Severe Neck and Back problems Part 2

georgew79(Z5-6 MO.)October 24, 2005

Hello again, most of my neck and back problems stem from

injurys caused by two major auto accidents and work related

acidents over the years. The last one was 9 years ago and I stopped a large piece of Steel from crushing me and I suffered a back injury from that. My spine is in really bad shape I take all the supplements I can, and have had my back worked on. I have gone fom walking with a slight limp to the use of a cane, as I tend to fall a lot. The last time I had a really bad fall was 6 monts ago and hit the back of my head and neck I didn't pass out, but was stunded for awhile. The doctors had me scanned and I had another MRI and Xrays thats when they found the bone spurs and collaped disks in my neck. I have three in my back that are bulging along with bone degeneration and nearrowing of the spinal canal. All that and several pinched nerves that effect the lower back and some that are totally beyond repair in the center of my back. It has been sujested that I have some nerves cut, to lesson some of the pain. I was told to that I could end up in a wheel chair with in a few short years at the rate my back is going. My neck is now the worst and it really hurts and causes me to have Migraines which I take even more medicine for which doesn't help. I'm still fairly young 53 and would like to be able to get a round free of pain to some degree. I have a strong heart, but have breathing problems from being a welder for 20 years. I now am on a resperator 4 times a day. Lately my use of morphine has incressed as my pain levels has been very high. I have run out of Ideas and am taking antidepressents. I know I'm grasping at straws, but I just don't know what else to do.


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Ask to be referred to a pain clinic - they're generally run by a combo of orthopedic and neurology/surgery MD's plus techs, etc. and are geared to chronic pain problems. I worked in that area for a long time, and I really don't think herbal meds are going to have much effect as your problems are 'mechanical', rather than chemical. I also think your morphine plus antideps. should be re-evaluated if they haven't been in a while as they could be making you feel worse than you need to.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 7:38AM
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I would try accupuncture and possibly some other structural remedies of that nature. I would suggest a chiropractor also but you have to find a good one

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 2:54PM
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George, I just sent you a healing prayer. You are not alone and you can overcome this. Please re-evaluate what you are going and start over. I know you are tired but you have to rise to this fight. Look at this in a whole new light really go to the source and reflect, re-think and grow.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 9:57PM
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Another thing to look into is a really good Rehab. Sometimes the really good ones can show you which muscles to strengthen to take the load off the sensitive areas.

I wish I had known that earlier. It was too late for one hip when I finally got to a rehab, but the other one has improved.

The only way to find the really good practitioners is to ask around locally. Ask your other doctors; other people you meet in doctors' offices; your barber; any hairdressers you have contact with; clergy; etc. The other professionals will not say unless you are careful how you word your queries; make sure they understand you will keep their input confidential.

With the extent of your problems, you need the best practitioners you can find.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 9:12PM
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. I send you good luck and healing thoughts. I can understand your pain issues (in my own way) I have M.S. and became disabled by 22. It's so hard to find the right doctors to actually help to and not to test on you (whether its new rx's or a million MRI's and other helpless tests). I was on countles pain meds, antidepressents, etc. Apparently the new thought is that an anti-depressent helps with pain (because it releases serotonin in your body which obviously makes you feel good) at first when hearing that I didn't want to believe it.I was depressed from always being in massive pain from the time I woke up. And how it hindered every part of my life. Throughout the last 10 years I have tried so many things. I have found great results with a few herbal mixtures and vitamins.But I've learned to be careful of certain vendors. Please feel free to email me I love would to swap stories and information to help us along our journey. Best wishes to you and your loved ones:)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 3:34PM
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georgew79(Z5-6 MO.)

Hello everyone, and thanks for the information, my doctor now has me on several new medications along with the morphine that I still have to take, I now use a cane full time, but the medicines seems to help some and I try to walk as much as I can when the weather permits. I don't have the money to see a chiropractor as much as I need to nor can I go to a sports Rehab. I do take several herbal medications which helps some. Last week I lost my balance and took a bad fall and now have a huge bruse on my hip and part of my back which really hurts, I get to see the doctor tomorrow and will most likely have a bunch of xrays taken, I know I should have tried to get in earlier, but I didn't have the money for gas as I had to spend what I had on food, things are really tough right now and I have to watch every penney I have. If it wasn't for me getting my meication from the VA, I would be in real trouble. I'm doing the best I can with what little I have. Life isn't easy, but I hope and pray things will get better in the long run.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 10:42AM
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Hi georgeew,
2005 you posted & still suffer.
Water, as in submerging in a swimming pool up to your arm pit, can give you relief from gravity. (If you go in the ocean make sure there is no current or swell to pull on you.)
If you are able to walk along the pool floor, both forward & backward the water resistance is excellent exercise for the deep postural structures on the front of your spine.
Your arm strength may allow you to hang suspended in the deep water off the ladder or tile rim.
Physical Therapy is not remedial in chronic cases. If you are paying out of pocket then you are essentially hiring a coach to put you through range of motion exercises.
Chiropractic involving any twisting is not my idea of treatment for disks you described, at the age you are.
Traction under controlled force may be acceptable to your medical team. There are neck cradles that are slung from a bar clipped over the top of a door. They are quite inexpensive & either use springs or water pouches for the counter weight.
Supervision is recommended when using traction. The time length in traction is something to set more as repeats of short durations than a long spell.
For back traction the set up is more complicated.
The pain medications are acceptable to my way of thinking. You may find their effectiveness varies & probably already have realistic expectations.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 1:01PM
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georgew79(Z5-6 MO.)

Hi Gringo, I wish I did have access to a pool, I live in a small old tow of 400 people here in Missouri and we don't have anything like that and neither does the school.
The closes public pool is over 70 miles away and I don't have a car anymore and have to borrow a car just to go to the market or see the doctor at the V.A. clinic. I wish I lived close to the ocean, but the last time I saw the ocean was when I was thirty years old, so that is out also. Going to see a good chiroprator is also pretty much out of the question now anyway, as for any physical therapy. The only exorcise that I can afford now is walking, and that doesn't do anything for my back or neck, but does help with my weight. I get $900.00 a month to live on which is not much as it is, but then I share about half of it to help raise my grand daughters which are only 9 and 12, both I have help raise since they were babies. So what money I do have is pretty much cut in half, so they can grow up right and be respectable and responsible adults, and not in jail like their parents. My medications are just part of my life now and hopefully the V.A. Hospital will continue to supply me with the medications I need to keep going.
George W. MO.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Hi georgew,
Consult with your V.A. medical staff for suitability of an over the door neck traction device.
You might better tolerate walking by getting away from absorbing
all that impact when stumping around with a cane.
Try to get coverage for switching to a 4 wheel "rollator" walker; the one's with larger diameter wheels are more practical.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 11:58AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I really hate to say it, but you might consider giving up meat. Being a foodie thats really hard for me to say.

Meat is a component that brings some very dense calories to the table, and its easy to eat more than you should, which leads to weight issues. Its not cheap either. Vegetarians as a rule are much thinner than the rest of us.

I can't help but think that there must be some kind of fairly inexpensive structure than can be modified relatively simply to form a pool deep enough for you to float on your back in. Do you have anyone around who is capable and willing do do a little physical labor for you?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 2:16PM
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georgew79(Z5-6 MO.)

Hi brendan- and gringijay, I do have a streching device for my neck which is pumped up with air, as it does so it slowly stretched the neck, I have used it several times and each time it did more harm than good, so its now in a box in the closet. I have to live in what is called Low Housing as I can't afford a home or pay the price af a regular apartment, we are not allowed to have any sort of pool and even if I could I don't have any friends that could build me one. I just soak the best I can in the tub or stand under a hot shower. I know a walkere might be better for me to use over a cane, but so long as I can get around with the use of a cane I will use it. At 57, I don't plan to inter a nursing Home and roll around in a chair or push a walker around just yet. I did see my mental health provider at the VA Clinic and was given some more meds, for pain and depression and answered their questions about weither or not I felt like checking out. Which I don't plan to, at least not right now. I still have a few good year left in me and my grand daughter's still need me. I'm hoping that this new pill will help with my pain and that I will sleep better. Thanks for your consern, I wish things were better, but for now I will just have to take it one day at a time.
George W. Mo.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:45PM
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Depending on a lot of things that I do not want to know about your situation here are some things to check on.

If you have guardian ship of your granddaughter and she lives with you she may qualify for aid for dependent children which might help you financially.

Medicare may help pay for memberships to a local health club if your doctor prescribes it for you. I don't know about Medicaid.

Do not stop discussing things with your doctor. The air device may have worked after a period of extra pain. There are other treatments that may be available but you need to do some more searching on the net to see what is out there.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 1:35AM
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Hi georgew,
? Can you lie on your back ?
? Can you lie on your stomach?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 11:01AM
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georgew79(Z5-6 MO.)

Hi maifleur, my wife whom I'm separated from has gardenship of the girls, as I'm not Blood relation to them Here in Missouri they stopped the parenting grand parents program, but we get medicare on them and $200.00 in food stamps to help feed them, that is all we get. If we were foster care parents we could get a lot of help. I love the girls as if they are my own and will not turn my back on them, no matter how bad it gets.
I was at the V.A. Clinic and did my monthly weight program and had my Blood taken to see if My blood sugars are where they need to be, they wasn't and I ganined the weight back I had lost from walking. They set me up with some more light stretching exorcises and said I should stay with the cane for balance, so that my upper back and neck will remain strong. I had my depression medicine incressed from 150 milligrams to 300 milligrams and was given a new medication to help with pain at night and help me sleep better. I had my primary care doctor, look at my bruise hip and back and had a couple Xrays done on it. Its still sore along with the muscles that I pulled when falling and the abrasions are starting to heal. I used the neck stretching device every other day for three months and all I got from it was more and more neck pain and Migrains, so now I do a few light neck stretches and hope that will help some. They did have me on a lot of exorcises at first when they found out that surgery was out of the question do to the bone disease, many of which I couldn't do, but some did help a little and I still do them as they help me walk better. As Medicare says I make to much money to get most of the help my wife does which house care and nurse that comes in to look at her feet because she is Diabetic and so on, also if she has to go to the Emergincy Room that is all paid for, My Medicare just pays a little over half of any emergincy room visit. I'm still paying on the last one as my share was $563.00 the total was close to $2,000 so I was luckey there. I don't see how they figure I get to much SSI money
as a $1,000 isn't very much to begin with and then I cut that in half to give to my wife ,because we still care for each other, but just can't live together, do to economic reasons and the fact I suffer from bad dreams from the War and can get real mad for no reason at all, so we get along so much better since we parted and I take the kids for the weekend or when ever she needs me to, although having them is really stressful, I do yell some, but most of the time I'm in control. It helps if we all take a long walk while they are with me. I have even salvaged a old computer for them to play on although they won't be able to use the internent.
George W. Z5-6 Mo

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 11:18AM
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Start doing some checking with your housing coordinator to see if there are some programs that you could qualify for to relieve some of your expenses. Keep doing the excercises and try to stay positive for the grandchildren and yourself.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 11:28PM
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