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Posted in: Chronic pain, and Sciatica.

Confusion - Other options

Started by mjd on 05/11/2010 12:25pm

I have been dealing with low back and sciatica pain since 1998. There were no accidents or injuries just assume wear and tear over the years. MRI results have shown bulging disc at L5. Symptoms are intensifying: Left leg pain down side of leg and some pain now in right side, pain in buttocks both L&R sides to the level where I can barely sit, numbing sensations in bottoms of both feet. I am only comfortable when walking, cannot sleep well due to pain on left side, so I go from laying flat on back to right side (changing position several times during night). Following are all the options that I have tried: chiropractic - no real results some temporary relief, physical therapy helped some (but for brief periods of time), pain meds - cannot take NSAID per stomach does not tolerate, so at night time take darvacet and muscle relaxer, epidural injections used for 4 years with results for 8 month period of time, but does not work as well as in the beginning, nerve root block done two different times at L5 and S1, but no noticeable improvements, nevre study shows no nerve disease and lastly doctor wants me to take Savella (antidepressant), but I must go to work everyday and this drug causes me to feel like a zombie (so scared to take drug). I am very frustrated with the whole take a antidepressant to hide the issue. Any suggestions of alternatives or questions I should be asking my physician? Thanks

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mjd,

It sounds like you have tries most conservative therapies at one time or another for this chronic condition. As a chiropractor I have seen more complicated cases respond slowly or temporarily to individual medications or therapies.
One question is how do you spend most of your day: sitting at work or standing? Another question is: Did the MRI show only one disc bulge or was their spinal stenosis as well?

You may consult a chiropractor who uses the DRX Spinal Decompression Machine
http://www.drx9000spinaldecompression.com/

and combines therapies such as cold laser
http://www.4coldlaser.com/class4.htm

The decompression combined with the laser may decrease the nerve compression and inflammation. The other consideration is if you sit 2-3 hours at a time. Sitting compresses the spine and tissue. If you are very irritated when sitting then you are just re-inflamming the disc and nerve every time you sit.
Dr. Levine has done a lot of research and demonstrated standing part of the day or , brace yourself...A walking treadmill desk:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/treadmill-desk/mm00706

All these options may be the best combination of treatment and therapies to decrease your low back pain. Your primary care doctor may have discussed surgery too, I have found only 10% of disc bulges need surgery though. I hope this information is helpful to you.

Yours in health'

Curtis Haake D.C.

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