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Recommendations For Help With A Low Back Problem


Burt
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Question

I have noticed most of the site is geared towards helping people file and maintain claims etc and is a wealth of info for that!!! the problem i am having is my back is in rough shape and after getting xrays to find out how bad it was for a comp and pen i now know how bad it is.... i wrote to my doctor via secure messaging and was informed that the ortho i see for other problems does not do backs... but they may be able to tell me where i can get help... i dont do pain pills and im not going to start, other guys i served with that have problems smoke pot for their pain... i refuse to smoke pot for any reason i actually want somone to help me fix the problem. one of the med centers within my driving distance offers chiropractor services, how do i get set up with that? i had a tens unit i got off ebay but it quit and i cant afford another one who can i talk to about getting some help? i feel like as soon as you say back pain they think you want drugs and nobody wants to deal with you anymore. any advice?

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  • HadIt.com Elder

The first problem is to determine the medical cause of the back pain. Until that happens, any treatment is going to be limited.

Then, if the cause can be somehow linked to military service, there is a possibility of getting a service connection, and compensation.

The VA "should" be capable and willing to help determine the cause and proper treatment. If not, then private physicians may be your only other choice.

From personal experience, I'd say that back pain from back injury is often a "live with" condition. Attempts to

remedy are often not a successful as you would hope, and can actually make things a lot worse.

Edited by Chuck75
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  • HadIt.com Elder

Unless you start to lose control of your bladder or are unable to walk due to numbness most of the time back surgery is a big risk. I have lower back and neck problems. No more long car trips for me. I do take pain meds and some work OK, but all are just for acute episodes of pain because if you use it for more than a few months you get tolerance and then you need more to kill the pain. I think as Chuck says it is a "live with" situation unless you can't walk or lose control of you body functions. As far as pain goes I think you will know when you need to see a surgeon. I would consult with an orthopedic surgeon and get as many opinions as possible before i took the leap to have some guy cutting into your spine. Doctors make mistakes and often bury them. No amount of money for malpractice can fix you if some half-assed doctor ruins your life. It almost happened to me due to negligence of a doctor. I almost lost a foot. Usually for backs it involves a fusion of the spine. That just means more operations down the line as people here can attest.

John

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Hi Burt,

Welcome to Hadit!

Chuck75 is right. Starting by finding out what it wrong with your back. If they just did an x-ray, it will only show certain things. To get a true picture of what's going wrong, you might need to have an MRI because they can see things that an X-ray or CAT scan cannot see. Be aware that they can be expensive at non-VA facilities unless you have great private insurance. If you manage to get an MRI from the VA, expect a stupid long wait.

If you do not already have them, see if you can request a copy of your service medical treatment records and look through them for any injuries, falls, motor vehicle accidents, etc... so you can know and recall what might have happened. Sometimes knowing the cause can really help your doc know how to help patch you up. This is not a requirement, but can actually help.

John999 provides rock solid advice.

I am SC for neck and lower back problems. I have had a variety of treatments, but not surgery yet. A tens unit is really helpful. My private insurance would not pay for one, but after being SC for my back by the VA, they gave me one. The VA also gave me a heating pad, a cold pack, some shoe inserts, and a pedometer so I could at least try to make a walking goal each day. Physical therapy and stretching has helped somewhat. When my pain became ultra severe, I had some epidural pain blocks, but they are not always effective. The last one I had early this year was very helpful. From the medication perspective, opiate pain meds have their time and place, but analgesics like tylenol, anti-inflammatory meds like ibuprofen/naproxen, and muscle relaxers are my daily mainstay. I also tried chriopractic care, but the relief was very short term and I had to keep going back again and again for more adjustments, eventually I felt like they just wanted my co-pay.

Good luck!

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lol i had an MRI of my knee... got slid into that fn thing just to the line of sight and thought i was going to go crazy... apparantly im not a fan of tight places with explosive noise! i hate to say it but i gotta be honest fellas im not getting slid into anything that tight again until they put my ass in the wall freezer at the morgue

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  • Content Curator/HadIt.com Elder

Lol, I don't blame you. We have a local 'open MRI' which is supposed to be better. If it comes to you need in another scan, that might be an option.

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if you have degentive bone disease (where your spin bones is like meassh).. I don't think the VA can help, they can go in and raise the bones via geoplastic or something like that? not sure what the procedure is called? its where the bones&spine have basicly desolved and there hitting the nerve, they go in with a fine needle and shoot some type of cement inside to raise the bone off the nerve...but have to be very careful because of the linement of the spine if to much then can cause the spine to get out of line sorta speak. I know this is not the correct grammar but I just tell it like I understand it.

I would go to the VA let them do some test MRI's and see what they tell you...you may want to get a private Dr Opinion...you can get a hard copy disk of your MRI from VA & take it to your private Dr.

Good Luck to ya Buddy

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