enough that a few epidurals didn't help, then surgery is NECESSARY, not really optional, because if let go, damages the nerve to the point he will be wheelchair-bound. This is what my mother in law is facing right now and is having this surgery in two weeks. It's a common surgery and is not quite as invasive as having discectomy. Basically they shave the arthritic area that is encroaching on the nerve. Recovery time fairly short. If he needs the surgery, have him go for a second opinion and get references.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Kjs, I swear by chiropractors. I had a bulging disc and couldn't even move without screaming in pain. Had to use the computer chair to get to the bathroom. Finally saw an excellent chiro and she worked on me for over an hour. I walked out of there. Saw her a few more times as my back healed and that was that. I now know my own pain thresholds and what symptoms tell me I'm close to another back issue and go immediately.

    Outside of surgery, which is what an ortho and even a neuro will suggest, I would strongly urge your H to see a chiro. Backs are just not something you mess around with. Hope H feels better.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would urge him to be adamant with the neuro that this is different than it has been in the past and that the neuro needs to approach it differently. Is he getting any PT? He should ask for what my doctor used to call "shake and bake". That was heat and massage from a qualified PT. The insurance will usually pay for it if you can have it done in aid to recovery (rather than pain relief). Sometimes you have to force the doctor to move to a different level of treatment. If your husband is timid and goes with "just take more medications", the doctor will allow that to continue. If your husband starts out with "I have had to take more and more vicodin and it's not helping anymore - we need to try something different", he should get the doctor to move on to different treatment options.

    I hope he will start to find some relief soon.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I wouldn't rule out a chiropractor. However, I would look to find one that has experience with back pain. Ask around for someone who has been to one and who trusts this person.

    Also, I think back pain involves many different issues. Normally, I would hesitate to take strong pain medications...but if the pain is severe....I see no reason not to ask and to take something strong for very bad pain for a short period of time.

    In the meantime, efforts should be made to try something almost simulatenously to get things better. Maybe a few days rest...then off to a chiropractor...also acupuncture might be a good thing to try/consider, etc.

    My husband has had some nice results by walking daily, taking vitamins, wearing excellent quality shoes, keeping a good attitude and taking Naproxen as needed.

    Those patches...Salonpas...can be helpful.

    However...he (husband) is open to see a Chriropractor at any given point. He would even see a surgeon...should it be necessary...but is hoping alternative measures will do the trick. So far, he is getting nice results. (He formally did it all...pain pills...shots, name it.)

    If your husband is willing to listen...Frank Sarno books are MOST interesting. Walking and a good attitude are key. He doesn't believe in Naproxen...but husband uses it "as needed." husband has made remarkable progress in about a month.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, he should be doing something.
    This is not going to go away on its own.
    He should go to a chiro or phys ther, assuming it's a "regular" bulging disc and not sequestered. IOW, pcs are not floating around, right?
    Walking and swimming are very good. Whirlpool is better than nothing but he needs to move around. Sounds counterintuitive--he probably doesn't want to move--buyt he should. Does he have pain down his leg (sciatica?). Is he having bladder problems? If he's having bladder problems he may need surgery.
    Best of luck!
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    husband went to the neuro doctor yesterday. husband is one that doesn't say anything. I swear if it wasn't for difficult child our house would be silent. Drives me nuts. He doesn't say anything to me.

    Anyway, I printed some stuff off the internet and talked to him Sunday afternoon. I told him he needs to ask the doctor what he should do. Should he use heating pad, ice, whirlpool, swim, walk, rest...

    I get home from work on Monday. he says nothing as usual. I say, "well...?" he says well what. OMG - this is what drives me insane.

    husband isn't one that believes in taking drugs either. Not even vitamins. oh, he will if the doctor told him to. Not me. If the doctor told him to go swimming, he would. We have belonged to this health club for 11 years. I love to swim. husband would rather sit in a chair and watch that get in the water. However if doctor told him to...he would.

    Doctor gave him script for physical therapy(2x's week) and a script for Vicoden, and a script for ametriptalyne (SP????) He has no clue about drugs. I knew right away. Not only anti depressant but I know they also use it for pain issues. Hope it works with both areas.

    Re: swimming - Dr. wouldn't say it WOULD help, but wouldn't say it would not help. I am thinking husband will not go.

    Re: therapy - he will start doing it because Dr. said. But once the bill comes he will stop.

    He initially went in to ER from work because his leg and arm were numb. Apparently it had been going on for some time and I never knew. Cause he never told me!!! It was last summer actually. I get a call from ER saying he was having tests for a brain tumor !?!?!?
    He had CT scan, Ultra sound, MRI, sent to neuro 40 miles away. husband wouldn't go to a neuro in town because the "hospital ER" gave him this name. Test results show bulging disk in back causing the numbness in his leg. He wasn't having back pain then, numbness was the complaint. Pressing on the nerve. He was told to rest and have the shots and hope the bulge goes back to normal.
    Well - he never changed any habits. Still walked the dogs in the snow and ice, did whatever he did before. Now, 9 months later things are worse. I TOLD him to go swimming, whirlpool, not lift..but he does what he does until a DOCTOR tells him otherwise. He no longer walks the dog because Chloe's injury. She can't walk so Kenzie doesn't get to walk at all.
    Then about a month ago he tells me that the test results showed he has a bulging disk in his neck too. That is why his arm was numb. HELLO - nobody told me this. But if I say that he will say "yes I did".
    He doesn't say anything. Just sits, no lays on the couch all grumpy ALL the time. NEVER happy. EVER.

    Sorry. Don't know what to do. I know what he should do, but I know he WON'T do it. Should I just make an appointment with Chiro?
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Nope. Don't do anything. I know it's difficult to stand by and watch it all go down (literally), but he is not listening to you nor is he sharing anything with you. This is one of those times where you have to take a step back and let him figure it out on his own. Best of luck. I wish our Dr would slip my H an antidepressant in disguise. Yeesh, it would do us all a world of good.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    A chiro would be great, but what's the point if your husband won't go?

    I have numbness in my arms, too, from bone spurs in my neck. Too much work on the computer and drawing board. But I ice and stretch and see the chiro so at least it's not getting too much worse.
    Can't say the same for your husband. Problem is, you cannot force him (At least, I don't think so!). You have to step back.
    Other problem is, if he's incapacitated, which he will be some day, at this rate, you will be stuck taking care of him.
    I have no words of wisdom. Just lots of hugs.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest guys are so right. I knew this. I quit doing his doctor stuff years ago. He is going to be 56 and never had a physical, dentist is out of the question....I was sick of making appointments and having him cancel or be a no show.

    Then he would tell me he can't get off of work...whatever..I figured if he was sick or in pain he would have to make his own appointment.

    I just FORGOT I did that. I needed your reminders.
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Good job. I used to do the same with my husband, and then like you got tired of his carp. When he would complain to me (he would never complain to anyone else) I would tell him to make an appointment with the doctor. Eventually he did, and I have found when he makes his own appts he is more vested in going. He would miss appts I made but was less likely to miss ones he made. The most I do now is give him phone numbers if he asks for them(many times they are stored in my phone), and write him notes to remind him about his appts. He has some serious memory issues.

    So good job. He is a big boy, and he knows where to get help.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Passive aggressive. You're supposed to be feelnig sorry for him and mothering him, so he can lie back, lap it up and be in control.

    That doesn't mean he's not in pain - but the pain can be useful to him as well.

    If you rush around making his appointments for him, then he won't respect tham (as you've found) and still won't talk to you.

    WHat we do - it stopped any of those tendencies in husband, cold - we go in to doctor's appointments together, as a team. I'm there to help him remember what to tell the doctor, and also to help him remember what the doctor said to him. I'm there for support. And vice versa.

    We don't get to every appoinment we each have, but we get to enough so that it helps.

    You could suggest it, ask him about going in with him for support because you KNOW he's in pain and you care about him.

    See hoe he reacts. If he's happy using the passive aggressive option, he is likely to refuse you coming along. But if you do it with a servile arttitude, you might gian entry. And once you're in there - you have entree to call the doctor later on, on his behalf.