Hi. I am a 72 yr old retired educator with severe Degenerative
Disc Disease. I've had three lumbar spine
operations, including a 3-level fusion of L1-4. While my
neuropathic pain down my legs is basically gone, my spine is so
degenerated that I cannot stand straight up. As soon as I do, my
spine hurts, and I bend forward to relieve the pain. That has
caused severe ... severe muscle pain in my back muscles.
To hold me up, they seize up and knot up and hurt ALL of the time
... within 30 seconds of standing. I cannot even walk to my
mailbox without level 5 or 6 pain. I can relieve the pain by
sitting down and taking the load off my spine, but it has made me
My condition is worsening monthly.
I've tried most every treatment, to include surgery, 5 rounds of
physical therapy, 14 different NSAIDs, 3 years of oxycodone, 4 Rx
muscle relaxants, 5 - 6 steroid and nerve block injections into
the spinal area, evaluations for radio-frequency ablation and
implantable opiate pumps, medical marijuana, anti-seizure meds,
tilt tables, tens, massage, hot tubs, swimming, acupuncture ...
the list is long. The heat, swimming and massage work, but only
until I stand up and begin walking. Then, my back seizes up again
within 50 feet. The oxy did work for years, but no more, and I
don't want to boost the dosage. I no longer take it. The mechanism is simple. My back muscles are doing what they were designed to do ... hold up my bent torso. They are just doing it constantly as soon as I stand, and they are getting painfully fatigued fast.
I am seeking some treatment that will ease my back muscles enough
to stop hurting ... long enough to allow me to walk a mile or more (I was an avid hiker).
I have heard that botox for
low back muscle pain is a potential new treatment. I am interested. I have several
1. Have you had actual injections of botox into seized and
fatigued lumbar back muscles directly?
2. If so, did it eliminate your muscle pain for at least a month or more?
3. If not, what percentage reduction in pain did you experience, and for how long? (if it is less than a 60% reduction, it won't help me
4. Given I have at least 3 muscle groups in my back that ache
simultaneously, do you know if you can inject all three at once?
5. If botox forces my back muscles to relax, and they do, will I damage my spinal joints because my muscles are no longer protecting them?
6. Is Botox covered by Medicare or Medicare secondary? If not,
what would a lumbar muscle treatment cost me?
I really would appreciate your input. ThanksFrank