If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Chronic back pain

blueeyes19blueeyes19 Posts: 2Member Listener
edited February 19 in Ask a chronic pain advisor
I have had chronic back pain for the past 3 years now and had all sorts of painkillers Physio, acupuncture ,back braces every cream you could amagine I can't walk most of the time cause it hurts so much between my back and hips every time I go to my doctor they tell me the pain is in my head I was also diagnosed with ostapenia at Xmas time but they said I shouldn't be in pain with that its getting me so depressed a don't no what else to do xx

Replies

  • JennysDadJennysDad Posts: 2,308Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    Hello @blueeyes19, and welcome to the community. It is good to have you here, though I'm sorry to hear you are having so much difficulty.
    I've had a quick scout around the site and there are a number of discussions about back pain. If you put the term 'back pain' into the Search box at the top of the page it will take you to a list. Select 'discussions' from that and you'll see what's there. You might also try:
    https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/chronicpain
    In a post from late last year I found a reference to specialist pain clinics and have put the link in here:
    https//www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pain/Pages/Longtermpain.aspx
    And you might consider making a post of your own.
    It astonishes me, really, the extent to which professionals who live in a world of bad design - bad shoes, cupboards, drawers and working surfaces at 'average' (almost always too low) heights  - are so quick to suggest that back pain is psychosomatic. I think most of them should be stretched on a medieval rack!
    Anyway, have a look at those links, have a look around the site, and get back to me.
    The more you can tell us about your condition and how it affects you, the more easily we may find ways to help. We will certainly try.
    Warmest best wishes to you,
    Richard
  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Posts: 4,917Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @blueeyes19, and welcome to the community! So sorry to hear that you're living with pain. I've moved your post to our ask a chronic pain advisor category, where you'll hopefully be able to have a chat with Claire about your pain. You might also like to check out our previous chronic pain discussions. I hope today is as kind as possible to you!
  • ClaireSaulClaireSaul Posts: 67Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    Hi @blueeyes19 - I'm very pleased to meet you, I only wish it was under different circumstances.  Can I ask you a couple of questions - this might help me to give you some better advice and support?  Which area of your back is the pain in?  I know that the majority of back pain is lumbar/sacrum (low down), but a lot of people, myself included, suffer with pain at a higher level.  Do you have an underlying condition that you know of, or did you suffer a trauma/injury which started the back pain?  
    Richard has already pointed you in a couple of directions, but I will wait to hear a little more from you - but please do not despair as having a supportive community like this who understand the difficult nature of chronic pain is really worth its weight in gold.
    Claire x
    Claire Saul
    Chronic Pain Advisor
    Scope
    [email protected]
    scope.org.uk
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 647Member Chatterbox
    Hi there, 

    I've had chronic back pain for a decade now, and I hear you on the "It's in your head" thing. My GP has always believed me, because I turned up at the surgery the day after my injury, and could barely move. I'm very lucky. However, the facilitator of my group therapy group clearly thinks that it's all in my head, as does my NHS care coordinator (for psych stuff). So frustrating!

    There are some people who feel pain for psychological reasons, but so what? It still hurts! What's more likely, however, is that you're suffering from central sensitisation or peripheral sensitisation. Look 'em up. Fascinating stuff, and it explains so much.

    Basically, central s. is when the central nervous system has become extremely sensitive to signals from nerves, so things that wouldn't hurt other people get magnified by our nervous system, and hurt a LOT. Basically, it's like someone has turned the volume on our nervous system up to 11. 

    Peripheral s. is when the nerves that transmit signals to the central nervous system become oversensitive. Even the littlest thing causes those nerves to send a "THERE'S SOMETHING BAD GOING ON" message to the CNS, which the brain translates into pain.

    If you're really lucky, you can develop both of these things!
    There isn't a cure for sensitisation yet, but research is ongoing. 

    Another interesting thing: emotions affect your pain. Anxiety, stress, anger, depression, etc. "turn up the volume" on the pain, while "love, happiness, excitement, etc. "turn down the volume". 
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 647Member Chatterbox
    So one thing you can do is try to reduce stress and anxiety in your life. Obviously this is easier said than done. Positive thinking, relaxation exercises, patting an animal, etc. can help. I suspect that changing your GP would also help!! Most docs who aren't pain docs don't know about sensitisation, or the role of emotions, so they just don't get it!

    I think that a pain clinic would be a great thing for you. Find a new GP and get a referral. Pain management is very, very helpful. In the meantime, keep moving. I know that walking hurts (it does for me too), but staying still makes it worse. Even if you can only stand and walk for 10 seconds, do it regularly. Start doing gentle stretches for your whole body. That'll keep the tension in your muscles down. 

    And look up "Mosely pain" on YouTube. Great videos, and he's pretty funny. 

    Good luck!!!
  • blueeyes19blueeyes19 Posts: 2Member Listener
    Thanks everyone for getting back to me its very much appricated I have tryed everything to control my pain I have been put on morphine in the last couple of days as I can't take the pain much longer it all seems to be my lower back hip area and top of my thighs I  ant straighten my top half up I walk slouted over at a 45 degree angle cause am so sore I've been back to my gp and I've been referred for a urgent appointment in the back clinic in the Hosp so hopefully I can get so.e answers now xx
  • ClaireSaulClaireSaul Posts: 67Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    @blueeyes19 - pleased to hear your GP has sent another referral for you.  Waylay has given some really good advice above, but I suspect you are in a bit too much acute (onchronic) pain to be able to focus on destressing completely, but it is so true that anxiety does push pain levels up. Let me know how you get on and if you need to chat meanwhile just send me a message (I have taken morphine too)
    Claire
    Claire Saul
    Chronic Pain Advisor
    Scope
    [email protected]
    scope.org.uk
  • angelfitzangelfitz Posts: 3Member Whisperer
    Hi I also have spinal problems I have arthritis to my lower spine and crushed discs to upper and middle parts of my spine. I had disc replacement op in my neck 3 years ago and found that along with my painkillers using an electric blanket helped more with the pain than painkillers it may sound silly but leaving it on on a low setting after heating up at nights is enough to help me with the pain both daytime and night.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Whisperer
    Hi see another doctor if your having pain it's telling you something is wrong. The thing is it costs money for xrays, ultrasound and MRIs. Insist you want an MRI. The GP is not a specialist ask to see a rheumatoligist and they will send you to have an MRI. GP's will fob you off. Like try swimming I could hardly get in the pool. Be persistent eventually they will give in. I have a degenerative lumbar spine. I wish you all the best in your endeavours to a favourable outcome . @Purposeful
  • ClaireSaulClaireSaul Posts: 67Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    angelfitz said:
    Hi I also have spinal problems I have arthritis to my lower spine and crushed discs to upper and middle parts of my spine. I had disc replacement op in my neck 3 years ago and found that along with my painkillers using an electric blanket helped more with the pain than painkillers it may sound silly but leaving it on on a low setting after heating up at nights is enough to help me with the pain both daytime and night.
    I also use an electric blanket and like @angelfitz find leaving it on a low setting really does help.  I also have a small electric heat pad that I use on my lumbar when sitting on the sofa (my fusion is here). @Purposeful is right in that your GP is not a specialist & neither is a regular physio - I would not be able to swim either and a physio tried to get some movement into my lumbar...after it had been fused! 
    I hope that the back clininc (which might comprise of  a mixture of neurosurgeons, orthopaedics, physios, nurse specialists, psychologists) will order some scans for you and refer you on for pain assessment too. 
    It is important to remember that X rays don't show soft tissue damage (discs or other) and that not everything shows up on an MRI either - my own personal experience - but hold on to the fact that you are not going mad and it is not in your head.
    Please let me know how the appointment goes,

    Claire
    Claire Saul
    Chronic Pain Advisor
    Scope
    [email protected]
    scope.org.uk
Sign in or join us to comment.