Review for Lower Back Pain

  • Age 35-54
  • Female
  • 130 lbs
  • 5' 5"
  • Phila, PA
  • Injury Status Recovering
  • Chronicity 18+ Months
  • Doctor/Care Giver William Welch
  • Number of Surgeries 1
  • Additional Diagnosis/Symptoms Sciatica (pinched nerve, radiculopathy), Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Herniated disc (bulging disc, disc protrusion), Spondylolisthesis, Muscle Strain

Treatment Ratings

    TENS/Electrical Stimulation, Spinal Fusion Surgery, Strengthening Exercises, Stretching, Heat, Acetaminophen, Massage, Ice
    Not Improved
    NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs
    Chiropractor, Rest, Physical Therapy

I am a 40 yr old Mom of 2 (ages 7 & 11 at time of surgery). My pain began after 2 car accidents. Pars fracture, DDD, slight stenosis, spondylolisthis, Torn discs L5-S1, L4 is passable for now. Pars defect could have been since birth. Chiropracter, tens, heat & ice, PT got me through the first 10 years. I eventually was in so much pain with radiculopathy that I could not complete a 1 mile walk. I had spinal fusion 1 year ago, I'm hoping for another 10 years. Right now I can walk 1.5 miles, I can lift 3 lb weights. I hope by this time next year to double that. I still have daily pain, I still feel limited, but being positive & moving often helps greatly. I refuse to be on pain medication so anything I can do to improve my pain by stretching/walking, ice & heat-I do it. Surgery is very difficult. I took 9 mos off, made a career change, and am still working on getting strength back.

Prepare for surgery-know what to expect. I needed a walker, sturdy chair, back support, lowered my bed, portable toilet for the first week or 2, around the clock medication, help with showering, someone to make meals, someone to drive to appointments, grocery shop, pick up meds, lift laundry, take children to activities. I could do steps only 1 time a day for awihle. Before surgery move needed items to counter level so you are not tempted to reach/bend or twist. At week 2-3 make sure meds are refilled if needed. Have stool softener/Miralax on hand to combat constipation from pain meds. I started weaning off these at wk 4/5 and by wk 6 checkup I was pain med free.

I feel the best things you can do for yourself: hydrate, eat well, excercise, walk, walk, walk every day! Do everything possible to boost your mental health to get through a difficult recovery...and thereafter!

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