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Thread: Pain Pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    ARIZONA
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    Pain Pain

    I have a very bad curvature of around 60 degrees ,in the right thorasic and I am a 45 year old male. I think I can feel the rotation of my ribs getting worse. I find it hard to continue each day knowing it probably isn't getting better and only worse. I am going to a pain clinic next week again. I was already advised to avoid surgery at all costs unless it becomes terrible, but I will learn to cope. There are too many risks with having surgery, Anyone doing anything different besides yoga, PT, chiro, pain medicine, tens unit, pain ointment, inversion, ice heat???massage....I have done all these... I even have been wearing MBT shoes which helps the shock on my back especially while standing.........

  2. #2
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    Dec 2004
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    central coast California
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    RE: Pain

    Hello..
    Kimbo here..
    In your age group ..46 yo F from central California.
    Let's explore this together!!I too am thinking I will be needing pain relief in the future as my curves will likely progress.
    I am only being realistic based on all I've been reading lately
    I have not had any kind of treatment thusfar for my scoli that I have had since preteen (I think) years. I have a 66 deg T curve with a 55 deg L compensatory curve.
    I have only recently found this out as I have had my first ortho appt in Nov since I was 23 when the very first appt said my curve would not get worse..
    You can read my other threads for more backround, but in a nutshell..
    since I found out about this my pain has increases 150%..so I have a big psycological effect going on now..
    I try to not take anything at all for the pain..once in awhile I take some tylenol..but my philosophy has been..I do not want surgery and only view it as a LAST resort and am going to keep as active as I can as I think exersize is a key thing....not running or jogging that might make matters worse...which incidentally I was going last summer before I found out ablout this.(the impact on your bones)..but walking..hiking..keeping moving. I hike nearly every weekend and do at least 1/2 hr of "something" each day..
    I have a jacuzzi I can use and that makes it feel better..I swim some..but am not a good swimmer and may not be moving my body properly..
    As far as surgery goes..I am just recovering from a major surgery..I had a splenectomy in June..which was hard..but I had to have it..
    As for the risks of the spinal fusion surgery..I don't care about the standard risks as every surgery has them but,,seems like most all spine surgeries need redoing for some reason or another and if I have to go thru it there is NO WAY I want to redo it!!!!!! In orher words once they've messed with it it's always going to be a weak point...
    The thing is..there is no guarantee it will fix the problem..so I would want to take my chances hoping it will not get bad enough to effect my heart or lungs..to become life threatening..I have seen my cardiologist to get his take on it and am getting a treadmill echogram this coming Friday to make sure my cardiopulmonary is not being affected..THAT is when I would consider the surgery..if it looks like It may shorten my life by some means.................
    I really think some of it at least the pain is from anxiety..seems when we are having more fun in our lives it does not hurt as much!!
    No one at my work ormy friends know I even have the scoliosis as I guess no one looks that close...only the few close friends I have told.. can't tell much unless I'm in a bathingsuit..but I do have the major ribhump when bending way over..and I have lost some height..have you??

    Take careKimbo
    Last edited by kimbo; 01-23-2005 at 09:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    7
    Re: Pain Pain


    I am new to this forum and have found reading the threads helpful. I am 41 years old and living with pain for about 15 years since I carried my daughter during pregnancy my scoliosis has worsened I'm not sure what degree the curves are but I will soon be finding out. I have also gone the alternative route: P.T., water aerobics, chiropractic, and recently a pain management specialist recommended massage along with osteopathic manipulation. The muscle therapist that I have been seeing once a week since November told me about Structural Intergration. He has worked with D.O.s In Oklahoma and here in PA and strongly believes it can work in pain relief as well as decreasing curve and rotation.
    The thing with me is that the new D.O. ordered some lumbar films to gauge what was going on and found thatI have Osteo arthritis, considerable disc degeneration between L4and L5 spinal spurs and who knows what else is going on. At my last visit I was to start manipulation therapy with him but after reviewing the films he suggested I see a surgeon to see how stable my back is.
    In the mean time, he ordered a scoliatic study to take along to the spine surgeon.
    It's pretty scary, all the surgical lingo has my head spinning.
    I was never told since I stopped growing that this would get worse, No one told me that I should have been monitoring the progression of the curves
    I too can feel my ribcage twisting and walking in the morning ( which used to loosen me up) is becoming more difficult. I wonder what life in 10 years will be like if I avoid surgery at all costs.
    Either way the future looks bleak.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    ARIZONA
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    FACET JOINT INJECTIONS

    Just found I have a tear in a disc in my lower back and yesterday had nerve root facet injections. I haven't moved around enough to tell you how it feels yet. Has anyone had this kind of treatment before?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    25
    I've had lots of those injections and they have never worked. I hope that they work for you!

  6. #6
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
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    I can relate to all of you concerning pain. I'm 22 and have had significant back pain for over 2 years now. When I was 20, my curve was 33 degrees. When I was 16 my curve was 18 degrees. Doing the math, I'm assuming my curve is about 40 degrees now, which isn't that bad, but the pain sure is. My rib cage feel like it keeps twisting too. My shirts are always crooked on me by the end of the day. I come home from work and literally lay on the couch for a couple of hours because I'm in so much pain. My husband rubs my back for me, but that only helps for a couple of minutes. My arms are tingly a lot too. I've tried chiropractors and they didn't help. Nothing has yet. Is it worth going to a pain clinic? What do they do there? I do pilates when I can. Just walking around the mall hurts my back very badly. Even sitting in class does too. Pain is no fun.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2004
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    ARIZONA
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    PAIN CENTER

    I too have tried many things with no luck and currently I am going to a pain management clinic. I know many people on this board have very negative feedback as far as that. I have just tried facet injections and I guess I should wait and see what happens instead of thinking negative like everyone else here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,957
    Hi Briarrose...

    Most patients at 20 years old, with curves less than 40 degrees, have no progression. You could, however, be unique. :-)

    Since you have a lot of pain, you may want to think of seeing a scoliosis specialist. You can find a list of specialists here:

    http://www.srs.org/locator/locator.asp

    Regards,
    Linda

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
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    Thanks for that link Linda. I had gone to an orthopedic surgeon last February, but he didn't seem to care at all. He just told me to come back in a year for new x-rays and he couldn't do anything for the pain. I'm going to try out the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia. Hopefully they will show more interest than my other doctor. The problem is, I always get my hopes up, thinking the doctor will be able to help me. I end up crying as I'm driving home because no one can.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
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    pain

    Briarrose:
    Just make sure it is an adult scoliosis specialist. Anyone else a waste of time and money. They are more apt to pinpoint why you are having pain or even if it is related to scoliosis at all. You want to know your curve measurements. Bring in your previous X-rays. You are entitled to them.
    Check the scoliosis doctor link Linda posted to see if any of those docs are at the Rothman Institute.

    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
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    Briarrose,

    Could you let me know how it goes at the Rothman? I have heard good things about them (I have been based in Philadelphia) but my insurance didn't cover them. I heard of Antony Vaccaro in particular for revision surgery I think.

    I'd be interested in hearing how you are treated (in both senses of the word). Try and keep your spirits up... I was in great pain for over a year, but finally got good pain management. It takes time to figure these things out. But it will come together in the end.

    Take care. Laura
    p.s. If you are in the Philly area, Dr. Balderston at Pennsylvania hospital was also recommended to me by a trusted MD as being very good. He also does disk replacement trials, which may be of interest if you have disk problems.
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
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    Sorry, it's Alexander Vaccaro, not Antony. His resume (on the Rothman website) says he is participating in cervical disk replacement study. If you have disk issues higher up in the spine (tingling arms?) this might be of interest to know more about. Take care. ~Laura
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    360
    Hi lmrb!

    I ended up cancelling my appointment at the Rothman Institute. I received my new patient packet and noticed they had scheduled me with a physical rehabilitation doctor. I called and asked if I could be scheduled with one of the 4 spine specialist and they said no. I can only see them if surgery is recommended or if my curve is over 50 degrees. I figured, why drive over an hour just to have x-rays done? So I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Porter, the one I've been going to for the past 2 years. My appointment is tomorrow. I hope I'll be getting x-rays done. My right arm tingles a lot. It's really annoying. My right leg does too sometimes. Is your curve over 50 degrees? If so, I hope you are able to get into the Rothman Institute. I was also reading up on Dr. Balderston. He sounds excellent, but I didn't bother calling. I figured he would just dismiss my problem because there are others much worse off than me.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
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    360
    Laura,

    What kind of pain management were you given? What exactly is pain management? I have yet to figure it all out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Northern California
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    Hi! I used to hate the phrase "pain management" because it sounded so, well, flimsy, and as if there would never be a complete end to the pain. It is, I guess, just what it says - whatever it takes to allow you to live your life and manage with the pain. For me, good "pain management" ended up being finding a low-dose drug I can take which allows me to live practically pain free. For me it also involved finding a therapy called "Rolfing" which I now do every six weeks or so, and it seems to really keep my pain level down. I think when most people say "pain management" they either mean painkillers or therapy or exercise or treatments like those injections you can have to keep you free of pain for a few weeks/months (if they work).

    By the way, I also saw a "rehabilitation doctor" at Pennsylvania hospital, and she was quite helpful in terms of giving me information about different avenues I could explore for treatment and general reducing-the-pain lifestyle. Since by the time I saw her I had found a great MD, she wasn't instrumental for me, but she always discussed my treatment options and put me in touch with people she thought would help me. She also helped me be at peace with decisions I needed to make regarding surgery.

    About Dr. Balderston. He was certainly "conservative" with my care, suggesting I avoid surgery until my curves were worse. BUT, given your level of pain, and the fact that your curve might be progressing, you might consider giving him another try. I would press whoever you see to give you answers (if they can) about your tingling arm. If they suggest surgical treatment, you might get Balderston as a second opinion. My MD says he is the best around here. There are also excellent neurological surgeons in the University of Pennsylvania system, I know somebody who had surgery for a trapped nerve in her neck who was losing feeling in her arm. She's fine now.

    Take care. ~Laura
    30y/o
    Upper curve around 55
    Lower curve around 35

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