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Bulging Discs and back pain

koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
I have suffered with a bad lower back for years. I am 55 now and i had an MRI last year which showed up the bulging discs / prolapsed disc and squashed nerves.

I tried many different painkillers. Currently take ibuprofen and paracetamol.

I do get bad back spasms too. Currently in middle of one and trying to work also! I stand for 5 hour shifts which is painful. 

Pain management offered me Morphine tablets but i refused. Hoping to get a spinal injection next.

Back is getting worse and doctors dont seem to care! I worry i may have to give up work. How will i be able to pay my bills then?

What do you guys take for pain?

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Posts: 5,808Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Have you asked your employer to make any reasonable adjustments @koolpc?
    You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now!
  • fenfisherfenfisher Posts: 16Member Connected
    Try to get referred to a pain clinic ,l have 6 injections in my lower spine which lasts a good time . Then I take tramadol and gabapentin which work well hope you get sorted
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    I have been to pain clinic. They wanted me to take morphine tablets but i said no.

    Waiting to go back as injections was mentioned. I dont want to take gabapentin. Side effects can be horrible plus, coming off them a knightmare. I have tried pregabalin. It wasnt nice coming off that!

    Work dont care.

    Not sure how long i can carry on working to be honest. What happens then? How will i cope finacially?
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Posts: 5,808Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Are you currently in receipt of any benefits @koolpc?
    You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now!
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 419Member Pioneering
    edited April 23
    had the same for 20 years now and just failed an assessment, so not working and now for the next 6 to 9 months or more have no income, haven't worked for 20 years now, but seems they now say i'm fit to work, Tramadol with a combination of other meds help me mask the pain, but not the stiffness and aren't a solution for long term use, as the side effects can be bad, like more medical issues, like holes in your stomach and IBS, which i didn't have before hand and quite a few more, depression and i could go on, but each person with a combination on tablet it effects differently, Morphine gives me constipation, feeling sick and sleepiness, which are worse than the cure, as no one wants constipation with a bad back, long drug induced sleep is worse than no sleep at all, as not only are you stiffer than a board when you do wake up, most of the time you lock in place and can't move at all, been there. most can be addictive so be careful what your offered, as no one also wants to become a junkie either.
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    No benefits. Currently working 22hrs a week in retail. Finding it very difficult.
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    zakblood said:
    had the same for 20 years now and just failed an assessment, so not working and now for the next 6 to 9 months or more have no income, haven't worked for 20 years now, but seems they now say i'm fit to work, Tramadol with a combination of other meds help me mask the pain, but not the stiffness and aren't a solution for long term use, as the side effects can be bad, like more medical issues, like holes in your stomach and IBS, which i didn't have before hand and quite a few more, depression and i could go on, but each person with a combination on tablet it effects differently, Morphine gives me constipation, feeling sick and sleepiness, which are worse than the cure, as no one wants constipation with a bad back, long drug induced sleep is worse than no sleep at all, as not only are you stiffer than a board when you do wake up, most of the time you lock in place and can't move at all, been there. most can be addictive so be careful what your offered, as no one also wants to become a junkie either.

    How can you fail an assessment when you are obviously not well?

  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    Saw doc this morning. On waiting list for another visit to pain management. She gave me tablets to counteract what ibuprofen can cause to the tummy.
  • Ami2301Ami2301 Posts: 5,808Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I hope you don't have to wait too long @koolpc!
    You're a fighter. Look at everything you've overcome. Don't give up now!
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    Me too. Thanks
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 419Member Pioneering
    koolpc said:
    zakblood said:
    had the same for 20 years now and just failed an assessment, so not working and now for the next 6 to 9 months or more have no income, haven't worked for 20 years now, but seems they now say i'm fit to work, Tramadol with a combination of other meds help me mask the pain, but not the stiffness and aren't a solution for long term use, as the side effects can be bad, like more medical issues, like holes in your stomach and IBS, which i didn't have before hand and quite a few more, depression and i could go on, but each person with a combination on tablet it effects differently, Morphine gives me constipation, feeling sick and sleepiness, which are worse than the cure, as no one wants constipation with a bad back, long drug induced sleep is worse than no sleep at all, as not only are you stiffer than a board when you do wake up, most of the time you lock in place and can't move at all, been there. most can be addictive so be careful what your offered, as no one also wants to become a junkie either.

    How can you fail an assessment when you are obviously not well?

    easy, on the outside i can look fine, bent a bit in the middle, walk like ive ridden in on a horse not hobbled in, but apart from that, the pain is masked with the combo of tablets i'm on, so unless i wet myself or mess myself in front of the assessor which hasn't happened as yet thank god, i'm quite normal on the outside, no matter what i put on the forms or evidence i bring in, over the last 20 years passed 3 now failed 2, so back to tribunal, who tend to read more and look less, after 20 years i've gotten worse, but seem to pass off as quite normal most days on pure looks alone, tablets have given me 5 other issues with long term use, but what doesn't cure us, is there to make us better or worse is my motto, i'm quite a happy and on the outside quite joyful as someone is always worse off, so tend to look on the bright side and talk far too much, fill in the forms as truthful as i can be, stating what i can or can't do on any given day and hope they treat me as i'd treat them, with respect, but i'm sorry to say that doesn't last for long, and now i'm starting after 20 years on the system to know how it now works, you are honest, they lie, or at times some do, i've heard it to often now from others to know it's not just me, as there's good and bad in every walks of life, with some being more honest than others, seems now days you have to lie to beat those who lie straight back at you,. i'm sorry to say, and is why i've failed 2 times, as doctors and consultants tell me one thing each and every time i see them, i'm getting worse only to be told face to face i'm looking fine and fit for work, so it seems there only be happy when i can no longer walk and in a chair, then i'll guess i'll also be to fit and able and still be able to do somethings so won't get anything for that either, seems being i'll was my fault, not a failed and faulty spinal tap when i was 14 which damaged my spine and caused me the issues i know have in later life, and to top it off, while most say keeping active is good to you, for me it's the other way around, the more i do, the worse i'll get, so can only guess what would happen if someone employed me, on how long i'd last, being at times unable to walk sit or lay for any length of time in the same position without setting and going stiff as a board, but seems i have along way to go to be as bad off as plenty on this forum and in the world in general, so i keep smiling as what ever doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger, and while some days are a challenge, others i just take a few more pills and sleep those away, life is simple for me, it's just a shame life's not such a bed of roses and so straight forward for everyone else assessors for one, so good luck in life and keep your chin up and thanks for the reply, sorry for the novel, as you can see, while my body isn't as good as it used to be atm anyway my mind is atm still ok, for now,...
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    What worries me is if i cant work. I have always worked.

    No savings though, but, i do own my own small house.

    Would i be expected to sell the house to live? No idea how it all works. Work is getting harder. My back is getting worse. Every shift my back is bad and especially when i go home as i have to lie down with hot water bottle under my back.

    I take ibuprofen and paracetamol together. 600mg / 500mg. Use cream on my lower back. Heat.

    Sometimes i just get a spasm and bingo, back really bad. I still hobble into work though as i cant afford not to be paid.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,538Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @koolpc, do you own the house outright or is it still under mortgage? You won't be expected to sell it to live on but you won't get any financial help towards mortgage costs. 
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    Outright. No mortgage as finished that years ago.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,538Administrator Scope community team
    If you do decide you can no longer work @koolpc, your first step would be to get signed off by a doctor. If you just quit a lot of benefits won't allow you to sign up for them. 
    Do you have a CAB near you that you could get advice from? 
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    If you do decide you can no longer work @koolpc, your first step would be to get signed off by a doctor. If you just quit a lot of benefits won't allow you to sign up for them. 
    Do you have a CAB near you that you could get advice from? 

    Probably. Will have to check. Ta

  • oliva087oliva087 Posts: 9Member Listener
    Back pain may occur from disk bulge. There are few common causes of creating disk bulge problem such as carrying heavy bags or other objects, long time computer work, maintain bad posture when sitting on the chair and sleeping on the bed, irregular exercise, etc. I am also suffering from disk bulge and back pain problem. My doctor gave me a few back exercises. After doing that, I feel no pain on my back and still now, I am continuing the exercise. I do not take any pill or pain killer. I also read many helpful articles about the causes of back pain how to get rid of it. I share a few helpful back pain resources for you below.

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,842Administrator Scope community team
    Thanks for sharing these @oliva087!
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • koolpckoolpc Posts: 12Member Listener
    oliva087 said:
    Back pain may occur from disk bulge. There are few common causes of creating disk bulge problem such as carrying heavy bags or other objects, long time computer work, maintain bad posture when sitting on the chair and sleeping on the bed, irregular exercise, etc. I am also suffering from disk bulge and back pain problem. My doctor gave me a few back exercises. After doing that, I feel no pain on my back and still now, I am continuing the exercise. I do not take any pill or pain killer. I also read many helpful articles about the causes of back pain how to get rid of it. I share a few helpful back pain resources for you below.

    https://www.spine-health.com/blog/6-overlooked-remedies-lower-back-pain-relief

    What exercises do you do for your back please? Thank you for your post

  • Char1066Char1066 Posts: 2Member Listener
    Has surgery not been offered?  I would enquire about this.  My herniated discs were impinging nerves causing issues and pain.  The first thing offered to me was surgery, not drugs and not pain management, injections or blocks.  The surgery involved shaving part of the bone to ensure more space, so nerve no longer impinged.  This procedure is called a foraminotomy.
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 419Member Pioneering
    depends on what's wrong with what else is around it and how many other things are damaged, mine etc is canal stenosis with posterior disc bulges at L2/3 and L3/4, sagittal and axial T1 and T2, degeneration of lumber spine, so a 

    degenerative disorder of the lower back in more than one place, so with age and wear and tear, it gets worse not better, while i could walk quite well 20 years ago, now not so good, i started off with no sciatica attacks, then over the years, it went from a few each year to almost one a month, which now can be a week long or longer, so that's also getting worse with age, back at hospital in the next month or so, so while i was offered surgery in the past, the success rate was too low for me, now i'm seeing if anything has altered, not in me, but the % rate of not making me worse etc, 20 years ago it was 60/40, with the 60% chance of making me worse, eg more stiff, as for me Spinal fusion was offered, with either a mess or rod or both to support what was damaged, with other treatments not suited to my needs, so took what else was offered at the time, and chose tablets, as a spinal injection was one of the causes for me of what may have caused it in the first place


  • Char1066Char1066 Posts: 2Member Listener
    It does indeed depend, as obviously there are differences in each case.  It appeared from the original post that surgery had not even been discussed.  A fusion was not the first option in my case, it was a foraminotomy to allow space for the nerves impinged by the bulging discs, but I was 47 when I had that done.  This was by far the preferred option by my neurosurgeon and I was more than happy to agree with him.  Unfortunately we did have to discuss ACDF afterwards as there still some issues left and it was certainly not an option I was looking forward to and am pretty sure I would not have wanted to go down that route for all of the issues you have mentioned above.  Luckily he also referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon to investigate another potential cause, which was indeed the cause of residual symptoms.  I have just recently had a final follow up MRI, 4 years after the original surgery and although the disc is still herniated, the nerve still has room to avoid impingement. 
  • jolewjolew Posts: 23Member Courageous
    I also have had a herniated disc, but because I have MS my doctor referred me to my MS consultant, which wasted a lot of time (9 months). My MS consultant obviously thought my back pain was due to having an MS episode. He referred me to have an MRI but this was only to look for signs of an episode that they can see in your brain, so the MRI didn’t cover my back. I discussed this with my doctor so had a second MRI that revealed that I had a herniated disc. I was then referred to the Orthopaedic consultant. In the end I saw him for the first time after I was admitted to hospital in severe pain and unable to urinate. I had an emergency disc decompression operation that day. Unfortunately it wasn’t very successful, two years later I had the operation again on the same disc then a third operation a few years after that! This was the most successful as I no longer have as many really painful sciatic attacks  where the pain is so bad that my body violently flinches with each shooting pain! I can now sit up for longer periods of time and enjoy being more sociable and my painting. (I had nearly 8 years spending days lying on the sofa).
     Over the years I have been prescribed many different pain killers :- tramadol,  amytryptoline? pregabalin, oxycontin, and gabapenten. The latter is what I have been taking for a few years now and I am quite happy with it, although I would like to cut my dose down, every time I try my pain level increases. Before my last operation I asked my consultant about a disc fusion, but his opinion was that it would restrict my movement and cause problems in the future.
    After my first operation I went back to work (teacher) too soon, I struggled on for 1/2 a term, then it was the summer  holidays and I could rest up then. I went back determined to keep working but eventually had to give in and accept that my body wasn’t up to it! I was very sad about retiring so early (49), also it was a really nice teaching job.    

  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 419Member Pioneering
    aged 52 next month and been off now for 20+ years, MRI and XRays are great at showing the doctors and consultants, senior consultants and professors what's wrong, shame in the end the DWP and WCA didn't take any of into account when scoring my 0 in my last assessment and didn't ever read the 80 pages of notes, even when i made the effort and saved them the time of reading it all, and making just a 2 page bullet pointed list, with the main facts and data shown for all to see in clear terms, so even the waste of space nurse could, but didn't even understand it, and found me well, lol,...

    disc fusion, does restrict movement in some cases and is an option only for those with degenerative disorders with more than a few discs found to be faulty or beyond repair as such, in my case, this was what was offered to me 20 years ago, and i also didn't like the restrictive movement part, but it was an option for me, in stead of taking tablet which i did in the end, but now wish for long term use i hadn't, the side effects over the long years have been worse than the condition itself for me, so now i'm back in a month and going to see what other options are open for me, with 4 MRI over the years and 5 XRays, even i can clearly see the degeneration from my first and it's also good to have the color ones at the side of the black and white as a contrast, as it really does show up well, shame the WCA nurse had no ability to understand results, way above her pay grade, knowledge and ability.

    i'm being drawing my pension now for 12 years, but atm now kicked off ESA, and unable to claim anything else until the lost letter gets replaced with my back up one, as the DWP signed to get my MR letter, then lost it, so have to wait another 10 days at least for a reply, making a total in all once done, of 2 months for a mandatory reconciliation letter, so if that's a no, then maybe a year for a Tribunal, as long as the strikes don't make it longer, as from the 1st of July, there going out, so says the lawyers and judges etc 
  • jolewjolew Posts: 23Member Courageous
    @zakblood, sorry for your troubles, the PIP assessments are very stressful. I was lucky in that I had to have mine as a home visit, as I wouldn’t have coped with the length of sitting involved in going to the assessment  centre.
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 419Member Pioneering
    had my first visit 20 years ago in 1999 at home, then every 4 years after, they refused, so i now always go to them, my reports on one pages says i sat for 55 mins, so must be true, then on another page same nurse spoke about how often i moved, altered position and complained, reached for the door handle with my right hand, while left hand was left dangling, so stress is only part and parcel of the suffering and lies we are told and have written about us on a yearly basis, recording is best, then the lies become black and white and easier to complain about, when a form doesn't read the same as what is spoken word for word, with missing parts, added bits and made up other stuff, hope you all the best
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 875Member Pioneering
    11 years after slipped disc and failed back surgery. Still not sure what's wrong. Worst part is massive back spasms, so trying to figure out ways to prevent/control them better.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,842Administrator Scope community team
    That must be incredibly painful @Waylay! Have you found any patterns yet about what can help?
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • jolewjolew Posts: 23Member Courageous
    @Waylay, I continued to have severe pain after my first operation, have you had another MRI scan? Perhaps you need another operation,  my back pain didn’t improve until operation 3!
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