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Official Trout Bum
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious those of you out there who have back problems and had surgery done were you pleased with the results? *I've tried everything else and it's gotten to the point where unfortunately surgery seems to be the only option left and from talking with people who have had it done it really seems to be a roll of the dice. *How did it go for you?
 
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I've been having problems for 7 weeks now. I managed to start getting better without surgery thank goodness. PT finally kicked in after a few weeks so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

I hope you find a way to get better too. Back problems are just no fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Coppers Mom. I've had the back go out on me from time to time but I always made a full recovery and never gave it much thought. This last time it went out on me about six yrs ago I never made it back...I really thought I was indestructible...as much as I resisted it the word chronic kept coming up. So far I've been able to work around the little stinker and stay pretty active but it's always there and seems to be learning new ways to tip the cart, the little devil! So what to do now...

I'm glad to hear yours in on the mend...you're so right it's not much fun!!!

Pete
 

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I've had a muscle strain in my back for about 3 weeks now--I really do feel sorry for you having this go on for so long. I'm on a course of mobic and muscle relaxers--best sleep I've had in years! I'm no help on surgery issues, and hope I don't fact that in the future, but I do know there are some new cutting edge surgeries that are advertised as minimally invasive.
 

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Oh please don't feel sorry for me, I've been so fortunate over years I've got nothing to complain about.

Yeah I've been there with the pills and they do help sometimes but I've never liked taking pills and I think I've reached the point that I need to look for another answer.

It 's almost fun to hear some of the crazy solutions people have come up with to aliveate the problem. But more often than not when talking to them later I'll hear yeah that worked for a while but then...

Pete
 

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Featherriversam

Featherriversam

What kind of back problems do you have.
My Hubby, Ken, has spinal stenosis and two of the vertebrae are squeezing the spinal chord and then there is another vertebrae that is turned the wrong way.
Ken will be having surgery end of Jan., beginning of Feb., because I don't think there is any other option.
 
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I would do everything I could to avoid surgery. That's just me. I tend to try the natural approach, though since I have lost weight my back issues have improved 10 fold (not saying weight plays any part in anyone else's back issues, but it did in mine). I used a chiropractor when it would get really bad. Some of mine was also tied into the way my desk was set up at work. We moved to a new office building and my desk is set up totally differently and my shoulder that locked up 4 years ago and gave me problems constantly after that. Now my shoulder is almost 100% better.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry to hear about your husband....that sounds pretty serrious. Hopefully all will go well and he'll be one of the ones that says "I'm 100% again".

I've apparently got 3 bulging disks in my lower back along with some sort of congenital annamolly in my tail-bone.

I'm with you FosterMom...I've been putting off the surgery for as long as I can. My father was orthopedic surgeon and he told me to put it off as long as you can and when you reach that point put it off some more - surgery is no guarantee. I smile when i think of what he used to say....man was just not designed to be upright.

I think you're absolutely right about weight and sitting positions - they're two things that can really contribute to back problems. Weight hasn't been too much of a problem for me but I have been told that core strength is critical and can really help improve a lot of back problems.

Pete
 

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Bulging disks have to be so incredibly painful! I know I worked for a woman who ran a restaurant who had some vertebrae fused because of bulging disks and she felt so much better after the surgery. It really scares me to think about any type of surgery being done on my back.

By the way, I had to change the spelling of disks in every place I used it because I am the IT assistant at work and the only discs I work with are computer related. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oops! Make that disc....my spelling has always been terrible...can't tell you the number of times I've come up with "no suggestions" while trying to spellcheck something.

Thank you,

Pete
 

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Oops! Make that disc....my spelling has always been terrible...can't tell you the number of times I've come up with "no suggestions" while trying to spellcheck something.

Thank you,

Pete
You were right. I was the one trying to spell it as disc when it's actually disk. Sorry, I didn't mean to confuse you. I have noticed that for some reason, my spelling has gotten much sloppier as I have gotten older. I don't quite get that. LOL
 

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I've had two back surgeries, one was a three level fusion of C 3,4 and 5, neck region, 1996. I had two discs that had herniated and putting pressure on the spinal cord. Result from that surgery was pretty good. There really wasn't a choice about surgery, symptoms were severe and on the advice of two different neurosurgeons and my family doctor, had the surgery. My second back surgery was in 2005, I had severe sciatic pain which put me in the hospital, had an MRI which showed a herniated disc in the lumbar area. I decided against surgery at that time, should have done it. Because by the time I did have it a few months later, I already had some nerve damage, consequently I have persistent sciatic pain which never resolved. It is manageable, but I think if I had the surgery when it was recommended, I might have had a better result.
 
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I ruptured a disk in my lower back, L3/L4 about 2 years ago. My Dr told me if I cold make it 6 months it would heal. I toughed it out, had PT and 3 epidural injections and it did heal. Now unfortunately I am feeling my sciatica acting up again, so I am afraid it won't be long until I am in your shoes. Back issues run in my family. My mom has senosis and had a fusion many years ago. Arthritis has crippled her. Hope you are able to get lasting relief....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think we're safe either way disk or disc people know what we're talking about.;)

Letting it go concerns me as I might do further damage and that would sure be hard to live with...it's hard to make a decision when you hear opposing views on what to do from people you trust and respect.

Thanks for all the input...hopefully we'll all get better and be able to wrestle with and play tug of war endlessly with our Goldens. :)

Pete
 

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I had 2 level cervical disectomy and fusion and decompression of the spinal cord in July last year and had some complications due to a muscle illness I have, they think, but am awaiting an MRI scan to check its not due to any damage caused during surgery or anything missed or arisen since. I have a lot of lower back pain too from a herniated lumbar disc from three years also which is apparantly now ' normal' on MRI..but I can promise you theres nothing normal about it when I have been standing or walking for just a few minutes! My physio and I think its possivle it appears differently when standing.
Good luck with your decison making, I would say keep asking questions. Mine was a safety issue, one jolt or bump in the car and I could have been paralysed but if you leave yours maybe the pain will get worse? If you do have surgery you must not hurry the recovery, thats my biggest advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks elly....have you found any exercise / stretching programs which have helped with the pain? One of my biggest concerns is should it go out on me while I'm out on my boat with Woody, which I do frequently by myself, I'd be in a world of trouble!!!

Pete
 

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Has anyone here ever used a T.E.N.S. (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) unit? My father got one back in '89 for his back problems and said it worked ok. I need to find it and give it a try.

I have had bouts of sciatica for 15yrs or so. Last couple years my L hip has acted up. Tore both my rotator cuffs back in '06 and sometimes they still act up too. Neck is no fun sometimes either. I never had surgeries for any of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No I haven't tried it but I have heard of it...my sister in law tried it and said she was somewhat happy with the results. Let me how it works if you go that route.

Pete
 

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I have had the community physio visiting me at home and she has had me tucking in my tailbone and pulling in my stomach muscles and lifting them up ( known as girdle muscle lift) as although the tendency is to lean forward and stretch out to get relief the muscles and tendons etc then only learn one way to go and dont support as they should...you need core strength to remain as strong as possible too. Sp the rule is .. chest out bottom in..stretch out sometimes but not always and dont just pull your stomch in..pull it in and up. I have used tens machine too..its good but you must use it long emough to allow the endorphins to build up enough in a session to give you enough relief..it isnt instant like a painkilling pill. When my disc went I was at work in the middle of a day centre for elderly people! I was bent over and had to be manoevered to a dining seat which was the nearest and very luckily for me there was an osteopath right there next to me! She massaged me and I didnt care who could see, my top pulled up..the pain was unbelievable! Please be so careful if you are on a boat..I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had been when it happened to me!
 

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I have been having TENS treatments at physical therapy and have one at home now too.

I LOVE it. I believe it is the main reason I am getting more functional. I got the home unit a couple of weeks ago and used it multiple times a day initially, then maybe once a day and on good days I don't need it. Today was not so good so it went on first thing this morning.

although I do have some degenerating discs/disks and bone spurs my main problem is repetitive motion strain from trying to rake up a ton of leaves for 5 days straight. It caused muscle spasms which caused more muscle spasms, etc.

I also was prescribed muscle relaxers and pain medication (although I can't handle codeine so strong stuff was out). Stretching, TENS and massage have made the most difference and I quit on the meds a couple of weeks ago. I do have specific stretches for upper back that help and here is a good help if you have trigger points: put a tennis ball behind your back on the wall. Move around until it is the right spot and use it to self massage/press on the sore spots until they ease up. Your dog will btw stare at you as if you are crazy and he wants his ball back NOW.

Mine started out at middle(thoracic) back and then moved up the upper (cervical) and now just jumps on me where ever it wants to. However, I am at least 80% better than 2 weeks ago and have some days (well, just been one or two) of no pain.
 
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