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New to SU- chronic lumbar pain - feeling hopeless and in great need of help and advise

Started by JP 1981 on 07/31/2014 2:31am

Hi All,

I am new to SU, and i guess you all know that writing here means that i am hopless and in great need of help and advise.

Let me first share with you what is going on with me,and I pray to God I will be able to find someone here who was going through the same and finally got over it.

I have been diagnosed with DDD 7 years ago , Doctors said it is congenital. I am 33 years old, and I can say I had a very fit and healthy adolescence as I was doing all kinds of sports( tennis, soccer, basketball, ski,swimming...)

My MRI shows a dehydrated L5-S1 disc material with evidence of central and left paracentral disc protrusion indenting the left L5 nerve roots in its exit foramina and the left lateral recess.

Here is the tricky part of my case, I only have constant lumbar pain, with very minimal ( rare) leg pain.

My back pain is constant, 24/7,I can live with it ( unfortunetely) but sometimes, random movements trigger unbearable pain and completely block me from any movement. These episodes happen at least twice a year, and I have to be taken to the hospital, as it completely cripples me, and the pain is just indescribable.

I have tried all sorts of conventional treatments, and had maybe 7 scan guided cortisone/steroid injections. The life span of these injections obviously decreased with time. I maxed out on anti inflammatory and this is something that is really annoying/ worrying me, as I am scared this might lead to other issues.

I was about to have a disc fusion but to be honest, i got sooo scared of the idea that it might not work that i just backed down, and a Discogel injection on the 2nd of July.Sadly, am still feeling this constant pain/pressure in my lower back and in my saccro illiac joint.( and I am still on anti inflammatory)

I have 2 sons that I can't fully enjoy coz I am always scared of carrying them, playing with them as this might trigger my unbearable pain. My wife has been really supportive these years, but I feel she needs me to be healthy and help out the way a father should.( PS : We are now on a short vacation with the family, and i am writing here, that is how desperate i am)

This condition has led me to depression and I had to take anti depressant 3 times during the course of these 7 years ( now being the third time)

I need my life back, I need to go back to sport, and I kindly ask for your help/advise you all !

Any comments will be highly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance.


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4 Responses


Hi JP1981,
I can feel your pain, literally. My advice, if you can have a discectomy only, do it. Avoid any fusions. I had my first at L5 S1 then L45s1. This year I had a break at every level and L3 broken in half. I had a abdominal fusion, and rods inserted. No choice, cant have a broken spine. I also had C456, fused . Now my whole cervical spine is degenerated. For me it has been a life time of genic disease.
I raised 2 sons on my own the past 19 years. I take the minimal amount of pain meds. Make sure you keep that in check. You have to be able to function and raise your children. The new health care law is and will make it harder and harder to get medication.
My advice, do your best to not let this consume your life, you have to embrace your pain, you will be amazed at what our bodies can endure. I now hurt from the time I wake until I take my meds to sleep. My neck, is not fixable, if I want to ever move it again. Two years ago I found a wonderful pain Doctor. His talent with the needle and nerve blocks, kept me from being put in a nursing home. I'm much too young for that, as you are. Try and be strong, GET HOBBIES. No matter what it is. find something you love as you do you children. You won't find sympathy from those that have no clue what you are feeling. Don't expect it, you won't be disappointed each and every day. Be strong and good luck. reply if you wish. I have lived this for 30 years now. My children are finally grown, I can concentrate on myself. Your children will keep you strong for now, you have no choice.


Thank you Robert for taking the time to answer.

I am amazed by your strong will and positive attitude, I will surely start buildig on that.

I am not sure medically speaking if a discectomy is what I need given the fact that I have no sciatic pain.

I am more and more convinced that my lumbar pain is due from my degenerative Sacro Iliac Joint.

Having the fusion is a nightmare to me, and God's willing, I will avoid it.



Hi JP,
you are welcome, I always base surgery's on quality of life. When the time came I physically was bed ridden, in other words I was down much more than up. That's when I considered surgery's. My spine , literally 75% of it is bad. I have had 9 spine surgery's 16 in all. Most of my bones are degenerating. Now, nerve blocks and epidurals keep me at my best. I recommend you find the best Doctor with a needle you can find.
I will share another little tip that I have fun with at times. The Government requires the question to be ask , What is your pain level ? You will be ask this question by every doctor nurse you meet. Most Doctors understand and are embarrassed to ask the question, yet they have no option. Here is my answer, Do you want to know my pain level being myself or pretend I'm you. because if you suddenly feel the way I do, your calling 911 and going to the emergency room. I usually get a smile and a agreeable understanding of our frustration. Good luck to you. Always sleep with pillow between your legs. Prop up a leg when you sit. Avoid if you can things like vacuuming. A slight bend probably hurts you more than a 90 degree bend. Figure out what makes you the most comfortable and try to avoid anything that you know will worsen your pain level. If your like me , I didn't have children to be my slave, so I endured much more than I needed. Now, I save myself for any fun that may come my way. I was always a little OCD about my home being clean, that's not a bad idiosyncrasy unless you can't do the cleaning. I have learned that peace of lent can stay on the floor until I'm ready to pick it up. If you have loved ones and they really care about you, they will understand and hopefully help you when you need it. Kids adapt quickly to change. I can't express enough, get one good general practitioner , I have had mine for 22 years and consider him my best friend, my savior in many ways.


I can't relate to your problem but I can relate to pain. Here is my response to the "what is your pain level". I tell them, your 1-10 isn't mine It's because my pain reaches the next tier of pain. They look at me funny. I tell them the 10 on your list would be more than you can take but my pain is above that. I had a spinal fusion in 75 at the age of 16 because of a double curve in my spine. It was that or die. I was fine until 92 when I woke with a pain in my foot like I had stepped on a rock and by the end of my shift it had slimmed it's way up my leg and into my lower back. It was the start of a long painful trip that had only progressed at first slowly and has now sped up. With my pain medication I have been able to at least have a life. I can tell you one thing about pain, no one will care if you don't. They will tire of hearing that you hurt because they cannot understand. If you don't use medication to beat back the pain it will slowly destroy the person you were. It will make you tired, depressed and want to give up. There is such a terrible stigma put on pain medication and we buy into it. Why is it so bad that we take medication so we can have a life, travel, do things with our kids. If it wasn't for Lyrica and Methadone I would have killed myself because the pain is so great. If I miss a dose, the pain reminds me of what it felt like before. I underwent the discectomy and I wish I never had it done. It made me worse. For some people it helps. All of the injections, ablations and other treatments did nothing. It was as if I had nothing done and some of the treatments made me worse. I have been to over 20 doctors trying to find something but they want to start all over with the epidurals.
So, you have to decide what you want to do and not to let anyone try to make that decision for you. The best thing you can do is to go out as much as possible. Don't get use to staying in your home. It gets too comfortable and depressed. Don't live in pain if there is a medication that will help you, you are the one who suffers for it. It's for nothing, to suffer. It only hurts yourself and then your family becasue they lose you to the pain. I have a saying that I am a person who has pain and I am not a pain patient. I put it into it's own little nasty monster package and it lives off to the side. I know that might seem strange but it is how I deal with it. We all have to find a way to make our life work. I wish you the best and I hope I have helped somewhat.