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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A BACK PAIN SUFFERER ON THE BAD BACK COMPANY’S BLOG…

This is my latest post on the Bad Back Company’s blog on what I was up to during lockdown…

A Day in the Life of a Back Pain Sufferer

#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #ddd, #fibromyalgia, BACK PAIN, CHRONIC PAIN, DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE, HEALTH, lower back pain, Uncategorized

WHAT IS DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I found this great post on Pinterest from author Danni Newcomb on Hub Pages.  She explains that ‘Degenerative Disc Disease (or DDD) is caused by degeneration of the discs in the spinal column. Age can cause this, but most of the time it is cause by some sort of trauma to the spine. People with bulging or herniated disc almost always have this disease, as well as people with Scoliosis.

Symptoms range from person to person as well as the particular location of the spinal injury. People with lower back injuries can experience numbness and tingling in the legs and buttocks. The symptoms can also get as severe as temporary paralysis in the legs or a particular leg. Someone with upper back pain can experience headaches, numbness and tingling of the neck and arms (or arm). Muscle spasms, memory loss, and weakness in the limbs are also possible symptoms.

In some cases, DDD has been seen as a hereditary disease. However, not all doctors will agree on this and there have been no conclusive studies done to prove one way or the other.

Treatment for DDD can be somewhat complicated. Most doctors will start you on physical therapy and pain medications to see if some of the pain is alleviated. Others might try steroid injects at the points on the discs that are messed up to try to directly alleviate the pain.

If these methods do not work, your doctor might recommend surgery. They can perform a spinal fusion, place rods into your spinal column, and a few other alternative surgery methods. Surgery is entirely up to you and you should not feel pressured by your doctor to have surgery unless your ailment has become life-threatening.

Acupuncture, herbs, pool therapy, messages; all of these are other methods to look into and see if they’re right for you. Check with you insurance and see if they cover any of these alternative methods. Some insurances will pay for them if you have a doctor state that he or she believes you could really benefit from such methods.

Review every option available to you with your doctor. Talk to your family about these options and see what best fit your lifestyle. Also, making simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in your pain and how you handle it’.

My recent MRI results showed that I have bilateral sacroiliac arthritis and multi level degenerative arthritis to my lumber spine ( in other words DDD). I have also got some fluid retention in my lumber joints so the first thing they are doing is some injections into my sacroiliac joints.

I was seen first by a hip consultant as I was suffering from hip pain and unable to lie on either hip which was diagnosed as bursitis but with back problems you can get referred pain so it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose.

There are new techniques around now for DDD called IDD Therapy which is I have written about before here. I am thinking of trying the IDD therapy if the injections don’t work. Other treatments include pain killers, muscle relaxants, heat and rest, all of which I do on a daily basis.

CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, myth

TOP 9 MYTHS ABOUT CHRONIC PAIN…

They say that many of the beliefs about pain and pain relief are actually false!

 

Myth #1

No pain, no gain’, is a classic example of this myth that is said amongst athletes but in actual fact, there is no evidence to support the actual notion that you can build strength by pushing your muscles to work to the point of actual pain. However, resting and letting your muscles repair, although probably not very macho, is the sensible thing to do.

Myth #2

Another common myth ‘it’s all in my head’, but the pain is a complex problem, involving both the mind and the body. Pain is an invisible problem that others can’t see, but that doesn’t mean it’s all in your head.

Myth #3

It may not always be possible to completely control your pain, but there are many techniques which can help you manage it better. So, the myth that ‘you just have to live with the pain’, is also just not true.

Myth #4

One classic myth is the ‘I’ll get addicted to the pain relief medicine‘. However, GP’s start your pain relief with a conservative approach by prescribing non-opioid pain-relief medicines which are in no way addictive. Physical dependence is not the same thing as addiction. And, physical dependence isn’t a problem as long as you do not stop taking the pain relief suddenly. Addiction is rarely a problem unless you have a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

Myth #5

You went to that event yesterday, so you can’t be in that much pain‘. Just because someone is in chronic pain doesn’t mean that they have the same amount of pain all the time.  It’s quite possible to feel good enough one day to make it to that concert, and then the next day be in so much pain you can’t make it out of bed. It’s also possible to push through the pain long enough to go to that concert that you’ve always wanted to attend, knowing that you’ll pay for it later with even worse pain for days.

Myth #6

‘You look amazing so how can you be in pain’. This is a similar myth to number 5 and one that many people with #fibromyalgia (in particular) are told this. Why would you not want to look your best when you go out whether you are in pain or not and just because you have made an effort to look good does not mean you are lying about how you feel.

Myth #7

‘You can injure yourself further if you exercise when in pain’, This could not be further from the truth, as exercise such as physical therapy can be key to successful rehabilitation.

Myth #8

Pain Pathways point out how people say when people hear ‘chronic pain’ and have never suffered through it, they tend to think it’s as easy as popping a couple of painkillers and taking it easy for a few days. However, that is not the case at all. Chronic pain differs from other types of pain in that it’s not as easily treated. For someone with chronic pain, suggesting they take a Paracetamol is similar to telling someone to put a bandaid on a deep gash – pointless and ineffective. 

While medication can definitely assist in treating chronic pain, it is that bandaid approach that is highly unsustainable in the long-term. This is because the body slowly builds up a tolerance to medication, leading patients to need more and more as treatment progresses.

Myth #9

It’s more painful than acute pain. When people hear the term ‘chronic pain’, they often make the mistake of thinking it’s more severe or painful than acute pain. But just because a pain has been identified as chronic (by lasting more than 3 months) it does not mean it’s inherently more painful; it just means that it needs different pain management and treatment approaches.