Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020

Dealing with Chronic Back Pain

I have been dealing with chronic back pain for a decade now. It started in 2001 with occasional back aches and by 2004 I had pain shooting down the back side of my left leg, leaving me in tears most days. Since then I have regularly been visiting the pain doctor in an effort manage the pain caused by herniated discs. Last year I went in for another MRI of my back only to be informed that I now have disc degeneration is the two herniated discs. So my pain doctor and I went through another round of pain management. We have finally come to a point where I cannot deal with the pain anymore and the pain management techniques are no longer providing relief. Now I am being referred to the surgeon to begin what will no doubt be a long process that doesn’t end with one back surgery.

The first pain management tactic that I used was going to my chiropractor on a regular basis. This was a suitable management technique for about two years, but it meant a trip to the chiropractor several times a week. My insurance only covers so many visits to the chiropractor in a twelve month period and I was exceeding this amount in six months time. Which meant that the other six months of the year was coming out of my pocket. It eventually got to the point where the chiropractor was not giving me any sufficient relief for any period of time.

It was then that I decided to see my family doctor about the pain, and it was off to my first MRI which showed my initial one herniated disc and one bulging disc in my lower back. I was then sent of the the Physical therapy department to see if they could help manage the pain through strengthening muscles. The physical therapy offered me some immediate relief during the ultrasound, but it quickly came back once the ultrasound was finished. After several unsuccessful trips to physical therapy, I was referred to a pain management specialist.

The first time I went to see this pain specialist, he was able to inject an epidural steroid into the affected discs on my back. This injection gave me a hundred percent relief for over two years! Then my third pregnancy and labor sent the bulging disc into a herniated disc and the pain resurfaced with a vengeance. Over a period of the last five years, I have received several different injections to manage the pain. However, with each injection, the pain was managed for less and less time.

Finally, in late 2010, the pain specialist scheduled radiofrequencing to be done on my back. Radiofrequencing is when they stimulate the small nerves in the painful area of your back and then burn those nerve endings off. I have heard of some people having significant relief from this procedure, however, I am not one of those people. I was able to receive some relief from this procedure, but it was minimal and lasted for a very short time. It was at this point, the pain specialist decided that I have no other pain management options available. It is time to go see the surgeon about having those discs fixed.

The first surgeons in new jersey were also the very first ones in the entire united states to tackle chronic back pain issues.