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What type specialist would you recommend????

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

As posted a week ago, had my 6-month check with oncologist and all went great. Unfortunately I've not been able to keep my lower back pain at a good level, so he requested an MRI.

Results of MRI -- moderate disk protrusion on L5 vertebra, appearing to compress S1 nerve root. Basically what this is saying, my lowest vertebra L5 is bulging and pushing on my S1 (sacrum) nerve (as well affecting the sciatica nerve).

As I've been dealing with this pain for the past 2 years and my chiropractor was able to control it, now it has intensified to where I have difficulty putting weight on my foot. I'm using Aleve and lots of icing to keep inflammation down. All of these options are helping, but want to nip this pain in the butt now.

My oncologist and chiropractor suggested a neurosurgeon to see what options they'd suggest. Can tell you, I'll do ANYTHING to avoid surgery...just not what direction I ever want to go, therefore, had many people suggest other specialized docs, thinking with the word "surgeon" in this specialists name, they'll wanna push surgery.

Anyone have suggestion on what type doc I should see who'll work with other options???? Go right to a therapist? Acupuncturist? Orthopedic who deals with only the spine and anything with nerves? My insurance deductible is very high, meaning I pay for everything out of pocket until this big deductible amount is met, therefore, can't afford to try every specialist...simply hoping to zoom in on the ONE~

Thanks.... appreciate any input for the ONE!!
Jan

nempark
Posts: 595
Joined: Apr 2010

Jazzy, I had pains in my neck from my head and back. I went to pain management. A Neuorologist. It did help meds along with physical therapy. Hope this will be of help to you. June. By the way, I did send you a private e-mail and I now have your regular e-mail so we will be able to talk some more.

lkchapman's picture
lkchapman
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Jan,
You might try an anesthesiologist who specializes in pain management who could do para-vertebral/caudal injections of a mixture of anesthetic and steroid. The injections last for quite a while. It might allow you put off surgery for a few years.
I hope you find relief!
Laura

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Yes the pain management is one which I'm thinking about, too. Really wanting to avoid any neurosurgeon right off the bat and seek other alternatives on my own. PT is one which was highly recommended by my friend who's one as well.

Did you both have disk bulging or herniation? If so, how long did it take to get back in working order?

Thanks, so appreciate the input~
Jan

Jackie53's picture
Jackie53
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Jan,

A couple of things you may look into are spinal decompression (known as traction), acupuncture for pain and inflammation, and last resort a cortisone injection. My son is a chiropractor and he suggested these alternatives. -Jackie

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

Questions for you as my present chiropractor suggested "decompression" which he doesn't do. Is this something which is done in chiropractor's office? Yes I've got the name of a good acupuncturist which happy to get involved if helping with inflammation.

Assuming that since have an MRI completed and know what's going on with my back, I can go to any doc and possibly start with chiropractor not neurologist? I'm just not a gal to go to an MD type specialist, really like to see if my body can heal itself with a few options such as decompression. Knowing if these don't work and can't get pain in line get to neurologist. Thinking out loud here with thoughts of not seeing neuro now, but go to some of these other alternatives. Does this make sense?

Thanks
Jan

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2303
Joined: Jun 2010

My son has pretty significant back issues and goes to a pain clinic (MDs) because he doesn't want sugery. He has some nerve blocking injections - sometimes they last as long as 6 months and sometimes they don't. It does not fix the problem, just relieves the pain. I keep hoping he'll try acupunture or even surgery, but this is his treatment of choice. He also takes pain meds as needed. He's in pain a lot.

My husband was "down" with a bad back for a year not too long ago. He tried chiropractic but that didn't help. He finally got a referral to a pain clinic and the back got better right before his appointment. Whew. It was really a difficult year at this house (man in pain).

You hear wonderful stories about back surgery and you hear horror stories. There doesn't seem to be a consistent success rate or a one size fits all solution to back pain. Hope you find something that works.

Usually the folks in a pain management clinic are anesthesiologists, neurologists, orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons and they develop a plan and discuss different options with you.

Suzanne

Jackie53's picture
Jackie53
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Jan,

I personally would try acupuncture and decompression first and then go to a neurologist if these treatments didn't give me the pain relief I needed. Decompression is done in the office by a chiropractor or physical therapist. Maybe your chiropractor can recommend someone to you.

Jackie

lkchapman's picture
lkchapman
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2011

Has anyone here ever used a Teeter-Hangup? It looks like it would do the job of decompressing the spine and if I knew for a fact it worked I would buy one.

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1428
Joined: Jan 2009

I can understand you not wanting to have back surgery. Maybe a neurologist can give you some suggestions to avoid surgery. Acupuncture may help, but it would probably be just temporary relief. Good luck in making a decision on which specialist to see. Hope you feel better soon. In peace and caring.

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Jan,

So sorry you're having such pain.

I myself would try acupuncture first as it seems less invasive than other therapies.

I think it's possible to get more than temporary relief via acupuncture; that's why I'd try it first.

Love,
Rosey

MoeKay
Posts: 63
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Jan,

So sorry to hear you are in such pain. My husband got a lot of relief from severe lower back nerve-type pain with therapeutic massage. We are fortunate to have a massage therapy school near us so the cost was minimal. He got significant relief after the first massage, but his muscles were very tight, so he needed to go back regularly for a while. I was really amazed to see the difference in his pain level before and after.

My sister-in-law has chronic back issues due to having been involved in several car accidents, and she swears that the thing that helps her the most is an inversion table.

I contemplated trying acupuncture for my hip before I got it replaced, but I could actually hear the bones grinding together when I walked, and I concluded that my situation was too far gone for acupuncture to provide any major relief.

Wishing you pain-free days,

Maureen

norma2's picture
norma2
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

I have had back problems years ago. Had a slipped disc and it was herniated and pressing on the nerve which made pain radiate down the back of my right leg. It went on for several years. Finally, had surgery and it was amazing how it helped. Posture!!! Mom's are right when they tell us to stand up straight!!! I have found that making myself stand straight helps a lot. Also being careful to not lift things without using good body mechanics. High impact exercise is out for me. Stretching before exercise seems to keep me from having too many problems.
I remember how painful it was to have back problems. I hope you find the treatment to make these problems go away so you can get back to the exercise you love.
ps...taking your advise and breathing....breathing...lots of oxygen...
{{{hug}} Norma

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1387
Joined: Mar 2010

I'm moving thru the process of where to go and whom to see. I've always believed in chiropractic and do understand it has limits with issues. Two good friends have a wonderful chiropractor who claims to have helped their pain and issues similar to what I'm having now.

Had full exam with the first one Wed and today went back for xrays and his diagnosis for treatment plan. I was in aw as knowing my pain is in lower back with sciatica, and now have learned I have curvature in middle of back and upper neck as well with osteoarthritis....Yikes Luckily no arthritis in middle or lower back...whew~~ The MRI didn't scan that far, as only recommended for lower part of back --lumbar. The procedure suggested by this chiropractor is very comprehensive and I can see it working, just the cost outlay.

Getting second option with another chiropractor next Monday and see what plan of action she'd suggest...then consult my hubbie and go forward. Thinking of even stepping foot into a neurosurgeon's office, just makes me ill. Not ready to even attempt that direction, so why make my self sick.

Acupuncture? I had this used on my lower back some 15 years ago and it was great. Unfortunately with my new issues, this might not work, but will help if the inflammation doesn't get better. That's as well in my bag of tricks!!

Happy days are coming my way! The up side it's not cancer, but damn to the cancer treatments which might have done a number on my back. Such is life!!

Thanks again team mates, couldn't have gotten this far without your suggestions
Jan

nempark
Posts: 595
Joined: Apr 2010

Jan I sent you an e-mail. Did you receive it?

Catmalogen
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2012

HI Jan, I don''t know your complete story, but feel you are a fighter, I posted recently on discussion page title USPC Discussion. As a patient but also as someone who works in health care, I believe you truly do need to follow advise of your clinical team . I am not saying this cos I some hospital convential believer, but because you stated you a have a disc bluging! Any chiropractor who states that whey would treat you given such is NUTS !! And you should give this serious consideration ! Look at best option from Ortho Spinal Neuro surgeon. Best of Luck and stay away from the quacks with this one . Cat

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