My journey started about 1995 with just the basic back pain, but then when I was working part time in a garden center, lifting large bags of rock, my right leg went numb.
Physical therapy and a home program of anti-inflammatory medication was my initial form of treatment. My back continued to hurt and I was referred to a back rehabilitation specialist, physical therapy and finally to pain management.
Pain management consisted of "find your pain" spinal injections, which I found out later to be ineffective and discovered that they actually cause damage, because the steroids used are neurotoxins and are not approved by the FDA for spinal injections.
Seven years later, I was diagnosed with arachnoiditis. Arachnoiditis is not reversible, so it will continue to cause me pain the rest of my life. It was caused by these same spinal injections that made my doctors so much money.
Most pain doctors also require a patient to have spinal injections before they will continue their opioid medication therapy.
Finally after seven years, my pain doctor did a discogram and found three damaged discs with fissures throughout and my vertebrae were bone on bone.
I had a spinal fusion, so I would be functional and did well for three months, until an auto accident caused damage to my sacroiliac joint, causing intense pain with sciatica and piriformis syndrome.
I was going to a myofascial physical therapist that diagnosed my sacroiliac joint as being misaligned and got it back in place. I will not go to any other physical therapist other than one who is trained in myofascial release.
This brings me to today. I am dealing with sciatica, stenois, degenerative disc disease, sacroiliac syndrome, piriformis syndrome, arachnoiditis, deep muscle spasms and fibromyagia.
I have been diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency and found out it was due to the Neurotin I was taking.
I was recently scheduled to have my spinal hardware removed and a laminectomy, but the pre-operative lab work showed my hemoglobin to be at a 6, when it should be 13.
These related conditions made my back issues worse and they are researching why I have decreased blood cells.
My journey into back pain and referred pain caused treatment complications that made my conditions worse.
I feel the main thing a back patient can do is research and advocate for themselves. This website and forum is an example of learning from other's experiences and knowing that you are not alone.
Other’s experiences can encourage you to do more about your own condition and make you know that other patients can relate to what you are experiencing.
Just know everyone is on their own pain journey and may need an encouraging word. You can help them by sharing your own experience.
I know that I have been helped by many and the forums have been a lifesaver. Thanks and good luck on your journey with pain. - Babsie