Review for Lower Back Pain

  • Age 55+
  • Female
  • 127 lbs
  • 5' 6"
  • Ridgefield, Wa
  • Injury Status In Pain
  • Physical activity per week 8+ hours
  • Chronicity 18+ Months
  • Repeat injury? Yes
  • Doctor/Care Giver Rohrer
  • Number of Surgeries 2
  • Additional Diagnosis/Symptoms Sciatica (pinched nerve, radiculopathy), Osteoarthritis (arthritis), Spinal Stenosis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Herniated disc (bulging disc, disc protrusion), Facet Syndrome/Sprain, Osteoporosis, Scoliosis

Treatment Ratings

    Postural Modifications, TENS/Electrical Stimulation, Discectomy Surgery, Strengthening Exercises, Stretching, Heat, Supportive Shoes, Laminectomy (Decompression) Surgery, Rest, Surgery, Mattress Change, Epidural, Oral corticosteroids, Cortisone Injection, Physical Therapy, Ice
    Not Improved
    Ultrasound Therapy, Yoga, Supplements, Brace, Meditation, Acetaminophen, Swimming
    Traction, Chiropractor, Acupuncture, Massage, NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs

My spine is bad everywhere. But since this focuses on low back I will address that only (I have also had a C4-7 ACDF). Low back has always been bad. Sciatica as a teenager from surfing. But always physically active my whole life. Very very fit. Swimming, hiking, running, weight lifting. I was a gym junkie. I taught classes. I was a biologist and conducted difficult field work. I had to stay fit to keep my back healthy. Then someone rear ended me at 50 mph. After that I went downhill. L5/S1 laminectomy/discectomy surgery for ruptured disk (also fell and made it worse, and later neck surgery). All facet joints bad now, no space between vertebrate etc etc. bad sciatica both legs now and low back pain. Multiple levels are bad and scar tissue from surgery has adhered to S1 nerve root. Permanent nerve damage in left leg because surgery was delayed too long (over a year). Epidurals have helped in the past but don't anymore. TENS unit helps when I have spasm and low back pain. Ice helps too. Can no longer take NSAIDs because I developed an ulcer from them. Some PT has been helpful and I still do the exercises but have had many PTs make me worse. Chiropractors won't even mess with me. I cannot lie comfortably on my back or stomach so it makes massage difficult. Severe osteoporosis and multilevel issues makes surgery unrealistic. I stay as active as possible, stay thin, rest between activity (pacing), mindfulness, distraction etc help me mentally deal with my condition. I had to go on disability even though I loved my work. Take pain medication daily. Accepting my reality is the most difficult thing as well as my limitations on those close to me (guilt). I can manage my low back issues but still struggle with neck issues that are more severe.

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