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new to spine health

Hello all! I started the journey of back pain 4 years ago during my last pregnancy. In the last two I've followed this forum, but finally decided to join so I could participate. I'm 31 and all my problems are at the L5-S1 level. I have minimal annular bulge at L1-2 and a tiny protrusion on the left at L4. Neither of which seem to cause any problems. At the L5-S1 its moderate annular bulge with moderate protrusion centrally, moderate central canal and left lateral recess stenosis and moderate bilateral facet arthropathy and degenerative disc disease. I saw a PCP for 2 years, underwent one round of PT and took tramadol and flexeril for that time. Then I had a year I was uninsured and just went untreated. Finally got insurance recently and got a referral to a spine specialist/ pain mngmnt doc. They started me on baclofen and mobic, going in for my first set of injections next week. I'm VERY nervous. i know I'm probably just a babe in my compared to the veterans of pain here. Just glad to join and have a place of support. Its been a frustrating ride. My PCP was wonderful and I loved her. The specialist first appointment said I was too young to have back problems til she saw my MRI. Then she said injections first. I already know if I ask for medicine I will be labelled, so I've only been seeing her for 3 months and only discuss symptoms and what I do to reduce pain (stretches, swimming, heat/cold etc) and have not asked for anything for pain yet. Is this the correct approach? I figured she might want to try injections first. I'm allergic to gabapentin so that doesn't leave much for me to take in the way of pain relievers. Sometimes I'm afraid to tell them I am allergic to it.. I always take my medical documents to prove it because I fear they will say oh you're just looking for opiates. If the injections don't work., should I bring up pain medicine or just see what direction they want to take it?



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,241

    hello nessasue 86 !

    never be afraid to tell doctors the facts of your situation...ex...allergies. many of us have complicated symptoms and have had trial and try again re medications and pain relief.

    for myself, i do not suggest to doctor what kind of meds i would like to try. i tell doctor how i am doing with the meds..effective or not... and repeat my symptoms and let doctor tell me what treatment he would like to try next. 

    re being perceived as looking for opiates, i know my pain..and you know your's a fact. my experience has been that most of my those involved in my care know i need them to manage, take the edge off my pain levels. and for those who may think otherwise, i just know they are unaware of what my life consists of...and or not as knowledgeable about chronic pain.

    my primary doctor tried to work with my pain for two years then referred to pain management doctor. best thing for me! since i have been seeing my pain management doctor, i have not needed to go to er for the unbelievable out of control pain.

    i'm sure other members will drop by to let you know their experiences.

    please click on links for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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