Hello everyone, I just signed up and am now a new member although i have often been on this site, particularly the forums for the past few months. I am 19 and currently am a full time college student and live in Santa Cruz California.
Anyways, i suffered a skateboarding injury in 2008, damaging my lower spine and since then the pain has gotten progressively worse. I have seeked treatment from a wide variety of doctors and others since the accident(listed in chronological order): 2 different chiropracters, a spine specialist, Physical Therapist, PCP, Personal Trainer, and most recently a Physical Medicine and Rehabilition doctor.
Through these sources it is apparent that at least 3 of my discs in my lower spine are degenerating and i have a mild herniation in one disc. Because of this i experience muscle spasms on a daily basis which is further straining my spine. As a result of both these things my spine is now "straight as a 2x4" as one doctor put it, instead of having a natural curve.
I experience back pain almost everyday along with the discomfort, sometimes unbearable, muscle spasms. And even when i am not in pain my back always feels stiff. The chiropracters, physical therapy and personal trainer did not significantly improve the pain, i have also tried Voltaren and an oral Cortisone pack to no avail. The only thing that has provided me with real pain relief is Percocet 10/325 which i was put on after all the previosly mentioned failed.
My was receiving the Percocet from my PCP, but he abruptly left the foundation i was going to, so i havent had any percocet for almost a month now which means my pain is significantly higher and it is disrupting the quality of my life. The PM doctor said he doesnt prescribe anything but physical therapy, and i tried to get a refill today from Physician who flat out refused to give me my usual prescribed percocet, and "unenthusastically" gave me only #20 Ultram which really is barely affecting my pain levels.(it is 2a.m. and i cannot sleep b/c of the pain)
The PM&R doctor instead wants me to get a cortisone spinal injection, though he wasnt very convincing. He said to go over some papers he gave me, and go on the internet to get info on it and call him if i want to do it.
My pain for the most part was well controlled on the percocet, allowing me to hike, work, cook and do household chores. But for the past month without it, my hiking is limited to an hour and near the end of the hike im in bad pain and following the walk as well. House chores bring me pain which has caused me to do much less of them and working is limited to only 3hours a day at most. And i only cook a couple times a week now(before i would cook everyday) Considering that i dont think i will be able to get and percocet anymore the injections feel like my only option.
So it would be cool if some of you guys that have received the treatment could tell me what you think about the cortisone injections specifically for degenerative disc problems. do the side effects outweigh the benefits? what were your short term and long term results? And if there are any, what alternatives would you recommend?
Sorry for the long post. Id really appreciate some advise, or even if you have a similar situation feel free to comment.