My Nagging Back

I am 45 years old and I have been suffering with lower back pain now for 15+ years. My back has "went out" several times throughout the years. Once, approximately 7 years ago, it was so bad I literally could not stand up for almost 2 weeks. I did get to the doctor, eventually, when I could get to the car and was driven by my wife. I was given the usual hydrocodone, skelaxon, anti-inflammatories, blah, blah blah.

I was back to what I thought was normal, in about a week. Living with pain again. Functional, but painful. I went to the chiropractor, who was boasting about this new procedure, spinal decompression therapy. He examined me and diagnosed me with having a bulging L2, L4 and L5 and degenerative disc disease. I am sure I am butchering the spelling of all the medical terms, but hopefully you get the picture.

I am half way through a 30 year career in law enforcement and am not sure if I will make it. Why? Well, with surgery can come complications. Maybe loss of some mobility. Not to mention the 25 pound belt we wear around our waist on a daily basis.

Spinal decompression therapy will cost between $4000 and $8000. My insurance company will not cover it, saying it is elective, like lasik surgery for eyes. I don't see the comparison personally. If I have back surgery, they will cover it. Hmmmm, $8000 for decompression Therapy or $30,000+ for back surgery.

I was told I was a good candidate for the spinal decompression therapy, but my insurance company wants to wait until my back explodes. I have great pain, open me up, miss work for 3 months and hopefully I can go back. Not 6 weeks of non-invasive therapy and miss no work. Thanks for listening to me vent!

- Bob in Orlando.

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