August 01, 2005

learning to live with it

My lower back pain flared up again this weekend. Perhaps I put too much stress doing some lifting, but it again made things like sitting painful. A few weeks ago I went to a neurosurgeon for a consult.

The specialist mentioned surgery - but that there's about a 10% chance of the pain coming back. He didn't need to mention the other hazards and risks of surgery in general - especially surgery involving such close proximity to very important nerve bundles. I am not "into" surgery. I don't think I would have it even if he had said I should.

So essentially he said I should play the waiting game. Which is funny, because the initial injury happened in MAY!! I've been waiting. I asked him what I could do to help treat my back in the meantime - if there was anything I could do to speed up or assist the healing process. He told me not to slump in my chair. I asked him about physical therapy - and he gave me a piece of paper with some exercises on it.

Overall, I wasn't impressed with the experience, other than being able to see images of the herniated discs on his computer screen. I had been feeling okay by the time I got to his office, anyways. But I came out with the impression that, really, there's not much you can do for something like this. And that's depressing.

So, as I said, the pain has come back. It's not overwhelming, but it's annoying as hell. I have a crappy chair here at work, and it is not helping at all. I'm thinking maybe I'm going to call my doctor and request he refer me to physical therapy. It helped the last time I had severe back problems - and this waiting is just not doing anything for me...


posted by julie at August 1, 2005 09:55 AM

things people have said

how about chiropractic care?

so said: denise at August 1, 2005 10:52 AM

when i had my big back problem last year, i went to a chirpractor and, unfortunately, that experience only served to prolong my pain. i went a couple times per week at one point, and while the muscle stimulators worked quite nicely to immediately releive the pain for a short period of time, the "adjustments" were often quite painful.

i've also found that the chirporactors i've encountered are more focused on prolonging the amount of visits than of actually healing your pain. i think physical therapy is where it's at. i can still get the muscle stimulation treatments that offer immediate pain relief (and, are quite relaxing), and it's all about learning to move correctly and building training your muscles to prevent further relapses.

so said: julie (me) at August 1, 2005 11:06 AM



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