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MYRTLEBOO's Photo MYRTLEBOO Posts: 318
9/9/10 10:59 P

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Thanks again. I appreciate all y'all can tell me. I decided to use the exercise ball at the computer every other day like it's a strength training thing so I can get stronger but rest between. I'll have a look around about the phyisiotherapy/Pilates thing. It sounds helpful, especially if the shots give me some relief for a couple of months and I can build up some strength. Luckily I haven't had to have a jab in the bum, but sometimes I wish I could!

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name . . . and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." (Psalm 103:1 – 5)

"Our feelings should be an indicator of our situation but never a dictator of our reactions." Lysa TerKheurst


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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (126,264)
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9/9/10 5:57 A

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Hi - welcome to our team.

I have arthritis of the spine and both hips and also have scoliosis of the spine. I was in a bad car accident a few years ago which certainly didn't help matters.

I would suggest looking for a Physiotherapist who is also a trained Pilates Instructor. Take x-rays and reports and book in for an assessment with the view to doing some Pilates sessions. I know that you mentioned the cost, but this is for a different reason.

THEN she (usually a woman) can work out exercises suitable for you, and get you into a few classes (small groups cut the costs because it works out cheaper than the physio session and also gives you virtual one-on-one hands-on help too!) That way the Instructor can keep an eye on you to ensure that you learn how to do them properly (any exercise done incorrectly can cause damage) and continue at home, with maybe a once a month group session if money is an issue.

pilates concentrates on strengthening the core muscles (lower abdominal and spine) and strengthens them considerably. In turn we are able to hold ourselves differently - PROPERLY - which reduces the pain quite a bit. It also works on all other muscles in the body. There are some exercises which are unwise for me to do, and my Instructor will either give me another way to do them, OR give me an entirely different exercise to do in place of the unwise ones. It has helped me immensely. The key tho' is to ensure that you get that physical hands-on rather than just buying a DVD or book and doing it from there, because if we get our position a little bit wrong, it can do harm at the worst or not exercise anything other than our minds. I have even seen an instructor taking the class as a pupil and the instructor conducting the session correcting her. We need the input of someone to visually see what we are doing (wrong).

The Gym ball is an excellent form of exercise. It is probable that the pain coming later is because you lack the muscle strength in the first place, rather than causing the problem. I had been bad to start with, that if I went far in a car, I ended up walking VERY bent over, and shuffling because of the pain. A number of times I had to get a pain relief jab in the bum. When the Instructor saw what had happened, I was given a set of exercises to do (Pilates) to strengthen the glutes and back and the gym ball was the first lot of exercises given. It worked a treat! I haven't had to have a jab for about 5 1/2 years now.

Hope that you find something that works well for you.

Take care,
Kris



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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
9/8/10 11:06 P

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I have a bulging disk and the doctor is not considering surgery for me either right now! I am at L4-L5 & L5-S1, so maybe you will have great results with the steroid injections like I did, too! I hope so. I have had maybe 8 injections total, and I would say great results from 4, no results from 2, and minimil results from 2.

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MYRTLEBOO's Photo MYRTLEBOO Posts: 318
9/8/10 8:30 P

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Thanks for the response so far. I am supposed to have the facet joint injections on both sides and on two levels since my compressed disks are not together--there's like a 3-4 vertebra space between affected disks. My disks don't bulge too much, so the doctor (pain/spine specialist) isn't considering surgery right now (thank goodness). I am so sorry you guys are having so much trouble and I hope research comes up with things to help you.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name . . . and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." (Psalm 103:1 – 5)

"Our feelings should be an indicator of our situation but never a dictator of our reactions." Lysa TerKheurst


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SANDYJAS's Photo SANDYJAS Posts: 1,238
9/8/10 7:22 P

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Hey Myrtle, welcome to Spark People!

I have had good results with facet joint injections. When the doctor does them on both sides, and on two levels, it works really well. I had injections three months ago and am still doing well.

Sometimes the shots work, sometimes they don't.

Although I have sacroiliac issues, the steroid injections there don't work that well. I have had epidurals done at the pain specialist's office under x-ray guidance that didn't work all that great, but the caudal epidural, done at the hospital by the pain specialist while I was "asleep" worked for a couple of months.

I had great results with steroid injections a month ago in the bursa on the greater trochanter -- the bone that sticks out on the top of your thigh. I had been having pain there whenever I walked, and I feel a lot better now.

I hope it works for you, but if it doesn't, or if it only works briefly, don't give up. The steroid injections are much better than surgery, and the amount if steroid is very small because it is localized.

Good luck,
Sandy

p.s. - About the exercises - I find it hard to isolate what makes it worse and what strengthens me. I am in physical therapy now, and we are doing very basic stuff.

Edited by: SANDYJAS at: 9/8/2010 (19:24)
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ATTHEINLET's Photo ATTHEINLET Posts: 5,908
9/8/10 7:15 P

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Welcome.

Sorry to hear of your problems. Many of us are far too familar with them.

I had one epidural shot and felt no benefit, so I didn't go further. That being said, my mother had a series of three epidural shots 4 years ago. She was in such severe pain that she couldn't even walk to the bathroom without assistance. She also found that she got no relief from the first shot. She called her doctor on the Friday and said to put her on the surgery schedule. The doctor told her since the next shot was on the following Monday to get it done and if she got no relief he would put her on the surgery schedule. She went for the next shot and did get 3-4 days relief, so she went for the final shot. She is now as of November 4 years staying out of surgery. She does some activity(see below) and takes just a few pain pills every now and then.

I have had 6 back surgeries and am fused from L2-S1. I am in pain daily and take pain meds to function. It hides my pain and allows me to do most things. I do with my mother; the Wii EA Sports Active, Just Dance and we walk 2-4 miles daily. I do ab exercises (which I wouldn't recommend to you or my mother since you are not fused). I wore a back brace for several years and my stomach muscles became stronger (not what they were supposed to do). I do not have six pack abs but maybe four pack.

I do not suggest you do anything that hurts. I find it difficult to believe short of breaking my fusion that any exercise will actually damage me more than I already am. Therefore, I take the position that I only have one chance in this world and I will do what I can so long as I can hide the pain.

I also say that do not do surgery until youu feel you have no choice. Your back will never be as strong after surgery as before and one surgery can easily lead to another (the next level takes the stress).

If you need to talk, feel free to send me a private sparkmail and I will help the best I can.

emoticon Kimberly

SMILINEYESBLUE's Photo SMILINEYESBLUE Posts: 882
9/8/10 5:39 P

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Welcome. I am not sure how to answer you except to tell you what I have been through.

I had left hip and knee pain and my orthopedic dr. told me it was arthritis. I went to the Pain Management Dr. there and he did an MRI. He showed me where the L3, L4 and L5 were crushing my spine. He gave me Epidural Shots in my spine and they helped for about 2 months, then 3 months, and then 4 months....then they quit helping.

I went to the Spine Clinic and he checked the MRI and did his own X-rays and MRI and told me he could put in a cage to keep the vertabraes from crushing my spine. I had the back surgery done in May. I went to 3 weeks of Rehab, living there and working morning and night. I went home in my back brace and with a cane. In six weeks I was just fine and no more pain or numbness in my left hip or leg. I was to walk for 10 minutes, every thirty minutes and I worked up to 30 minutes at a time.

Now in August my left knee is aching again and I am going to see an Orthopedic Dr. again, different one, to see why the pain is back. I will let you know what he does. I have had a cortisone shot in it before and it does not last long. I want it fixed but am not ready for a knee replacement.....so I wait on tomorrow's dr. to tell me what is next.

After my back surgery, I was told to not BEND, LIFT OR TWIST and I still do not do those things. The surgery will be 4 months old next week. 30 lbs have been lost since the surgery but I still cannot exercise or go to CURVES. It is hard to get off inches this way.....sitting and walking.

Edited by: SMILINEYESBLUE at: 9/8/2010 (17:40)
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MYRTLEBOO's Photo MYRTLEBOO Posts: 318
9/8/10 3:58 P

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Hello--I just joined the team today hoping to find out some answers to some questions I have. I have some osteoarthritis & spurring in my neck, between my shoulder blades, and in my low back. I have two compressed disks (don't know the medical term) that bulge slightly (doc says "not too bad"). The affected disks are not next to each other. These cause pain and weakness in my right hip and sometimes down the outside of my leg to the calf and sometimes to my foot. What messes me up the most is bending over for a longer period of time--it doesn't hurt worse while I'm doing it, but is really worse later. I hurt all the time and have trouble exercising, but I can mostly do what I need to do in life (albeit with pain and worsening of symptoms).

I had some physical therapy with some traction which seemed to help, but I didn't have enough sessions (too expensive for the minimal help it gave me). I have recently lost 20 pounds and have about 30 to go, with no improvement so far. I am walking (jogging makes my hip give out) and doing some strengthening exercises. I've started sitting on an exercise ball when I am at the computer, but the muscles I'm strengthening with that are hurting now. I take some Ultram (this is also for joint pain from Sjogren's) and Alleve each day. I have lots of problems sleeping as well (I don't take too much Ultram because it gives me insomnia).

So, here are my questions:
1. I'm scheduled for epidural/facet shots in November (I've pushed the date back a couple of times to see how the weight loss helps). Have people found these effective? I realize this is a team for people who've had unsuccessful procedures, but I hope I can get a feel for how effective this is. I think if it helps some, I can lose more weight, get more sleep to heal, and get more (gentle) strength-ening in while it's better. Kind of like my own PT.

2. What exercises should I concentrate on?

3. What exercises should I avoid? I don't do some things because it just plain hurts, and I read about the sit-ups. I assume crunches are on the list, too?

4. What are some good stretches? I found a low back set on SP today but haven't tried any.

Thanks for any advice you have for me.

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name . . . and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." (Psalm 103:1 – 5)

"Our feelings should be an indicator of our situation but never a dictator of our reactions." Lysa TerKheurst


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