Degenerative Disc Disease
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October 15th, 2008 | by admin |

 

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Discs Are Reversible

By Marion Chaney Chaney

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Degenerative Disc Disease is the deterioration of the fragile and thin cartilage between the vertebrae of the spine. Degeneration of the disc, medically referred to as spondylosis, can be noted on x ray tests by the narrowing of the normal disc space between adjacent vertebrae, thereby causing pain (from mild to severe depending on the amount of degeneration) by the rubbing or touching of the vertebrae bones. This loss of cartilage can be caused by loss of water in the cartilage and usually, but not always, occurs with aging.

However, degenerative discs are reversible. You will probably not hear that from your health care professional. When degenerative discs are detected, the doctors immediately prescribe pain medication and cortisone to reduce the inflammation. However, continued use of cortisone has many serious side effects such as increased appetite and weight gain, water and salt retention, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts, and/or stomach ulcers, just to name a few.




The next step following the cortisone is spinal fusion. The goal of spinal fusion is to eliminate the motion of the vertebrae at a spinal segment, thus reducing pain caused by the motion. This is done by one of two ways, either by using metallic screws and rods/plates or inter-body cages to immobilize the spine, which can loosen, break or pull out of the bone. Plus, more pain could result if the operation is unsuccessful; thereby leading to additional procedures and subsequent pressure placed on the neighboring discs, and the progression is repeated.

I suffered from degenerative discs and through exercise was able to reverse it. The bones that were degenerative were at my waist and developed because I did not have curvature in my lower spine, thereby making the cartilage between the bones in the lumbar region degenerate. By exercising to open up the degenerative discs, I was able to build up the discs and even lost one-half inch in height because the curvature was put back into my spine. By working with my chiropractor on a regular basis to keep my spinal cord aligned and in correct adjustment, exercising my back by specific exercises targeting the area of disc degeneration, and wearing either a back belt and/or using special seat cushions and pillows, the degenerating discs were reversed.

CLICK HERE For Very Important Degenerative Disc Disease Information

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The exercise the worked for me because of the specific area of my spine (the lumbar area) that degenerated was the yoga cobra pose. This exercise is great for people with lower back pain and decreases stiffness in the lower back, enlarges the chest and strengthens the arms and shoulders.

To perform the cobra pose:
Step 1: Lie on your belly while your head rests on your lower arms.
Step 2: Raise your forehead, look upwards and stretch your hands backwards. Let your weight rest on your chest.
Step 3: The head falls a little backwards towards your back and the backward movement proceeds from the neck and the chin. Move your belly further backward as if someone is pulling your arms. The weight is more and more shifted towards the belly and the lower back does the real work.

This exercise opens up the space between the vertebrae, thereby building up the cartilage between the discs. Also, drink a lot of water to hydrate the body, but more specifically the cartilage.

This exercise only works for the degenerative disks that degenerated at the front of the spine (facing forward). For exercising different types of degenerative discs, the recommendation would be to exercise in order to open up the side that lost the cartilage.

The reversal of the degenerative discs does not happen overnight, but takes time and consistency. However, the result is pain free with no adverse side effects.

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This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the guidance of a licensed physician if you need medical advice.

Degenerative Disc Disease Resources

Degenerative Disc Disease

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What Is Degenerative Disc Disease
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  1. 276 Responses to “Degenerative Disc Disease”

  2. By Ryan Lore

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    on Oct 23, 2008
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    I have been diagnosed with D.D.D.-disc disease, I have been suffering for two and a half years and have been shuffled through our health care system between about 20 different supposed experts/health care profesionals. I have done physical therapy,injections,pain management, I’ve tried joint suppliments….seen suregons,spine institutes,kidney specalist’s,had every possible scan,mri,bone scan,ultra sound,x-ray ect.. I’m in constant agonizing pain,I’m at the end of my rope I’m about to take a gun and blow a hole in the area were the pain is coming from, I’m in manegement in a very large corp. and need to get back to my normal life.Besides the physical pain it has effected me emotionaly and mentally. I spent 10′s of thousands of dollars trying to fix the problem and I have lost all hope and faith in our health care system, If I had the same results as the Dr’s I’ve seen in my profession I would’t have a JOB!! PLEASE HELP ME BEFORE I REALLY LOSE IT!!ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPECIATED.

  3. By Bonnie on Oct 23, 2008

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    I too have cervical DDD with 4 discs affected with bone spurs, bulging and all compressing the nerves. It aggravates the back of my head with sub occipital and occipital nuerolgia as well as trigeminal nueralgia and hemisperic spasm. I also have fibromyalgia/myofacial complex and neucrocic jaws. I’ve been suffering with this for 4 years so far.

    Stress aggravates it, so I don’t know how you work in management. I will let you know what has worked for me to get some relief. First, humor, if you can switch something from stressful to humorous it won’t hurt as much. Rest whenever you can. Take hot baths or dip in a hot tub. Massages help but can hurt during and the day after. I started taking Lyrica for my fibromyalgia but wonder if it helps the DDD as well because it blocks the nerve signals. One of the best things I did was hypnosis.

    My next stop is a neurosurgeon. I want relief so I can do normal stuff like clean the tub, wash windows or work in my garden without suffering for a week afterward.

    The main thing is keep on keeping on.

  4. By Angela Gorton on Oct 24, 2008

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    I took a hit full force in the face and head was knocked out and have suffered with severe headaches, nausea, and intense neck pain since February. I have had several MRIs and an MRA. The early MRI and the recent MRI still show 2 bluges in my neck. The Dr. said they have not ruptured yet. She has referred me to a neurologist and has the diganosis as degenerative disc disease as a result of the neck trauma. I will go and listen to a consultation but if I am told that surgery is the only relief I can expect then I will learn to deal with the pain. I have gone the gamut with pain medication and the painful shots in the back of my head and neck, as well as traction and physical therapy. I even had my gall bladder out because the Dr. thought the nausea was do to a malfunction of the gall bladder. Nothing has come close to relieving the pain. There is tempoary relief with cold packs and hot packs. Sleeping is a joke. I dope myself with the pain meds and the sleeping meds but I’m still up and down all night.

    I would like to know if this is typical of this type of head and neck trauma, being diagnosed as DDD?

    I can and will keep on keeping on

  5. By jack erickson

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    on Oct 25, 2008
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    i was told i have D.D.D. with arthritisand pinch nevers in my spine ,. i can’t lift over 3# if i do i drop it,. i can’t walk ,stand,sit over 4-5 mins then my legs shake,sometime like after a shower i can’t walk, my legs,feet don’t work,like my sence to walk is forgoten. i tell my self to lift my leg,but it don’t work..and at the same time i shake.legs,feet arms.what can i do.the DR. does’nt seem to know..i’m 53 yrs. old . is it over for me.

  6. By Jan Bladorn on Oct 26, 2008

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    I have had back problems now for 12 years+! I have been diagnosed with DDD, Fibro Mialgia, Spinal Stenoais, Depression! I’m only 47 years of age and I feel my life is over as I am not able to do what I once was able to do! Like Ryan Lore I have been through ever test, exam, Milograms, MRI’s, Injections, etc. I have now Disc what-so-ever between my L4 and L5. They are wanting to do surgery, yet being retired from the medical field and seeing so many of my patients go in for surgery and come out worse than they went in I do not want to take that route. I take care of two families on a fixed income, and I feel the same about blowing a hole through my head instead my back, although I know thats not the right thing to do, yet what is? It does affect you physcially as well as mentally. I’m on so many medications now its a wonder I still have any brain left at all. I would be willing to try plastic fusion, yet where I live I wouldnt trust them to operate on my dog. Where do you go from here? ANY SUGGESTIONS???? I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MY LIFE BACK.

  7. By Kristine Spears on Oct 26, 2008

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    I am 38yrs old and i have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and ddd also depression. i am very active also love to ride horeses and do things with my family. It has been hard for me to just get out of bed, and try to keep from feeling all the pain while im trying to keep my mind on my job. I have had all those tests and im on a few meds, i just want to feel normal again and injoy life. Im not alone thats for sure after reading other peoples comments….

  8. By Jan Bladorn on Oct 27, 2008

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    Once again I write, I did not proof read what I wrote yesterday therefore it probally didnt make any sense. Again I state that I have had back problems for 12+ years, its a blessing that the good Lord lets me put my feet on the floor each morning, as I stated as all you others it is very frustrating and depressing knowing I cant do what I once was able to do. I was just recentaly put on an anti-depressant by the name of Cymbalta for anxiety which has really help me cope with a lot of my depression. Being 5’9″ and weighing 125 lbs is depressing in itself, being on all these meds have caused me to lose so much weight. There are so many things out there to help people to lose weight, yet nothing for toothpicks like me to gain weight and this truly bothers me.
    Dropping from 14lbs and wearing 11/12′s to 125 lbs and a 2 long is extremely depressing. I feel for anyone whom has back problems because it does change your whole way of living. May God Bless You All, and may something come available to help us get back to our normal lives.

  9. By Jan Bladorn on Oct 27, 2008

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    P/S that was suppose to be 145 lbs, sorry guys, I need to learn to proof read what I write. Thanks again for reading!!!!

  10. By Deborah

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    on Oct 28, 2008
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    I am 45,please excuse typos, I have a full arm cast on…(smile)

    I just found out I have DDD, by reading my workers comp docter notes (epecodilitese, tennise elbow)My DDD is not work related not has it started effecting my work ability.
    It says it is in my c4 and c5 (neck area) and l somthing (lowerback) with an 8mm?
    As my work injuries have improved, I knew my back was hurting more (now I know why) what can I do, does soda and caffine really make it worse!

    Help would like any feed back that might help
    ty

  11. By Leroy on Oct 28, 2008

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    I guess this is the site to visit since I’ve read so many people views on DDD. I am one of you as well. I am also at the end of my rope with lower back pain. Mine is L4 through S1. I find it hard to sleep, walk sit or even stand. The pain varies day to day but most are bad. I have had this peoblem for years but wasn’t sure what to do. I finally had to go sign on with the welfare system because I also am in need of a left hip replacement. I am only 47 and feeling more like 77. I am doubtful that I’ll be able to find much in since the pain from my back causes me to be limited in so many physical ways. I don’t know if I’ll qualify for SSDI either? Heck, I’m living through this w/o any pain pills too.:(

    Best of luck my fellow DDD’s

  12. By Jill on Oct 30, 2008

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    I am 32 years old and feel about 60 with this disc problem. My disc is L5 S1, the lowest disc on the spine. I too have been through all the tests, the pain pills, physical therapy for six months, MRI, Cat scan, sacriolic injections, radiofrequency neuroblation, you name it. I am so tired of it. It really is starting to affect me emotionally. When I start to think about my pain, I am crying almost all the time. I used to be very active, play sports, I have two young children. I can’t even get on the floor to play with them without paying for it with 3 hours of pain afterwards. I guess it’s nice to know that I am not the only one that is going through this. I don’t know what to do. The doctor wants to either replace the disc, or do fusion. I am concerned about both options. I have tried all the other things, and while some of it has helped, I feel like I just want to get back to enjoying my life. I don’t know what to do.

  13. By Tina on Nov 2, 2008

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    I am a 32yr old with this ddd and have been though all the phisical theripy.aqua theripy,chiropratic theripy,pain pills, Masasse, and cortizone shots which I dont suggest to anyone because I suffered a spinal head ache for 3 months because the Doctor punctured my column that carries spinal fluid in the back and also cushions your brain. It was awful.Anyways the doctor im seeing now wants to do a fussion but I need to stop smoking.I honestly dont know if I want to risk being worse or having it done for nothing. Im going to see about getting social security disability because there is no way I can hold any job in this shape.

  14. By LeeAnn

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    on Nov 3, 2008
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    MY Chiropractor is the only thing that has helped! I am 29 with four kids and have ddd L5 and S1.A good friend had the same disc problem S1 and L5 got the surgery and it still not “fixed”! Find a good Chiropractor!!!!!!

  15. By cam on Nov 4, 2008

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    I have had DDD since 1995, but my real pain started in 2005, I have gone to Dr.s and Dr.s, all they have to say, you gonna have to live with it, but Iam only 43,This is aling time to live with pain. Here are things they suggest you do, which Iam trying, but I hurt worst. PT, massage, heat, cold, exercise, walk, what do these people think I was doing, and I had a jobs. Now Iam losing this job, because I can’t do it. So, Iam $20000.00 in debt and this is just the start…. These Dr.s just keep sending to a difference Dr.!!! Where are the answers? I feel Iam going around in circles!!!

  16. By Tracy on Nov 4, 2008

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    I was diagnosed with DDD and degenative joint disease and now have 6 affected disks. I have decided I am not going to let the pain win. I just bought a new eliptical exerciser, my old one broke due to over use and hard sessions on it. I understand all of your pain and discomfort.I am a supervisor at a local retail store, third shift and have two young children at home during the day. I know how hard it is to shuffle career and kids and pain. You can’t let it win, you need to keep moving. Try floating, its available through PT and some gyms. I am going to try it next. Neurosurgeons and Pt doesn’t work but there is something out there that does. You need to keep trying life is too short to just give up. I lost 60 pounds and I’m in excruciating pain all day everyday and I will beat it. I WILL

  17. By katrina

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    on Nov 4, 2008
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    hello i am trying to info on bilateral djd which i was diagonise with from my doctor it consists of swelling in my right knee sharp pains in my right knee and popping in my right leg. please send info asap to deal w/pain i can only find info for spine

  18. By Diana on Nov 5, 2008

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    Nov.5 By Diana,47 I have had D.D.D. and Fibromyalgia for 20 years. My pain specialist has incerted an morphine pump inplant 6yrs ago. It keeps me comfortable but if I engage in activity pain killers are required definately better than the oxycontin rollercoaster. Keep a possitive look on life and try the best you can, people love you and care.

  19. By Sandy

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    on Nov 6, 2008
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    I was just diagnosed with DDD and Fibromyalgia, and after reading all these blogs, I’m scared to death that I will never feel better! My doctors have yet to decide on a course of treatment, but I think I will try acupuncture and chiropractic treatment. Thank goodness I have good insurance. Diana, you are right about keeping a positive outlook. I’m just not going to let anyone see me whine about this even though it hurts like hell.

  20. By Sally Mettler on Nov 6, 2008

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    In the last three weeks I have had paralysis for 4 to 5 min. 3 times a few days apart. It was from the waist to my feet. I was so shocked. I sought medical treatment and finally ended up getting a MRI. I had surgery 20 years ago and it was a problem with a MRI. Anyway the Test showed I have a mild progression of degenerative disk disease at multiple levels. I am not in a lot of pain due to a good neurologist who shot me up with cortisone last year and pain killers.I also take Celebrex(anti-inflammatory}. and a muscle relaxant. I’ve

  21. By teena on Nov 6, 2008

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    W0w! We aren’t alone.. Im n0w 27yrs. & ive been diagn0ised with DDD when i was 24. And i d0 feel very old t00–it sucks. But, ‘yes’., exercise & humor d0 help. I underwent two surgerys 0n L4&L5 & literally speakin’, i’m screwed. Although times get bitter& very painful, i keep@me with much prayer, exercise, & maintain my intakes–in both, diet &mentality. F0r all 0f yalz, who are alongside me, believe me–i feel ur pain. & that’ll only push me m0re 2praying& maintaining exercise&diet. Like i read earlier, …. “keep on keeping 0n.” & i g0tchalz in me prayers. Despite tha despites., smile.

  22. By troy somers on Nov 10, 2008

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    im 39 ive been to the docs and had all the test done too i have degenerative disc disease ,lumdar spondylosis,and spinal stenosis my back hurt all the time and and is there and one out there can tell me what to do ? pill dont work it hard to get up and down and to get to sleep thank you all

  23. By Lisa Bigardi

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    on Nov 10, 2008
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    I have degenerative condition in lumbar l through 5. It is nowattacking my leg. I have beentold of a new procedure referred to as the cadaver placement. It is suppose to be very good. However, I am not certain about this and it is only done at very bigmedical centers.

  24. By Lisa Bigardi

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    on Nov 10, 2008
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    I do not have a web site, is that necessary? If a web site is necessary how do Igo about getting this, really bneed advice?

  25. By tina on Nov 11, 2008

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    I have degenerative dics disease i’ve had it for about 4-5 years. I’m 34 yrs old and i feel like i’m 90. I’ve tried every medical option tha they gave me and nothing has worked,the injections seemed to make things worse. So now i’m looking at surgery, it freaks me out a lot but i figured why not give it a try. It may help and may not but, if it takes away 50% of my pain then i say that hepls. How worse can it get? I’m tired of being in pain and not able to do thing’s with my family. I have 2 teenage daughter’s who need me, this is a very confusing time for them and 9 times out of 10 i can’t do anything with them. I just want my life back. To control my pain not my pain to control my life!!

  26. By Paul on Nov 11, 2008

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    I, like all the others that have replied, have been diagnosed with ddd. I’ve been through two fusions, and another surgery to open the nerve root holes in my c5-c6 and c6-c7. I’ve been through the MRI’s, Myelograms, CT Scans and nothing seems to work for me either. Please if anyone has any suggestions, let me know as well. I’m only 40 years of age but most of the time I feel like I’m 100 with all the pain. Still looking for a real sence of relief.

  27. By Nancy

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    on Nov 13, 2008
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    I am 56 just developed pain to a point could not stand it..went to specialist…might be degenerative disc in my low back..pain is mostly at night…can walk…feel discomfort and pain where leg and hip meet…back pain..praying that therapy will work do not want surgery need some encouragement…I have home business so can work…hope this can be resolved anyone had any success with therapy?

  28. By KEISHA on Nov 15, 2008

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    I PRAY FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU! DJD, SPONDYLOSIS, FIBROMYALGIA, SPINA BIFIDA, BACK PAIN L1-S1……I HAVE IT ALL. AND IT HURTS!!!!!!! IM LIKE THE REST OF YOU; IVE HAD ALL THE TESTS IN THE WORLD AND NOW THAT I KNOW WHATS WRONG, THERE IS NO TREATMENT TO HELP! MY ADVICE IS KEEP IT MOVING! EXCERSISE, KEEP UR PAIN UNDER CONTROL WTH MEDS, THERAPY, ETC AND LIVE YOUR LIFE TO THE BEST U CAN B/C LIFE IS TO SHORT FOR US TO ALLOW THIS TO LIVE MISERABLY. FIGHT FIGHT, FIGHT!!!!!!!

  29. By Debbie on Nov 15, 2008

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    I am 53. Have a herrington rod from a spinal fusion at 17. When I turned 40 began having hip problems. Started PT then usually go back every 2 years or so for new exercises. It has now progressed to lower scoliosis about a 25 degree curve along with spinal stenosis, DDD, now they have added spondelythesis (I think that’s the correct spelling). Of course arthritis in the lower back. I’ve had steriod injections in sets of 2 one and a half year ago and again 2 months ago. Tried Chiropractor but think that might not be a good, seemed to help the sciatica nerve for a while but then the pain got worse and spondelythesis set in. Been going to a local excercise club that I love for 2 years, now having to cut back on soom of those exercises because of the spondelysthesis. Messages help but just temporary. I am an accountant self employed with a lot of stress a sit for up to 14 hours per day (kills me). Been taking epson salt baths and sticking to my new PT exercises strengthening my stomach muscles. There’s just not enough time for all. Have pain down my leg eavery morning even after the enjections. The new PT seems to help but any new excersion messes it up all over.

    Help-Any advise.

  30. By belinda on Nov 15, 2008

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    im 38yrs.old i have ddd.scoliois,4pinchednerves in my back,herniateddisc,severecronicpain it starts in the lower part of my back,my buttocks,then it shoots down my right leg into the side and top of my right foot,where i live the drs.treat you like your crazy and they think ibprophen can control the tearer and server pain that we are going through.the thoughts of suiside comes often.ive been to several surgens thats told me i can never be fixed,thats just depressing on its own to think you can never get help.in my apenion some drs.dont want to help because of medicaid its not enough money for them,then you wonder how does people stop caring.if anyone can help with a dr.or resources i would greatly apritiate it.thank you,tashas mom

  31. By michael on Nov 17, 2008

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    Reading these comments is scary! I too have no, or very litttle, disk material left in L5 & L4 and was recently diagnosed with DDD. I’m 38 years old and just came from a well respected neurosurgeon visit today. He told me to get as much excercise as I can stand (preferrably on an elyptical) and until I can’t literally take it anymore, hold out. I guess that is the best advice he could’ve given me given my age and condition but it was hard to hear. I too can’t remember the last time I played with my kids or for that matter got out of bed without pain. Reading these comments makes me realize that you just have to do WHATEVER you can to avoid surgery because, as this doctor told me, that is no quarentee. Back to the gym for me……

  32. By heather on Nov 18, 2008

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    I am 32 yrs old and have severe DDD plus herniated disc, disc space narrowing , and severe impingement on the spinal canal. I have been through everything you have + it sounds. I am on here now researching again and for 2 yrs now. ADR is the answer. I cant afford it though. In Germany. Look online. Dont do fusion. I wish i had the money as they dont take insurance from the usa, but the euro is cheaper compared to the american dollar. I am short on time right now, but dr. bontina (spelling) find it. they called me and spent time with me on the phone. Just i cant afford it. good luck.

  33. By Chris Carrubba on Nov 25, 2008

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    I have read through the comments and it amazes me that there are so many people, like me, that have gone through the gamet of Drs., injections, pain meds, PT, and none of it seems to aleviate the pain. I am 55 and was involved in a motor cycle accident three year ago. I have had shoulder surgery and surgery on my pelvic bone which was crushed in the accident. My back problems are in C5, C6, and L5. Drs. are telling me surgery is the only thing that will now help me. I do not want to go under the knife again. I have not seen anyone write about the pain that radiates down the arms and legs. My hands and feet tingle all the time and it feels like thousands of needles are sticking in me. If there is an option besides the ones we have all tried or surgery I would sure like to know it.

  34. By christy williams on Nov 29, 2008

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    LIKE MANY OF YOU FINE PEOPLE I TO SUFFER FROM DDD FROM C4 C5 DOWN TO L4 L5. I WAS 34 WHEN I HAD MY FIRST FUSHION IT WORKED FOR MAYBE 2YRS THEN HER CAME THE PAIN AGAIN! I USED TO DRIVE OVER THE ROAD TRUCK DRIVER UNTIL IT SEEMED LIKE EVER TIME I WOULD MOVE WRONG I WOULD POP ANOUTHER DISC!I HAVE INSURANCE BUT I CANT AFFORD SURGERY AFTER SURGERY 3 MONTHS AGO I HAD 6 HEART ATTACKS IM ONLY 39!!! PAIN MEDS HELP BUT SOMEDAYS I WONDER WHY BOTHER BREATHING.MY DR. WONT REALLY TELL ME WHAT MY FUTURE HOLDS FOR ME WILL I END UP IN A WHEELCHAIR OR WILL I B ABLE TO WALK WITH PAIN BUT ABLE TO WALK? PLS DOES ANYBODY HAVE AN ANSWER…. GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU FINE PEOPLE TRY AND SMILE THRU THE PAIN DONT LET IT WIN!!!!!!

  35. By Crystal on Dec 2, 2008

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    I was just finally diagnose with DDD today amd was looking up information on it. I am 22 yrs. old and have been suffering for 2 years. I have severe sciata in my left leg and have lost the feeling in my foot and calf. The doctor just told be to stretch for A YEAR, until I recently started going numb. I can barely stand up or sit down. If i stay going I do okay, but if I relax, I need help to get up again. My husband has been putting my shoes and socks on for me. I just had a pinched nerve in my leg, I didn’t know I would end up this way. \at 22 yrs. old I don’t want to live with this pain forever, I too have already thought about blowing my freakin’ leg off. I pray I don’t spend thousands and thousands of dollars trying to relieve it, like some of you. You are all in my thoughts, as I know how you are feeling!

  36. By andrew on Dec 7, 2008

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    I am a 20 year old active individual… well normally active individual. I was diagnosed with DDD when I was 15 after my back started hurting during a wrestling match. I have been to every clinic and been through every procedure available except spinal fusion. At 20 years of age I believe spinal fusion is not the right answer for me. Is that all that is left for me to do? It has already cost me my job, my lifestyles, my hobbies, my friends, and nearly my life on two occasions. When you are in constant pain with little medical support in a rural area such as me it is difficult. Really to be honest is the only thing that helps is illegal, and that is cannabis. I hate to even bring it up but I really have been suffering for the past 5 years and the only thing to (I must specify does not fix problem but makes it so you can function.) distract me enough from the pain long enough to even accomplish the tasks of work and home life. I would not be writing this if it were not true. Many people do not agree with this methodology (my family is included in this group of people.). I have wrote this to help other people suffering in my position and it will most likely be removed before it helps anyone in need but I have tried. To all who read this please know that I am truthful in my telling you these things. Thank you for listening I don’t even have that support where I live. Have a great day and I hope I have at least helped one person.

  37. By Lori Hegarty

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    on Dec 11, 2008
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    I had a neck injury 15 years ago. Herniated disc C5-C6, large herniation at C6-c7 and issues with c7-t1. I just talked to a surgion this past week and he states it is Degenerative Disc Disease. He want to fuse C5-C6 forsure and is contemplating c4-c5 and c3-c4. I had to talk him into agreeing that it was partly due to the injury sustained 15 years ago, which I have been suffering pain from ever since. He thought maybe he would associate part of the surgury to the injury. I have read 100 articles and trying to figure out if infact injurys can trigger the start of DDD. I have found it to be true in several articles – one is the wikipedia encyclopedia. Trying to get a copy of my scans so I can have a couple more opnions. I can’t seem to get them to send them to me. Does it take an act of congres or what??? Losing hope…

  38. By craig on Dec 13, 2008

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    I was informed that i have DDD yesterday it was expected but none the less still sucks. I was in a severe car wreck in june 1990 and had multiple surgerys,including a plate inserted on my hip and 2 screws fusing my spine to my sacreum(spelling may be incorrect). I was only 19 at the time, I’m 37 now.I work in a laborers union which has good insurance but the work is exactly what it sounds like.My only choice was to go back to school full time which is difficult, married with 4 kids. My Dr. seems more concerned with regulations than my health is that me or does anybody else feel that way? Reading everybodys comments is relieving yet scary. For me sleeping is a chore, does anybody have any tips on sleeping in peace like most of you getting up sucks too. Thanks for listning and good luck to all, may you have a blessed holidays.

  39. By Warren on Dec 19, 2008

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    I am 36 and was diagnosed with spinal stenoisis three years ago. My doctor recomended surgery back then but the Neruosurgeon I saw said that I was fine and it would not get any worse. Three years later it has turned into degenerative disk disease in L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. No the new Neurosurgeon said it progressed too far for surgery as it will take a three level fusion but do to my age it would be better to live with it, disk fusion put pressure on the next disk and will wear them out as well. I have some permanent nerve damage as I have reduced sensation in my right leg and it make it hard to walk.
    Is anyone else fighting with L&I, what a joke they are. I am glad i found this group as it really irritates me when everybody think that you are making up the pain. It seems to be something you have to go through to understand.
    Lori, see if they can burn the images to CD and send them that way or pick them up yourself.

  40. By Sylvia

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    on Dec 31, 2008
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    I was in a car accident and my cervical and lumbar spine were damaged. The Mri shows L5-S1 disc desiccation, minor bulge. I am having severe pain starting in the buttocks area to the thighs. I have difficulty stooping and bending without having serve pain.I can’t sit to long because I am in pain getting up like an old lady. I am in pain everyday in my neck area and low back. Does anyone else have some of these symptoms? I have gone to a neurosugeon that does’t suggest surgery and pain clinic getting steroids shots that didnj’t help the low back area. I am lost as what to do next. Any suggestions?

  41. By kimberly on Jan 2, 2009

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    I was diagnosed with d.d.d three years ago after the birth of my 3rd. son.The pain is excruciating! Pain meds don’t even dent the pain.Itake amititriptaline at night,just to fall asleep.I now have severe pain in my tailbone,where I can’t sit for long, and trying to get up from a sitting position makes me scream out in pain!! I also have Bursitis on the side of my legs,and my hips get swollen, and throb!!Recently my hands and feet are very cold to the touch and the tip of my nose!? I am going to call myPCP,and get another MRI since its been almost 4 years.I have medicaid also, and it’s very hard to get any decent help.Has anyone had my symptoms, of not being able to sit? I read web MD and I worry about cancer.Hope there are some answers..How much worse can this get? If I ever needed a wheelchair,I’d be up a creek, because it kills me to sit!!!! Hope for the hopeless…..

  42. By Patti on Jan 5, 2009

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    I am 53 years old and was diagnosed with DDD last December. I was working as a professional administrator at the time. When my employer learned of my diagnosis, I was fired. I couldn’t afford to continue paying my insurance premiums with no income. I was denied un-employment benefits because I was unable to seek work, and social security wanted proof that I would be disabled for a full year before I could collect any benefits. Now I am broke, in constant pain, and stand to lose everything I have worked for.
    To “Andrew”, I’m with you…”fill it, light it, shut up and close the door!” To all my fellow “crips” seek love and laughter and hang in there.

  43. By Pati S. on Jan 13, 2009

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    I can not believe how many of us there are out there!! Not that I wish this on my worse enemy, but I am glad that I’m not the only one. Sorry, guys! Last year in Feburary, I had surgery on my L5 S1 — a Laminectomy — after being diagnosed with DDD. I suffered with severe sciatica and lower back and leg pain. The surgery helped the sciatica, eventually. But, now my disc has continued to degenerate and I am again in severe pain. (Not that I was ever really out of it!) I don’t know how you people with multiple disc issues are coping — but, my prayers are with you!! I, like Syliva, can not bend over and try and stand back up. The pain is unbearable. I can’t be on my feet for very long, maybe 20 minutes or so. Forget shopping — I’m in severe mall withdrawl!!(Smile!) I can’t sit or stand for prolonged periods. I’ve lost my job because of that and the many hours of having to take off work to try and get fixed. My doctor says I’m not a candidate for disability, so I’m trying to make money from home by selling jewelry and having an online travel agency. Probably my only options at this point. I’m on pain meds and trying not to get addicted to them. I’ve been through the steroid injections, PT, electro-shock stimulation, water therapy — the whole nine yards. My doctor says my next step is a fusion, which I am fighting NOT to do. I am 49 years old and feel like I’m 100. Don’t really want to take a gun to the problem, but firing up a “fat one” might not be too far off!! I’m with a lot of you in that I am very disappointed at the medical community. There is a severe lack of communication on their part and we’re the ones who suffer for it. I will continue to fight any negative feelings and I refuse to give up. We just need to keep on communicating with each other and try to keep our spirits up. I’m with all of you and send you positive vibes. Hang in there.

  44. By Jana on Jan 14, 2009

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    My husband has had ddd in his L3-L5 for many years. We just saw a new neurosurgeon who has recommended a procedure called an Eclipse implant. It is basically a bb sized hard, plastic sphere inserted between two vertabrae for the purpose of decompression & as an alternative to artificial disc. Is anyone familiar with this?

    BTW, the Dr. says it will not eliminate the back pain & may not even improve it. It will however, relieve the radiating leg pain which has recently begun. Nice, huh?

  45. By laylatoya on Jan 19, 2009

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    my name is laylatoya i am 26 and i have been suffering from low back pain for 9 years. and like you all i have lost my job cause of a restriction cant lift anything over 15lbs, do any excessive bending, stooping, crouching and reaching from a overhead position. i have been diagonsed with a herniated disc a few years back started sterroid injections in my spine. then another neurosurgeon said i just had a couple of bulge discs L4/5 AND SENT ME TO PHYSICAL THERAPHY THAT DIDNT HELP AND I KEPT TRYING TO WORK UP UNTIL ONE DAY I WAS PLAYING THE COMPUTER AND WHEN I GOT UP TO USE THE BATHROOM I COULDN’T AND I WAS USING IT ON MY SELF. I WENT TO THE DOCTOR AND SHE SENT ME FOR AN MRI. SHE TOLD ME WASNT ANYTHING WRONG WITH MY BACK BUT I HAVE ARTHIRITIS. THAT DIDNT SET RIGHT WITH ME SO I WENT TO A CHRIOPRACTOR AND SHE TOLD ME MY BACK WAS REALLY MESSED UP SHE SAID MY SPINE IS GOING IN AN A ANGLE. SHE SAID MY LEFT HIP WAS HIGHER THAN MY RIGHT HIP. SHE TOLD ME THAT MY DISC HAD TOO MUCH SPACE BETWEEN THEM AND THAT ONE OF MY HOLES THAT MY BONES GO THREW MY SPINE WAS CLOSED CAUSING THE BONES TO LAY ON MY NERVE AND SHE SAID THATS WHY I STAY IN PAIN AND KEEP HEADACHES, BUT IM TOO YOUNG FOR SURGERY SHE SAY. AND MY PRIMAMRY DOCTOR SAYS IM TOO YOUNG TO SAY IM DISABLED. WHAT AM I TO DO. I AM ALWAYS CRYING AND DEPRESSED MY WHOLE LIFE HAS CHANGED

  46. By Jana on Jan 20, 2009

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    I am 53 years old and I was told that I have DDD about six months ago. I woke up one morning a was hurting so bad I thought I was having a heart attach. My husband told me to go and lay down on my back on the floor. That is what use to help him when he had pain. I did this and it took me about an hour to get up. I called my family doctor and he gave me a muscle relaxerto take(this was on a Tuesday). WEdnesday I called him and told him that it wasn’t working. He then told me to come on in to his office. I drove myself to the doctor and walking from the car to the doctors office was so paineful I could hardly stand it. Once I got into the doctors office I could not walk up to the caounter so a kind young man got me a wheel chair. Then I was expected to walk down this long hall way to my doctors office. I started down the hall way and ended up stopping because the pain was so bad. A nurse got up and said do you need a wheel chair? Doumb question huh? Well to make a long story short I have had exraysm Mri,Ct scan, myligram, shots in my neck and PT. I am better but not out of pain. My family thinks that I got DDD because of my weight. Someone please tell me they are wrong. I think they are.

  47. By Jana on Jan 20, 2009

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    PS My DDD is in my neck and it is between L45and 6.I hurt between my shoulder blades , in my neck and my left arm goes numb.

  48. By dianne on Jan 22, 2009

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    I have DDD, I am confused if someone can help I’d be GREATFUL,I’m having surgery on Feb. 11th on C5-6&C6-7 Ten years ago I had C4-5 done, I have 11 disks gone or going in total the Dr. wants to put in 2 screws and a plate. (I’m so scared)Anyone out there know of a better and easier way please THANK YOU SO MUCH AND GOD BLESS

  49. By Dianne on Jan 22, 2009

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    Hi I’m not a doc but DDD is what is what it is being heavy does not help but from what I understand you are predisposed to this I weight 124lbs and I have 11 disks gone I had to working in the dental field because of this it is not fun it’s life altering and sad good luck

  50. By Dianne on Jan 22, 2009

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    I had a lot of type o’s my computer is crazy sorry

  51. By Jeannie Fitzgerald on Jan 23, 2009

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    I too suffered with debilitating headaches. My husband took me to the hospital because I was on the floor banging my head in agony. The MRI and MRA uncovered spinal stenosis with flaring and bone spurs on C3 thru 7. There was no other option but surgery. Since then, my life has been much better. The surgery recovery was painful. Ask for a PCA (patient controlled analgesic) to help control the pain after surgery. I sure wish that I had known it was an option. It took a few months of physical therapy after surgery to completely relieve all symptoms associated with manipulation of the bones in my neck. I am much happier and free from pain in my neck. However, my lower back was injured moving very heavy patients and am now facing lumbar surgery. I hope that you do your homework and find the best neurosurgeon to help you enjoy a pain free life.

  52. By Warren on Jan 23, 2009

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    I work as a commercial fisher and the owner of the boat has had nine surgerys on his back. He has two steel plates in his back to hold him upright. He was 68 and sometimes worked on deck with us pulling pots out of the water. He said that finding the right doctor is important to your recovery. I have found that some will listen to a patient while others will make asumptions. If they don’t listen, time to find someone else.

  53. By Valarie

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    on Jan 25, 2009
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    I know how you feel. It has taken me 6 years to get a diagnosis. All the doc gives me for pain is muscle relaxers and darvecets. Oh boy.The pain is so bad at times I cant get out of bed. I cant stand up straight. It really sucks. If you find out anything please pass it along.

  54. By Valarie

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    on Jan 25, 2009
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    I know how you feel. It has taken me 6 years to get a diagnosis. All the doc gives me for pain is muscle relaxers and darvecets. Oh boy.The pain is so bad at times I cant get out of bed. I cant stand up straight. It really sucks. If you find out anything please pass it along. Im only 42 I cant work anymore My daughter is supporting me while I fight with disadilaty. It has completely changed my life as it has some of you. Living in constint pain is like not being able to breath. I am so tired of hearing that its not as bad as all that. The docs are not the ones living with it. I have been through all the things that most of you have and heard all the same crap. I think they dont want us to get better.

  55. By Ed

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    on Jan 27, 2009
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    Tina,

    I am on disability for DDD because of not being able to work. All of my lumbar discs are effected and I in pain 24/7 except for when the percocets and oxycontins help. I would not suggest a fusion. I know some people that have good results and of course there are hte bad ones. Just think your spine will be help together and to me that makes it hard to bend or be as flexible as we can being in pain. I do think that quitting smoking will help, but I understand about smoking to help with the stress. Right now in Florida at the SpineLaser Clinic they seem to be the ones that can help us. My problem is I have no insurance and they are expensive. Try pain pills to make things bearable at times. Really think about the fusion.

  56. By Ed

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    on Jan 27, 2009
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    Ed in NH
    I have had back issues for over 10 years and it just got worse over the years. I now have DDD on all lumbar discs 1-5. I have had 2 surgeries. One for a herniated disc in my lumbar region in the 90′s and the other for stenosis a few years ago. The surgeon told me that the stenosis would help with the pain in my legs which it did. I recommend stenosis surgery and I would have another surgery if it would help with the pain from DDD except for fusion. I now am on SSD and do not work and can hardly pay my bills. I just want to live with no more pain and try to be happy again. I hardly laugh, smile or am happy. 24/7 pain makes a person not be right in the head. Pain killers help at times.
    Good luck to all and please let me know if ther is anything you find out about being pain freee from DDD.

  57. By kimberly huggins on Feb 1, 2009

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    Hi, sounds like we are in the same boat. My DDD is in the same spot as yours and I’ve had all the same tests except for the last one you mentioned. I injured my back at work and so far workmens comp. has paid for the medical but for the hours I am missing now they pay only 60% of the average of what I was making the 12 months before i was injured which is not what i’m making now. I am making it only about 4 hours a day. I work in retail so standing is my job but sitting wouldn’t be any better. Being flat on my back w/ my legs elevated is the best way for me to be but I can’t live like that. The Dr. is scheduling a discogram so they can see if the pain is coming directly from that area if so he wants to do the fusion surgery. He said that if it was higher in my back he wouldn’t suggest this but due to it being so low it won’t negatively effect other discs. I just want to live my life again and be normal.

  58. By linda on Feb 3, 2009

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    wow i see iam not along. I have been suffering with back pain since 1995.I have had 2 back surgery. The first one was to remove the discs and the second one were they went in and but bolts and screws(fusion). It hasn’t done any good i have had numberous set of injection, therapy,pain killers don’t anything work. the pain meds wear off before the suppose to. I can sit for a long period of time my leg gets numb and start shakingg. I can’t shop any more cause i can’t walk long due to back pain. I can’t wash dishes, and lord don’t try to sweep or vaccuum it hurts so bad.I loose sleep at night due to pain. I have taken those injection they don’t do any good the last one i took back in November 2008 i was hurtin worser after the injection. The dr told me thats why they give them to you in a series of 3. i will go back for my last one on the 17 of Feb. I sure hopoe he knows what he is talking about. I have had it done twice in the past. I have had it done twice in the past it did’t help. I have read all of you all post in some way or other we have all tried the same thing and don’t nothing seem to work.I had to get my daughter to type this cause i can’t sit for long. Don’t let it rain or get cloudy. My uncle told me to put a piece ply-wood under my mattress it didn’t help. I go for my disability hearing this month. I hope and pray that the judge is on my side. Cause i can’t work i got terminated from my job, lost my spouse. I tried to drive the other day my leg hurted me so bad I had to take my handbag and prop it under my leg to try and get some relief.I am confined to my house go out only to dr appointments. If any one find some relief please share it with me .

    LOW BACK AND LEG PAIN N MISS.

  59. By Nik V.

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    on Feb 3, 2009
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    I am a 34 Yr old and was hurt on may 20th of ’08 at work lifting as part of my job. I had severe siatica down both legs and was in dibilitating pain. They first said I had 2 mild herniated disks l4-l5, l5-s1, with no nerve infringement. I tried pt and everytime the would do the range of motion tests it would get worse. I had 3 epidural injections with no relief, (on top of constaint darvocet then norco) It would take 12 pills of norco just to manage the pain,so I was finally sent to a neuro surgeon. He took one look at my Mri and said that he saw the 2 Herniated disks but that L5-S1 was degenerated and it wasnt the disks pressing on the nerves it was the vertabrea. I then went to get the IME as directed by workers comp and he agreed with the surgery. On Oct 20th I had L5-S1 fused with hardware (4 skrews 2 rods) and My leg pain is gone. The pain in the hospital was excruciating and at First I regreted it. I am 3.5 mo out now and the leg pain is gone I do still have lingering back pain I belive due to the fact that i cannot bend yet. The Pain Management drs Changed all my meds at onece and i was in the er the next day with very high blood pressure.(I think had to do with the drugs) so now i cant take any of my pain meds until i get the blood pressure back under control, I do view the surgery as a success but it takes a very long time to heal. The only thing that keeps me going is that i am told and belive that the back pain is soft tissue and sore because of lack of use. I am in therapy but restruicted from any bending or twisting until the fusion completly takes. Good luck to all out there suffering, I know what it is like I hope my pain goes away as expected and hope all of you can find some relief some how. Any comments would be apreciated Thanks, Nik

  60. By Melissa b on Feb 4, 2009

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    I was just wondering if all of you had some kind of trauma to your back that caused this? I fell in feb. of 08. Ever since I’ve had this horrible pain and it happened at work so of course I’m going throuh hell trying to get treated! I was diagnosed with d.d.d. I never had any problems until I fell. Could the trauma of the fall cause this? I was only 27 at the time. Please help me if you have any answers!

  61. By Melissa B on Feb 4, 2009

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    Hey Nik V. I also hurt my back at work and the IME agreed with the d.d.d. diagnoses. He said a couple weeks of therapy would make me better. I’ve already done therapy! In 10 days it’ll be 1 yr that I’ve been hurting and I don’t know how you guys are getting pain meds but I never got any since my 1st visit. There are times I wanna stab myself somewhere else just to make the pain in my back go away for any amount of time! It’s deffinetly affecting me everyday. My life has been defined by before my fall and after my fall. I’m a totally different angry person. I have 3 kids. It’s very hard. I mean at times I just can’t move cause I’m in so much pain. I have better days and worse days but it’s always there. I shouldn’t have to get used to pain and just deal with it. I always heard people complain about back pain. I never knew how painful it actually was until a yr ago. I alos get headaches so bad that I’ve had to go to the e.r. numerous times. I hope everyone feels better! I don’t wish this on anyone!

  62. By Nik V.

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    on Feb 4, 2009
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    Hi Melissa B, what kind of Dr. did you go to for the diagnosis, and how many of the drs did you choose? From what I know you can choose 2 different drs on your own and go to whoever they send you to. I went to my general Dr. first because I Thought I pulled a musscle, after the therapy didn’t work and the first Epidutal didn’t work I went to an Orthopedic Specialist. He tried a different kind of inj. and changed my meds but eventually sent me to a neuro surgeon. The seurgon did say that the surgery has better success with getting rid of the sciatica (leg pain) than with getting rid of the back pain. I Would Call My Surgery A success so far But If it can be avoided I would only use it as a last resort, I have met alot of ppl That it didnt work and they are worse off than before so If I were you I would go to a New Dr. Explain that the Physical therapy isnt working and then go to a Pain Management Center. You may need to get it pre Approved with your workers comp Adjuster or Insurance Carrier But They do know the pain drugs and I would try to ask around to find a good one. They should Belive you about your pain and try to help you find somthing to get the pain under control. I Hope this helps and I hope you can find some relief

    Nik

  63. By Nik V.

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    on Feb 4, 2009
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    Hey Melissa I would Also monitor you blood pressure because the headaches could be a sign that your blood pressure is up too high, I think that the injury could have caused your D.D.D. to get worse, but I was told that it probably was a few smaller injurys first and the last one was “the straw that broke the Camels back” so to speak. I had never had any sustaining pain or been off work for any amount of time before my injury but now I have been off since may. If you do decide to have any kind of surgery you have to listen to the drs when they say not to lift not to bend etc. And then even after it is all Healed you have to be really careful from what I have been told or you increase the chances of other disks failing, Any way good luck and hope some of this helps.

    Nik

  64. By Lora M. on Feb 4, 2009

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    I am a 23 year old who was in a hit-and-run car accident in 2006. It took nearly a year for the doctors to figure out that my back and leg pain was due to a herniated and bulging disk in my lumbar spine. Since then, I have been through numerous MRIs, CT scans, diskograms, x-rays, ect and have run up a $17,000 bill with a pain clinic. The pain doctor refused to do any injections or epidurals in my spine because of the degenerative disk disease and arthritis that has formed. I recently went to a neurosurgeon in my town and he said that I didn’t need surgery, just needed to go to another pain clinic. But, I have been told by another surgeon that, because of all the suffering I have been through and my young age, he would do a lumbar fusion to get rid of the problem. But, I don’t have health insurance and my car insurance was maxed out a long time ago (the guy that hit me didn’t have insurance) and the first surgeon wanted $20,000 up front to do the surgery!! I have no where else to turn and I am at my wits end. I have become addicted and immune to pain pills and am about to be on total disability at 23. If anyone has any suggestions as to what else I can do to get myself “fixed”, I welcome any advice.

  65. By Nik V.

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    on Feb 4, 2009
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    Hey Lora M. When i was at one of the Pain clinics in the hospital, They said they could try to go in under xray guidence with a needle and remove some of the disk that was buldging out to give room for the buldging part to come back in, and the recovery time was days to a wee vs the monthes to a year from surgery, this would not have helped me because of the fact that my vertabrea were the culprit in my nerve infringment but if it is the buldging disk pressing on the nerve it might help you. I know that my fusion was 98k and this procedure was supposed to be about 2 or 3000 mabe you could ask about this i dont know if you tried it already because i dont remember what it was called. You could also try a state run hospital or clinic they somtimes do procidures at little or no cost to the patient. I dont know if this or the surgery could be done there but it might be worth checking. Best of luck to you

    Nik

  66. By Lora M. on Feb 5, 2009

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    Thanks so much for that information Nik V! That is really helpful. I am looking into something called Surgery on Sundays that is offered in my state. It is a program for people without insurance that need serious surgery. It is done at no cost to the patient, but the waiting list is nearly a year. Hopefully I will be qualified for it. I figured the fusion surgery was close to 100k due to the extended hospital stay required. Until I hear from the Sundays program, I guess I will just have to try and cope! Thanks for the help and support.

  67. By Gale

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    on Feb 12, 2009
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    I am so sorry to hear there are so many of us out there that suffer from ddd. It’s like have terminal cancer. sorry about your luck what pain meds do you want today. I have 5 deterating disc stenous of the spine lumbar dysfunction disease my right hip is a 1/2 higher than my left and my pelvicbone no longer lines up. my husband looks at me like i am faking the pain i am in and there are no pain pills that help anymore. i am acustodian at a high school and there are days when i too want to blow a hole in something, but not that depressed yet. seven doctors, chiroprators, pain manegement, shots, injections, manipulation and the whole 9 yards nothing but nothing helps. thanks so much letting me get some of this off my chest. Go luck to us all and may god bless each and everyone of you.

  68. By Lora M. on Feb 13, 2009

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    You know what is so sad? Here we all are, people of all ages, backgrounds, who have one main thing in common. And while our stories may be different in many ways, the one similarity is that we are all in pain. We have “tried everything, seen tons of doctors, been on tons of narcotics” but yet we still have not gotten any better. I am a member of the medical field (I am a certified medical assistant) and I can speak from experience when I say that doctors these days don’t care about anything but their wallets! They can’t see past the dollar sign enough to realize that we are human and we have a serious problem that CAN be fixed by them, but they choose to just mask the pain with pills and useless procedures that only add more money to their pockets. Excuse me for ranting, but I have had a really bad week and I need to get this out. My DDD is really acting up and I have been on a lot of pills to try and cope. To Gale, I understand what you mean about your husband because mine along with my whole family acts the same way. I have learned that when you feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope, remember that God is still hanging on to the other end and He will never let go. All you can do is pray for relief. Thanks to all of you for being there and being understanding!

  69. By Greg

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    on Feb 16, 2009
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    Lora M.
    i could not agree with you more about doctors only worrying about their wallets. I think many times they prescribe drugs that we don’t need because they’re getting kickbacks from the drug companies. And the drug companies are in bed with politicians which is why all this BS is legal in the first place (and don’t forget about the insurance companies as well although I think they might be getting screwed by the doctors and hospitals). All anyone cares about anymore is money, money, money. If you can find a doctor that you know is actually interested in you and not trying to give you as many drugs as possible, stick with him/her as long as you can.

  70. By Dawn Marie on Feb 19, 2009

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    Good Morning to all,I to was hurt on the job and it wasn’t until i could not do pt any longer i was sent for more x-rays and found out that i to have ddd,my injury consist of the L4/L5 disc bulge and it wasn’t until 1yr later that they found the disc bulge now my doc. which have been several told me ddd is frm heavy-consistant lifting on a day to day basises and then another doc. told me it was some where in my family I have been told so many differant things I do not know what to believe any more.I live like you all in pain every day for the last 4yrs now my work injury happened back in August 2005 and I have been to so many so called Doctors I’m loosing faith in our medical system in america. I’ve recieved so many differnt types of shots that I can not name them all,as of now I’m recieving nerve blocks but they are now only starting to last 2mos at a time I go every 3mos to see my neuro. that gives me the shots and just 10mos ago he informed me I also damaged my hip joints in my work related injury I filed workmens comp and lost but it was because I was living in another state at time of accident and could not get welfare nor any help from family for me and my 2 childern so I had to move in with in-laws,in a differnt state. I worked as a Nurses aide at the time for 13yrs. I to can not sit for no longer than 45mins it hurts to walk stand and to sit in a tub of water i cry very hard i can only take showers! I to have thought about taking a gun where the pain is but what stops me is knowing my girls still need there mom whether she’s in pain or not I just keep hoping that somewhere someone will be able to give me my life back! I’m so tried of always having to ly in bed or on my couch and not being able to enjoy life like i use to!! Signed another back pain suffer too and good luck to all, Dawn Marie. P.S I can not find even a support group for people like us and that sucks!!!

  71. By Rex W on Feb 19, 2009

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    Having been diagnosed with DDD and DJD (degenerative joint disease) 8 years ago, I understand the frustration that this diagnosis brings with it. I have 5 discs involved, but the severe pain only comes when I have a spasm. I find that walking is more of a relief than meds, and that sitting and laying down (while not initially painful) create stiffness in movement when I change positions or get up. I worked for the Post Office for 17 years before the doctor told me that the frequent spasms had gone on long enough. I’m now on disability retirement (which is about like social security = not much), and of course, the post office denies responsibility for the constant twisting, lifting, bending, and reaching that undoubtably brought this on. The doctor said that he had seen this before with the post office and that they will line up as many doctors to dispute the claim as I would to verify that it’s work related. As far as tests and treatments are concerned, I’ve had 5 mri’s, bone scans, x-rays (I should actually glow in the dark), and all the physical therapy I should ever want. The prognosis is surgery within 10 years (that was told me 6 years ago), and I keep hoping that there will be a medical break thru that magically fixes everything before surgery is required, but time is running out . The DJD has arthritis in EVERY joint in my body and my ankles are making it hard to walk now (and that was my only relief from the stiffness). I’m 56, so I feel for you younger folks dealing with this crap, but having been active all my life, it is certainly an adjustment. Coral calcium seemed to give some relief with the arthritis (whether is was a placebo affect, I can’t say for sure), but I’m starting to doubt my resolve to continue into my “golden years” if it’s only going to be more pain and the lack of quality of life. Good luck to us all.

  72. By Rex W on Feb 19, 2009

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    P.S. I too have felt that my family thinks I’m faking sometimes, and that’s probably my fault. I try to do as much as possible around the house and in the yard, and when I can’t go any further or the pain from what I’ve already done is telling me to stop, I subconciously feel like I’m letting them down and that I need to tough it out. Let me tell you, that is NOT the answer. Stay as active as possible, but listen to your body, and NOT your mind. Your family will eventually see the debilitating affects of you pushing too hard. Take care of yourself.

  73. By Pati S. on Feb 19, 2009

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    That’s so funny that quite a few of us have said that our families think we might be “milking” our situation. I guess the thing is that if you’ve never had DDD, then you have NO idea what it’s like. I, too, have DDD. However, I only have one disc affected and arthritis in my hips. After reading all the blogs and comments on this site, I feel very blessed that that’s all I’m having to deal with. My heart goes out to all of you who are going through this. I’ve had surgery as well and my doc says that I need another. The thing that I don’t get is they tell us that surgery won’t fix the pain — so are we destined to live on narcotics the rest of our lives?!? This is so frustrating. The only thing that seems to be a constant is that exercise helps keep the joints lubricated and, therefore, not as stiff. Plus, I’ve heard that lots of water helps. But, you’re totally correct in that we should listen to our bodies. We can’t live like the rest of the world does. I guess we just have to try and forgive the rest of the world in thinking we’re just a bunch of babies!! Take care and hang in there.

  74. By Dawn Marie on Feb 19, 2009

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    Patti thank you for your comment your so right there are so many of us and we are not alone I have not yet had to be in the knife yet but I’m afraid it’s coming and so many things work for the other in differnt ways. I still manage to keep up with my exercise’s I got early on and it does give some relief but not much but I suppose alittle is better than no relief,It’s like some of these doctors do not care and had being in the medical field for so long myself I worked with some really good doc’s just none was for the head or spine which stinks! I will to now pray for all of us and not just myself nor my family now that I know there are others out there suffering like I’am! The hardest thing about all of this is besides my pain my two daughters had been affected bythis my oldest was in her senior year of high school and did not graduate with her class because she worked more to help her step-dad main tain a roof over our heads and food and heat during the winter months,For that I feel very guilty but she tells me it’s not my fault she did how ever get her Ged in “07″ and is oka. How ever my younest has sufferd the most because I was so active with her biking-playing catch and the mall just to window shop and say how she was going to decor. her house some day none no more because of my pain I try not to let it interfere but I have my good and bad days most bad I do walk and listen very clearly to my body when it says enough is enough enough! I read also the thing I miss most is my elderly patients I use to take care of I miss their smiles and the stories about the old days! Well hopfully they will come up with a mircle for us someday soon! Good Luck to all of us and I will say a special pray for all out there!

  75. By Dawn Marie on Feb 19, 2009

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    Cam I comp;etly understand where your coming from I to have seen doc after doc and I’m stuck with a 29500.00 med. bill and that’s just one that does not count all the others that I can not pay. My doc. has declared me disabled since “2006″ August,and my pain is still with me I do everything I’m suppose to do but it is hard. I keep looking for answers but end up back at square one,I do not know what the furturer holds but I do not like what is happening right now,all the water-walks-and stuff strickly for your back ice does help me and some times heat but not always,Have you ever had a doc.tell you that your pain is all in head and then be sent to 5-10 different pshy.for eval.just to make sure it’s not! That hurt I was a Nurse’s aide when I got hurt how long 13yrs,My wonderful employer “F”ed me over I did not enjoy that one if you know what I mean! And my injury took place just 1yr and 1mo.after I was married,I was still considerd a newly wed,my husband is still around but I think he stays because he feels sorry, We argue and thats not good for me! So he and I did split,and it’s all do to my injury because I’m not whole person o’h we talk 3-4 times a week but that is it no private life of any kind because I’m broken and the debt has gotten so deep so your not alone Cam. I will say a pray for you also tonight that you get answers that you are looking for and o’h by the way I was only 38yrs old when my work related injury happened and now I just turned 41 in Dec.of “08″,even though due to my pain in spine and low back I was just a baby as some of my close friends put it I had one child graduating frm high school and then I was going to back to college for Nursing “RN”!My youngest who is 17yrs old now thought that would be neat me and mom can study together she told all her friends and then I get hurt and upon going for MRI and x-rays I learn I have DDD and no-one in has ever suffered frm DDD! What a shock. Well Cam if you ever want to talk you have my e-mail I check it every 3 days and yes its to due to my pain level. So hang in there believe me I know its hard but if any help your not alone!Sorry for being so long winded sort of! Take care and good luck.

  76. By John W.

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    on Feb 28, 2009
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    I am also a DDD suffering person. Divorced and living alone. I am 47 yrs. young. I am blessed to wake up each day. I refuse to allow pain to define me. I trust God 100% to continue keeping me saine. I have spent all of my savings/401-k, etc.. to pay over $15,000 for NO results. I take strong pain meds, and also have lost over 25 lbs. I was 6’1″ tall, and am now under 6 feet. If we allow pain to rule out lives, then we have no life at all. I find meditation, deep breathing, feeding birds, and most recently ..writing poetry to be very beneficial to my mind. I will share anything I have, with anyone who asks. I have 14 poems already, and will continue to search for real relief. Love is very powerful. Hate is equally powerful. I love all persons, and have learned more in chronic pain, than I ever did when life was “normal”. My email is ripplewink at hotmail, so connect with me, share your thoughts.. I will listen.

  77. By nikki mccune on Mar 8, 2009

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    I’ve had DDD for years and five doctors didn’t take it seriously.Finally a surgeon said my neck was “horrible!’ It had bone spurs arthritis degenerative discs and was bending into my spine in a few places. My fingers were numb and tingly and at times if I lifted some thing heavy not only would I have a headache for a week or more I also would reverse things in my speech, like call a box a bag or spell dog-god.so I let The surgeon work on me removing bone spurs etc. and he removed three dics and put in a metal plate. The problem is he put such a curve in my neck and it is shorter also. My neck is thrust forward and I have a huge hump on my neck that you could set a glass on.I could graise with the buffalo and fit right in. This feels like I am carrying the whole wieght of my head in front of my shoulders. It is UBEARABLE! Now my lower back is strained my fingers still tingle and if I try to stretch my head up I get an instant headache and feel that I can’t stretch it. It is permanently compressed. I understand the person that wants to shoot himself-me to. It’s so frustrating never being really helped after years of lip service, nonbelievers, money takersand liers. Is there some one that can re-do the surgery correctly for the shape and size of my neck? Is there any help – please!

  78. By nikki mccune on Mar 8, 2009

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    I wanted to add that I am very healthy otherwise low blood preasure, never smoked and have been hard working and athetic- still had 3 fusions and definetly felt like everyone thought Iam faking this problem.

  79. By Terry Bodiford

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    on Mar 9, 2009
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    I felt like I was reading my own story. I’ve had surgery three times now by well qualified and highly recommended neurosurgeons and have been told I have to have a 4th. I am in constant pain and can hardly walk, yet I continue to work. Unless you have this, you don’t understand how it feels and affects you not just physically but emotionally as well. Were it not for my wife and families support I don’t know that I could make it. I didn’t get your age. I am 61 and had the first fusion four and half years ago.

  80. By Terry Bodiford

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    on Mar 9, 2009
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    I was told my problem was probably genetic, yet there isn’t any one else in my family with this illness, nor do we know of anyone previous that has had it. What are others being told as to the cause of this degenerative spine condition? I would love to have help. My pain is maddening and yet I can’t afford another 2 months off from work.

  81. By Lora M. on Mar 10, 2009

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    I was wondering if anyone could tell me some of the different exercises that I have read about in your blogs are. I am in a stand-off with my doctor right now over my pain medication prescription and really could use some relief. I am taking naproxen, but it isn’t helping at all. My husband gives me regular massages on my lower back, which do help, but only temporarily. I have been picking up a lot of tree limbs in my yard from an ice storm we had in my home state of KY, and boy did it ever aggravate my back and legs. I have been having a really hard time emotionally dealing with the fact that I may never get help with my pain or my condition. I am so grateful to have this blog to simply vent and connect with others in my situation. Please let me know of any tips or tricks you have learned to help relieve your pain. I would appreciate it!

  82. By Merlin on Mar 10, 2009

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    I fell 30 feet when I was in the Army. I have several compressed fractures and herniated discs. I had a recent MRI which showed that all of my lumbar discs are black and nearly non-existant. Does a highly traumatic fall cause ddd? The Army pushed me out the door quickly and I haven’t had any medical procedures as of yet. Any advise? I am only 30.

  83. By Brian on Mar 11, 2009

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    I am not a radiologist but I can look at two pictures and find differences and similarity between the two. I recently had an MRI. The Dr said that they couldn’t find anything. All discs in my l spine are black. I have protruding herniations where I still have discs and my t9 is sitting on top of my t10. I have looked at enough MRIs to notice ruptured discs and the lack of discs. Does anyone else have this problem?

  84. By Jeannie on Mar 11, 2009

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    To Brian,
    I have the same problem with two discs and no spaces on 4 levels. The doctor is thinking about a fusion. However, he said that a fusion on four levels (and two discectomy’s) is just plain crazy. What the heck does that mean?
    He sent me for a discogram. That was so painful that the radiologist could not finish the test for me crying from the pain. I figured they got the answer from illicitng the pain. But, he sent me for a myelogram to confirm what he already thinks. I find out what he can (or cannot) do on the 18th.
    Being a nurse, I know about the discectomy- piece of cake compared to the fusion. I fear the fusion but, I cannot work in my field without extreme pain. What to do?! Darned if you do, darned if you don’t.
    Good luck and post a note to let us know what can be done to help you obtain optimum mobility.
    Jeannie

  85. By Lora M. on Mar 11, 2009

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    I also went through the trauma of a discogram and it was horrible. I was in so much pain, it took three doses of morphine to only slightly reduce my pain and I ended up being sent to the ER for more pain meds. I couldn’t walk for 3 weeks afterwards. I have talked to my surgeon about a discectomy, but they don’t think I need anything right now, not even pain meds! I am a CMA but haven’t been able to get a job because I need accomodations since I can’t stand on my feet for very long and I can’t do a lot of bending. I am just about to try and get disability, but I am only 23. I don’t know what else to do! Thanks for listening.

  86. By Brian on Mar 12, 2009

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    Jeannie,
    Would you be able to tell me what type of specialist I should see to receive the best treatment for ddd? I fell six years ago. A year after my fall I finally went to find out why I always hurt. I found out that I had several compression fractures, herniated discs and ddd. My only treatment was pain meds and muscle relaxers. I can’t work on meds and have become overwhelmed with the pain associated with normal daily activities. The meds really don’t help anyway. I just had an MRI and I am to see a orthopedic who specializes in the spine. Supposedly my 4 ruptured discs do not exist. I have a copy of my MRI and I can see my injuries. I am so frustrated with a new diagnosis from every specialist I see. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  87. By Lora M. on Mar 12, 2009

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    For Brian,

    I wouldn’t go to an orthopedist. I was told that they are surgery-happy and can do more damage than good. They only specialize in the bones of the spine and DDD affects the discs mostly. It can cause arthritis, but an orthopedist probably wouldn’t be able to help there. I was sent to a neurologist and a neurosurgeon for treatment.Of course, as is the case for most of us, they basically said there was nothing they could do until I was unable to function at all. I hope you can get relief soon and good luck!

  88. By Brian on Mar 12, 2009

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    Lora,
    Thank you for the information. You are so young to be dealing with such tremendous pain. I am32. I originally broke my back in the Army from a fall five years ago. I was in the Special Forces pipeline and continued the high intensity training though I was in pain. After I broke my back I kept going, had 12 MRSA infections lost 65 lbs in less than a month and was admitted to ICU upon the completion of a portion of training. While in the hospital I explained that I had fallen and my back hurt. They were only concerned with my infections because I was on the verge of dying. They did nothing for my back so, I thought that I was fine, just in pain. The mentality in SF is to be able to block out pain and I did. A year had passed and it still felt as though my vertebrae were smashing against each other and every step for the first five miles of a run were dreadful. My back, legs and body would then go numb and I was fine until I stopped running. Then I became stiff and had a lot of pain. I finally went to a clinic and asked for ibuprophen. When I mentioned back pain x_rays were taken and fractures were revealed.One day I was jumping out of planes, carrying 300 lbs on my back to being told I could lift only 25 lbs and could not run or jump and was to think about my life outside of the Army. I then had an MRI that revealed ddd, arthritis and several ruptured discs. I was put out of the Army by medical separation and received a 20 pct. disability rating.I was told that I was walking and controlling my bowels so I was fine. I get pain meds but I can’t work with the meds. I now can hold my one year old for a few minutes until the pain is too great. I decided to go the civillian route through my insurance and now I supposedly have no ruptures. I understand the frustrations with the medicalfield that you and all with ddd are having. I used to make my money by means of putting the pain aside and moving forward. I have a tremendous pain tolerance and I wonder how long I can suffer daily before I break either mentally or physically. I understand your pain and I hope that everyone with ddd or back injuries the best of luck at receiving quality care that tyou deserve. Pain should always be treated or it will take its mental toll. I have learned a lot on this blog and appreciate all of the information. I have questioned whether anything is wrong with me or if the pain is ib my head but I can feel it and have. Felt it for years, even before I found out the damage. That is why I went to the doctor in the first place. I wish you all well.

  89. By Rene Lane on Mar 12, 2009

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    I’s so strage to see all the comments posted here. WE all soun like one common voice. A CAR did the damage to my spine in 1992. Been through EVERYTHING all of you have. May I say one thing about sleep. I FOUND using and Air Mattress was my best bet. IT took the PRESSURE off my spine. I also love the BLOCKS on my spine the Docs do. That helps me keep walking. I GAVE UP ON DEPRESSION…I am a fighter and garden and walk and drive and grocery shop and wait each month for my Check to hit the bank. YES the pain is there IT will always be there. BUT if you give in IT wins. Sorry but I hurt just like all of you every hour of everyday…but I said to HELL with it. I have lost SO VERY MUCH yetI fight to keep ON doing. I have to rest and hurt but get back up EVERY DAY and do IT again. Pain will WIN IF you let it. Don’t stop what YOU love to do. Maybe not riding horses or a motor cycle..NOT sure I could do that again but everything else I WILL do.
    My Pain Doc here started me on Lyrica and Skelaxin…I CAN SLEEP all night. I have NOT done that in 16 years. I felt like a new person when I starte taking these meds. IF you need help with the cost…and trust me THEY cost…the company can do it for FREE. That’s how I get mine. Of course I’m one of the walking poor now to. But there are silver lining there as well.
    The only thing I can tell each and every one of you or us, is fight and do. I can’t move my neck well but the pain is less but my arms and hands don’t work so well any longer. Had a Lamy in 02 and the PAIN IN THE BUTT left me. Not to mention my right leg which was turning in now is straight. I HAD to buy new shoes because my foot no longer fit the old warn shoes. SEE a plus right there. They tell me the weaknes in my legs and arms are from the surgeries. I USED CADAVER BONE in all surgeries. I DID my home work there to…it takes so long to heal from using your leg bones. I may even donate ME for some other person to have some good bones…hehehe IF they can find some anyway. I wish all of you blessings and God only knows what we suffer. I try not to whine or even complain after all I had spent 5 years in a wheel chair so I have MY FEET now and I have NOTHING to complain about. I may be BACK in the chair one day…but I will have time to let my brain accept that. My new MRI is a mess and my Doc gave me a hug. I almost cried. I feel sorry for the Doctors that see us…knowing that NOTHING can relly STOP the pain. That must be a burden for them also.
    JUST KEEP LIVING..DO NOT LET THE PAIN WIN…if you do then you realy will loose yourself and we are worth SO very much. Again GOD BLESS us all.
    IF I CAN HELP ANYONE HERE…leave a reply and I WILL help anyone that asks. I’m not a DOC but someone that REALLY understands. IF I can help one person have a good day…wow the pain takes a hike. Just and offer…after all I have nothing but time on my hands and a check on the 3rd!!

  90. By Rene Lane on Mar 12, 2009

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    Sorry I forgot to leave my email address
    rene.lane@att.net

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    LIVE LOVE and Laugh…don’t let the pain WIN

  91. By Jeannie on Mar 13, 2009

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    Bian,
    Find a good neurosugeon. They really understand the nerves in the back that send a message that something is wrong and cause us a great deal of pain. Ortho guys are good. But, there is nothing like a neurosurgeon. I’m a nurse and I know how things work (or don’t).

    My question to ALL is this: If the doc finally decides what kind of surgery I am to have and it leaves me with a worse percentage of disability, and I cannot continue to work as a nurse, can I file for disability? I’d much rather be working. I love and miss caring for people.The reality is that we need my paycheck. So, who has a financial answer?

  92. By Jeannie on Mar 13, 2009

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    Hey Brian, sorry I spelled your name wrong. Muscle relaxers also relax the brain!

  93. By Jeannie on Mar 13, 2009

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    Lora M,
    I just read your comments on the discogram. Agreed. I lifted off the table and was crying like a baby. They didn’t even finish the study because they said that I was too “emotional”. After all that,they sent me for a myelogram. That was piece of cake compared to the discogram.

    Hey girl, you need another doctor! Your best bet is a neurosurgeon. If you have that much pain, they need to fix you up. Prayers for all of you who suffer.

  94. By Pati S. on Mar 13, 2009

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    Jeannie & Brian & Anyone Else Who Is Interested:

    I really thought long and hard about posting this comment. But, Jeannie, after reading the post you just put up, I really felt the need to respond. And, Brian, your story really touched me. Before I go on, PLEASE, please know that this is from my heart. I am in the same boat as all of you — some of you have a much more challenging condition than me & you are all in my prayers. I have posted a couple of comments before, but have only recently been compelled (sp?) to offer up a financial solution for some of you. It actually didn’t even occur to me at first.

    Like many of you, I am without a job. I worked in a law firm and my ddd got so bad that I had to take off too much time from work. Between the pt appts., doctors, tests, etc., I was no longer able to do my job to their satisfaction. Same song, different verse — I know! I know what it is to be in constant pain, battleing with doctors and stuck at home with no job. I have to depend on my husband and adult child to try and pay the bills without my former salary. And, I know that some of you don’t even have a spouse to help you, are trying to keep a roof over your head and pay all your medical related expenses and everything else on top of it. Believe me, I think about you people every day. And, please take what I am about to propose to you as a gesture of love. For me, this goes way beyond making extra money.

    Anyway, to the point. I have an online home-based business that has great potential to pay big. And, when I say big, I mean BIG! The opportunity is open to anyone with the desire and motivation to make it. Now, understand that this won’t be a good fit for everyone. But, if there is anyone out there that wants an opportunity to help themselves, then I extend my hand to them.

    I’m not going to go into the details because it would take way too much time and I don’t feel this is the appropriate forum to do it in. However, let me say this — I am just one of you trying to make it. And, if I can offer someone the opportunity to help themselves, then I’m going to step out on that limb. I promise you that if you are interested then I will get you the information — that’s it. No strings. You have my word as a Christian.

    So, that’s it. I am just looking for those people who are looking for me. Here is my e-mail address — plseewald@yahoo.com

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    . Let me hear from you, even if you just want to talk.

    I may not have any answers on how we can get “fixed” — apparently even the doctors don’t have those answers, but maybe I can help someone in another way. Take care and I send you love.

    Pati S.

  95. By Lora M. on Mar 15, 2009

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    I have a weird question to ask everyone…Have you ever had a fever with a flair up of DDD? I know its a weird question, but I have noticed that when I am having a hard time with my back, I tend to run a fever, usually 101. I don’t really know if it is related to my back or not, but my doctor seems to think it is. Also, the area surrounding the herniated disc will get really red and hotter than the rest of my body and very tender. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar experience. Thanks.

  96. By John W.

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    on Mar 15, 2009
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    In response to the nurse, YES you can file for 100% disability from Social Security. It is so unfair that you have to hire a lawyer who gets aprox. 27% of the first check ( includes all back pay from the last day of work), and I have waited 3 years for my hearing, and now must wait 90 days for the decision. DDD can take all your life away, but as Pati S. said, we ALL together share the load, spread out the burden, and LOVE eachother! That in itself, is a “healing”. Thanks Pati for such an inspirational post!!!

  97. By Michael Buvia on Mar 16, 2009

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    Hi to all, My name is Mike and I also suffer from D.D.D Not only in my lower back but also in my cervical spine, I have had three surgeries on my cervical spine none of which has caused me any relief, now I suffer having three more Disc in my cervical go bad. I have a pain pump installed and it gives me a steady dose of pain medicine to the area that needs surgery. Also I have DDD in my lower back L4 L5 & S1. I have decided not to have surgery again if I can possibly help it. I could use some help getting my spine back into good shape and don’t know who to turn to. Please if you know anyone that could help me avoid surgery I am 56 years old and my wife is 37 years old that is a 19 year difference and I don’t want to loose here but this problem is killing my sex drive and it’s killing my social life with my friends and family.
    Thank You for listening, With warmest regards. Michael Buvia.

  98. By Jeannie on Mar 16, 2009

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    Lora M
    I have never had a fever related to the back issues. It may be that you may have osteomyelitis. That’s an infection of the bone.
    I don’t know why they wouldn’t try to give you IV antibiotics to start out. Then switch to oral antibiotics. The area is not supposed to get red and hot.
    I woked orthpedics and it sounds like an unfection that is cureable and relieve some if not all of your pain. Ask the doc about treating it w/ antibiotics. What could it hurt?
    I pray that the docs will be lead to treat you correctly. No one should have a fever of 101 due to back pain. You can (and should) have a low grade temp after surgery. That is the metabolism of the healing process. Let me know what happens.
    I pray you are all healed and we can tak about something else !

  99. By Jeannie on Mar 16, 2009

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    John W
    Are you kidding that you had to wait 3 years for a hearing ? What do they expect us to live on ? Aren’t we responsible citizens who were hurt on a paying job ( and not milking the system)?
    I took care of a woman who had cancer- all over her body. Her doctor thought that she was a chronic complainer and ignored her symptoms until she had a grand mal siezure and wound up in the hospital. She tried to get disability and they told her to come back in 6 months to re apply. She told them that she had about 1 month to six weeks to live. They did not help her. She worked until she died with a cane, eyes “bugging” out of her head and in excruciating pain not relieved with the strongest meds available. I wrote my congress woman and she referred me to someone else and it went on and on until I gave up trying to change the process.
    Since I am at home and able to sit for about 20-30 minutes at a time, I would “take up the cross” if ANYONE has a clue as to who I need to bug next. Not just for me or you, but for all of my patients suffering who need to be at home with thier families and die with dignity. Not at thier desk.

  100. By Brian on Mar 16, 2009

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    Hey everyone! I hope all is well! Is anyone familiar with bilateral pars defects of the L4? In my recent MRI this was also found as well as degenerative change in the facet joints bilaterally to go along with everything else. Anybody have experience with this? I have done some research from this new MRI report and I am finding that this is typically treated by fusion. If anyone has any info it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to always be picking everyone’s brain!

  101. By John W.

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    on Mar 17, 2009
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    Jeannie,
    Thanks for the reply. Just this type of web site, gives hope. Hope is all one needs to push on, so I am pushing! I thank you and others, for taking time out to read, and to reply. DDD robbs you of your life and requires huge adjustments in your daily routien. I will search for real answers to my last breath on this earth. Pain will kill you if you let it. Faith brings hope, hope brings life. I love you all. JW

  102. By Beth

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    on Mar 17, 2009
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    I too suffer from DDD and have had surgery on both my neck (C4- C5) and back (L5-S1).They fused both. Now , I’m about to have another neck surgery on C3 because the MRI showed a Bulge that is pressing on my spinal cord. I have dealt with this pain for over 10 years.
    Both surgery’s gave me my life back. Before the surgery’s I couldn’t stand or walk for long period’s of time. Sleep was out of the question. I couldn’t find a position that relieved any pain. Now It’s back. I will be going in for shots to try to relieve the pain and I’m hoping for the best.I’ve had these shots for hip pain, hand pain, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain and on and on!Like other people in the same position, I take pain medication,muscle relaxers, depression medication and sleeping pills. They all help me get through the day but I don’t want to have to take these for the rest of my life! I’m 46 and want my quality of life back and if surgery will help me again, I will do it!
    Good Luck to all who suffer with me and may God bless all of you !

  103. By Duane on Mar 17, 2009

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    no its not over.I was the same way and the doc i went to help me alot but i still have to go back. I was having truble as some times my leggs would not even work. When I would move or try to turn i would just fall.

  104. By Duane on Mar 17, 2009

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    To add to that it got to the point that I couldnt stand straight up. I went for about 4 years before I found a docter that would help me,But it ment surgory but it worked and I was amazed when i got out of surgory and back to my room. When I woke up I was able to stand straight up without help. Dr tufaha in williamsport pa is who fixed me and give me no bullshit about the opperation. Glad i had it done because I was at witts end.

  105. By Jeannie on Mar 18, 2009

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    Beth; Thanks for the info. I just found out today that the doc wants to do a discectomy and a fusion. He said the discectomy would just take away the numbeness and sciatica in my leg but not the back pain. So, I told him to go ahead and schedule the surgery. I can’t stay like this forever. Anyway, your note gave me hope. I know it’s not a fix forever. But, it may give me back my life for a time.
    Thanks again and good luck to you with your upcoming surgery. Bless you !

  106. By Jeannie on Mar 18, 2009

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    Duane: Thanks for the input. All of it helps. I eget more help and support from all of you. Just can’t tell you all how much it is appreciated. God bless all of you !

  107. By Brian on Mar 19, 2009

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    Hey everyone, I hope that everyone is having a better day today. I received a steroidal epidural today from the DO I saw. The good thing is that I have been seen on a pretty fast paced schedule right now. The injection was nice for about an hour due to the numbness I had in my legs. I still had the pain but it did relieve me slightly! Better than the everyday grind! I am paying for it now! The bad thing about the relief is that it just seems to hit harder after the meds have lost their effect! I imagine that is why people become addicted and/or desire the stronger stuff. I have used about 6 mos of meds in 4 years because of my desire to not be dependant on it. It also doesn’t help that I have to drive, work and function without ‘em.I imagine that is part of the norm to see if they are dealing with the appropriate nerves. Hope you all have a great day! Hopefully I will get to sleep sometime.

  108. By Brian on Mar 19, 2009

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    Jeannie, I just can’t imagine the pain and suffering that the woman u spoke of had to deal with. Have you tried a senator? I am grateful for your push to help others. Your history of being a care giver deserves great reward. It is wonderful to know that there are people in health care that care more for the patients’ welfare than their payroll. U have an incredible amount of knowledge that is absolutely beneficial to all of us blogging. Thank you.so much for your sharing!

  109. By Brian on Mar 19, 2009

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    John w, I can’t believe that it takes so long to help people who are in dire straights to get the disability that they deserve. A portion of evryone’s income is geared just for that. I can’t imagine the debt that is also piled on while someone is suffering. That is exactly what is going on. There are those that receive assistance because they don’t want to work, while those that can’t work or suffer to continue to work, can’t get a timely resolve to their matters. I am working, but I am both physically and mentally taking a hit every day. I am absolutely astonished by the way the system functions. I hope u the best John! Good luck with this! Good luck to everyone that is struggling and suffering.

  110. By William on Mar 20, 2009

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    I have had DDD for ten years,I have been to every Doctor and ended up having surgery on my neck . I had the cadaver bone surgery and I am on pain medication,antidepressants,sleeping pills,muscle relaxers. guess what I’m still in constant pain. there are times I feel like I want to give it up,but than I realize I have to go on for my family. when you have this condition it’s not just you that suffers it’s everybody around you too. So keep your chins up guys and hope for a cure in the future. GOD BLESS.

  111. By Alice Bruton

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    on Mar 23, 2009
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    I too have been suffering with D.D.D. The Doctor I have I’m not sure how educated on this particular subject he is, because it has progressed to where it is. I was diagnosed 11 years ago with degenerative disc disease, and it involved only 2 discs and was leveled as mild to moderate. Now 11 years later it has progressed to involve 5 discs and the pain is excruciating. I have although gotten to the point where I can tell when my back is getting ready to go out on me. It feels like the discs are sliding to one side, then I get tingling in my toes, and to walk is a big challenge, because my legs don’t want to work. But…and here’s the kicker, My doctor says he can’t see anything that would warrent surgery as of yet. Man do I wish I had better knowledge of this thing and how long I have to wait to get relief! How much longer before I end up in a wheelchair permanently?

  112. By Tammy on Mar 26, 2009

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    Wow, reading these comments is like looking in the mirror. I am 46 now, and had a spinal fusion in 2003, L4-5, S1. First thing the doc put one of the screw through my cortex nerve and had to go back in and remove both screws on the left side. I have been through so much due to the surgery from the leaving 80 surgical clips in my stomach because they went through my stomach to get to my spine, so you add that with the very major pains meds I take and it is very uncomfortable to go to the ladies room. I have since developed Dystonia (form of Parkinson’s), Fibromyalgia, arthritis from L4 to my toes, DDD,Severe depression and to beat it all I just lost my disability through my company I worked for because my doc’s assistant filled the paperwork out half way. I am in the process of appealing but don’t feel too sure that I’ll win. I was turned down for SSI also.
    I also am at my wits end. I have grown kids and grandkids that aren’t grown, then of course my husband who has really tried to be my rock but it’s hard on him also. Honestly, if it weren’t for them, I would be done. If I get denied for my appeal I will hire an attorney I guess but then he /she will get a percentage for as long as they want… it’s hard but I feel better just writing it out to others in my shoes. Thanks for being there!

  113. By Betty on Mar 27, 2009

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    I have had DDD for about 8 years now and osteo.arthritits(Spelling).
    Went to chiopractor,pain clinic,surgeon.
    nothing helped the surgeon refuse to do surgery said I was too young! I was 53years old!Went to pain clinic got kenalog shots in neck and back lasted a few weeks pain back.
    pain clinic Dr gave me vicodin but can’t go back no money. Family Dr. gave me predisone to take out inflamation. and ibuprofin. now my stomach is raw constant heart burn on antidepresents and ativan along with restless leg syndrome medication. I need relief. Worked at labor jobs all my life can’t work anything now disability was my option but hate to go through all the stress of fighting the system.
    I am glad I found this site am not alone and know that others with this problem understand what I am going through pain 24 7. other people just think it is a simple back and neck pain but we know better.
    Any advice would be appreciated. I cry more now and then get mad for feeling sorry for myself.I tried excerises too. and therapy nothing works.

  114. By andrea d. on Mar 29, 2009

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    Has anyone had good results from posterior decompressive laminectomy surgery with (or without) fusion for cervical DDD? How about laminoplasty? I’ve got 5 or 6 degenerated disks and am told that a fall or wrong movement could leave me paralyzed, hence the recommendation for surgery. I’d greatly appreciate any advice or experience that might help and thank you all.

  115. By Jim on Apr 2, 2009

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    I am 54 year old man.I was injured in a trip-fall at work in 2003.I tripped and fell backwards landing on the edge of a small stand.The next day had problems getting around.Company nurse sent me to company clinic.I had severe pain in lower back,pain in legs,numbness in one foot.Right away they told me I had arthritis.Sent me to pt for stretching and exercise,but it just aggrivated my pain.I was given so many drugs,some that were pulled due to dangerous side effects they caused.Then was sent to a rehab Dr.Gave me more drugs,for pain and depression.Was also told it was arthritis,and nothing he could do for the pain.I believed him.So I went back to work and suffered through the pain until 2006.It got to the point I could hardly walk.Numbness in both feet,pain in both legs.Had to sit quite often at work, always getting reprimanded for it.I can remember one time production manager told me he didn’t care what was hurting,do the job or he would find someone who would.I couln’t live like this so I went to workmen comp person and she sent me to a spine rehab Dr.He had me do more pt , more drugs, spinal injections .It helped some until it all wore off.Pain came back more intence,had a lot of weight gain and depression.Was released from that Dr.Work told me nothing for me to do.was told they would give me a small lump sum and let me go.I got a lawyer,who got me a second opinion from a neurosurgen.Was found to have DDD and buldging disc.Had lower lumbar fusion in 2007.Still having extreme pain.Been off work 1 1/2years.Have applied for disability.Been denied twice.Waitin on hearing .May take up to 2 years for that.I walk with a cain now.Can’t stand or sit in one position for long,can’t bend,stoop,twist you name it….my marriage is stressed to the limits.Not able to perform like the man I use to be.Had to sell my horses, my motor cycle,stop gardening and yard work.what use am I to anyone?I am to young to be this old!!!Thanks for listening…

  116. By Cindy on Apr 4, 2009

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    Hi, Alot of You sound just like me. I was a EMT and hurt mtself lifting patients. After a few MRI’s they said I have DDD. six hernated disc and a couple bulging some deviated disc’s at T7 and one of the MRI’s showed up a Cyst or possiable tumor and then the next MRI said arachnoid cyst. None of the doctors wanted to treat me or help me, My family doctor gives me pain medicine but it seems like there is no help for the pain. And no answers about what’s going to happen to me, it’s hard to live like this. I’m only 47 and I’m a mess from this mentally and the pain is so bad I havn’t been able to sleep good in years I feel like it’s killing me but doctors act like it’s normal and no big deal.

  117. By John W. on Apr 5, 2009

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    Dear Cindy,
    I’m also 47, and as a single man, with DDD for the last 3 years, I know exactly how you feel. Tests totalling over 15K dollars, promises from Orthopedic, and Neurosurgions, and Physical Therapists, Anc Chiropractors, all simply “feed” off of the pain we deal with every single day. You are not slone, and I am here for you. If only to listen, or to realate…I am here..and I want to be someone you can vent to, ask any question ossible, anytime you choose. My email is ripplewink at hot mail dot com, so please email me and I will give you a contact number and we can simply chat. I’ve found just a true caring, understanding voice, can make a huge diference! May God Gless you…and call on me anytime!!
    John

  118. By Cindy on Apr 5, 2009

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    Thanks John, I think my family gets sick of hearing me complain. I feel like my bones are waisting away and the pain just get worse and worse. I have hernations in c3-4, with the mmi says is causing mass on the spinal cord spondylitic diease c4-c5, c5-6 c6-7and they say theirs a guestional lesion T7 level hernation L4-5 the mri also says T7 is deviated and hernations at t5-6, then another Mri 5 months later they said they think it’s a arachnoid cyst can’t be ruled out. since then the doctors have done nothing no more follow ups. ever heard of this kind of cyst.

  119. By Cindy on Apr 5, 2009

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    oh by the way the last mri i had was 2005. since then the doctors tell me to just deal with the pain. with vicodine and adivan.

  120. By Jeannie on Apr 6, 2009

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    Cindy,
    I read about the arachnoid cyst. There are 3 layers on the brain: Dura mater, arachnoid and pia mater. The name was given due to the position. These cysts can occur in the spinal cord as well. They can cause problems. I found 2 websites for you to research: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

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    and an e mail : braininfo@ninds.nih.gov
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    .
    Some things are better left alone unless you have symptoms- and you do. I hope this web site helps.

  121. By miiandra on Apr 8, 2009

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    wow i didn’t there was so many people that suffers from ddd. i have been go thr it about 3yr and stop wokin 1yr my primary dr was send me to all types of dr’s finaly found the right spine dr year ago but during the vist he gv me the news to my unknown pain i was very happy just to stop see so many dr’s and tryin am 30 yr old feeling like i’m 60 same day’s. well the happinee change to saddness that am goin to cont w pain and it can get woster over time as u age am like dam u mean that i will cont take meds and might have to get surgey
    if the pt and injection don’t work.well recent by job made make a choice either quit r go on medical leave i took 2nd choice this pain was effectin my job and mood and i was work in collection seat down job i thought it was good poistion sense mt dr put requirement on my daily life am not able to lift over 5lb and not reachin over my head and try to keep my hand tilt upward.I Have 4kids and 30yrs old my primary dr refer to pt was do it about 3week and pain wasn’t get any better my spine dr made me stop goin.and current run test on me but still trys and tell my surgery and explain it like was easy and my pt and primary dr is against does not agree with surgery tell me it will hurt more and can really change my life not in good way and i’m to young for that treatment and would likely have to get redone in future as i age DAM i did tell my spine dr about their responds and he disagrees. I’m stuck on what to do I just want to be pain free it’s like havin a teeth ache u been pain free for 2day but baby when u ready to have that juice steaks dam it hit u hard w\o warning. i get headaches in back of my head the feel like elec shock and something hot and sharp pain both arms and legs my hips my ddd is in my neck so u know that hurt sometime it feel like my heads is to big to support my neck wow pressure on the spine like somebody seatin on it i can’t be touch during those moments in my mind it hurt more. if someone has had the surgery write and explain the benfits and the negs sense my dr’s can’t agree and their all good at what they do but help

  122. By Joe on Apr 9, 2009

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    Has anyone checked out http://www.laserspineinstitute.com

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    ? We are wondering if this treatment is real or not.
    My wife has DDD and we are looking for any advise that will release her from pain.
    Thank’s

  123. By Linda on Apr 14, 2009

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    Hello everyone! I found this site while looking up the results of my MRI. I have dealt with back and neck pain since 1983 and I can’t deal with it much longer. I recently changed doctors and thank God I found such a wonderful doctor. It’s very hard for me to take pain pills. I don’t like how they make me feel. On my first visit with her I explained how I was tired of my other dr always trying to give me pain pills and not trying to find out what was wrong. In March of 08 I was working and started having these crazy dizzy spells, everthing was spinning around me and it seemed the floor was coming up to hit me. I went to my dr and he sent me to a neurologist who just took my blood pressure looked me in the eye and said “you have vertigo” as he pushed me out the door and charged me $450.00 He prescribed Meclizine 12.5. Well I took one and it knocked me out for 3 days. I didn’t take another one. I was seeing flashes in my vision. Sometimes they would travel like a firework other times just a tiny dot. (still don’t know what causes that) Blood pressure and sugar levels are fine. I called his office and they said the next visit would only be $375 which I couldn’t afford since I wasn’t working so I didn’t go. Now that I have the new dr she has sent me to the urologist for the incontinency and I am now taking med for that which help. I’va had a colonoscopy and today I had an EGD. Will find out the result of that in a week from my gastro. It would feel like I have a fish bone stuck in my throat and I have trouble swallowing sometimes
    She also orderd an xray of my neck because it burned and hurt all the time. I have a huge Knot at c7L1. She ordered pt until she came back from vacation(was gone 3 wks) the PT was killing me and I was having terrible dizzy spells. I walk into walls or stagger when I walk. The therapists kept telling me I need to talk to my dr and I would tell them she’s on vacation I would see her March 30 her first day back. She immediately stopped therapy and told me I would probably have to have surgery. Then Ordered an MRI. Well, the mri says I have Moderately advanced DDD at c6 c7 Multiple small disc bulge osteophyte complexes resent from c4 c5 through c6 c7 with mild central spinal stenosis at c5 c6 and c6 c7 and middle cervical facet arthropathy is present with slight degenerative anterolisthesis af c4 c5 and c5 c6. I don’t see my dr until next week so she can explain all this. Is anyone familiar with what type of surgery would be needed with all this? I applied for SS last year but was denied and I starte the appeal process. Is this something that SS would cover?
    Any answers to my questions would be greatly appreciated. I’ve been looking for a good neuro instead of an osteo, and from what I’ve read I like the Mayfield clinic so far. If anyone knows anthing about them or any other neuros in the Cincinnati Ohio area it would be greatly appreciated.
    And one last thing….
    I want to thank each and every person for being on this site!
    Keep the faith and God Bless…
    ~Linda

  124. By Sandra on Apr 14, 2009

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    My name is Sandra I have degenerative disc diease but it is in my neck it causes me to have headaches, neck aches, back aches, I was rear ended two times I have been putting up with this pain since 1995 it is the hardest pain I have ever had I have been to doctor after doctor but they keep telling me there is nothing wrong with me I am at the end of my rope I haven’t worked for 2 yrs. but I have had to work with the pain for 10 yrs. I need help.

  125. By Jeannie on Apr 14, 2009

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    Linda,
    Hey girl, I know what you are talking about. The same thing happened to me! I had a laminectomy to C3 thru 7 3 years ago. Healing from the surgery was very painful. However, after the pain and PT, there were no more headaches and neck pain.
    It seems to me that you have nerve damage from all the time wasted at the idiot doctors. Hopefully, the surgery to correct the problems will help. But, I think you may have some lingering nerve damage because of the length of time to be diagnosed.
    As far as the SS goes, know that they say no to everyone the first time around. You will have to get an attorney to help you get what you need and they can also get back “pay” for your injury. My step mother had to “jump throught hoops” for them. But with the attorney’s help, she is getting everything she should have been getting all along.
    Good luck to you and God bless all of you who are suffering-sometimes needlesly.Another thing- it’s very good to have a neurosurgeon fix your neck. They are the best.

  126. By Sandra on Apr 14, 2009

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    Thank you for your blessings I am still jumping I am just now getting a lawyer I have been applying for ssdi for 10 yrs. not consitantly but I have applied 4 times and still tell me I don’t have enough medical documetation so now I do so it is time to go up against them again wish me luck everyone. And again thanks for all your blessings.

  127. By Linda on Apr 14, 2009

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    Jeannie
    Thank you so much for the reply and info….I go to my doctor on Thursday to see what she says I need done. I hope I have chosen the neuro’s Their website is very impressive to me and I am very familiar with the hospital they practice at.

    Thanks again for being there!
    ~Linda

  128. By Jerry C

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    on Apr 15, 2009
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    I used to drive a cab when I was 25, and made a good living for my family of 3 children. I was at a red light at an intersection, working the bar rush, and sitting next to a Lady Police Officer. I was hit in the rear from a car going full speed 45-55 MPH and thrown into the intersection. Lucky for me, no one was coming the other way or I would have been a goner.

    Lady Police Officer dragged that no good drunk SOB out of his car and cuffed him to her patrol car and came to check on me. I couldn’t move my legs without horrible pain.

    They took me to the hospital and did EX-Rays and an MRI. Dr said I had BAD herniations in L5 & S1. They sent me to a specialist who said I needed surgery.

    Well, the cab company was self insured and wouldn’t pay for my injury and the Drunk had only $15K worth of insurance and I spent that day 1. No where to go to. Victim’s assistance in Florida helped me with another $15K and after the lawyers piece, I got a total of $28K.

    I went to a Dr. to get Steroid injections in my back. This allowed me to go back to work, only inside the cab company dispatching, and got health insurance.

    Thank God for the injections. For the first one, I got about 15 months of pain free living. The second one, I got like 8 months, and the 3rd one I got a weekend.

    Since then, I have been in and out of jobs, have UN-paid child support, cannot get Disability from SSI and have no where to turn for the back pain and the headaches that are sometimes completely crippling.

    Once not long ago, when I was doing OK, I took a sit down job, and got on insurance, and systematically started a plan to try to get myself better.

    Went to Dr. and afraid to tell him that my issues were with an accident 13 years ago, I told him of back pain. He prescribed mobic. What a joke for the back pain, did nothing, but have not had a bad headache in a long time, so I keep taking them.

    Then the company downsized and once again, without the chance to get surgery or anything, I was without insurance.

    Sometimes the pain in my back is so bad, I consider suicide. I have 3 lovely kids and a wonderful Fiancé that give me all the reason to want to live, but it is hard. I cannot work like other people, but God gave me a talent of singing and entertaining, and I am blessed enough to make a living out of that sometimes.

    But sometimes, after an hour of being awake and the pain is so bad, I couldn’t get up if the house was on fire, I sometimes wonder why I go through it all.

    You would think, in a society like we have today in this country, medical services and health insurance would be available to everyone, regardless of their situation.

    I wonder how much of a better Father, and a citizen of this State and Country I could have been and I could be, if I was able to get around like other people.

    Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

    As for others, looking for answers here, I posted to vent. I have looked for answers in Pain management. The answer there is, they get you addicted to pain killers and then stop giving them to you like it is some sick freaking joke to see someone addicted sick from withdrawal. The pain really never goes away, and the pills just mask it.

    As for surgeries? I have only ever met 1 man that surgery helped. All others say that they were better before they had surgury. Even with me knowing that, I hurt so bad, I would let any Quack cut me open and give it a shot.

    Injections? If you haven’t done them, you should try. The spinal tap hurts horrible, especially when they miss (happened 2 times in one try to me) but the end result was amazing. No pain, for a long time. Keep getting them until they do not work any more.

    Tried Novocain patches and that helped, but surprisingly, made me feel bad and made my mouth taste funny. Relieved some of the pain though. Wish I had 1 now, but they are like a $100 each, and then $250 for the Dr’s visit. I cannot do that and feed my kids.

    So, unfortunately, I have nothing of any value to offer you except the fact that you are probably screwed too.

    I wish I could tell you something happier or offer you better news, but if I did, I would be making it up, because up to now, I have found nothing to help me longer than the 8 or so hours that pills take to wear off, and the sick is just as bad as the pain. Only issue is, every time I get sick, it is worse, so I don’t like to take pills. I do have 100 or so Blue Hydrocodones in front of me calling my name, and they will probably win sooner or later, because tonight, I really hurt.

    Wish I could be some help, but I haven’t found any yet.

  129. By Linda on Apr 16, 2009

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    Jerry C
    That sounds terrible Jerry. I really sympathize with you. And I know what you mean about how much of a better person you feel you might be. You sound like a wonderful person and there is a reason for everything. Keep faith in God and he will direct you. That’s how I keep going. We all have so many things to be thankful for.
    Can’t you get worker’s compensation since you were working when the accident happened? Worker’s comp would cover surgery and dr’s find a good neuro. And SS have you appealed the decision? You must keep at it. One denial isn’t the end.

    Best of luck to you Jerry, and I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    ~Linda

  130. By Trish on Apr 22, 2009

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    Wow, am I glad I stumbled onto this site! Although I wish no one had to go through or feel like this, it’s a comfort to know that I’m not alone.
    On 1/16/04 I tripped over some boxes at work. I didn’t fall, but in hind sight, I guess I should have just fallen. What I did by stopping myself from hitting the floor was herniate 2 discs.
    I had every symptom and pain mentioned on here!
    After countless drugs, PT, injections, Xrays, MRIs, and that dreaded discogram (I wouldn’t wish that on even my ex husband!), I was finally sent to a neurosurgeon that said I needed surgery.
    Worker’s Comp wouldn’t OK it. After fighting many more months, the surgery was done on 3/17/05. He removed L4 and L5.
    While I was still in recovery, the Dr. came in and told me that he’d be seeing me in 3 to 4 years to take at least two more. That was 5 years ago and he meant what he said, I can tell it’s only getting worse. I have to say there surgery DID help to the point that the total numbness in my left foot and leg was all but gone. Unfortunately, as time passes, it has returned. The pain also shoots down the right side now.
    I thought that was the end of my story, but it just never seems to end. After the PT and everything relating to the surgery was done, my PC Dr. pretty much told me there was nothing else he could do. He tried changing meds (all of which make me sick or crazy) to no avail. WC has tried to stop paying me 5 times now, which means I had to get a lawyer (he gets 20% of my check every week). At the urging of my doc and my lawyer, I filed for DDS in 6/07, denied of course, then appealed. I finally had a hearing 5/9/09. Now this is going on for over 5 years, mind you. I received the decision this past Saturday stating “although her condition is considered “severe”, proven by medical opinions and evidence, her disability does not fall under the definitions of disability outlined by the court.”
    What?!?!? How is a person supposed to live like this, let alone make a living? My poor son has dealt with me not being able to do ANYTHING with him for 5 years. Instead of being my dependant, he has to help me get socks and shoes on every day of his life. That’s just not fair.
    I haven’t had insurance since 1/04. My lawyer told me to get Comp to pay for another MRI for DDS, like that’s going to happen! I understand that every system has their checks and balances set up, but they shouldn’t make it nearly impossible for people that need help to get it.
    Sorry to rant here, but as it’s been said here before, if someone never had DDD, they will never understand how day to day life is affected.

  131. By Cindy on Apr 23, 2009

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    Hi Every one who is suffering like me. Life seems like hell now. DDD seems like a death sentence, I have Bio polar , OCD and ADHA to top it off. The racing thoughts drive me nuts because it seems like not one cares about this problem but us. I wish we could find a cure to stop it from getting worst, like the pain is not bad enought. It’s seem like the Lawyers don’t care they put us down for being diabled and not being able to work, for having to live poor while they steal all of our money that were suffering for. they won’t even answer a simple question for us even tho they are working for us. I got 100% disablilty but having seen a peeny and my aHole of a Lawyer won’t even tell me whats going on with my case. He is treating me like a mental case who’s poor. I was an EMT voluteering for our township, I was a claplin for our township and the 22nd districk. (sorry I can’t spell good.) The pain makes me cry alot. Almost every day. It has hurt my great relationship that I have with my husband because it makes him sad to see me like this and sex use to be great with him but now it rarely happens because of the pain in my back. Workers comp never paid a penny for any of my treatment and my Lawyer who acts like I’m so below him can’t even tell me how to get help with WC to get me surgery or something to get me out of pain or to tell me how to get them to pay for any of it. For 5 years they’ve been telling me I can’t get treatment if I want to settle the case, I couldn’t find a Doctor to treat me because of the insurance mess. My case finally settled and my Laywer won’t even talk to me I don’t know what to do. Because I hernated six disc in my back lifting patients I’m now a piece of Shit becasue I’m poor and worthless because of it. He did say I’ll get a check every week for the rest of my life. I still don’t know how much or when. I know they are hoping I just die.

  132. By Jeannie

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    on Apr 23, 2009
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    Cindy, Cindy, Cindy…you have endured much pain and frustration. It’s a shame that there is not more of an awareness in our society for health care workers ! It’s shameful.
    Look here: if you are going to be getting a weekly check, it’s probably not from social security. I think that is monthly. Does anybody know about this stuff? I just hired an attorney yesterday to help me navigate the legal system. I figured the hospital has an entire legal department on site, why shouldn’t I get leagl representation ? So, I am learning now.
    But girl, you have to try and get it together. You’re scareing me.
    All the pain and frustration we all feel is real. The boredum has gotten to me. Please, let us help you through this. I think I can speak for us on this web site and tell you that we care.
    I have not had surgery yet. I’ve waited 1 1/2 months to get an appointment for a second opinion. Surgery has been rescheduled to mid May. So, I will try to get info or help you any way I can.
    Let us know what we can do to help you. Those of us that are able, will help.Hang in there !

  133. By Jeannie

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    on Apr 23, 2009
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    Has anybody had sacral fusions ? If the second opinion doc agrees with my doctor, they will be doing it on the 11th. They will also do 2 discectomy’s. I’m really nervous about the fusions. But, my doctor told me that the disc surgery is for pain and numbness down my leg. It wouldn’t help the back pain in my hips, butt, top of my legs and of course the back.
    Could anybody tell me what to expect directly after surgery and a few months post op ?
    Thanks gang ! God loves all of us.

  134. By Brian on Apr 24, 2009

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    Hey everyone!
    I hope everyone is doing the best they can be. I was curious as to whether anybody has taken Gabapentin. I was prescribed this two weeks ago from my VA care provider. Gabapentin is a brand of Neurontin. There are potential serious side effects. I am scheduled to see two surgeons soon. I have had three steroidal injection treatments recently without any relief, but the Gabapentin that has been known to be a miracle drug by some has done wonders for me. Again, there are some serious potential side effects, but with all of the pain everyone has, this may be the ticket. I have been in pain for six years with no relief, but in two weeks I feel quite good! I am not 100 percent, but I am greatly improved. I would strongly recommend speaking with your physician about it. Good luck to everyone!

  135. By Trish on Apr 25, 2009

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    I’m glad to hear that you found something that is helping, Brian. I was on Gabapentin for about 2 years. My doc perscribed it because I was having wicked spasms in my leg from the nerve damage in my back. The side effects aren’t that bad (no worse than anything else on the market). After I maxed out the dosage it lost it effectiveness, though. He put me on Lyrica after that. I know there are people out there that had their lives changed/saved by Lyrica and it’s a great drug, but I ended up with every side effect there was on that. After three months, my vision got so bad they had to take me off it. It’s a shame, though because that was really helping.
    Good luck to you and everyone else here.

  136. By Jeannie on Apr 25, 2009

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    Brian,
    I was on the very lowest dosage of neurontin and it made me very depressed. Others are much higher doseages and are doing very well. It’s just one of those things you’ll have to try yourself to see how your body responds. Good luck!

  137. By Brian on Apr 26, 2009

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    Jeannie,
    Depression is definitely one of those side effects that I have read about Neurontin. Pfizer has had to pay out a lot of money for the downside of the medication. I have been taking Gabapentin for almost two weeks now and I haven’t felt this good in six years. The things I have been doing for the past three days have been amazing! For a week and a half I was VERY drugged up from the medication and could not feel much of anything. Now, other than feeling a little warm, gaining about seven pounds and being slightly dehydrated I feel great! I am not a pill taker by any means and don’t want to depend on it. The thing is, I haven’t had relief from anything and 800 mgs of Gabapentin has had such an amazing impact on both my pain and mobility. I actually went to receive my third set of steroid epidurals on Thursday pretty much pain free. With that last set of shots, I have been pretty active the past few days. Hopefully I can get off of this medication without any regrets and get back to a fairly normal life. Good luck with your upcoming surgery! I pray that you will have great results! I have an appointment with a highly recommended surgeon in three weeks. Trish, do they only recommend Neurontin for a limited time? I hope that your physician can get you relief soon without the side effects. I am wishing everyone the best! Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts, support and information sharing!

  138. By Trish on Apr 26, 2009

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    I don’t know if there is a time limit on it, Brian, but as with any med, you can become immune to it. What scares me about all the meds on the market is every one that was perscribed to me (with the exception of Gabapentin) ended up pulled for one reason or another. I’ve often wondered what all of it is doing to my liver!
    I’m glad to hear that someone is finding at least a little relief. Good luck with the surgeon, I hope it goes well.

  139. By Lora M. on Apr 30, 2009

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    I have been having trouble with my whole digestive system not working right for about a month now. My stomach has not been emptying and my bowels have completely locked up on me. I had an EGD done this morning to rule out several diseases and see if there was any blockages, but everything was normal. I mentioned to by gastrologist that I had a herniated disk in my lower sacral spine that was already 30 % degenerated and arthritic. He said that the nerves in our lower spine connect and control our bowels and bladder functions. He also said that if I have nerve compression from this disk, it could be what is causing all of my digestive issues. This new find could really save me a lot money, seeing as I don’t have insurance, and will hopefully convince the last surgeon I saw to finally fix my back. If I can get the surgery that I so deperately need, it will not only give me relief from the pain in my back, but also the new pain in my stomach and allow me to be able to eat again. Has anyone else had any troubles like this, either with bowel control or bladder control?

  140. By Linda on May 1, 2009

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    I have also had those problems and am going to have a small bowl test done next week. I all ready went through the colonoscopy and EGD, I was having trouble swallowing. The only difference here is I’m being tested for my cervical spine. I have ddd, disc bulges from c3 to t3, and spinal stenosis. Other things also but I’m not going to ramble lol. I was having trouble swallowing so my gastro stretched my esophagus. I also have a very old injury to L4 which causes me a lot of grief. But, the docs are more concerned about the neck area now. I was referred to a neuro but he called and said I wasn’t ready for surgery “yet” and he referred me to pain management. I’m so tired of hurting, having little urinary accidents( toviaz has helped some I’ve gone from around 10 accidents a day to 2-3) and not being able to poo.
    I wish I could give you some relief Lora. I hope your surgeon is a neurologist. Best of luck to you, I will keep you in my prayers.
    One more thing, Soc Sec called me yesterday to complete my second appeal, I wanted to wait until I went to pain management but they said they had to do it now. I haven’t work in a little over a year and now my hands are starting to get a tremble. Not sure what that’s from but I’m sure I’ll find out.

  141. By Amy LAndin on May 2, 2009

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    I am 33 years old and had my L4 and L6 fused over 5 years ago now I have more problems than ever they put a rod and rebuilt the disk and now I have pain all the time I am on about 18 medications , my mind cant even focus most times my husband has to stay home and care for me I HURT ! The Surgery made it worse I hate that I had it done my left leg is in so much pain from nerve damage it is unreal , I feel like I am 80, I want the metal out and the Dr said they cant do it , but I think something is horribly wrong I cant sleep eat or srand , my husband carries me to bathe, I cant believe this CRAP ! DDD ruined my life CAN I get it Back ? can they take the rods out and do lazer surgery my brother in law had it done in Kansas and he is pain free for over 4 years my sister also , no pain at all , a Word to anyone condsodering surgery Everything you hear is right it makes it worse ! I am in more Pain Do not DO it ! The Worse Mistake of my life , The Dr now want to put a permant pain pump ( epidermal ) in my back I wont do it to scared of the thing getting pulled out ! The only thing that keeps me going is my children if it wasnt for them I would have done myself in a long time ago this pain is unbearable I cry myself to sleep or dope my self up so much my kids have to get themselves up for school , this SUCKS! I want my Life back but I feel like it is slipping away , in a very paunful way , I tell my husband everynight just to cut my left leg off it would not hurt as bad I have ask Dr just to amutaptute but they wont do it ! I am so sick of the pain meds I cant even spell anymore Sorry !

  142. By Amy LAndin on May 2, 2009

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    Sorry I meant L5 not L6

  143. By Jeannie

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    on May 2, 2009
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    Lora, It seems like you have persued the problem logically and the doctor did an EGD to check your stomach. Did you have a colonoscopy as well ? Sorry- meds kicked in. If all of this was normal then your digestive problems are probably from the nerves being compressed in your back. All nerve fibers pass and /or originate to your spine to send signals to your brain. Fix the swelling or bones that compressing the nerves and you will most likely be back to normal.I know, easier said then done. Good luck to you honey.

  144. By Jeannie

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    on May 2, 2009
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    I have a legal question that I was hoping someone could answer. Do all attorneys want 25% of disability and /or workers compensation checks ? My surgery is scheduled on the 11 th. If I wind up disabled, does the attorney collect for as long as I live? That seems crazy. I have an appointment on Wednesday. So, if anybody has any info or guidance I sure would appreciate it. God bless you all.

  145. By Trish on May 2, 2009

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    Jeannie,
    The contract that I have with my WC lawyer states that he gets 20% of my weekly check (they pay him directly) and if/when we settle, he will get 20% of the settlement amount. My SSD lawyer can get 25% of the back pay from Social Security, up to a limit. I’m not one hundred percent on this, but I think it’s around $5200 or so.
    I hope all goes well with your surgery and recovery. I also hope it gives you some relief. Good luck!

  146. By Lora M. on May 2, 2009

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    Jeannie— I didn’t have a colonoscopy done because they didn’t want to “shock” my bowels with the bowel prep stuff they usually have you drink. In fact, I did do a sort of mini bowel prep solution this weekend, but with no results. I am starting to think I have an obstruction with all the symptoms I am having now. I hope all goes well with your surgery and I hope to soon have my own surgery to get everything back on track so I can live my life normally like a 23 year old should. I do believe that my back has everything to do with the problems I am having now, but I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t something more dangerous. Hopefully my doctor will push my surgeon to go ahead and fix my back so my body can get straightened back out. Good luck to you too!

  147. By April

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    on May 6, 2009
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    I am 28 yrs old and started having lower back pain while pregnant 6 yrs ago. I found that I could not stand or walk for long periods and thought it was because of my pregnancy. It did not go away after giving birth at 27 weeks! A few years later my father was diagnosed with DDD and has had surgery to fuse them, but is looking at having another one because it was not successful. I watch him and it hurts my feelings to see him not be able to get out of a chair or hardly walk and not do the things with my son that he wants to do. Last year I went to a Chiropractor and had a MRI done to find out my worries were confirmed that I have DDD in L5 & S1. When I gain weight it hurts worse and when I loose weight it hurts because I am not getting the nutrients my body needs. I cannot lie on my back in the floor, hold or carry my 5 yr old long, or enjoy playing with him like I want. It hurts me to think I might be like my daddy one day or that my child might inherit it. I smoked for years before I got pregnant and after quiting found out that the nicotine goes straight to your disc. I have a high pain tolerance and have not gotten to the point of surgery or having to take pain pills a lot. I have found that Excedrin back and body helps me. I would like to know some things I can do to keep it from progressing faster. I tried to exercise, but it hurt me afterwards.

  148. By Lora M. on May 7, 2009

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    To April: My doctor recently suggested that I try taking a joint supplement, such as Elations. This can help lubricate your joints and reduce inflammation caused by the disk and vertebrae rubbing together. I am only 23 years old and have had DDD and arthritis in my sacral spine for 2 years as a result of a car accident. A chiropractor discovered my problem too, so I can really sympathize with you. I have also found that exercise is nearly impossible, except for swimming. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise your whole body without much impact on your joints and bones. It helps relax your muscles too, which can be a huge source of pain. Im glad you have found something OTC that controls your discomfort, it is no fun being on narcotics all the time. There are some days I feel as if I am not in my own body becasue I need so many pain pills to give me relief. I hope these suggestions are helpful to you and I hope that you don’t ever get to the point that some of the rest of us are at, where just getting out of bed is a challenge. Good luck!

  149. By regina18006

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    on May 11, 2009
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    i was diagnosed last year with ddd i am 34 i was told it was my L1-L5 the pain kept getting worse 6 months later it was in my s1 and s2 now i am afrid it is in my neck this disease is horrible i find nobody understands how we feel i cannot work let alone go out for the day because of the pain.i have been fighting with the disability office for over a year and the doctors have told me my spine is like a 50 year old.

  150. By Brian on May 23, 2009

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    Hey everyone,
    I hope everyone has a great memorial day weekend! Thanks to those that served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. I recently saw a highly recommended surgeon about my back. He said that I need a fusion to fix my bilateral pars defect of my L4. The problem is that he says in order to have the fusion, I need to replace 5 discs. I don’t qualify for the disc replacements because I have compressed vertebrae. I am basically stuck. I am within two weeks of being placed on short term disability through work because all of my physicians agree that I need to be on lite duty. Some of my family believe that since I can not be fixed, I need to suck it up and get off of lite duty to keep my job without being cleared by a physician. Evidently my back injuries aren’t serious in their eyes. Often I know someone that pulls a muscle in their back and then try to relate and imagine the pain I must bear. When they heal, they forget that mine is permanant without any relief. It really upsets me that even though I have worked up to 120 hours a week as little as 16 months ago, I have never been without at least one full time job, I am now just trying to get on disability because I am too sorry to work. I wish that deciding to deal with the pain and live an active lifestyle was that easy. I often think of completely separating myself from my loved ones because I feel so insulted that these people think so little of me. I would think that my past record and the word of medical professionals would be good enough for my family, but I guess not.

  151. By Jeannie

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    on May 24, 2009
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    Hi Brian and all fellow DDD sufferers. I read your post and I have a question about the discs. Why can’t they do discectomy’s or replacement on the 5 troubled discs? I had a fusion and the doc fixed 4 discs with different problems at the same time. My vertebre were compressed as well.
    Hang in there Brian. I have felt like you: suffering in pain while others look on with doubt. It can be a lonley place. Medicine helps but further separates us from the ones we love. There have been times that I just wanted to forget about the pain and just get back to work. Then I remembered how I was on the floor in pain after only 2 hours of work. The surgery was 2 weeks ago tomorrow. Surgery was the only option for the problems. Now I wait to see if the pain will subside so that I can go back to some kind of work.
    Sorry, lots of meds in me at this time.Find out why this doctor cannot fix the discs. It just does not make sense. Know that we all care for you and understand your suffering. God bless you and keep you so close that you can feel His breath on your face.

  152. By regina18006

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    on May 24, 2009
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    hi everyone i went back to the doctor and found out that my ddd is in 7 disks and it is now in my neck said they would do mri when it gets worse i have dizzy spells and can throw up on Q.i am so glad i found this site so i know i am not alone went to a barbeque hurt badly but did not want to tell anyone how bad it truley hurt just sitting there, and watching everyone else having fun i felt like i was alone hope your all memorial weekend was betterthan mine

  153. By doug, on May 25, 2009

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    Wow I just stumbled, ok poor choice of words, on this website. I had no idea how many people suffered from ddd. I have a 41 year history of back problems, surgery, chiropractic for years, nerve blocks and radio frequency ablation. None of which provide any real relief. My problem is I finding it harder to keep going, I work part time with special needs kids and it’s the neatest thing I’ve ever done. I just don’t know if I can keep going. Any tips on hangin in there.

  154. By Brian on May 25, 2009

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    Jeannie,
    Thank you so much for your show of support for all blogging on this site. You truly seem to be a caring soul. My surgeon believes that the surgery would cause added stress to my spine both above and below the fusion, resulting in additional damage to my spine. At 32, he believes that I may need many surgeries and he wants to reduce that number. I believe that my size has a lot to do with it as well. I am 6′ and weigh 270 lbs. I am not obese. I have a large frame and used to be an athlete. I used to work out six to seven days a week. I carry my weight well.I am a little bigger than when I was in great shape but not by much. I am close to my natural body weight, so losing weight that he wants me to will be difficult. I just saw a chiropractor through the VA and he is in disbelief that I am receiving only a ten percent disability rating. He says that I have fractures throughout many of my lumbar vertebrae.I know he wants to try to help, but I,ve been to a chiroporactor before and there is nothing they can do for me. Infact, everytime a chiropractor touches me, I am in pain for days. I am scheduled to see a surgeon through the VA, I just don’t know how soon. I am willing to hear as many opinions and try to receive treatment by many to try to get the relief I need. Well, enough babbling! Jeannie, I hope that your surgery proves to be a wonderful success!

  155. By Jeannie

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    on May 25, 2009
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    Brian and Regina: mGo to a neuro surgeon. I had c3-7 worked on. I’m not goning to lie to you. This was the most painful surgery I’ve ever had. (I have had a brain tumor removed)But, the result is no pain or numbness nad /or head aches. Seek out the best neurosurgeon in your area. I can tell you who to go to in Charlotte, NC.
    Both of you are validated. You are suffering and no one understands the kind of mental and physical anguish you are suffering. I do and everyone else on this site. Feel the love, find the neurosurgeon. They are the best and most informative. They understand the spine and nerves associated with each level. Put you area on this site and ask around. Everone here has been so supportive and kind. Feel the love fellow sufferers!

  156. By sue on May 26, 2009

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    drive rear dump truck for a living had a accident nearly for weeks ago got first xray today do say its just lower back pain and muscle stiffness cant stand sit walk sleep in 3 hour shots have pain in lower back radiating down right leg occasional tingling in toes physio daily think theres more to it workers comp gone over docs head n referred me to speciacilist and scan doc really pissed of to say the least because he cant see anything pain meds increased seeing physio tmorrow and taking xray with me going to try and get a new doc hired a solicitor not looking forward to the 2 hr drive to get scan doc giving me a morphine shot for drive told it will take up to 6 hrs to get there because we will have to break the journey for pain management lol this doc thinks its in my head but hey lets cover the mining industries butt let along the pain in my butt leg hip calf foot am told if its nerve damage it wont show on a xray anyway even tech doing xray asked why it took so long to order xray he agrees with phsysio that its nerve damage general practicioners are just that phsysios specialise in this sort of thing just want a answer then i can try to get on with my life the best i can wife mum of 4 the only thing for sure at the moment is that at the moment pain and frustration are controllng everything thank you all so much for stories im glad im not the only one lying and making up stories of pain lol.

  157. By regina18006

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    on May 26, 2009
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    jeannie
    i have seen a neurosurgeon he said no surgery yet i did not understand why what point do you have to be at to get surgery then he said i had a 90% chance i would come out worse after surgery.he said to keep informed with my regular physician. i asked my regular dr. what they were waiting for surgery wise he said complete leg paralysis.so now i do not know if i would take that route i am scheduled to see another specailist for the ra

  158. By Corrine

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    on May 26, 2009
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    Hello, l am glad that l have found this website because l also have ddd and it isnt fun. l suffer all the time with it. l am on meds 24/7 and frustrated with this pain. l have lost my job because of it.No longer can do the things l used to do and l am only 42 yrs.l cant even lift my grandchildren. l thought it was only me that had this because l dont hear to much on this. l am wandering if there is any chronic pain management classes on this terrible ddd. Thanx Corrine

  159. By Jeannie

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    on May 27, 2009
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    Hey Sue ! It certainly sounds like you have disc troubles. They probably should send you for a Myelogram. Besides the MRI, this test shows much more detail. Forget the pain control- you need to find out what the problem is and have it fixed. Lots of times, it is not permanent damage and just swelling that will resolve. But, the myelogram can tell you if the discs are ruptured, bulging or just swollen. You must become your own advocate. Do not assume that they have your best interests at heart. Don’t forget that they listen to many complaints all day long. Some of them are not legitimate, leaving the care givers suspicious of everyone who walks in with a complaint. Tell them that you want the myelogram. It’s not a bad test if it’s on your lower back. The cervical myelograms can give horrible headaches.This test lead the surgeon and workers comp to have them surgically fix my problems on May11th. I’m not out of pain yet. It’s going to be a long process as I had 4 discs and a fusion on 2 levels that were messed up since last July. The first thing they told me was that it was not a surgical fix. This was without x rays, MRI or any other tests. They stuck by that until January. Since then, I have been sent for every test known to man to convince workers comp to pay for the surgery. Now, I must wait for about 4-6 months to see if there is permanent nerve damage from having to wait.
    So, Even with my medical knowledge and being my own advocate, it took over 9 months to get things going. To all of you who suffer: Do not suffer in silence. Be pro active in guiding the providers to persue other tests. You alone know how bad you feel. All I want is to feel better and get back to work. Let them know that. They tend to do more for you if you let them know that this is not a vacation. Let me know what happens.

  160. By Jeannie

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    on May 27, 2009
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    The longer they wait to do something, the more permanent nerve damage. My doctor tolf me the same thing: htat I could wind up paralyzed, not able to control my bowel or bladder. I told him, what kind of life do I have now? I can’t walk, work, do normal things. Just try to fix it. He did the surgery May 11th. I can walk and go to the bathroom normally. They have to tell you all the risks. It’s thier job to inform you of the worst cae scenerio. Pleas excuse the spelling. Lots of meds on board. So, Regins, it’s true that you don’t know what will happen after surgery. That is true for all surgery. What’s your option? Pain and pain management for the rest of your life?
    I say push for more tests to get the best picture you can get without cutting you open to make the best informed decision you can live with. Good luck and may God guide you the entire journey.

  161. By Lora M. on Jun 16, 2009

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    Hey everyone. I have a question…feel free to give me your opinions please..I just found out that I am pregnant with our second child. I am very concerned, however, about what my options are going to be for pain relief during labor. I had an epidural with my first pregnancy and it didn’t go so well. They hit my siatic nerve so many times, I walked hunched over for 3 weeks! Unfortunately now, the discs that are affected by my DDD and arthritis are the discs they usually go for to place an epidural. Im not so wild about having to go through labor with no pain relief, but I know that I am not going to be able to stand anything remotely close to those discs. Does anyone know what the difference is between and epidural and a spinal? Are they put in different places? Im trying to figure out what my options are going to be now so I can better prepare myself. Jeannie, maybe you could help with your medical expertise? I welcome anyones suggestions or comments. Thanks!

  162. By Linda W on Jun 16, 2009

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    Lora M.
    Au natural is so much easier than a spinal or epidural. My back injury came after my first child. I didn’t know it would be a problem until I was in labor with my second and they asked if I had any back injuries. I told them yes L4 and they said honey you’re going natural. I was scared to death. I made it through fine, and after I gave birth I was ready to walk the halls and so very hungry. I was the only one on the floor that had gone natural and they were all moaning and groaning or sleeping. I was up watching tv and enjoying my new baby girl. Consider it if it all possible.
    Congrats!
    ~Linda

  163. By Dwayne Morgan

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    on Jun 16, 2009
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    Ryan,
    Have you heard of the Alexander Technique?

  164. By jackie kuse

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    on Jun 16, 2009
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    i also have ddd. I have been dealing with pain of fibro,and L5 and S1 for the past 10 years. i tried everything also. on may 21st.2009 i had back surgery and i think it was the best thing i could of done. i was in a 10 + pain rate and now all i feel is the pain where my insusions are. im so glad that they finally did the surgery . my surgeron is in neenah wis. thats were i live . good luck to all

  165. By Jeannie

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    on Jun 16, 2009
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    Hi all DDD sufferers ! I finally was approved by workers comp to have the surgery. The doc fixed 4 ruptured discs and did a fusion on two levels. The firt month was really hard. I developed that nasty sciatic pain from my butt down my leg and then it jumped from my ankle to my shin then to my foot. Every day was a different place of torture. I was physically sick from the pain. I’m allergic to the good and powerful meds. So, I can only take Darvocet and flexeril. I had my head in the toilet a lot. Finally a nurse took pity on me and told the doctor what was going on. ( I called about 4 times and they all told me this was normal). He prescribed what I refer to as the MIRACLE DRUG. At least for me it is. It’s Lyrica. I know they use it for fibromyalgia. It’s all the same thing: nerve pain. The first dose allowed me to sleep at night. It was peaceful and every night has been that way.
    To all of you waiting for surgery or a miracle, try this medication. It’s not for everybody. There is a long list of side effects. So far, I don’t have any. Just thought someone might benefit from this .
    God Bless all of you!
    Jeannie

  166. By Jeannie

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    on Jun 17, 2009
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    Hi Lora ! So happy to hear your good news ! I never worked labor and delivery. But, I think that the spinal is higher than the epidural.
    I was wondering if you had a nurse anesthetist perform your last epidural. You can ask to speak to an anesthesiologist at the hospital where you will deliver. Tell them about your last experience and let them give you options as well as a choice of who performs the pain relief. Since you already have a child at home, some doctors will let you be induced. They like that because you will be one less delivery in the middle of the night. If you are induced, you have a better shot of getting the anesthesiologist you want since it’s a planned date.
    At any rate, you have the right to have someone explain the possible ways for pain relief and the possible side effects. The anesthesiologist would want to know your problems and maybe even review your records to help you choose the best and safest option.
    Above all, a safe delivery without residual pain is your right.Good luck, honey !

  167. By Linda Lockwood on Jun 21, 2009

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    I am a 51 year old woman that was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease probably about 5 years ago. My problem is that there are 4 discs involved, 3 of which are in my neck. My neurosurgeon has told me that I would never find a surgeon that would perform on my neck, due to I’m thin and a smoker. The pain in my neck is sometimes unbearable. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  168. By Jeannie

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    on Jun 21, 2009
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    I just had fourruptured discs “fixed” and a fusion on two levels. My neurosurgeon told me that there is a 20-80 rule. If you smoke ,there is an 20 % chance that your fusion will take. If you do not smoke, there is an 80 percent chance that it will take.
    COnsidering where it is, you can lose function of everything from below your neck. No one will perform that surgery knowing that it will not work and leave you in a lot worse shape.

    It’s hard (I had to quit too) to do. But believe me when I tell you that it’s worth the effort. After 2 weeks, I didn’t even think about a cigarette. You will gain a little weight, which in your case it’s a good thing. I’m 125 now and watching what I eat because before all this, I lost 42 pounds on weight watchers and didn’t want to gain it back.
    Let us know what you decide to do for yourself. God bless!

  169. By Rachel on Jun 26, 2009

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    I can understand your pain. I am a 26 year old female that has had back pain since infancy. I was diagnosed with Degenerative Lumbar Disc Disease since I was 19. My problem areas are between L4-L5 and L5-S1 too. I have been trying for at least 8-10 years to receive disability just to be turned down four times. I have lost faith in our whole system…health care and governmental. I have two children, one 9 and one 6 months. I have severe pain from working, and I only work 5-9 hours a week. This is a complete joke. I cannot get a better job because I have to inform potential employers of these medical conditions, Yet the government says I cant get anything because I haven’t worked enough. To top it off, I cannot afford insurance on about 150.00-200.00 a month, and the only way to receive medicaid(which is supposed to be for the low income too) is to file child support.

  170. By Cindy on Jun 26, 2009

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    Wow only 26 and suffering already. I feel so sorry for you. I’m 47 and have it. I have to take vicidone and pain patches when the pain gets to bad. I didn’t work long enought for SSD either. I also have Bio-polar disorder that made it so I could hold a job. I’m not able to get medicade or any kind of help from our government. The government sucks. We have to fight every day of our lives just to get by. i had to get insurance and it cost $300.00 a month and they don’t cover hardly any thing. I have to pay so much out of pocket I can’t afford to get hurt or sick any more. My children are grown but I still have to care for them by doing the house work and everything, they don’t help me. I couldn’t have kept up with having young children and this kind of pain every day. So many people have this problem why isn’t there any help. Good luck Rachel, hope your pain gets better some how.

  171. By Amanda on Jun 26, 2009

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    Rachel,
    I have had several people tell me that I should try for the disabilty also. I have never tried but from your experience, sounds like it would be a hopeless effort. I am not working at all right now and it really takes a toll on the finances. I ended up having a fusion in my area but now after listening to other people’s stories think I would have looked more into the disc replacement options. You might look into something like that to see if you qualify. Be your age and already having trouble is the worst. Have you tried any thearpy or injections yet, or have you already been that route too. I personally didnt have any luck with that but have talked to several people that it helped them tremedously. Surgery options are very expensive. I wish you the best of luck!!! Hope you keep checking site and inform on how you are doing.

  172. By Cindy on Jun 26, 2009

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    I was told that if you worked on the books for five years or more you can get SSD if your doctor says that your disabled. But if you havn’t worked on the books for five years you can’t get it. You always have to hire a Lawyer, but thats state to state so laws in another state other then jERSEY are differant. They sure don’t make it easy.

  173. By joe on Jun 29, 2009

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    I think everyone with severe back problems should get free nedical and financial help .

  174. By Lisa on Jul 1, 2009

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    Hi Everyone,

    I was searching Web MD about Lumbar Fusion Surgery and came across this site. I have read many of the posts and agree that our government and our insurance companys make life alot tougher than it should be. I have DDD, Spinal Stenosis, 2 surgeries for ruptured disc and continual pain. The drs. aren’t willing to up my pain meds b/c of addiction. I’ve had injections, physical therapy, and as I said surgery for herniations. I am now told that Lumbar Fusion is the only thing that “MIGHT” help the pain inmy hip. There’s no guarentee. The employer I worked for offered short term and long term disability benefits which I elected to take. Now this Oct. will be 30 months since I’ve been out of work and they are trying to find a “loop hole” to be able to stop paying me. Why do we pay for “INSURANCE” when it doesn’t do what it’s suppose too. Oh I know God will provide for me, it’s just a shame we pay for benefits just to find out that we really don’t have any.
    I have to make a decision about lumbar fusion by this Monday, July 6,when I return to the Neurosurgeon. Does anyone who has had this type surgery have any advise for me ?????

  175. By Cindy on Jul 1, 2009

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    HI Lisa,
    Make sure you ask alot of questions. I heard that if you get one disc fused then the other two around it will get worst. I have DDD bad also and I’m just putting up with the pain until they come out with a better surgery for it. I heard on the news last night that Vicodine can kill you now. I’ve been taking it for about five years but Is hasn’t giving me any problems. My neighbor had the fusion and he can’t bend over any more and says that he’s in worst pain now then before. Good luck in what ever you diside and let us all know how it goes.

  176. By Jeannie

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    on Jul 1, 2009
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    I had surgery for four ruptured discs and a fusion on two levels in May. I never had sciatic pain down my leg, just numbness. After about 10 days, the pain was so intense that I couldn’t shower without crying. After 3 weeks of this and plenty of phone calls to the surgeon’s office, I finally talked to his nurse. (It’s easier to get the Pope on the phone)They started me on Lyrica. It has been a God send. It was the first night I slept in weeks. If I forget to take the pill, it reminds me. He said I would not be on this med for long. We’ll see.
    The lumbar fusions like 4nd 5 are OK to bend over. I was able to bend today. I am using a bone stimulator twice a day to encourage the fusion to “take”. Also, I had to quit smoking before the surgery. If you are considering a fusion, don’t smoke. It’s an 80 % fail rate if you smoke. That made me quit.
    Good luck and let us know what happens at your appt. on the 6th.

  177. By Duane W on Jul 2, 2009

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    I am reading some of your comments and I am scheduled to have a fusion of L1-L5 in one month. My question is, how much limitation does this put on your lives for anyone who has had this procedure?

    I have been pushing it off, but the 4 discs are so herniated that it causes me more down time then anything. Thoughts?

  178. By Jeannie

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    on Jul 2, 2009
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    Hi Duane ! You sound like me with 4 discs and a fusion. Well, here’s your answer. Now this is just me and I’m 54: The surgery was May 11th. The sciatic pain began shortly after surgery and it was hell until the night of June 9th when they put me on Lyrica. I can’t lift anything over 5 pounds, push a vacuum or pull anything but a door. You can do all these things and it sets you back days or weeks. Believe me, it’s better to do what they say. I can bend over. I have heard (from the doc) that fusions on 4 levels are limiting concerning bending over. Someone else here probably knows about that first hand.
    I had an emergent appt. in June and a second appt scheduled in September. It may take 6 months , 9 or a year to really heal- per the doc.
    I lifted a stool(a little) to reposition it and was in agonony last week for days. What could it hurt to vacuum the livingroom? It hurt for days. I coudn’t hardly move.Look, I’m a nurse and used to moving fast over 13 hours at work. This is the first “thing” that has slowed me down. It surprised me.
    If you do this, plan on it taking time to heal or don’t do it at all. And, there is always a chance of the fusion being rejected even if you are careful and don’t even think about smoking.
    I don’t mean to scare you. Just plan on it taking time to heal. Good luck and God Bless you and all of those on this site seeking help and understanding.

  179. By Debbie

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    on Jul 2, 2009
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    Hi Lisa,
    I went through back surgery 5 yrs ago. I had a discetomy. The dr removed 2 disc in my back. Ask the dr alot of questions, I was scared to have surgery but afterwards I was glad i did. I felt good 6 months after surgery.Is the dr going to use screws to put in your back or a bone from your hip? I might have to have surgery again I have a torn disc and 2 herinated from a car accident.I ‘ve been going through physical therapy for 3 months so far with traction. Do some research on the computer about fusion surgery.I’m under a spine surgeon care right now. I go back sept 10. I would have the operation, anything to get rid of the pain. Keep in touch, Debbie

  180. By Gaye on Jul 2, 2009

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    I just looked at how long this is and I would blame any of you for just skipping it. It looks so self centered to take up so much space. Oh well…the site seems to have plenty of room.
    This site is amazing and I thought I suffered alone! I do feel alone a lot of the time except for God. Because of Him, I have made it this far. Before I tell you about myself I want to suggest a great book for all of you to read. It is called…”You Gotta Keep Dancin’” By Tim Hansel. It will bless you in an unbelievable way. You may have to order it, but it is well worth the price and effort to get it. (paperback/cheap) I was a first grade teacher for almost 20 years. For 15 years of that career I was in chronic, severe pain. I was diagnosed at 35 with DDD and Fibromyalgia. I denied the Fibro diagnosis because my father was a surgeon and always said that was not really a disease, but a catch all for everything they couldn’t diagnose and probably a little hypochrondia. I refused to believe I had it because back then no one believed you were really in pain anyway unless the doc could SEE it on xray. I delivered 2 breech babies and with the first one I had a blood transfusion because I lost a lot of blood. I contacted Hepatitis C from that procedure. I didn’t know I had it until I was about 47 when I tried to give blood and was turned down. I was teaching at the time in very severe back pain as it had increased over the years. The doctor I went to for the Fibromyalgia (after I accepted that it might be real and that I truly might have it) was convinced that the Hep C exacerbated the Fibro and made all the pain worse. Great news! He was doing research on it when he got cancer and died. Even with his cancer, he was the most compassionate doc I ever went to. He knew that his patients suffered everyday and having cancer and dying was way easier in a lot of ways. I literally was hurting all over at that time. I am 60 now and there is a lot more to my story, but I am not sure how much longer I can sit to write this blog. I have been beating my hips, butt, thighs and calves with a heavy weight. It is the only thing that helps when I am sitting. Otherwise, I cannot sit. I have been retired for almost 10 years now. I am on disability retirement from the state and I am also on SSI. I was put on Interferon injections for a year which turned out to do no good for the Hep.C. That was my last year of teaching. About 6 months before that I ate a raw carrot and actually fractured my TMJ jaw condile. (not sure that is accurate verbiage) I had jaw surgery by a super specialist and it was discovered that I had avascular necrosis of the jaw bone which is “dead bone” which is why it was weak and susceptable to a small fracture. This surgeon had a medical degree as well as a dental degree from Vanderbilt and Harvard. The only thing good about this was that there was a fracture noted on MRI. The surgery was $30,000.00 and he took no Insurance. You paid up front and then collected whatever your Insurance would cover. Well I learned from their office that there was statute in the state of Fl that would not allow Insurance Co.’s to exclude ANY body part from paying for a fracture procedure. So, after the surgery I appealed the IC since they initially denied the claim and over a period of extensive appealing I got every penny back that I had borrowed from my mother’s savings account. Praise God! I did this while in a lot of back pain. I will also now be in pain in my jaw area forever. I can’t speak for any length of time, can’t sing much at all, have a very limited mouth opening and often get restricted to a soft diet. This greatly affected my teaching. I decided, after the interferon treatment and the jaw surgery and the ongoing chronic DDD with stenosis, spondiololithsisis, spondylosis, arthritis causing such pain that I would take a leave of absence and investigate what was available to me with my back etc. in the medical world. When I had the jaw surgery I was introduced to pain meds. That was the beginning of going from pills to patches as for the first time ever I got some pain relief. I could not get dressed or go out or do just about anything without popping 2 hydrocodones 10/325. I began taking methodone because of the Hep C. Methodone has no tylenol. I can’t begin to spell that acedomen something word. It took a year to go through the medical system of docs, tests, procedures, more docs, more procedures, more meds and more opinions. I went to orthopedist, neuosurgeons, neurologist, pain specialist, rheumatologist, gastrointerologist, PT, psychiatrist, psychologist, chinese medicine, holistic medicine. I did every pain intervention invented. NOTHING HELPED! I think one of the worse things about chronic back pain is that if you try you can look pretty good. People would say, “How can you feel so bad and look so good”. If you have cancer you get a very different approach. With this kind of pain, you will probably live a long time, unlike cancer, but you will just wish you were dead at times. I noticed that on some of the comments I read. I highly recommend that you get the help that you need, even if just from a friend because even with pain, life can still be good. It was recommended by one neurosurg. that I have the morphine pump put in and not have surgery. That sounded so “last resort” to me. That was a bad flaw in my thinking and their explaining. Surgery should have been the “LAST RESULT”! I know now because I have had it. I had two other docs tell me that surgery might help by leg and hip pain. So I decided to do it, still thinking I might be able to keep teaching school. (I adored teaching…a rare feeling in today’s world) I had a 360 degree fusion 9 years ago. Thankfully, I did get rid of the hip and leg pain which was a good thing. However, I have never been out of pain and it has slowly gotten worse. It seemed to take me forever to get over the surgery because of a freak accident of unbelievable facts that I will not bore you with…all to say, I didn’t have anywhere near adequate pain management post op and experienced unbelievable PO pain. I actually had very little pain meds because my doc messed up the plan of WHO was to write the orders. He left town and I had no one to write my orders. I was very opiate tolerant, as most of you are, and should have had a much higher dose to do me any good. It was the worse thing I have ever experienced and it just took me a long time to get over the trauma of it. The surgery was 11 hours long with 3 incisions and over a hundred staples. The head of nursing at the hospital was a friend of mine and she came to the hospital to see how she could help me. She told her co-workers that in her entire 30 years of nursing, she had never seen anyone go through that much pain. I felt like I was being electocuted which was how the discogram felt. Only the discogram didn’t last long. This went on for about 2 days until they finally got it under control but calling in another pain management doc in the hospital. Since the back surgery I have had 2 knee surgeries and 2 thumb surgeries all for arthritis. I can’t even begin to remember all the procedures etc that have been tried, all to no avail, to alleviate my pain. 4 years ago they decided to try the morphine pump. It has given me the most relief of anything thus far. I think if I didn’t have the ongoing DDD, it would even be better. Unfortunately, I have a stiuation now resulting from the first fusion on L4-5,L5-S1. The instrumentation has prevented flexibility in that area. Therefore, all of the load bearing of my body had move to the level directly above the one that was fused. Today they have a way to prevent that from going up to the next level. Because so much extra intensity is placed on that next level, eventually it will become just like the lower level that was fused and need more surgery. That is where I am now. I have sever mid-back, hip, butt, sciatica, thigh and calf pain on both sides. It is unrelenting and we just have to keep increasing and tweaking the pump. Thank God for the pump. I am trying to avoid surgury with all that is in me. Heck..I am trying to avoid a discogram….I told them I would NEVER have that test again. The neurosur. said that they could do a 5 hour surgery, open up the back, remove the rod from the previous fusion, replace it with a different one that has a better capacity for stopping the weight bearing problem from going any higher. That was only invented in the last4-5 years. I am trying hard to avoid it. However, I have become bladder incontinent in my sleep which is a big prob. that may make me have to do the surgery. I can only tell all of you a few things that have helped me get out of some pain. The heavy metal 3 pound weight or to a lesser degree a tennis ball (an apple is better) is very relieving to lay on and push into the areas that hurt. I swim and get out of pain..I really recommend joining a local pool that is heated in winter. Another thing is stretching everyday. I highly recommend the pump. That has changed my life. I am NEVER competely out of pain, but I am not suicidal.
    I do have the horrific side effects of the meds. Constipation and profuse sweating. The sweating in addition to the pain is driving me crazy. If anyone has had the sweating, please comment back, especially if you know if it is connected to the disc issue. I was wondering about a nervous system disruption from the narcotic…I am on diludid and baclofen via the pump. I have extra percocet for intense pain. I am dreading more surgery for so many reasons that I am sure you all know about. I apologize for the length of this comment. It helped me so much to read about so many people on the same DDD planet with me with almost exactly the same symptoms and issues with pain. Pain is a terrible and blessed thing. I encourage you to reestablish your faith if you have lost it. That has been my true salvation. The peaceful words of love and encouragement have truly helped me to get through the pain one day at a time. Meditating and praying are essential even if you are hurting. I appreciate all of your stories and honesty about what you have been through and what you now feel like you are now facing. I will pray for all of you never, never, never give up…but to keep on keeping on. Don’t stop trying new procedures , meds and doctors. When one doesn’t work….maybe the next one will. I am as good as I have been in 10-15 years. I do have to add one more thought. I do have wonderful family and friend support. My husband of 40 years this month ( and it has been a long, difficult 40 years) has stood by me and unselfishly taken care of me through everything. His love for me has never been more evident that the enduring times of tirelessly serving my needs the best he can. I feel so guilty so much thinking that I have ruined his life. He never lets me talk like that and says that he loves me more than the day we married. Isn’t that amazing? I do not deserve it. I think that has helped my pain more than anything else. I hope and pray that each of you has someone to love you unselfishly and care for your strenuous needs. I feel close to all of you even though we have never met. May you be blessed this day to see your life differently that just continuous pain. I pray for your relief and your perspective. Standing as a friend with all of you having this one huge thing in common. I guess it just made me feel better to write this volume. It is definitely more than a comment. Thanks to those of you who lisetened. Don’t forget to buy that book. It will help.

  181. By Amanda on Jul 3, 2009

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    Duane,
    I had a fusion a year ago at L4,L5, to S1 and it SEVERELY disrupted my motion of bending over, on top of the fact that I am in more pain than ever before. Everyone has told me I should have looked into disc replacement. I am only 29 and can barely get my own shoes on. Everyone’s body is different though and never know how it will affect each individual person. Good Luck!!! It’s not a fun surgery!

  182. By Debbie

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    on Jul 6, 2009
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    Hi Amanda,
    My Dr said that I might have to have a fusion. I was told NOT to do it. It limits your bending and no telling what else.I’m going through my 4th month of physical therapy and traction for the last month to deal with the pain. My Physical therapist said with nerve pain to sleep on your stomach. I couldn’t sleep on my side or back I was in massive pain. I had a discetomy 5 yrs ago and I had 2 discs taken out and felt really good. I was in a car accident and now are facing back surgery AGAIN. webmd.com has help me.

  183. By Amanda on Jul 6, 2009

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    Debbie,
    Sometimes the fusion is the answer, I hope in your case it is if that is what you decide to do. I am here to tell you it definatly limits your range of motion!!! If I straighten my legs and try to bend down to touch my feet, I barely make it to my knees. Sometimes is difficult to put my own shoes on if I am in a lot of pain. I am sorry to hear that you are facing surgery again. I can’t imagine having to go through it again. I only hope I can get through my problems with that word never being a part of the solution. My actual fusion fixed what was wrong at the time, just have seem to have fell apart since I guess. Back problems are a curse is the way I feel sometimes. God Bless you and Good luck! Hope you post your progress and if you decide to do the surgery.

  184. By Tina on Jul 13, 2009

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    Ryan-I know your pain. I have had 5 back surg.and a disc replaced in my neck.The only thing that has kept me going is my morphine pump.I have had for approx.5yrs. There are still day’s when I hurt so bad I cry,but I’m not where you are any more. If you are going to a pain clinic,ask about this.And if you are not, you really should be.

  185. By Jerry C

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    on Jul 15, 2009
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    No Workers Comp. As a cab driver, I was a sub contractor, and was not eliglble for Comp.

  186. By vanessa

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    on Jul 20, 2009
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    hi i have been did and turned and told i have all kinds of stuff wrong with me till the doctors have just thought i was seeking pain medications. I have ddd and arthritis in my back i was told by the hospital so now i feel angry because i wasent taken seriously by anyone. now i am at the stage where medication is the only option. So now what? please make people understand your pain and dont give up cause you and only you know your body and only you can give up or not, i am not giving up. hope this helps someone cause u are not alone.

  187. By Teela B. on Jul 28, 2009

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    Hi my name is Teela I am 28 years old have two children 8 and 6 and was diagnosed with D.D.D., Kyphosis, and Arthritis throughout my lumbar spine when I was 21 on top of that I have too much spinal fluid which has backed up into my brain causing SEVERE migraines. I have went through physical therapy 3 days a week, Chiropractor 4 days a week, MRI’s Diskogram, Steroid epidurals, tons of pain meds, muscle relaxers, I had surgery to have my L5-S1 disk removed because there only being a little piece of it left which was laid on my sciatic nerve. Only to find nothing works. The surgery helped but only for a couple months. I along with a lot of the comments I just read am at the end of my rope. I do not know where to turn for advice. Social security denies me, I cannot work due o the pain but even when I tried on applications they ask about this type of thing you have to answer honestly and no employer would hire me due to the fact of my back problems. If it were not for m children I honestly think I would have put an end to all my pain years ago. I cannot remember the last time I really slept for more than an hour at a time. I am always tired. I just want to be able to enjoy my life while my kids are young I didn’t think that was too much to ask. However I guess it is. I am so sick of having to tell them I can’t do this or that cause I am hurting. I don’t know what else to do. I cannot take it anymore. Any advice I would appreciate very much.

  188. By dave on Aug 1, 2009

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    I just found out I have it too, c6-7,5-6. t3-4,6-7,10-11. l45,l5-s1. tried the steroids, did not do a thing. tried cortizone, worked for 3 weeks, second shot did not work at all. dont know what the doc is going to try next. I know I have it all up and down my spine but I dont really know what shape I am in.

  189. By linda workman on Aug 4, 2009

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    people i can tell you now contacting your congressman or state rep will not help, my sister did for me and she was told he had 3500 request just like mine on his desk! well i say to that looks like we need someone in that office that can handle the job. i have ddd and god knows what else by now, i am half crazy from the runaround from the government, i have lost my home,my job,my car ,i have 0 income my family helps me the best they can. been turned down twice for ssi, said i didnt qualify for ssd cause hadnt worked 5 years of the last ten. didnt matter that for 3 years i took care of my parents, so they could live the rest of their lives at home instead of a nursing home.but i am proud to say they both passed with dignity at home. am on a waiting list just to consult a nerosurgeon,which will take 4 to 8 months,oh well at least thats something.sorry for my rambling, my main reason i am writing this is i feel like we need to do something to draw attention to our cause.my heart is breaking from reading allof u guys statements. does any one know how to get in touch with oprah?

  190. By Dorothy Rodgers on Aug 4, 2009

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    There is an Oprah Winfrey blog and Oprah Winfrey.com…..Try these and good luck

  191. By linda workman on Aug 4, 2009

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    thank you dorothy, i am praying this might be the answer

  192. By Jolene

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    on Aug 9, 2009
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    Gaye, Have you tried http://www.oxygen

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    healing therapy.com for your back & sciatica. Also Stronium which is A bone healer. A friend uses it for her pain and says it relieves the pain completely. She had to use it for about a month to notice the relief.

  193. By Jen on Aug 10, 2009

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    I am a 28 year old girl who has been living with Degenerative Disc Disease. I have undergone 2 spinal fusions which have both failed. I still live in the worst pain imaginable! There are times that i wonder how i am going to get through the day. The worst of it is that i have no health insurance currently, so everything is going into collections. The government does not believe that i have a disability, and that there is no reason i should not be capable of working. Let them walk a day in “our” shoes before they can place judgement. For those who feel the same, don’t give up. You are not alone. E-mail me if necessary to talk. Always available to help one out who understands what im going through.. babygirl072103@aol.com

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    GOD BLESS!

  194. By Donna on Aug 12, 2009

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    I have been out of work right at 8 months from my back surgery and it’s driveing me crazy. There’s so much i need to do…and can’t because of my back pain. I had had many test run on me,i have had the injections in my spine too,and the headaches i have now from the injections are unbareable,however i was given a headache pill. It doesn’t stop the pain completley but it does take the edge off some. Every morning is a battle, a new challenge,just to get out of bed and get started….Between the back hip head and right leg (pain) i can’t live a normal life. I had one doc. who wants to put me on depression med. I may be depressed from time to time but not to the extent of needing pills to function. I have been online checking into the sites about back pain and i have found out so so much. After my back surgery I got a staff infection ….went to doc. they lanced it and sent me home with antibotics and it got worse…This they called mersa. Doc said i was almost gone when i came to e.r. i was already on meds for the staff, so i thought i had the flu…by the time i arrived at er i was out of it, when i woke up i had been cut two more times…..after a week of pain and agony i was sent home, with really deep cuts in my upper leg..i got to doctor myself as i was going to infection doc…said i did a great job…i have horrile headaches from the spine shots. Got more visits and hope they can help me…Straight up : I feel like if you don’t have good ins. you don’y get good care…Thats just WRONG!!!We all deserve to be treated equal..WOW i need to come back to reality don’t i ! I feel like todays doc’s don’t care like they used to !IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY!!!! Whats a poor person to do???

  195. By Warren on Aug 12, 2009

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    Hi Donna,
    I believe we all know what your talking about and it’s nice to have this place to see that we are not alone. Don’t rule out the antidepresants just yet as I have been put on Cymbalta for depression but it has a secondary effect of taking away some of the pain from my lower back.

    Have you hear of gavapentin? It can help calm nereve pain but I cannot take it as it causes my heart to skip beats. I have found that Cymbalta help with my pain more than percocets or morphine. Cymbalta is not generic but there are forms of Cymbalta that are generic with the same effect. I just got tired of taking narcotic pain relievers that do not really help.

    The nice thing about the anti depresant is that I do not have the sucicidal thoughts any more and I am much happier now. I’ve been off work for going on two years now and have been dealing with low back problems for more than three.

    I go through good days and the bad and have to take them as they come. The three neurosugeons that I have seem do not recomend surgery for me due to my age as they said it will just cause me more problems in the future by putting pressure on the good disks and wearing them out. I do agree with you that doctor seem like they are in it for the money. If they can get you addicted to pain medication they will have a steady customer.

  196. By Kimberly on Aug 13, 2009

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    I’m 34 and had surgery in June, a lamenectomy and discectomy in the T2/T3 region. I was told it was very rare to have a herniation in that region, but the surgery was necessary because of the spinal cord compression that was limiting my ability to walk. I’ve spent so much time doing research online and I haven’t been able to find any information on surgery in the thoracic region other than “it’s rare”. It seems all the info out there is for lumbar or cervical regions. Has anyone had experience with surgery in the upper thoracic region? It’s only been 2 months but I’m losing patience with healing time and depression is setting in. My neurosurgeon was hoping I’d be further along in the healing process by now, but said from the beginning this would be a difficult recovery. I feel very alone and have nothing or no one to compare my post op symptoms with. Any advice would be most appreciated!

  197. By Chris on Aug 14, 2009

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    Kimberly, Have you heard anything yet? I’m sad for you that it has been a few months and you are still not healing faster. I, too, fret about the 50/50 chance that my surgery will work. Please keep us posted on this site.

  198. By donna on Aug 18, 2009

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    i am 46 years and had surgery about 4 years ago. I had two and half disc removed from ddd and the doctors and he told me that there was 80 percent that i would walk pain free. Well they were wrong I am in so much pain that there are days i wish i was dead.

  199. By Lora Martin on Aug 22, 2009

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    Hey all! Let me just say one thing…. I thought I was in pain with my back before I got pregnant, but man was I wrong! My DDD has been terrible the last month or so with my growing belly and added weight. The bad thing is, there is nothing I can take other than Tylenol on occasion to try and dull the pains. My doctor told me the other day that I may even be wheelchair-bound before the end of my pregnancy because the strain on my joints and lower back will cause walking to be too painful. I am hoping to get approved for disability and handicap parking soon to try and make things a little easier. These next few months are going to be brutal so please pray for me and my family, because I know that I won’t be the friendliest person to be around.

  200. By jullian on Aug 23, 2009

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    Hello,my name is Jullian I am 26 years old and have D.D.D. in L1,L2,L3 . It has slow moved up to L4. The Dr.’s will not do anything more for me because the injections didn’t work for me the first and second time. THE First time i had them was at the age of 21 and the second time was last year. They told me there was nothing they could do for me and to just live with it and stay on meds.and pain killers. I have had it with dr.’s and all the meds. I have two kids that need there mommy to be there for them. I hate that I can’t play or get down on the floor and just sit with them. My oldest is a six year old girl and my littlest is a three year old boy. I can’t get a job and if i could i would not be able to keep it. I know how you all feel. IT SUCKS BIG TIME. i wish that one day Our Doctor would find something that would work for all of,but ontill that happens I wish of of you the best. Life isn’t fare as we know that it can suck just try to look at all the good things. Like at lest we r not sitting at a desk working at a job we don’t like and we don’t have to deal with people we don’t like. But something I think about havig to deal with a doctor that wont listen is just a bad. lol. I think it is great that you all can comment here. Just wish I would of known that there a site like this years ago. God bless you all and take care.

  201. By william on Aug 27, 2009

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    i feel what your saying i have ddd in my lower back plus in my neck i have 6 protruding discs in my neck plus 2 in my lower back i had yhe injctions which dint work they will not do surgery or give me narcodics for the pain i have chronic pain i have a burning sensation going across the back of my shoulders and its getting worse as far as traveling down into my shoulder and arm im 45 yrs old male ive been on 10 different pain med and there still not working and they also said that i have to live with it there sending me to a pain solutions to hel me deal with the pain i cant sleep they put me on sleep meds still dont work ive lost weight 30 pounds in 5 mos i weigh 139 im too at my end of the rope

  202. By Ken on Aug 28, 2009

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    Hi everybody,

    I’m 58 years old. I hurt myself 30 years ago on a jet ski. I have taken care of my back myself all this time. I found out in June 2009 that I had DDD, from my first MRI. Never even knew I had it. I have no disc at all between L1 through L5. I also have scolosis in this area and XRAYS show Spondolosis throughout my spine. I probably need MRI’s on the upper spine.

    Anyway, I could go on with a long story. But I an writing this letter to see if what “I do” will HELP any of you with your PAIN.

    I am not a doc. or Chiro just a guy with DDD.

    First, and you may think this is stupid, but this has helped a lot my friends with their backs.

    Just before you get into bed, stand by the bed so that the back of your legs are allmost touching it. This is so that if you fall back you will land on the bed. The rest is simple. Raise you hands above your head, SUCK IN YOUR STOMACH, and lean back as far as you can head and all for 5 to 10 sec.(THERE IS NO NEED TO STRAIN YOURSELF). Do this 4 to 5 times, then hold the back muscles tight while you get in bed. Did I tell you to SUCK IN YOUR STOMACH. Stupid HuH!, 60 sec and your done Give it a Try first.

    Second, Don’t go anywhere without a Lumbar Pillow. Driving is the worst thing to do without one.

    Third, I beleive that 80% of the pain comes from the MUSCLES, Buy a good massage vibrator, such as a performace max or a thumper. Massage both sides of the back and or legs as they are both under stress. I have releived many, many, back pains this way, and it keeps me able to get around. WARNING! these massagers are powerful, YOU can easly bruse the muscles. take it gentle till you get use to it. Use a towel or pad if it is too hard on you.

  203. By J J on Sep 2, 2009

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    I too have DDD.
    A back rest help me out
    tremendously

  204. By david baral on Sep 4, 2009

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    we’ll I wish everyone well. As mentioned I have Spondo DDD and stage 2 L5 S1 and I am an active 50 yrs young. I get minor pain and stiffness in left leg. Comes on from lifting and goes away after resting. A doctor friend who read MRI(Radiologist) said I should get surgery. I am going to pass if this round of paid and stiffness goes away. I hear to avoid surgery at all costs. Maybe a bad idea but I’ll see. Can anyone in Los Angeles area recomend a good neursurgeon? Sorry about you people with bad pain. Hang in there. If the pain is messing with your well being see a doctor about an antidepressant. I have tinnitus(ringing in ears) many years ago I tried everything to help me deal with it. Finally relented to doc who put me on small does of Zoloft. Saved my life. Talk to a doctor. Don’t suffer.

  205. By Debra

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    on Sep 4, 2009
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    Hi Everyone,
    I was in a car accident Dec 26,2008.I had just finished 4 months of physical therapy with traction.I will be having back surgery this month.I have to have my back Fusion fron S-1 up to L 3-4 and 2 laminectomy on L 3-4 and L 4-5. and put discs spacers in.I’ve been living in alot of pain for 9 months. I have a Great Dr so I confident that everything will be ok. I was sitting in traffic and a man in a big truck slammed in the back of me going 60 mph. Now I have to suffer for his mistake.I’ve had alot of nerve pain. What helps me in a hot bath or hot tub,or a couple drinks.I just hope I’ll be ok through all of this.Yes, I do have an attorney.I wish for everyone on this site to have a healing.God Bless you all, Deb

  206. By jackie

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    on Sep 6, 2009
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    hello there. i am glad i found this site. i have ddd, also. had for over 6 years. im 38 and have been in 2 car accidents when i was younger and slammed to a brick wall.they put me on pain meds, but it makes me sick.i deal with chronic back pain and nothing seems to help.i was told that i might alse have it my neck.i have pain and numbess in my arms and pain in my neck.it hurts to turn my neck certain ways and if i sit or stand to long, my back locks up and leg go numb.i feel your pain. i cant get over of how many people out there have the same syptoms.if u want to talk email me.

  207. By Duane on Sep 6, 2009

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    Good morning all. I posted a few months back seeking advise of degenerative back disease and surgery. Well 4 weeks ago I had my L4-L5 fused and the first few days I thought it was the worse mistake I made in my life!!!

    But I am happy to report things are getting a lot better. My range of motion is improving and I can sleep through the night now. I know I still have a long road, but some advice to give is WALK WALK WALK. Build up those lower back muscles. Eat good, don’t smoke and listen to the doc.

    If you have questions about how anything went, just reply. Thanks all!

  208. By Debra

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    on Sep 7, 2009
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    Hi Duane,
    I’m having back surgery this month. I’m getting my back Fused from S-1 to L 3-4 and a Laminectomy on L3-4 and L4-5. I was in a car accident Dec 26, 2008.I’m glad to hear that you are doing Better. I’m scared about surgery but I know I need it.I know I have a Great Dr. Thanks for easing my nerves on this. I’m afraid of how bad my pain level will be after, surgery. Thanks,Deb

  209. By Patty on Sep 7, 2009

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    Hello Duane,
    Glad to hear that your surgey was a success. I just had a lumbar fusion of L4/L5. I hope and pray this will take care of my leg pain. I had a lamionectomy back on March 17th of this year. Did not do a bit of good. Leg pain was back in about 2 to 3 weeks after. I have spondolisthesis of the L4 vertabrae. That is when the vertabrae slips forward. Also, have ddd and arthris and you name it. I have bulges at the L3/L4 and L5/S1,but these do not seem to bother me. When will I know for sure that this surgery is working?
    Thanks,Patty

  210. By Judy Sanchez on Sep 20, 2009

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    hi every one’
    just thought I would put in my advice. at age43 I was told I had ddd and mine was so bad that my spine looked like an 80 year old womens. I made the first mistake I had surgery L5. then I had my neck fused c5&6 and c6&7second mistake. felt good for a few years then got worse then before surgery. they told me I have firomyalgia. plus all the other things you all mention. I have also delt with open heart surery plus I have so many stents in my heart there isn’t room for any more. then I have had to deal with cancer this is second time but this last time is rare paget disease of rhe breast. Im in remission. just want to make it clear to all of you life goes on so learn the best way you can to deal with this as there may be some relief for some of you but not all of us find it and if we do it dosent seem to last long.
    when the dr’s. told me there was nothing more they could do for me unless they came out with a new spine then they would make sure I recieved one. I was glad they didn;\’t lie to me because they are right. I have chosen to live with this pain and I don’t let it take over my life. I’m in pain all the time so I just get out there and do what ever I want to do as I already hurt so a little more pain added to it isn’t any different then what I feel every day. I am now 66 years old and I can’t take a lot of pills as I am also scared of the things they can cause in time to come. I now have non diabetic neuropathy and my legs bother me so much that I cry some times. that is why I am on my computer at 3am. I don’t sleep much anymore and dr. said he can’t give me anything as I take care of my 90 year old mother and I would be to drowsy to care for her. so if any one has had this problem I’m open for sugestion as I havent herd any of you talk about having this or maybe it comes after many years of back problems.

  211. By Judy Sanchez on Sep 20, 2009

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    hi every one’
    just thought I would put in my advice. at age43 I was told I had ddd and mine was so bad that my spine looked like an 80 year old womens. I made the first mistake I had surgery L5. then I had my neck fused c5&6 and c6&7second mistake. felt good for a few years then got worse then before surgery. they told me I have fibromyalgia. plus all the other things you all mention. I have also delt with open heart surery plus I have so many stents in my heart there isn’t room for any more. then I have had to deal with cancer this is second time but this last time is rare paget disease of the breast. Im in remission. just want to make it clear to all of you life goes on so learn the best way you can to deal with this as there may be some relief for some of you but not all of us find it and if we do it dosent seem to last long.
    when the dr’s. told me there was nothing more they could do for me unless they came out with a new spine then they would make sure I recieved one. I was glad they didn’t lie to me because they are right. I have chosen to live with this pain and I don’t let it take over my life. I’m in pain all the time so I just get out there and do what ever I want to do as I already hurt so a little more pain added to it isn’t any different then what I feel every day. I am now 66 years old and I can’t take a lot of pills as I am also scared of the things they can cause in time to come. I now have non diabetic neuropathy and my legs bother me so much that I cry some times. that is why I am on my computer at 3am. I don’t sleep much anymore and dr. said he can’t give me anything as I take care of my 90 year old mother and I would be to drowsy to care for her. so if any one has had this problem I’m open for sugestion as I havent herd any of you talk about having this or maybe it comes after many years of back problems.

  212. By Tammy Allen on Sep 21, 2009

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    I also have Degenerated disc disease I have had it for over 10 years I am a 37 female and I had two surgerys on my lower back they took bone graft from my hip and replaced the disc and put two rods in and both surgery’s did not help me I am in pain 24/7 and can not work it is very depressing and it makes me feel like I am being used like a gunie pig cause there is no cure for this disease and it has tooken alot from my life I can not do things with my 2 wonderful kids that I used to beable to do and my restrictions are so bad it is horriable the pain is so bad that it makes me cry and I can not sleep at all I am lucky to get only a couple hours of sleep a night I am going to start going to counciling cause I am so down all the time see I have always been a worker and I am very active person and this disease has really put me down so if you have any advice for me I would appreciate it!! I just want this pain gone or at least tollerable so I can at least function!
    The second surgery I had they removed the hardware and that has not helped me at all I still in pain and my pills are not even helping me I am so fed up with this disease wish I never had it but all I want is to function and not be in so much pain every day!!!

  213. By Tammy Allen on Sep 21, 2009

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    I would also like to add that this disease makes me feel useless to my family and I am so afraid that my spouse will leave me cause some people just dont understand what this disease does to you they think you can still do what you usually did and that is not true I feel like I lost my life see I am a highly active person but now with this disease I can not sit stand walk twist bend reach for a long period of time it really sucks and I do think they should have support meetings for people with degenerated disc disease and the doctor’s should put down you dignois and if you can or can not work see I got paid for 2yrs disiablity but because my doctor put with possiable retraining I could do secondary work they did not continue payments now I went to school and because my disease got worse they had to drop me so now I had to go back to social security to reopen my case so hopefully the doctor puts down the right statement on my work status I can no longer work and that hurts me it has made me so depressed and i just wish they had support meetings for people with this disease!
    I agree with alot of you that said doctor’s are all about ther wallets cause it is so true but they really should care about what to do for people with this disease I mean the pain is horriable and I really do not want to be on narcotics the rest of my life and I refuse to go threw any more surgery’s I am not impressed with the 2 surgery’s I had it did not take the pain away it just made it worse the only thing that keeps me going every day is my 2 boys they mean every thing to me thank you all for listening to me!!!!!!

  214. By nate

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    on Sep 25, 2009
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    i been laid up for 1.5 years in pain i have degenerated disc diasease and sever stenosis of spine with severe arthritis in spine with a torn nerve and shoot 115 units of insulin a day with taking zocor. i cant work anymore right now do to pain i did work for 28 years im 44 now and quit school to work. going in for open back surgery next friday to have a cage put in at l-4 i trust my DR hes cool and straight foward no b.s 2 hour surgery 3 day stay all the apple pie you can eat ha ha. i did apply for SSDI 9 monthes ago and was denied they said i can do light duty work bullshit i cant even walk most of the time so i have to go in front of a law judge with my lawyers. meantime my 2 teenage sons suffer with my wife because their father cant work right now. my god what kind of program is this SSDI anyways i have very strong medical evidence from 3 doctors about my spine and back condion but yet i have to wait 2 years or more to go in front of a law judge sad. now i have to have surgery next friday on my back o dont worry im not disabled after major back surgry da……………………what kind of dope does the SSDI SMOKe i would like to have some. god bless you people that dont buck the system.

  215. By nate

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    on Sep 25, 2009
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    let me tell you about so called physical therapy i have been a active strecher and runner right up till 1.5 years ago before i came disabled i dont care what you do degenerated disc diasease is in the spine and bones you wont remove it by physical therapy this is nothing but a hospital money game. trust me i have it i no. if you do surgery they can scrap most diseases out but that dosent mean its gone 10 years later hello here i am again. well good luck guys and god bless.

  216. By Dave on Sep 26, 2009

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    I have DDD as well as Spinal Stenosis, back in 9/04 I underwent a microdisectomy, a few months later 3/05 I needed to have a partial laminectomy done. Both surgeries helped me significantly. Back in 11/08 while at work I was rearended on the highway in a construction zone while parked on the shoulder trying to help a motorist get back on their way. After all the PT and tests it was decided in 5/09 that I needed a 3 level Spinal Fusion (L3-S1), so the WC waiting game commenced. About 3 weeks later 6/09 I was travel in a construction zone completing my rounds looking for stranded motorists to assist and awaiting any calls that might come up. I had the Truck’s cruise control set at the posted speed limit of 45mph where out of nowhere I was rearended again by a 16yr old kid who fell asleep at the wheel and was traveling in excess of 95mph,(according to State Troopers)and out after curfew. Anyway, after I saw the employer’s Doctors I had informed them of the previous Diagnosis and the surgery pending approval. They immediately verified my infor mation, took me off of work completely and referred me back to my original Doctor whom they refer to any way. 2 months after that I finally received authorization for the surgery and had to wait 7 1/2 weeks before I could get in. I go in this Monday 9/28/09 for the 3 level fusion. I am a bit nervous but relieved because this agonizing leg pain/numbness will finally be over. The nervousnous is from the duration I will be under 4.5-6 hours. When I get back home 2-3 days after the surgery I will post again let you know of the progress. I have done my reserch on this and on the Doctor preforming the surgery and he is Nationally ranked as one of the best. Anyone in the Chicagoland area looking for a Doctor or even a Second opinion I would be happy to give you the info. He was my 2nd opinion back in 2004 and I am glad I stuck w/ him because the WC Doctor wanted to butcher me. If I had let him pferom the surgery he wanted to do I would be in a wheel chair. God Bless and good luck to you all.

  217. By margie

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    on Sep 26, 2009
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    My prayers are with you during this difficult period. Please let me know how you are doing. I am also contemplating surgery L-5/S1 and I am totally confused and scared. Waiting for my 2nd opinion by a neurosurgeon appointment before the insurance agrees to approve the surgery. The 1st 2nd opinion dr was not considered qualified by my neurosurgeon. My prayers are with you.

  218. By margie

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    on Sep 26, 2009
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    Tammy, hang in there. I too have had low back surgery and cervical surgery. I am waiting for an L5/S1 fusion because of disc disease. Your’e right, it sucks. Life changes. Based on my own experience all I can advise you is to go to pool therapy and look up stretch exercises. Rest when painful but don’t give up. I know realize that I gave in to the pain. I too hate narcotics. I am down to one a week from daily use and only as needed. I take celebrex and use a heating pad in affected areas (you can use ice also). I also have a tens unit (muscle stimulator). This unit and the heating pad at the same time relieves the pain. It’s been 20 yrs on and off with pain. It does limit your activities but don’t give up. Keep the faith and hope for you and your family. My family understands but it can get frustrating for them and me. I am amazed at how much different I feel. Good luck and keep in touch.

  219. By margie

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    on Sep 26, 2009
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    I feel for you. YOu have gone thru so much and continue to do so. Your attitude amazes me-you live for today and hope for tomorrow. God Bless you. I don’t have the many problems you have with your cervical and low back but I can relate with your at some level. I too had a discectomy on L5 in 1994, a c6/7 fusion in 2008, and waiting for an L5/S1 fusion. After L5 took awhile and recovered. Got hurt during excessive training. The c6/7 went well, lots of therapy and medication. The fibromyalgia went away after two to three yrs. Lots of exercise and pool therapy with occasional massage therapy from head to toe. MOst important I reached out to a ministry that helped me by seeing how much faith and hope they had. I continue to exercise and continue with my faith in the Lord. When it gets bad that I want to reach for a Vicodin, I get the heating pad and the tens unit. It really works. My therapist told me yesterday, stretch every minute that i am able to. arms, hands, shoulders, legs, etc. What helped was learning how to do the exercises the right way–especially by strengthening my abs. My prayers are with you and from your comment I definitely know that you are going thru so much more than I am. thank you

  220. By margie

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    on Sep 26, 2009
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    My last email/comment was for Judy.

  221. By Brenda on Sep 27, 2009

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    I too have DDD and it affects my right leg and foot, I often fall, and stumble, can’t stand up straight. my Dr’s answer is to fill me up on Oxycotins, slee-ing pills, and all the rest.

  222. By Kristen

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    on Sep 29, 2009
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    I agree. I wish it was legalized for proven documented chronic back pain. But people would find a way to mess it up for those who truly need it!!!!!!!

  223. By EllenMarie Whitney on Oct 1, 2009

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    I will make this short and sweet, in Feb 2009 I had a laminectomy on l4, still in pain but have had some relief. My DDD affects the discs above and below l4 so I understand the pain still I suppose. In April I had c5 and c6 fused and it was the best I could imagine. It was not as painful an operation as I thought it would be and the relief is fabulous. So for those of you who have written about anxiety about neck fusion I can encourage you with my experience only but I would not hesitate to have it done again. So many of the posts were all about my own experience with DDD and I was touched by each one.

  224. By sunshine

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    on Oct 2, 2009
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    Hello everyone,

    I’m a 42 year old woman. 20 Years ago while in school and working as a certified nursing assistant for a private care agency I hurt my back. I tried moving a 350lb patient by myself (at the time I weighted 125lbs. I knew something was wrong but did not seek medical attention because I did not have health insurance.
    10 years later I fell down a stairway at my then friend home (15 steps). She agreed to let me get medical attention based on her homeowners insurance. Then I was told that I had soft tissue injury and that it would be a lifetime problem. 6 years later I start getting frequent back pain, it got so bad at times I’m walking with half of my body bent over and it hurts like hell. Sleeping is out, getting up at nights to use the bathroom is a no, no. Couple of nights I ended up on the floor and peeing on myself. Everytime I went to my Dr. I was prescribe pain pills. I’ve explained to them on many occasions that I work with children and families in the system and I cannot be under the influence. I keep getting put out of work a week here and there and still returning to work not fully recovered. In April I was in pain again, my Dr only sent me for an x-ray because I told her that I was going to the restroom more frequently than usual. She called and said she did not see anything but asked if I wanted to be referred to the physical medicine dept, I said no because I thought it was PT again. Thank God she stil went ahead and referred me because that dept deals with spine pain. The Dr. there sent me for a MRI immediately and it showed DDD. In May 09 I had a spinal injection, 2 weeks later I was back in pain. In June the pain management Dr said all she can do is give me injections and pain meds, that surgery is the only help. She placed me on prednisone which was the most difficult time becuase I have other stomach problems and this med kick the hell out of me. It help the inflammation but there was still some pain. The following week she called and suggested I meet with a surgeon. I did, he was honest and up front and no BS. I will only get relief with surgery, but suggested that I take my time deciding. 2 weeks later I received 2 spinal injections because I was going away on vacation with my family and needed something other than pain meds. It lasted from 7/2-9/28. Since then I’ve been in pain everyday. I am so tired of living like this so I called my Dr. yesterday and asked when can I have surgery. I hope it will give me some relief. It will be the anterior lumbar fusion with the cage. I still cannot have it until January as I’ve not passed my 1 yr probation at work. So what can anyone tell me about this surgery, advantage and disadvantages?
    Thanks for reading and I pray for each of you.

    sunshine

  225. By kim on Oct 25, 2009

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    Please let me know if you have found releif as i felt I was writing your statement and share your frustration! sincerly Kim

  226. By RON on Oct 27, 2009

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    Wow after reading some of these post it really scares me, it seems life is so cruel, i to have DDD, just came back (again) from my Doctors, and was told im pretty much going to have to live with this L1-L-2, annular bulge, L2-L-3, mild diffuse annular bulge,L3-4 diffuse annular bulge,with mild central stenosis,and degenerative changes to the facet joints, L4-5 diffuse annular bulge which is slightly asymmetric towards the right side. moderate central stenosis degenerative at the facet joints, L5-S1 diffuse annular bulge, moderate degenerative of the facet joints. so i to cant help that the gun idea dosent sound so bad, i hope you people all find peace and can live pain free, someday.im taking pain medecation, it does help at time’s i to cannot sit, or sleep i seem im on a different drug for everything i need to do, ice does help at times p.t just about killed me.iv’e worked all my life to now be stuck with a body that wont work….i to pray for each of you..

  227. By joseph on Nov 4, 2009

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    I’m only 24 years old, in high school i found out i had bi-lateral stress-fractures in my L4. My options were spinal fusion or be a couch patato. I chose the later as I was only 17 yrs old. Dr. also mentioned spondylosis-Degenerating discs. I’ve been working through the pain for much too long and have seen many doctors who have not done much of anything for me. Physical therapy nor exercising helped but I had an MRI the other week and the results were rather conclusive, which I knew, but doctors seemed to turn me away-especially the workmans comp dr. It backed up my symptoms: shooting pain down the back of my legs, my legs fall asleep just sitting down, feet tingle…legs are tingling now as I write this. I had a steroidal epiderral just last week which took away the nerve pain but there is still a lot of pain and I’ve been out of work(disabled) for 2 weeks. The Dr. wants to give me another shot this Thursday and I’m not sure if it’s such a good idea to have these cortizone shots so close together. At this point, the only thing that helps is taking the lortabs. My vertebra aren’t offset enough to ‘need’ surgery but the pain is ridiculous as I am an active young adult. I’m always saying “I can’t do that, because of my back.” **Does anyone care to share their opinion on these steroidal shots?**

  228. By joseph on Nov 6, 2009

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    I did opt for the 2nd shot and right now, all the pain is knocked out. I really hope it lasts for a looooonng time. I do still have the numb, dead feelings come into my legs and they fall asleep along with the bottoms of my feet but the pain is gone which is, needless to say, such a great feeling. I wish all of you the best of luck in your search for healing. Keep your heart and trust in the Lord. To anyone new and looking for answers, definitely look into these steroid epiderals as a replacement to all the chiropractor visits, exercises, and moreover pain pills. I was worried I would never get relief but this is seeming to work for the moment.

  229. By Adam on Nov 18, 2009

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    I was referred to my NHS consultant because I had night time back pain and further pain throughout the morning to various degrees depending on the night before. I had an MRI and was diagnised with a degenerated disk in the L5 S1 if that makes sense, low down in the back, with a protrusion. (no leg pains -yet!) I am 38 and had phyiso which helps a bit but no cure – swiss ball and core strength exercise etc. My consultant was very matter of fact, very uninformative and dismissed any real treatment as it had a low success rate. Can anyone shed any light on what the treatments are to reverse this, if any, or any helpful treatments?

  230. By Lori on Nov 27, 2009

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    Ron-
    I have been going thru exactly what you are talking about. I had surgery in 2000 @ L4-5 but my scar is at L3-4. No one “noticed” this until this year, after countless hospital exams, back rehab program in ’02 (which, by the way, they told me my back would never get worse-hah). Basically a 6-statute of limitations here in my state. My entire back has numerous problems and pain is everywhere. I’m 51. I’m thinking of going to Mayo Clinic in MN., I just cannot give up, as every back doctor in this state has basically told me to do. I just finally got on some pain meds again this year. Seems they are a little tight on those in this state. I had a good dr years ago, but he mysteriously “was no longer with” the Clinic I was going to. Either he got fired or quit, only thing I heard was that he was a shrink taking his medical degree too seriously. That was 3 years ago. I quit drinking in 2001, but I’ve about had it. No one cares,cant find one doctor around here who will help or who understands, let alone family or friends.No one gets it…this is REAL Pain, man, what is up with this???

  231. By Annie Rosa

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    on Dec 14, 2009
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    Be consistent, never stop searching for more info to practice in the gym.

  232. By christine on Dec 18, 2009

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    I have ddd now for 7-8 years and at 48 finally had an episode where I am now paralized in my left foot and partialy in my right foot also. The Doctors initially did not want to treat me because they said I was drug seeking. Now after years not recieving anything for pain and loosing the feeling in my L foot and partial feeling in the R-they are now just trying to avoid my situation and after looking up thier “findings” they are still playing games with me! I do recieve norco, but sometimes it does no good especially when the “shooters” start. That is my word for the pain I get. I have an appointment with a new doctor this month (as they all keep quitting or my insurances change) and I am going to insist that they recognize this as a true reduction in my life’s basic skills and I am not going to STAND around and take this treatment of being a 48 year old “pill-seeker” when I am now paralized and am going to finally demand proper care, if they would of listened to me to begin with I msy not have this paralysis!!!

  233. By Kellie Lotshaw on Dec 19, 2009

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    i was just diagosed with DDD about a week ago in my L 4-5 and L5-S1. i have been suffering with this for about a year and a half. my doctor said i have the discs of a 70 year old. he has referred me to a spinal surgeon and physical therapy. i am no longer aloud to run, play sports, lift weights, or do any phyical activity except elypticals and core. oh did i mention I AM 18!!! i have my whole life ahead of me and i can barely sit in a classroom. does anyone have advice for me as i begin this long journey to hopefully recovery?

  234. By ronda on Dec 19, 2009

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    when i was 21 ,i started having problems with my back,i was diagnosed with ddd too,L4 TO THE SACRUM,since then i have had 6 back surgeries,im now 47 yrs old,i too,have a problem with living day to day,i cant sut,stand,walk,drive or lay for more that 10 minutes at a time,and sleeping,well forget that.I dont know what it is like to have good nite sleep.i have had every kind of test that you can think of,every shot that is out there,nothing does not work.i take one kind of pain pill (percocets),and iv been on them for so long that i take 2 every 4 to 5 hrs,and no doctoe wants to help you and give you anything stronger,( they think that i just want pain pills).if you dont have this problem, nobody dont understand what the HELL that we go through.i know that none of us what to rely on pain pills,but when you cant even walk acroos your floor without it hurting, there is something wrong,mentally,im falling,its been 25 yrs now,and im tired of fighting with the pain,doctors famil, friends and more than anything ,,myself..please any answers please reply,,thank you ronda

  235. By juliana on Dec 27, 2009

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    hi ronda,
    i know how u must be feeling , i am 32 and had a sugery for a hernited disc six mnths back the pain did not go away so again had an mri and now i have 2 discs bulgng and 2 herniations , a pinced nerve in my back and tendon problem in my shoulder , really don’t know what to do , i have 2 kids 6 and 5 yrs old, wonder how i am gonna spent all these years.i know how it feels to explain to famly members tht u r in constant pain,seems as if nobody uderstands

  236. By Susan

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    on Dec 29, 2009
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    After reading all the problems we have with our backs, it amazes me, that in this golden age of technology, NO ONE has been able to find a solution to a growing problem. Once your back goes”out”, you never feel the same again. I had an accident at work 9 years ago, I was a nurse, and ended up having surgery. Unfortunately, it did not help.I have chronis back pain and all the other little things that go with it. I now have developed nerve damage in my back. MRI’s usually don’t show nerve damage and once a nerve is not right, there isn’t a lot conventional medicine can do. I am going to take a leap of faith and have acupunture. Been told it works. Curing back problems ranks right up there with a cure for arthritis or fibromyalgia. I hope someday we can all get the relief we need to live a pain free, normal life again. I take care of my 85 yr. old mother, who had a stroke and keeping my back healthy is really important. I go to the gym 3 days a week and it does seem to help.
    I do exercises to strenghten my core muscles and my back. Still the pain remains. I have a love affair with Hydrocodone..would love to break it off.Pray for a breakthrough. God Bless

  237. By Theresa on Dec 29, 2009

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    Wow have finally found a site that May help. I am am 46 now. Have had back problems for years. When my yougest was born in 1990 I heard her and tried to roll over. Big mistake. I couldn’t move. Was taken to emerg by ambulance. They X-rayed and said I pulled a muscle. Then 2-3 yrs later I bent over and passed out from the pain. Ended up getting my 5 yr old son to run to the neighbours which was a km away. Again they didn’t see anything. When I finally went back to work in 1992 or 4 I was putting little cont. of milk into the cooler when a customer called me. Went to straighten up and couldn’t move. Again was told I pulled a muscle. It finally put me out of work on Feb. 6, 2006. I heard a pop and crack when trying to move a stock cart at work. I knew something was really wrong. Left work to drive to emerg. They said pulled muscle. Quit job cuz they wanted me bacl at work. On Flexeril, oxy contin and anti-inflamatories. I was an impaired driver if I got in an accident. Finally got fam dr. to get a CAT scan done. Diagnosis DDD. OK Tried for Disability under CPP. Refused. Went out got a job and quit on August 2 becuz I was now on Tramadol and went from 60 tablets/4-6 months to 60 tablets/month. was in agony from neck pain. CAT scan now shows DDD in my neck. Am trying once again to get disability from CPP. Wish me luck cuz I hate being disabled. Old ladies can now walk faster than me and if I try to do housework it causes agony for days. Dr prescribed meloxicam 15 mg as anti-inflammatiry. Had 1 blood test show RA also but another done 2 months later showed no RA. What is going on with my body?

  238. By lena on Jan 14, 2010

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    you always think you are alone until you get to websites likes these, slipped and fell on water on floor at a clothing store a year and a half a go while 8months pregnant almost lost baby but suffered from sciatica prior,i wasn’t able to get x rays right away due to pregnancy,thought i was fine till right after birth i was diagnosed with ddd have so much back pain mri showed normal and for that specialists are refusing to see me yet x rays have shown my spine had 2 fractures and healed wrong but nothing can be done, i have severe pain developed cysts near my ankles and sometimes i cant walk my legs give out on me iam unable to hold my 2 babies 3yrs and 18mths old,, does anyone out there have any suggestions for me pls help, the only other confirmation i had was with physio which confirmed i was so very misaligned and that even my rib cage was not straight causing my lungs to breath separately and made my breathing more difficult,, don’t know what to do pain but nobody to help…everyone is asking me to go after the store i don’t see how thats going to help my pain..

  239. By Tammy on Jan 16, 2010

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    I am 39 yrs. old. I was diagnosed with DDD in May of 2009. I have tried Trigger point injections for the pain. It helps a little and for a few months, but I still am in a lot of pain all the time. I take pain meds and sleep aids. The pain is worse in the morning and at night. I hav a lot of trouble sleeping. Is this normal? I have Seven children, 15,13,11,10,9,5, and 2. I can’t vaccum, sweep, or do other simple household chores. I also suffer with depression, too. I am too young to have this going on!!

  240. By Gail Manilla on Jan 20, 2010

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    I have had back pain and had a fusion after 8 years on hard drugs to control the pain I had a stem system put in talk to your doc this seems to help me a great deal I am 45 years and had this put in Oct it works !!!!

  241. By rosie

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    on Jan 26, 2010
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    hi ive had degentive disc disease for 2 and half years had all the tests and injections nothing worked so far how do i get my doctors to give me a fusion as am just left to rot and an only 36 any ideas?

  242. By Marie Bradford

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    on Feb 2, 2010
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    I found your blog when I was looking for something else, but this post was on the first page of Bing your site must be amazingly popular! Continue the awesome job!

  243. By BettyT

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    on Feb 4, 2010
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    Hello. Everyone;
    My name is Betty, and I have had severe back pain since I was about 15 yrs. old! I thought everybody’s back hurt all the time!!
    I was dx. with Ankylosing Spondilitis in 1994, and did well on meds. for it for a few yrs.(Plaquenil, NSAIDS), but developed ulcers pretty easily from NSAIDS, so had to get off, or keep switching them, a lot!
    Then, was told I didn’t have AS by another Rheumy. in later yrs., and DX. with DJD, as well as DDD, although I have the marker for AS!!
    I have since had multiple series of injections, cauterizations,bundle branch blocks,steroidal injections, you name it, with none of these lasting any longer than a month for pain relief!!
    In 2001, I had some lesions show up on my posterior rib-cage, that were horribly painful! They did a rib-resection, and took 5″ of “my favorite rib” and can not find a patholigist anywhere that can tell us what the stuff is!!
    They think it is a form of Paget’s disease, although it has a lot of charaeristics that Paget’s doesn’t!
    So, they forced me to quit working my job of 20 yrs when this happened( I worked as a Nurse with Mentally Challenged People) and Drs. said they couldn’t take a chance on me getting shoved or hit in the back!! (I actually liked 10 months having 20 yrs. service in)!!
    So, I had to draw my state disability retirement from them, which is a lot less than I would had I been able to retire as I had planned, cause I was only 48 @ that time!! But, I am not complaining, as I still get a decent amt.,plus,they pay my Ins. premium for life, which is a very big benefit!!
    Then, I waited for a couple of yrs. to file for my social security benefits, cause I thought surely I would be able to go back to work somewhere! Then, I had a stroke in 2003!!
    God was SO GOOD to me, though! It left my left side of body a little weakened, but I could still walk, and talk, praise GOD!!
    My hubby convincedme to go ahead & file for my s/s then, and I hired an Attorney that does nothing else but social security cases! If you don’t get your money, he gets nothing! If you get it, he gets 5% of your back-pay!
    When my case went bfore a judge for the hearing, that attorney remembered more about me than I did!! I received a letter the very next week saying I had got my money!
    Anyway, I have been on Hydrocodone since 2001 for my pain, and probably don’t take enough to control my pain adequately, as I being a nurse, dn’t want to get addicted to them!
    Today, they did the first of a series of epidurals in my back, and I am so sore, that I can hardly move!! Is this normal??
    They didn’t mention this to me–I have a very high pain tolerance, but I can hardly get out of bed by myself!!
    The area they worked on was T4,bilaterally!
    Thanks for any help!
    Also, I would like to say to all you fine folks: never get so discouraged in life that you forget that we have one true person who will never forsake, or leave us: Our Lord, Jesus Christ!!
    When You Are In Your Utmost Pain, Turn To Him In Prayer!! I Promise, It Will Make A Difference!
    I Had To Learn That The Hard Way!!!
    God Bless You All!

  244. By Barb on Feb 5, 2010

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    Hi Betty,
    Yes it is normaal for you to be sore, but if you develop a fever or redness around the injection site you need to call your office, you could be having a reaction to the medication. If the soreness and stiffness don’t let up in a day or so I would also inform the office. With the epidural injections there is often soreness and stiffness associated with the injection area the first day or so. When I had mine I was always fine the first day, it was the second and third days that got me. I won’t have them anymore because they only lasted me about a month or so and then I was in the same situation again. I hope everything goes well for you and God Bless You.

  245. By Angie on Feb 10, 2010

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    My name is Angie and i have been suffering for severe back pain for almost 4 years now, my doctor tells me i have DDD and SI Joint Disfunction. I am only 25 years old and this pain has taken away so much from me. I have been doing hair for almost 4 years when i had to quit that, because as you all know beening on your feet all day practically kills you! Now i work in an office but i have to frequently get up and walk around some. I have enjoyed reading y’alls blogs and finally feel that im not alone. I used to be a very active person now just about anything a do is painful. I have to take Pain Medicine everyday i have tried not taking the medicine but i cant hardly walk if i don’t take it. I am sorry to keep going on and on,i am just really fed up with my back. I have spent so much money on doctors and everything. I have done anything from Physical therapy to Nerve blocks. My last step is Fusion surgery but my doctor doesnt want me to have it just yet he wants to try and wait a few years. I am just ready to have my life back and quit having to take medicine. I wish all of you the best! And hopefully soon we will all find relief!

  246. By Nancy on Feb 12, 2010

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    I to have degenaritive disk disease. I have had 3 back surgeries, 2 was to fix 2 disk but the 3rd was to fuse 4 disk & it was horrible. Now my Dr. tells me I have the disease so I will end up having the surgery so I know what you feel. I have thought about ending the pain by killing but the more I thought about the less I wanted to kill myself. I have 13 grandkids & 2 great grandkids. I have been in this pain for 9 yrs now. I will pray that you get better.

  247. By Irving Lugar

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    on Feb 12, 2010
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    Whoa site owner you have got a few crazy bugs on your blog about parse error unexpected T String in line 21

  248. By jason on Mar 5, 2010

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    I’m a 29 year old man who has DDD. Have had problems with this for about 5 years now. Trying everything besides surgery and still no results. Doctor has only given me muscle relaxers that do not work and won’t give me pain meds in fear of me becomming addicted to them. But taking a bottle of Advil a week is surely not good, I meen my liver can’t handle much more. Having 7 discs in all parts Lumbar, Thorasic and Cervical bulging I don’t know what to do anymore. Everyday is another day I dont want to get out of bed. Why at my age do I have to suffer this pain.

  249. By Dave on Mar 11, 2010

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    hi i have DDD and had surgery two years ago the fused L4 L5 S6 it took about two years but i’m finly able to live a pritty normal life. it has been the hardest two years of my life. but after the five years i sufferd before the surgery this is better, at least for me.i still have pain almost all the time but its become barible. and i’ve stopped taking pain pills. so atleast for me surgery was the right thing to do

  250. By buddy I. on Mar 18, 2010

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    I had DDD and moderate stenosis in L3,L4,L5, with Arthritis. I went through treatment with 4 different chiros, before I hit on one with a DRX9000, computer-controlled, mechanical-traction machine. I experienced relief almost immediately but as I neared the end of the 7-8 week treatment, I would need this expensive treatment again sometime in the future because of the force that gravity is placing on all of us! You owe it to yourself to try inversion therapy. I bought a table 4 years ago and have never regretted it. I am back to cycle 5 days per week and even took my son on a 40 mile backpacking trip last year! Here is a link:
    http://www.teeter-inversion.com/

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  251. By buddy I. on Mar 18, 2010

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    I had DDD and moderate stenosis in L3,L4,L5, with Arthritis. I went through treatment with 4 different chiros, before I hit on one with a DRX9000, computer-controlled, mechanical-traction machine. I experienced relief almost immediately but as I neared the end of the 7-8 week treatment, I realized I would need this expensive treatment again sometime in the future because of the force that gravity is placing on all of us! You owe it to yourself to try inversion therapy. I bought a table 4 years ago and have never regretted it. I am back to cycling 5 days per week and even took my son on a 40 mile backpacking trip last year! Here is a link:
    http://www.teeter-inversion.com/

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  252. By Laura on Mar 25, 2010

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    I have severe DDD and severe DJD, accompanied with fybro, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. This has been going on for over 4 years now, and my doctor says that once a person is diagnosed with Any one of these conditions, and has had any of them for more than a year there is nearly no hope in 100% improvement. These are all autoimmune diseases.
    The best form of relief is pain medication. Surgery should only be a last resort. I take my medicine as prescribed at the same times every single day, and have been on them for 4 years. It is not good to take narcotic pain meds, but you know what? It helps me tremendously. I strongly suggest that you talk to your doctor about pain meds. Have him start you on the lowest dosage as possible because you will become tolerant. You can slowly increase the dosage as you go. if you are at the point of giving up then you definatly need to consider this. My doctor told me point period. Supplements do not work if a person already is damaged. The meds really help and you will feel like you can perform taskes much better while on them. I know this is not the best way, but from what you are stating. It may be the only way for you to get relief, and be able to perform more effectivly.

  253. By m moss on Apr 15, 2010

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    I have ddd had 2 screws and a plate put n 3yrs ago.did fine but now i have devolped tingling in my right hand and pain in my right leg. i thought that the surgery was suppose to help,but that is not the case. have a dr appt on the 27th of this month to talk about whats next.I am scare of what the outcome maybe.if you have any answers please help.

  254. By Julie on Apr 30, 2010

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    I have been diagnosed w/ DDD for about 16 years now. 8 years ago I underwent “Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion” and have had tremendously fabulous results. My surgeon was Kevin Foley @ Semmes Murphy Clinic in Memphis, TN. He is an awesome miracle worker!! Since you’ve been everywhere else, I’d give him a call. His office phone # is (901) 259-5340. I hope this helps! Best of luck.

  255. By Amy on May 3, 2010

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    I was diagnosed with DDD in 2005, I had gone on in major pain for 8 months. I had physical therapy, chiropractors, regular docs, and did things like the traction and heat therapy and nothing worked. I had a discetomy done on April 1,2005. It was alright for the first couple of years but for the last 3 I have been in pain that isn’t as bad as it was when I was first diagnosed but it is still a constant battle, and even though I had the surgery done I still have alot of problems stemming from the DDD. I have lost the feeling in my left leg and have tremors really bad now. I continue to deal with the pain, and I don’t use the pain killers or any over the counter drugs anymore. All the painkillers have started to affect the function of my liver so I quit taking them. All of this and I am only 27. I was diagnosed at 22 and my doctors said that I was way to young to have this kind of problem with no injury to my back to speak of. I feel all of your pain and I hope that someday they can find a solution. My sister was also diagnosed with it and she is younger than I am. I don’t know if this is a hereditary disease or not but I know that for some reason it hit my family pretty hard.

  256. By Andrew in Texas

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    on May 4, 2010
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    I have been suffering for well over a year with DDD in the lumbar region. I am a 47yo male, relatively active with sports and fitness. I just had a discogram to determine the extent of damage. My L3/4, and L4/5 discs are damaged severely. I am going through with the surgery because I cannot go through life with this pain. It affects my entire life and need relief. I will comment on the results after mid-June, when we are scheduled.

  257. By mark on May 24, 2010

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    First and foremost let me be totally frank. There is no cure for degenerative disc disease. Only treatment. You will live with this for the rest of your life or until arthritis sets in and takes over where Degenerative disc disease left off. I have two herniated disc and am looking at a possible two level fusion. Long term studies show that historically surgery does no better than doing nothing. Physical therapy helps of course but it’s not a cure. The 5 year outlook is more pain. So in fact when the back gets severely injured you have to manage the pain. Don’t do things that hurt. Let pain be your guide. Surgery or any other treatment can only help ou manage pain. This site is a crock. Anyone who ever had serious back surgery will tell you they can’t do things the way they use to. Thats for life. They will always have to take special care of their back. Once you hurt your back it is hurt for life. Sure you have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks but the care free lifting, endless exercise, sitting anyway you like, and many other things are over once your back is hurt. Thats the facts and anyone who tells you different is not being truthful. The first thing you should do before surgery is lower your expectations. Good Day,

  258. By Patricia on May 27, 2010

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    I am 33 and have DDD. I have been dealing with it for about 3 or 4 years now. It started in my neck. I woke up one morning almost like I had slept wrong. I had some tenderness in the neck and in the shoulders. Almost like muscle strain. I saw my MD and he put me on soma as a temporary solution and I began to see a chiropractor for that and other issues. I went a few weeks thinking that the pain would get better. But in fact it only became worse. I returned to him and they scheduled for MRI. Then I was soon referred to a surgical specialist. When I saw the specialist he wanted to do surgery the very next day. Of course that freaked me out. I did not have the surgery the next day of course because I could not just not show up for work for a month or two…lol It was about a week later or so that I did finally go in for the surgery. They did a 2 level anterior cervical fusion. I went back to work in about a month (full time.) I of course had to change my position from dental assistant to receptionist. I now have a plate, 6 screws and two metal cages with donor bone. The fusion took well and have very little problems with my neck. But a little before that diagnosis I had also suffered from chronic lower back pain caused by DDD as well. It is effecting L4,L5 and S1. I had an MRI in ’08 and have been taking pain meds, muscle relaxers, PT, steriod injections, heat therapy and on and on. I recently had another MRI this year and have learned that the disease has gotten worse along with the pain increasing. The doctor wants to do injections again and PT. I told him with the last injections a total of 5 treatments I gained about 30 lbs. His comment “Boy you need to put a pad lock on your mouth” Can you say OUCH!! I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t JUST me. I have always enjoyed food but never really increased eating with the injections. My concern is with the weight gain from the injections…You know that’s just gonna increase the back problems. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. He says that he doesn’t want to do surgery now on the lumbar because I am too young. But my thinking is wouldn’t it be easier for me to recoupe being younger verses being 60 and doing the surgery???? Just makes no sense. Also why would you just straight to fusion as the solution if he were to do surgery instead of disc replacement surgery? The pain is not being handled well by meds or the injections or PT. I am constantly using a heating pad with helps somewhat. I have used one to the point where I have permanantly scarred my back (just the pigmantation) from the heat. I am like alot of you…Young and still have alot of life left to live. I have two kids and would love to be able to do more with them and be able to go their activities such as softball and barrel racing and be able to stay for the entire thing. But NO!!!! When will they find a permanant solution for us with these conditions. Life or at least an active enjoyable one is almost null and void. I only hope and pray that someday someone will find a cure or at least some sort of treatment that won’t make us have other problems arise because of those treatments or meds. May God Bless you all and wish the best of luck in your treatments.

  259. By Terry on Jul 16, 2010

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    Hi, i am 49yrs old i have been dealing with ddd for three yrs now, i worked for one yr with pain to the point where i was stalking products sitting on the floor, so in that time it was best to go on dissability and i have been since and its two years not working now, i have ddd from my L3 to my S1 and on pain killers , this has effected me in so many ways, and i am sure most of you ddd understand all this! i also had all the test and the discogram was the test that told my story where as the mri showed i had some degenrative issues, but also been thru all the physio and chiropractor and spents thousands which never help me so in that its not for everyone and personally i do not think practioners know what is best but to give you pain killers to lesson the pain, but in that it only helps till you have to up the dose so now u have another problem other than pain,which is addiction, but my self i montitor my meds hoping i am not addicted i would rather have a little pain and suffer to which it will not cause me to crazy, which i fine i does get to me emotionally and has effected my quality of life, i am depressed but can not take any depressants due to contradiction with my meds, so in the long run i am thinking some thing i have to live with as i find there is no solution to my ddd and the levels of my disc, try to do the best i can to be positive but in the end i am beaten down with pain and the things i can not do anymore! so for all you suffers do whats best for you and hopefully some miracle comes along and we can improve our lives, HERES TO HOPE, but i am thinking thats along way away!!!!

  260. By Daniel on Aug 6, 2010

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    I am 29 yrs. old and was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) at the age of 12. At the age of 13 was put into a brace that i had to wear for 23 hrs. a day getting an hour for my shower and break of the day. I wore the brace for 4 yrs. within the first year of taking it off I herniated a disc! I guess since my back was so dependent on the brace for four long grueling years my back was very weak and gave out. I dealt with pain for years taking pain pills,going to chiropractors, physical therapy and just down right getting liquored up at times just to sleep well for a night. Well needless to say none of it worked! I finally had a surgery ( discectomy) in 2006( I was 24) through an organization by the name of CINN and must say that the procedure helped me out a ton! I had nerve damage due to my disc pressing on a nerve and could not feel sections of my right leg at all. CINN performed a miracle and today i can feel my leg and don’t have the shooting pain on a daily basis, althoug I do still have bad days with shooting pain I must say im about 85 to 90 percent improved. At the same time all of this happend I had ddd. I opped for not getting a procedure done for that at the time because at the time the nerve damage was far greater than ddd. Now at the age of 29 ddd has finally caught up to me and I have come to that point that I will have to look into getting a spinal fusion to take care of my ddd. I know this whole reply sounds drab and maybe a little depressing but want to let you know that you must go into each day being positive as it can only help! I must reccomend CINN for the great job that they did and know I will be returning to them for the fusion. They except Public aid insurance if for some reason you do not have insurance. Stay positive and know that you must take care of your health first and foremost.If that means having surgery over popping pills and everything else one may do to try and control the pain for the rest of life on a daily basis, you should look into an operation. Do your research first, Im saying this having gone through bak pain for the last 17 years, and im not even 30 yet, when I had my procedure I stopped the pill popping and that alone really lifted my spirits! Dont let ME only one person, a stranger at that, influence a life changing decision, all im asking is for you to do some research, get tons of opinions and make a decision that can possibly change your life for the better!…Sincerly Daniel…Chicago Ill.

  261. By Lori on Aug 12, 2010

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    Does anyone know or have comments on a Spinal Stimulator? I’ve had DDD for 10 years, the entire spine, and we are at this point where the doctors have closed their minds to anything other than this device. Comments??
    Lori

  262. By CHRISTINE SHARLAND

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    on Aug 13, 2010
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    I to have ddd since may 2010 I would not have believed how much pain releaf has helped me today,they are called tramadol,diclofenac and diazepam all taken together.this morning I could Harley walk and now i can stand and walk may it be very slowly i HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE

  263. By Terry

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    on Aug 15, 2010
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    Terry my name is Randy and I have ddd passed to me from my fathers side of the family.I just had surgery in Sept.L3,L4,L5toS1.Been working and pain is as bad as it was 1.5 years ago and now getting worse.The surgeon told me last week I am the best I will ever be, so now I am doing research on my own to find something to help.I understand the med thing,they have given me so many different types,with no releif.they gave me tramadole last week it almost put me inthe hospital.I am tired of all the meds.Thank god I have a very beautiful, loving wife who has stood by me.Thanks for listening.First time I have talked to anybody outside the family and the surgeon.

  264. By Randy

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    on Aug 16, 2010
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    Hi Lori my name is Randy and if the stimulator you are talking about is also knowning as a bone growth stimulater then I do have a comment.I had surgery in sept and about 6 months out of surgery,they put me on one.I had 2 plastic disc 2 titanium brackets and 8 screws put in.The fusion would not start so the stimulator was the answer.Itwas not.It created a lot of pain to the point I had to stop wearing it.These are prety costly,my insurence paid for mine $700.00,now it sits in the cabinet.You might want to get a second opinion for other options.But it might work for you.

  265. By Freddie on Aug 20, 2010

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    Hi Terry,

    I’ve had ddd for 4 years now, and there is no cure. Surgery is a 50-50 chance to which I will not have done, to many horrible stories.
    Anyway hang in there, remember one main organ is working and that is your heart.

  266. By ecig

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    on Aug 21, 2010
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    I wasted money on cigarettes for as long as i can remember and kicking the habit had been very hard. I tested out each of the stop smoking products but nothing at all helped. Then I saw the e-cigs. The e cig uses a nicotine liquid that contains simply nicotine. Not any toxic chemicals at all. They’ve already fortunetly saved my life.

  267. By I had it.... on Sep 22, 2010

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    I heard it all.. what these doctors play with ain`t right.. they lied to you in your face.. and think is funny because is not their life… at this point you want to just died from the pain.. all they have to say is not that bad.. I see nothing there. you tell me that then i should get back to you when i shit & pee myself.. okay that is exactly why you just like me pay a price. I end up going to a nursing home you end up paying for my care along with the goverment..

  268. By Terry c on Sep 23, 2010

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    I’ve been dealing with DDD since june 4th 2010 I had a terrible fall from a stool in a resturant which cause the flare up. I’m in so much pain everyday. I’m so ashamed at work because people see me crying and I’m a male and we are supposed to be srong. But the pain hurts so bad I can’t take it anymore I want to kill myself

  269. By TONY BRUMLEY

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    on Sep 24, 2010
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    HEY TERRY : MAN I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING THRU,AND DONY BE ASHAMED ABOUT YOUR PAIN, NO ONE KNOWS WHAT SOME ONE ELSE IS GOING THRU UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN THERE. PLEASE DONT KILL YOURSELF TRUST ME YOULL BE GLAD LATER THAT YOU DID NOT, I KNOW ,BEEN THERE

  270. By cincinnati chiropractor

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    on Dec 1, 2010
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    I believe you are going through a lot of pain, please don’t gave up because God never gave up on you.Life must go on no matter what.God Bless everyone.

  271. By anna on Mar 9, 2011

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    if you havent had your problem fixed yet,which i hope you have, there is a spine specialist is columbia missouri, he is at the orthopedic group,his name is dr. gaines, that is who my husband is seeing, he specializes in spines. hope this helps, my husband has degenterated disc disease in the lumbar spine his vertabraes all fused together, plus he has a fracture in one of his vertabraes,they r going to do surgery to help him from becoming paralized. so hopefully he can help.

  272. By Kenneth Cameron Sr. on Mar 20, 2011

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    Lets go back to 1964 UVA they fuse L4 L5 then in 1972 fuse L5 L6 then in 1982 then in 1986 samething
    2002 put a cage around spine then. had to take it out because the screw holes got loose
    In 2008 i was riding in a ambulumas coming back from a Dr. appt when out of the blue a car brod sided use my bacj stared up again now i’m to old to have any more surgery eat pain pills. I have had a bad back for many years! I’m 78 79 in April 2011

  273. By ray on Apr 7, 2011

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    i have ddd at l4 and l5 15 and s1 with spurs and artristhis and bolding dics with my right hip jiont degenerating also im in constant pain walking sitting and any type of lifting.my whole life is every day dealing with pain chiropratic care didnt work injection a waist of time pysical theorapy also a waist of time im haveing to feight for my ssd. i was a mechanic for 14 years and now im stuck at home losing everything ive worked for.. what ive paied in for 25years to ss and they want to decline me for ssd.i have alot of hate building against the goverment ive never asked for a hand out now that i need it they could care less i feel for everyone with this problem because it can be very painful and it effects every part of ones life

  274. By wynne

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    on Apr 22, 2011
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    me too but my lumbar spine after six months developed severe stenosis and a possible complication called osteomylitis cystitis and can not walk and on morphine now

  275. By Susan on Apr 29, 2011

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    I have been diagnosed with DDD stemming from a herniated disc in my neck. But the pain is also in my thoratic area. My concern is I have acute episodes of extreme pain starting in the middle of my back and radiating throughout my entire body. This starts as a pressure feeling starting mid-back and going around the lower rib area like my body is in a vise. Then the pain gets so bad I have to concentrate on breathing! Then it will start to pulse all over my body, It feels like one big pulsing pain so I can’t function at all. this lasts for anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour. Now I find that the root pain is not going away just there enough that I can constantly feel it in the middle of my back. Does anyone else have symptoms like this?

  276. By Bob Lopez on May 1, 2011

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    I hurt my back at work in 2010, since then I have been off work since APRIL. I have been told that all my vertabrae and lower disc’s are all degenrative that I will never work again, operation is not a option. I am trying to get some information regarding my problem, but all I see is one or two disc that someone has hurt, nothing about all of them. Does someone have infor regarding this? It would sure help if you did.

  277. By Ana

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    on May 19, 2011
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    I am 35 years and just had a mri which finally diagnosed my ddd. Finally I have an answer to all these of severing lower back pain and sciatica pain down my legs. I was just wondering if you did apply for disability and if you got it because with the kind of pain I experience each day and how my life has changed so much within the last two years I haven’t been able to hang on to any job for long due to my condition. I have been thinking about applying for disability myself. If you have any advice or anything you can bring to the table on this subject it will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ana

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