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Just found my source of back pain...


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#121 radiman

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:27 AM

View Postvernon, on 10 January 2019 - 10:22 AM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 09:33 AM, said:

Figured I would keep this as a quasi-journal for this procedure.  Last night was tough, I am not going to lie.  About an hour after the procedure, the anesthetic wore off and I was in a lot of pain.  There was no comfortable position that I could find to get rid of the pain.  Couldn't bend over at all.  The pressure would make me buckle.  After a few hours, things started to calm down.  I finally found a position in bed that didn't cause excruciating pain and apparently fell asleep around 9.  Woke up this morning in the exact same position and noticed the pain was significantly less.  So, it is getting better.  Just a lot different than what I was expecting.  It seems that this hurt a lot more than what other people have described.  Not sure why.
That's disconcerting to say the least and disappointing to hear.  

The sweating which I attributed primarily to tension and anxiety is perfectly understandable and similar to what I have always experienced as well along with elevated blood pressure and heart rate.  

But certainly not that level of pain.  

I was always told to ice the area afterwards and usually did and occasionally I took an Aleve as a precaution but it doesn't sound like either of those two things would have done you a bit of good.

If things don't stabilize and improve dramatically today I'd get back into that doctor's office pronto as that doesn't matchup at all with any of my experiences of which there were quite a few.

Hang in there and I agree you should keep your symptoms and thoughts well documented.  Not for our consumption but for your own reference going forward.

Best of luck.

It is better today.  Still pretty tender, but I can move around in a semi-typical fashion without a lot of discomfort.  Still limited in my range of motion, which I expected.  Yesterday was just a lot more intense than I was prepared for.  If I would have known I would have reacted like that, I would have taken today off and just relaxed and iced my back throughout the day.  Stupid me scheduled a meeting today, even knowing I had my procedure scheduled for the day before.

Not sure whey my situation was so much worse than what most people typically feel.  I am wondering if the entire area was just really inflamed and irritated from the years of going unchecked.  I don't know how some people go through this on a regular basis.  The nurse told me that some of their patients come in every 4-5 months to get this done.  Hoping this works and lasts a very long time.

Edited by radiman, 10 January 2019 - 10:30 AM.

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#122 Coy M

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:38 AM

Thought I'd share my experience with "back pain" starting at age 19 (24 now). I started getting pains while golfing and played through it for a few months. It eventually got to the point were it hurt badly to play golf and also had a good amount of resting pain. I went through EVERYTHING to find out what was causing this: MRI, cortisone injections, nerve blocks, PT, 2x chiros, 2x PT). What I've FINALLY found out is that I have chronic trigger points in my glute muscles. I had dry needling done last week and played golf back to back days this past weekend (first time I've done this in over 3-4 years).

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#123 radiman

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:46 AM

View PostCoy M, on 10 January 2019 - 10:38 AM, said:

Thought I'd share my experience with "back pain" starting at age 19 (24 now). I started getting pains while golfing and played through it for a few months. It eventually got to the point were it hurt badly to play golf and also had a good amount of resting pain. I went through EVERYTHING to find out what was causing this: MRI, cortisone injections, nerve blocks, PT, 2x chiros, 2x PT). What I've FINALLY found out is that I have chronic trigger points in my glute muscles. I had dry needling done last week and played golf back to back days this past weekend (first time I've done this in over 3-4 years).

What did the MRI find?  There must have been something there for them to go through the cortisone and nerve blocks.  How did you find the trigger points?  I still have a bulged disc as found in my MRI and plan on contacting a chiro that specializes in it.  The PT I went through, was not very robust.  Just a small series of movements that really haven't done anything to improve my condition.
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#124 Coy M

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:38 PM

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 10:46 AM, said:

View PostCoy M, on 10 January 2019 - 10:38 AM, said:

Thought I'd share my experience with "back pain" starting at age 19 (24 now). I started getting pains while golfing and played through it for a few months. It eventually got to the point were it hurt badly to play golf and also had a good amount of resting pain. I went through EVERYTHING to find out what was causing this: MRI, cortisone injections, nerve blocks, PT, 2x chiros, 2x PT). What I've FINALLY found out is that I have chronic trigger points in my glute muscles. I had dry needling done last week and played golf back to back days this past weekend (first time I've done this in over 3-4 years).

What did the MRI find?  There must have been something there for them to go through the cortisone and nerve blocks.  How did you find the trigger points?  I still have a bulged disc as found in my MRI and plan on contacting a chiro that specializes in it.  The PT I went through, was not very robust.  Just a small series of movements that really haven't done anything to improve my condition.

Had SI joint injection before getting first MRI on pelvis. That MRI showed nothing, then had facet joint injections and nerve block before having another MRI on lumbar, again showing nothing. I've been almost 5 years in a constant pain, decided to try PT again in november. After getting some hands on soft tissue i felt some relief and my PT suggested getting dry needling (done at same clinic by a different PT). Now I have no resting pain, I still have some pain with certain movements. PT said if the muscle has had trigger points for this long, multiple dry needling session would most likely be needed. This PT is very experienced with soft tissue and pain referral patterns. I initially was only going to get QL & hip flexor needled but I described my pain to her and she recommended doing the glute med/min and TFL as well.

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#125 lagwagon23

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Edited by lagwagon23, 10 January 2019 - 12:48 PM.


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#126 radiman

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:52 PM

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Thanks.  There will be no fusion.  I think my disc is in a place where it can heal from what I am told.  I don't think the PT I was seeing is the right guy for the job though.  The MRI shows the disc degenerated where it's dark compared to the other healthy discs that are white.  Once this RFA settles down, I will be setting up an appointment with a chiro that specializes in these kind of injuries.  He works with a lot of athletes, which I am not outside of my golf.  If I had to live with the pain in every day life I could manage.  It's the fact that I cannot golf without my back restricting my swing that is the biggest concern.
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#127 chigolfer1

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:54 PM

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Thanks.  There will be no fusion.  I think my disc is in a place where it can heal from what I am told.  I don't think the PT I was seeing is the right guy for the job though.  The MRI shows the disc degenerated where it's dark compared to the other healthy discs that are white.  Once this RFA settles down, I will be setting up an appointment with a chiro that specializes in these kind of injuries.  He works with a lot of athletes, which I am not outside of my golf.  If I had to live with the pain in every day life I could manage.  It's the fact that I cannot golf without my back restricting my swing that is the biggest concern.

Have you looked into CBD oil for pain management and inflammation reduction?

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#128 vernon

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:56 PM

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 10:27 AM, said:

View Postvernon, on 10 January 2019 - 10:22 AM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 09:33 AM, said:

Figured I would keep this as a quasi-journal for this procedure.  Last night was tough, I am not going to lie.  About an hour after the procedure, the anesthetic wore off and I was in a lot of pain.  There was no comfortable position that I could find to get rid of the pain.  Couldn't bend over at all.  The pressure would make me buckle.  After a few hours, things started to calm down.  I finally found a position in bed that didn't cause excruciating pain and apparently fell asleep around 9.  Woke up this morning in the exact same position and noticed the pain was significantly less.  So, it is getting better.  Just a lot different than what I was expecting.  It seems that this hurt a lot more than what other people have described.  Not sure why.
That's disconcerting to say the least and disappointing to hear.  

The sweating which I attributed primarily to tension and anxiety is perfectly understandable and similar to what I have always experienced as well along with elevated blood pressure and heart rate.  

But certainly not that level of pain.  

I was always told to ice the area afterwards and usually did and occasionally I took an Aleve as a precaution but it doesn't sound like either of those two things would have done you a bit of good.

If things don't stabilize and improve dramatically today I'd get back into that doctor's office pronto as that doesn't matchup at all with any of my experiences of which there were quite a few.

Hang in there and I agree you should keep your symptoms and thoughts well documented.  Not for our consumption but for your own reference going forward.

Best of luck.

It is better today.  Still pretty tender, but I can move around in a semi-typical fashion without a lot of discomfort.  Still limited in my range of motion, which I expected.  Yesterday was just a lot more intense than I was prepared for.  If I would have known I would have reacted like that, I would have taken today off and just relaxed and iced my back throughout the day.  Stupid me scheduled a meeting today, even knowing I had my procedure scheduled for the day before.

Not sure whey my situation was so much worse than what most people typically feel.  I am wondering if the entire area was just really inflamed and irritated from the years of going unchecked.  I don't know how some people go through this on a regular basis.  The nurse told me that some of their patients come in every 4-5 months to get this done.  Hoping this works and lasts a very long time.
If you had asked me I would have told you that going to work the next day would have been no big deal.  

After having somewhere around a dozen RFA procedures to lower back, neck and thumb I never would have anticipated you having such a bad reaction.

As I think I mentioned earlier in this thread I sure can't say that I have ever actually looked forward to having one done but it's no worse than a trip to the dentist in my experience and the benefit has always made it more than worth the discomfort. And that's all I've ever experienced is "discomfort" - never what I could call pain and I'd had the lower back problem for over thirty years prior to the RFA treatment so I wouldn't think that would have been a factor but who knows?  The spine is just such a complicated and unpredictable deal.

And, yes, I've had separate procedures done on my back and neck within a couple of months of one another and in one instance had my lower back re-done a couple of months after not getting the level of benefit that I had become accustomed to the first time.  Just didn't seem like that big of a deal but I can sure understand your apprehension at this point.

I'm going on three years since my last lower back RFA and two for my neck and am doing great so long term success is certainly doable.  And the fact that you're obviously a guy that takes this all very seriously, does his research and will be diligent in all the peripheral areas as well makes me believe that the odds of success are in your favor.

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#129 radiman

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 12:58 PM

View Postchigolfer1, on 10 January 2019 - 12:54 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Thanks.  There will be no fusion.  I think my disc is in a place where it can heal from what I am told.  I don't think the PT I was seeing is the right guy for the job though.  The MRI shows the disc degenerated where it's dark compared to the other healthy discs that are white.  Once this RFA settles down, I will be setting up an appointment with a chiro that specializes in these kind of injuries.  He works with a lot of athletes, which I am not outside of my golf.  If I had to live with the pain in every day life I could manage.  It's the fact that I cannot golf without my back restricting my swing that is the biggest concern.

Have you looked into CBD oil for pain management and inflammation reduction?

I looked into it, but opted against it for now as I couldn't find any conclusive proof that it would help.
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#130 cardoustie

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 01:04 PM

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Let's hear more about what you did for your piriformis please

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#131 lagwagon23

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 02:25 PM

View Postcardoustie, on 10 January 2019 - 01:04 PM, said:

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Let's hear more about what you did for your piriformis please


The PT had me doing pretty much the same exercises these guys recommend. I also used a really hard roller on it. It's so painful. The best thing the PT did was just diagnosing it and laying down his case for why it was Piriformis. I learned that not all PT's are created equal that day.

I dig these guys on youtube and I still do these stretches daily.

https://www.youtube....h?v=ZEqRoCJ6UAY

Here is another good article:
https://runnersconne...ndrome-running/

Has a popup, but good one:
https://www.noregret...formis-syndrome

Edited by lagwagon23, 10 January 2019 - 02:29 PM.


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#132 ddetts

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 02:34 PM

I've watched a lot of Brad & Bob's (the most famous physical therapists on the internet, in their opinion of course) videos and really enjoy the content!
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#133 dennis4190

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 03:57 PM

I tried CBD oil for my back pain. I have 4 bulging discs and thought I would try some but after 3 months of daily use it didn’t seem to help so I went back to Advil.

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#134 torbill

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:04 PM

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:58 PM, said:

View Postchigolfer1, on 10 January 2019 - 12:54 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Thanks.  There will be no fusion.  I think my disc is in a place where it can heal from what I am told.  I don't think the PT I was seeing is the right guy for the job though.  The MRI shows the disc degenerated where it's dark compared to the other healthy discs that are white.  Once this RFA settles down, I will be setting up an appointment with a chiro that specializes in these kind of injuries.  He works with a lot of athletes, which I am not outside of my golf.  If I had to live with the pain in every day life I could manage.  It's the fact that I cannot golf without my back restricting my swing that is the biggest concern.

Have you looked into CBD oil for pain management and inflammation reduction?

I looked into it, but opted against it for now as I couldn't find any conclusive proof that it would help.

Um, no. When dealing with back pain we try what others have found to work. And if it works we don't worry about theoretical reasons or clinical studies or conclusive proof, as long a it is safe.

Placebo responses are as good as anything, if they give relief. Did you know that placebo responses are shown to work often, even when the patient knows that it is a placebo? Think about *that* for a minute. Nobody understands pain, and I mean nobody. There is no scientific, causal explanation of how the physical firing of a c-fiber gives rise to the subjective experience of pain, hence no ability to make accurate predictions.

Word of mouth is your best source of help. Find out what has worked for credible people who seem to be in the same boat as you, and try it.  I can assure you that it is the only way, because the hard science is lacking. If it works it works. If it doesn't try something else. This is the voice of 30 years of back pain experience speaking.

Dr. Torbill recommends hourly administrations of high quality weed, preferably of the Indicavariety, grin.

Yeah I know, you're in Minnesota where the medical marijuana laws suck. I live there half the year. So try CBD ointment or oil.  My daughter who lives in St. Paul suffers from incapacitating pain at times. I smuggled her some THC ointment and it really has helped, and there is no need now for Vicodin, thankfully. I don't know if CBD would do it for her, but if the THC wouldn't have worked I would have encouraged her to try CBD.

And there is tons of anecdotal evidence down here in Arizona, a MM friendly state, that CBD can be of some help with inflammatory pain. I cannot speak for it, first hand, because I use THC. The Stanley Brothers in Colorado are well known for the help they have given epileptic people with CBD. They are experts at growing high CBD weed. You can buy their CBD products on line. I cannot vouch personally for the quality of it but as I say they are CBD experts. Also, there is a very informative weed documentary that may give you some insight.  Here are a couple of links:

https://www.cwhemp.com/

https://youtu.be/-SZzgfyXhJI

Edited by torbill, 10 January 2019 - 08:06 PM.


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#135 radiman

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:19 PM

View Posttorbill, on 10 January 2019 - 08:04 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:58 PM, said:

View Postchigolfer1, on 10 January 2019 - 12:54 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Thanks.  There will be no fusion.  I think my disc is in a place where it can heal from what I am told.  I don't think the PT I was seeing is the right guy for the job though.  The MRI shows the disc degenerated where it's dark compared to the other healthy discs that are white.  Once this RFA settles down, I will be setting up an appointment with a chiro that specializes in these kind of injuries.  He works with a lot of athletes, which I am not outside of my golf.  If I had to live with the pain in every day life I could manage.  It's the fact that I cannot golf without my back restricting my swing that is the biggest concern.

Have you looked into CBD oil for pain management and inflammation reduction?

I looked into it, but opted against it for now as I couldn't find any conclusive proof that it would help.

Um, no. When dealing with back pain we try what others have found to work. And if it works we don't worry about theoretical reasons or clinical studies or conclusive proof, as long a it is safe.


I'm actually taking something right now that some people I know swear up and down helped their arthritis. They have a lot of people singing their praises online. My sister says she can't live without it. I've been taking it for two months and have noticed nothing. It's supposed to help with oxidative stress. I don't think I'll continue in it as it is $50 a month and I notice nothing.

There are thousands of things on the internet that people have tried. Many people will swear up and down that whatever remedy worked miracles for them. I could spend a fortune trying out different supplements and products. I have had arthritis in my foot for roughly 15 years. I have tried many different supplements and treatments that others swore relieved their pain. The only thing that truly helped me there was prescription NSAID', namely diclofinac.

I'm not writing it off completely and should things not improve will consider it further. But, I'm done closing my eyes and hoping for the best.

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#136 torbill

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 12:04 AM

Exactly right. There is so much snake oil being sold.  We had the problem of snake oil a hundred years ago and it got us the FDA as a result, and that has been a good thing on balance. But pain is a deeply mysterious thing because nobody understands the mind-body problem. So, sometimes we have to step outside the realm of science and clinical trials and just see if we can find something that provides relief.  

I have a strong background in science and technology, so I always want answers, but after years of dealing with pain I just started trying things and setting aside my need for causal explanations. The turning point for me was one time when I was out of golf for a year due to unrelenting back pain. I was so bad that my wife had to wheel me in to the chiropractor's office in a wheel chair - I literally could not walk 100 feet without spasms that were so bad that they would put me on the ground.  After the chiropractor could do no more she told me to try a Chinese acupuncturist down the street. It worked like a slow acting miracle. At one point I asked the acupuncturist how it works. She asked me if I wanted the traditional Chinese explanation or the Western medicine explanation. I told her to give me the former. She explained things like qi and meridians and the like. When she was done I asked her for the Western medicine expansion. Her explanation was, "We haven't the faintest idea". But it worked for me and millions of others - I have read that Mao ran his army on acupuncture. This incident was my turning point. I don't wonder about why or how, anymore. My criterion is, does it help?

I have managed to avoid trying things like magnets and copper bracelets and hanging upside down from the ceiling. But I no longer deny that these sorts of things can work for some people. I have found relief from more "conventional" things such as chiropractic, acupuncture, injections, weed and, mostly, PT/exercise. Not to mention changing to the Ballard golf swing, which has been so helpful for back pain relief.

I agree with you on the NSAIDS for arthritis pain. They are a miracle. I use Celebrex and THC cream for my knees whenever I play golf. Without it I could not possibly walk the course. I am 74 and I think that my knees are just about shot.

Your sister may (or may not) be on to something that is helping you, and you just don't realise it. I use glucosomine/chondroiton for joint aches and pains. Now and then I come to believe that it isn't doing anything, and I quit. After a couple of weeks I really hurt.  Same with weed. I take it every night at bedtime (hate the head effects during the day), and every now and then I have to take a tolerance break and before long my pains make their presence known. I have concluded that these natural medicines are less potent than pharmaceuticals and the improvement is so gradual in some cases that I don't know that they are doing anything until I stop.

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#137 vernon

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:13 AM

View Posttorbill, on 11 January 2019 - 12:04 AM, said:

Exactly right. There is so much snake oil being sold.  We had the problem of snake oil a hundred years ago and it got us the FDA as a result, and that has been a good thing on balance. But pain is a deeply mysterious thing because nobody understands the mind-body problem. So, sometimes we have to step outside the realm of science and clinical trials and just see if we can find something that provides relief.  

I have a strong background in science and technology, so I always want answers, but after years of dealing with pain I just started trying things and setting aside my need for causal explanations. The turning point for me was one time when I was out of golf for a year due to unrelenting back pain. I was so bad that my wife had to wheel me in to the chiropractor's office in a wheel chair - I literally could not walk 100 feet without spasms that were so bad that they would put me on the ground.  After the chiropractor could do no more she told me to try a Chinese acupuncturist down the street. It worked like a slow acting miracle. At one point I asked the acupuncturist how it works. She asked me if I wanted the traditional Chinese explanation or the Western medicine explanation. I told her to give me the former. She explained things like qi and meridians and the like. When she was done I asked her for the Western medicine expansion. Her explanation was, "We haven't the faintest idea". But it worked for me and millions of others - I have read that Mao ran his army on acupuncture. This incident was my turning point. I don't wonder about why or how, anymore. My criterion is, does it help?

I have managed to avoid trying things like magnets and copper bracelets and hanging upside down from the ceiling. But I no longer deny that these sorts of things can work for some people. I have found relief from more "conventional" things such as chiropractic, acupuncture, injections, weed and, mostly, PT/exercise. Not to mention changing to the Ballard golf swing, which has been so helpful for back pain relief.

I agree with you on the NSAIDS for arthritis pain. They are a miracle. I use Celebrex and THC cream for my knees whenever I play golf. Without it I could not possibly walk the course. I am 74 and I think that my knees are just about shot.

Your sister may (or may not) be on to something that is helping you, and you just don't realise it. I use glucosomine/chondroiton for joint aches and pains. Now and then I come to believe that it isn't doing anything, and I quit. After a couple of weeks I really hurt.  Same with weed. I take it every night at bedtime (hate the head effects during the day), and every now and then I have to take a tolerance break and before long my pains make their presence known. I have concluded that these natural medicines are less potent than pharmaceuticals and the improvement is so gradual in some cases that I don't know that they are doing anything until I stop.
Lots of good stuff here.  My philosophy is that even if you find something that works don't stop looking and researching for other methods and solutions because what you're doing now might not work for forever and you might just find something else that works even better.

Our physiology and mental/emotional state is constantly changing so what was good yesterday or today might not be so good tomorrow or the day after.

The fact is, most doctors, PT's, chiropractors, etc. do pretty much the same thing everyday to everyone that walks through their door.  Fortunately, all of these same people within the same fields differ widely in their beliefs, treatments and approach so there's a lot of different stuff out there - it's just up to us to seek it out and sort through it until we find what works for us.

Never just simply take the word of the first doc or whoever you see initially.  Had I done that back in 1981 I would have had a four level lumbar fusion and, according to an orthopedic guy that I saw just two years ago who wanted to do the same thing, I would have never played golf again.

Stay diligent and never, ever give up.

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#138 radiman

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 02:40 PM

Things are slowly starting to go back to normal.  I still have some pain at this point.  But, this I would classify more as a discomfort than anything else.  The muscles surrounding the injection sites are pretty sore now.  I can't tell if the pain is coming from the joints themselves as much as the surrounding areas. I feel no discomfort when in a neutral position with weight off of the left leg.  Normally, I would feel the odd phantom pain that was brought on by nothing.  I get nothing like that at this point.  After how I felt on Wednesday, I am shocked at how quickly things are improving.  Don't think I could swing a golf club yet as that area still has a limited range of motion and some weakness.  Hoping I am good to go Monday evening for the start of our simulator league though.
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#139 radiman

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 09:23 AM

Small update.  Today could be as close as I have come to waking up pain free in a very long time.  No nagging stiffness, no unexplained aches, I was even able to take a couple swings with a club in the living room with minimal tightness.  This issue has all but ruined my ability to play golf in the early hours.  If this trend continues, things could go much better for me this year.  Now that I am up and moving, I am getting a little bit of a pinch in the back.  But, I think it is the muscles not the joint.  It is still pretty tender back there and I developed a small bruise in the area.  

Today is our first day of simulator league.  So, I will get to test out the "new" back and see how it reacts to repeated swings.  I was taking some light swings last night in the living room and was actually able to have a complete follow through with no resistance.  It is amazing how much a little pain can restrict your movements.
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#140 chigolfer1

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 02:36 PM

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:58 PM, said:

View Postchigolfer1, on 10 January 2019 - 12:54 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 12:52 PM, said:

View Postlagwagon23, on 10 January 2019 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just wanted to throw this in there. Most people have inflammation and from time to time bulging discs, that most the time is normal wear and tear and aging. I had a MRI and was told the same thing by the doctor (he threw in Stenosis and 2 bulging discs), went to a surgeon and and he wanted to fuse my l4/l5.

I found a good Physical Therapist, and he disagreed with the doctor and surgeon. He said it was piriformis syndrome, I started physical therapy for it. The foam roller was excruciatingly painful. I also did exercise for my lower back, mostly yoga stretches. After 2 weeks I felt great, my right foot numbness was gone, now I play pain free. I even have regained all of my swing speed back.

I sit a lot at my job, so I have to keep doing these exercises and stretches or the pain does slowly come back.

I just wanted to throw this out for you.

Whatever happens with you, best wishes and good luck.

Thanks.  There will be no fusion.  I think my disc is in a place where it can heal from what I am told.  I don't think the PT I was seeing is the right guy for the job though.  The MRI shows the disc degenerated where it's dark compared to the other healthy discs that are white.  Once this RFA settles down, I will be setting up an appointment with a chiro that specializes in these kind of injuries.  He works with a lot of athletes, which I am not outside of my golf.  If I had to live with the pain in every day life I could manage.  It's the fact that I cannot golf without my back restricting my swing that is the biggest concern.

Have you looked into CBD oil for pain management and inflammation reduction?

I looked into it, but opted against it for now as I couldn't find any conclusive proof that it would help.

As I understand, there are studies that show its efficacy for pain management:

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC2503660/


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#141 skraly

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 06:39 PM

View Postradiman, on 10 January 2019 - 09:33 AM, said:

Figured I would keep this as a quasi-journal for this procedure.  Last night was tough, I am not going to lie.  About an hour after the procedure, the anesthetic wore off and I was in a lot of pain.  There was no comfortable position that I could find to get rid of the pain.  Couldn't bend over at all.  The pressure would make me buckle.  After a few hours, things started to calm down.  I finally found a position in bed that didn't cause excruciating pain and apparently fell asleep around 9.  Woke up this morning in the exact same position and noticed the pain was significantly less.  So, it is getting better.  Just a lot different than what I was expecting.  It seems that this hurt a lot more than what other people have described.  Not sure why.
Sorry to hear that.  I guess I was lucky.  I had very little discomfort after my RFA.

21

#142 radiman

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Posted 15 January 2019 - 12:02 AM

Here's the skinny for those following along at home. Had our first week of simulator league tonight. For reference, I played a Sim 4 man scramble a week ago Sunday. Back was really tight as expected. Swings felt forced and was never really able to feel like I made a full finish. Ball speeds maxed at about 168.

Today, my back felt better than it has in a couple years. Not 100% as there was still some restriction. But better overall. Today ball speed maxed at 176 on the range. It's an aboutGolf Sim, I don't know how accurate the numbers are. But,I it was the same sim as last week, so it's my only baseline. It falls in line with mynore-bad back speeds. I may end up getting my swing speed back up in the low 120's at this pace. As the round progressed, I could tell my swing loosened up significantly. I wouldn't have been shocked to see that I was even higher yet. I was able to make a full turn through the ball. If I had to put a number on it, I'd say my back is at 80% and about a week ago I'd say around 40-50%. I still wasn't 100% in balance. I couldn't hold my finish, but the fact that I got there was promising.

The only downside is that about 5 holes in, I could feel the muscles spasm a bit. The joint felt fine but the entire lower left side of my back ached. It was a new pain that I wasn't used to. I can only attribute it to discomfort after the procedure. That area has been tender since the procedure and there has been some light bruising in the injection sites. If I press on the area, it hurts.

Overall, I think this has been a success, at least in the short term. If things keep progressing, I think this will be a good season. Everything about my swing felt more natural. I was able to maintain my posture in my backswing. I was able to feel my transition. And, as time went on, I could feel myself gaining confidence in my body and start making an aggressive move without bailing out and hanging back.

I can't help but think back and realize how much of my game was taken from me by a few joints. It effects everything. You start swinging to protect the area and adjusting because of the pain. Even my putting was difficult. I couldn't practice or play two days in a row for that matter. I played in a 27 hole tournament and was ready to walk of the course after 15 holes. I basically feel like I lost 2 seasons. Not to get sentimental, but, I just turned 37. My best golf years are happening now. I can't afford to give up years at a time over a few small injured joints.

If I could go back in time, I'd convince myself to be smart. Don't push myself. I just pray that this holds up through the season and I get back to playing the game like I know I can.

Edit: this was typed out in my phone, forgive any grammatical errors.

Edited by radiman, 15 January 2019 - 12:05 AM.

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#143 Coy M

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Posted Yesterday, 04:30 PM

View Postradiman, on 15 January 2019 - 12:02 AM, said:


If I could go back in time, I'd convince myself to be smart. Don't push myself. I just pray that this holds up through the season and I get back to playing the game like I know I can.

Edit: this was typed out in my phone, forgive any grammatical errors.

I 2nd this quote. I'm 24 and have hard chronic issues since I was 19 from not resting when my body told me too. It cost me 5 years of "real golf", sure I've played here and there but I've not been able to practice or play multiple rounds in back2back days. I'm finally doing better now that the source was found (yay).

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#144 radiman

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Posted Yesterday, 04:37 PM

View PostCoy M, on 17 January 2019 - 04:30 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 15 January 2019 - 12:02 AM, said:

If I could go back in time, I'd convince myself to be smart. Don't push myself. I just pray that this holds up through the season and I get back to playing the game like I know I can.

Edit: this was typed out in my phone, forgive any grammatical errors.

I 2nd this quote. I'm 24 and have hard chronic issues since I was 19 from not resting when my body told me too. It cost me 5 years of "real golf", sure I've played here and there but I've not been able to practice or play multiple rounds in back2back days. I'm finally doing better now that the source was found (yay).

It is tough to improve when you can't actually work on it.  Push too hard and you do more harm than good since your body isn't responding well.  Bad habits can form as you swing around the pain.
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