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Just found my source of back pain...


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#91 chigolfer1

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 12:27 PM

View Postradiman, on 04 October 2018 - 10:14 AM, said:

View Postsalmon2, on 04 October 2018 - 09:37 AM, said:

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of "Back Mechanic" by Stuart McGill.  Hope your situation improves.

I listened to the podcast that was posted earlier yesterday.  I have to say, it was like he was speaking directly to me.  The onset of this issue kind of coincides with my adoption of deadlifts into my workouts last year.  I threw my back out once (which wasn't all that uncommon) but never really felt like I gained back all of my mobility.  I knew my back would be a bit sore at the beginning of the season as it always is after a long winter.  But, it typically gets better the more golfing I do.  This year was different, and it took me listening to his thoughts to really notice and pinpoint the correlation.  

His thoughts on disk fibers being trained to handle twisting vs load bearing.  So, according to him, my injury may be a product of my disk fibers being forced to do something so far out of what they have been "trained" to do, that it tore some fibers.  

I plan on picking up the book.  What I have read on him and heard from him in that podcast leads me to believe that he would be a great source of knowledge in dealing with this.

Have you done research on ways to reduce inflammation?  Turmeric, boswellia, etc.?


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#92 Cwebb

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 12:36 PM

Are you doing "traditional" squats and deadlifts with a straight bar?  Those would not normally be good for someone struggling with lower back issues....especially disc related.

Tons of other lower body exercises that would be better options

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#93 Rosco1216

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 12:55 PM

Look up Dr. Trevor Bachmeyer(@smashwerx) on Instagram and look through his videos.
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#94 radiman

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:04 PM

View PostCwebb, on 04 October 2018 - 12:36 PM, said:

Are you doing "traditional" squats and deadlifts with a straight bar?  Those would not normally be good for someone struggling with lower back issues....especially disc related.

Tons of other lower body exercises that would be better options

Yes, "traditional" squats and deadlifts.  Now, I wasn't aware of a disk issue, and I was looking to add some stability to my lower back.  Which, looking back, I think did the trick for my muscles anyhow.  I am thinking this disk issue is a newer issue than I thought it was.  This offseason will see me doing a lot less of those traditional type leg exercises.  I think my biggest problem was probably doing more weight than I should without using good enough form.  I should have used a belt to stabilize my back.  I wasn't doing crazy high weights, so I didn't think it necessary at the time.  But, as this progressively gets better, I plan on incorporating them again.  This time around, I will keep it a lot less intense.  I do think they did wonders for my core strength.
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#95 radiman

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:09 PM

View Postchigolfer1, on 04 October 2018 - 12:27 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 04 October 2018 - 10:14 AM, said:

View Postsalmon2, on 04 October 2018 - 09:37 AM, said:

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of "Back Mechanic" by Stuart McGill.  Hope your situation improves.

I listened to the podcast that was posted earlier yesterday.  I have to say, it was like he was speaking directly to me.  The onset of this issue kind of coincides with my adoption of deadlifts into my workouts last year.  I threw my back out once (which wasn't all that uncommon) but never really felt like I gained back all of my mobility.  I knew my back would be a bit sore at the beginning of the season as it always is after a long winter.  But, it typically gets better the more golfing I do.  This year was different, and it took me listening to his thoughts to really notice and pinpoint the correlation.  

His thoughts on disk fibers being trained to handle twisting vs load bearing.  So, according to him, my injury may be a product of my disk fibers being forced to do something so far out of what they have been "trained" to do, that it tore some fibers.  

I plan on picking up the book.  What I have read on him and heard from him in that podcast leads me to believe that he would be a great source of knowledge in dealing with this.

Have you done research on ways to reduce inflammation?  Turmeric, boswellia, etc.?

Not a ton.  I am taking a pretty good anti-inflammatory for the arthritis in my right foot (old martial arts injury).  Diclofinac works pretty well. I cycle through it though and try to avoid taking it for long periods of time as it can wreak havoc in my gut if on it too long.

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#96 Rosco1216

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:18 PM

View PostCwebb, on 04 October 2018 - 12:36 PM, said:

Are you doing "traditional" squats and deadlifts with a straight bar?  Those would not normally be good for someone struggling with lower back issues....especially disc related.

Tons of other lower body exercises that would be better options

Traditional squats and deadlifts are great for someone with back issues if they are done correctly. Notice I said issues, not injuries major disc problems, as most issues can be remedied and then back and core strengthening through squats and deadlifts(as well as other lifts).

Edited by Rosco1216, 04 October 2018 - 01:19 PM.

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#97 radiman

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:25 PM

View PostRosco1216, on 04 October 2018 - 01:18 PM, said:

View PostCwebb, on 04 October 2018 - 12:36 PM, said:

Are you doing "traditional" squats and deadlifts with a straight bar?  Those would not normally be good for someone struggling with lower back issues....especially disc related.

Tons of other lower body exercises that would be better options

Traditional squats and deadlifts are great for someone with back issues if they are done correctly. Notice I said issues, not injuries major disc problems, as most issues can be remedied and then back and core strengthening through squats and deadlifts(as well as other lifts).

I still think my previous back related problems starting a few years back were muscle related.  The squats and deadlifts seemed to have resolved those.  In the past, I would be stiff and every so often, my back would go out.  This summer has been different.  More of a sharp pain with slight numbness in my left butt cheek.  As far as muscles go, I think my core is stronger than ever, which I attribute to the deadlifts.  Unfortunately, I also attribute the disc issue to those (just a guess).  But, that is more my fault than doing the exercises in general.  If I would have been more conscious about the stress I was putting on my discs and joints, I could have done a better job protecting them.  As someone who never really lifted much in the past, I have a lot to learn.  Since I didn't think I was pulling a lot of weight compared to other guys were, I didn't feel the need to use a belt to support my lower back.  Who knows, this whole problem maybe was avoidable by something that simple.  The PT said I can continue with them, but at a lower intensity.  I think I may avoid any unnecessary compression of the disc until it is healed.

Edited by radiman, 04 October 2018 - 01:27 PM.

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#98 chigolfer1

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 01:25 PM

View Postradiman, on 04 October 2018 - 01:09 PM, said:

View Postchigolfer1, on 04 October 2018 - 12:27 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 04 October 2018 - 10:14 AM, said:

View Postsalmon2, on 04 October 2018 - 09:37 AM, said:

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of "Back Mechanic" by Stuart McGill.  Hope your situation improves.

I listened to the podcast that was posted earlier yesterday.  I have to say, it was like he was speaking directly to me.  The onset of this issue kind of coincides with my adoption of deadlifts into my workouts last year.  I threw my back out once (which wasn't all that uncommon) but never really felt like I gained back all of my mobility.  I knew my back would be a bit sore at the beginning of the season as it always is after a long winter.  But, it typically gets better the more golfing I do.  This year was different, and it took me listening to his thoughts to really notice and pinpoint the correlation.  

His thoughts on disk fibers being trained to handle twisting vs load bearing.  So, according to him, my injury may be a product of my disk fibers being forced to do something so far out of what they have been "trained" to do, that it tore some fibers.  

I plan on picking up the book.  What I have read on him and heard from him in that podcast leads me to believe that he would be a great source of knowledge in dealing with this.

Have you done research on ways to reduce inflammation?  Turmeric, boswellia, etc.?

Not a ton.  I am taking a pretty good anti-inflammatory for the arthritis in my right foot (old martial arts injury).  Diclofinac works pretty well. I cycle through it though and try to avoid taking it for long periods of time as it can wreak havoc in my gut if on it too long.

I suggest you google those two substances.   It's not "alternative medicine" or anything along those lines.  Pretty much accepted that those are potent anti-inflammatories.

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#99 radiman

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 03:01 PM

Minor update for those that may be interested, or in a similar situation:

I am pretty much back to where I was pre-cortisone injection.  In fact, in only really lasted a week or two before it began declining again. I had a few good exercises from the Physical Therapist that have done a pretty good job on strengthening my lower back.  I have added in bird dogs and some basic extension exercises.  Things felt better for the most part, up until I would pick up a golf club.  I don't think at this point I could play two days in a row. I haven't played golf for about a month.  So, overall, my back has felt much better.  There are a few days here or there where it bothers me after an awkward movement or two.  

I started back in the gym a few weeks ago, really easing into things.  It feels counter productive not really pushing myself.  I am starting to up the ante so to say getting back into squats.  Keeping the weight pretty low and the sets down to 3 with 5 reps.  I don't see myself doing deadlifts again unless I really feel great for a long time.  I have substituted goblet squats in their place to push the abs a little more.  

The sad thing is, with golf out of the equation for a while, I am actually starting to improve.  I just hope that a long winter will see some healing so I am not in the same boat next spring.  To supplement real golf, I am doing some easy swings with an Orange Whip in my living room just to keep my muscle memory since I actually saw some good improvement in my swing the 2nd half of the year.
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#100 chigolfer1

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 05:44 PM

View Postradiman, on 06 November 2018 - 03:01 PM, said:

Minor update for those that may be interested, or in a similar situation:

I am pretty much back to where I was pre-cortisone injection.  In fact, in only really lasted a week or two before it began declining again. I had a few good exercises from the Physical Therapist that have done a pretty good job on strengthening my lower back.  I have added in bird dogs and some basic extension exercises.  Things felt better for the most part, up until I would pick up a golf club.  I don't think at this point I could play two days in a row. I haven't played golf for about a month.  So, overall, my back has felt much better.  There are a few days here or there where it bothers me after an awkward movement or two.  

I started back in the gym a few weeks ago, really easing into things.  It feels counter productive not really pushing myself.  I am starting to up the ante so to say getting back into squats.  Keeping the weight pretty low and the sets down to 3 with 5 reps.  I don't see myself doing deadlifts again unless I really feel great for a long time.  I have substituted goblet squats in their place to push the abs a little more.  

The sad thing is, with golf out of the equation for a while, I am actually starting to improve.  I just hope that a long winter will see some healing so I am not in the same boat next spring.  To supplement real golf, I am doing some easy swings with an Orange Whip in my living room just to keep my muscle memory since I actually saw some good improvement in my swing the 2nd half of the year.

Try front squats too.


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#101 radiman

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 05:45 PM

View Postchigolfer1, on 06 November 2018 - 05:44 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 06 November 2018 - 03:01 PM, said:

Minor update for those that may be interested, or in a similar situation:

I am pretty much back to where I was pre-cortisone injection.  In fact, in only really lasted a week or two before it began declining again. I had a few good exercises from the Physical Therapist that have done a pretty good job on strengthening my lower back.  I have added in bird dogs and some basic extension exercises.  Things felt better for the most part, up until I would pick up a golf club.  I don't think at this point I could play two days in a row. I haven't played golf for about a month.  So, overall, my back has felt much better.  There are a few days here or there where it bothers me after an awkward movement or two.  

I started back in the gym a few weeks ago, really easing into things.  It feels counter productive not really pushing myself.  I am starting to up the ante so to say getting back into squats.  Keeping the weight pretty low and the sets down to 3 with 5 reps.  I don't see myself doing deadlifts again unless I really feel great for a long time.  I have substituted goblet squats in their place to push the abs a little more.  

The sad thing is, with golf out of the equation for a while, I am actually starting to improve.  I just hope that a long winter will see some healing so I am not in the same boat next spring.  To supplement real golf, I am doing some easy swings with an Orange Whip in my living room just to keep my muscle memory since I actually saw some good improvement in my swing the 2nd half of the year.

Try front squats too.

I have had a hard time with those and my wrists for some reason.  The goblet squats are my workaround for the front squats.
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#102 chigolfer1

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 06:01 PM

View Postradiman, on 06 November 2018 - 05:45 PM, said:

View Postchigolfer1, on 06 November 2018 - 05:44 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 06 November 2018 - 03:01 PM, said:

Minor update for those that may be interested, or in a similar situation:

I am pretty much back to where I was pre-cortisone injection.  In fact, in only really lasted a week or two before it began declining again. I had a few good exercises from the Physical Therapist that have done a pretty good job on strengthening my lower back.  I have added in bird dogs and some basic extension exercises.  Things felt better for the most part, up until I would pick up a golf club.  I don't think at this point I could play two days in a row. I haven't played golf for about a month.  So, overall, my back has felt much better.  There are a few days here or there where it bothers me after an awkward movement or two.  

I started back in the gym a few weeks ago, really easing into things.  It feels counter productive not really pushing myself.  I am starting to up the ante so to say getting back into squats.  Keeping the weight pretty low and the sets down to 3 with 5 reps.  I don't see myself doing deadlifts again unless I really feel great for a long time.  I have substituted goblet squats in their place to push the abs a little more.  

The sad thing is, with golf out of the equation for a while, I am actually starting to improve.  I just hope that a long winter will see some healing so I am not in the same boat next spring.  To supplement real golf, I am doing some easy swings with an Orange Whip in my living room just to keep my muscle memory since I actually saw some good improvement in my swing the 2nd half of the year.

Try front squats too.

I have had a hard time with those and my wrists for some reason.  The goblet squats are my workaround for the front squats.

Gotcha.  Yeah, front squats are super awkward and hurt my wrists too but it's not like a permanent injury hurt type of thing.

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#103 Rosco1216

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 06:31 PM

Front squats shouldn’t have anything to do with the wrists. They’re not supposed to be bent back like when you’re catching a clean movement. Step into the bar and rest the bar across the top of your front delts and upper chest and cross your arms placing the hands on top of the bar on the opposite shoulder.
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#104 chigolfer1

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 07:33 PM

View PostRosco1216, on 06 November 2018 - 06:31 PM, said:

Front squats shouldn't have anything to do with the wrists. They're not supposed to be bent back like when you're catching a clean movement. Step into the bar and rest the bar across the top of your front delts and upper chest and cross your arms placing the hands on top of the bar on the opposite shoulder.

That's one way to do them.  The other is across your delts similar to a clean movement like you described.  But, yeah, your method would take the pressure off the wrists, it's just too weird for me.

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#105 Gap22

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 11:05 AM

I know I am late to the party, but I had serious back issues from an injury (fell hard on my hip rollerblading) that blew out my L4 and L5.  Gave up golf for 2 years but still played tennis.  Had sciatic nerve pain from my butt to my toes 24/7 for 18 months.  Finally had to have microdiscectomy due to onset of drop foot.  Surgery was successful, and I have been back playing golf for 12 years, but soreness/stiffness can be an issue.  I have an ab wheel and use it.  It is a great way to strengthen your core and has helped me tremendously over the years to prevent back problems that would keep me off the golf course.  When I get lazy about it, the issues surface. When I don't use it regularly, I can't play on consecutive days.  I have been really good about it thus season, and have played 4 rounds in 4 days numerous times without issue.  I am 58.   Just a thought for something to maybe add to your regimen.  If you do try it, start slow.  I recommended it to a 24 year old tennis pro once, and he did 5 reps, and the next day thought he was going to die.  It looks harmless, but is pretty intense on your core.

I can explain it to you,
but I can't understand it for you.

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#106 radiman

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 12:10 PM

Had a follow up with my doctor yesterday. After describing my limited relief from the cortisone injection as well as my current symptoms, he's thinking the pain may not be the disc as much as it is my facet joints (location of my arthritis).

So, we're going to be doing a test where he injection anaesthesic into the for effected joints that will last for about two hours. If that is the source of my pain, I will have immediate relief for that short time. Then, my option is to have them burn the nerve to block the pain (should last 6 months to a year).

While that is a temporary fix, I feel a little better knowing the exact source of the issue. My disc is still bulging and at risk of a rupture. So, I still need to keep doing what I'm doing and avoiding certain lifts and motions.
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#107 skraly

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 11:34 PM

View Postradiman, on 05 December 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

Had a follow up with my doctor yesterday. After describing my limited relief from the cortisone injection as well as my current symptoms, he's thinking the pain may not be the disc as much as it is my facet joints (location of my arthritis).

So, we're going to be doing a test where he injection anaesthesic into the for effected joints that will last for about two hours. If that is the source of my pain, I will have immediate relief for that short time. Then, my option is to have them burn the nerve to block the pain (should last 6 months to a year).

While that is a temporary fix, I feel a little better knowing the exact source of the issue. My disc is still bulging and at risk of a rupture. So, I still need to keep doing what I'm doing and avoiding certain lifts and motions.
What you’re describing is called radio frequency ablation.  It can give relief as much as two years and more for some.  I had it done two years ago and it’s still working for me.

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#108 radiman

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 11:59 PM

View Postskraly, on 05 December 2018 - 11:34 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 05 December 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

Had a follow up with my doctor yesterday. After describing my limited relief from the cortisone injection as well as my current symptoms, he's thinking the pain may not be the disc as much as it is my facet joints (location of my arthritis).

So, we're going to be doing a test where he injection anaesthesic into the for effected joints that will last for about two hours. If that is the source of my pain, I will have immediate relief for that short time. Then, my option is to have them burn the nerve to block the pain (should last 6 months to a year).

While that is a temporary fix, I feel a little better knowing the exact source of the issue. My disc is still bulging and at risk of a rupture. So, I still need to keep doing what I'm doing and avoiding certain lifts and motions.
What you’re describing is called radio frequency ablation.  It can give relief as much as two years and more for some.  I had it done two years ago and it’s still working for me.

That's what I like to hear :)
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#109 vernon

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:55 AM

View Postskraly, on 05 December 2018 - 11:34 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 05 December 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

Had a follow up with my doctor yesterday. After describing my limited relief from the cortisone injection as well as my current symptoms, he's thinking the pain may not be the disc as much as it is my facet joints (location of my arthritis).

So, we're going to be doing a test where he injection anaesthesic into the for effected joints that will last for about two hours. If that is the source of my pain, I will have immediate relief for that short time. Then, my option is to have them burn the nerve to block the pain (should last 6 months to a year).

While that is a temporary fix, I feel a little better knowing the exact source of the issue. My disc is still bulging and at risk of a rupture. So, I still need to keep doing what I'm doing and avoiding certain lifts and motions.
What you’re describing is called radio frequency ablation.  It can give relief as much as two years and more for some.  I had it done two years ago and it’s still working for me.
Over the past ten years or so I've had four RFA procedures done to my lower back and three to my neck.  The pain relief was significant in all but once case in which the targeted nerves weren't completely destroyed.  Even then, I felt much better afterwards than I did prior to undergoing the treatment.  The situation was rectified by a followup procedure at around eight to ten months which provided more typical results.

With the exception of this single example, the benefits of the other RFA's have provided me with at least 16 months of significant (I'd say up to 90%) relief and most are in the 24 month range.  However, after adding chiropractic treatment (at the recommendation of the doctor who performs my RFA procedures) I am now beyond three years since my last treatment and both neck and lower back are feeling the best they have in many, many years.  

I also incorporate some pretty simple stretching and yoga maneuvers on a near daily basis which I'm sure help as well.  A little foam rolling and the stretching take less than fifteen minutes out of my day and are beyond worth the effort in my opinion.

I'll be 66 next March and as long as I don't get stupid and overdo things such as yard work I can play or practice pretty much as much as I want with minimal discomfort.  By that I mean I might still get a little stiff and sore by the end of the day (especially in cold weather) but it's quite tolerable and pretty much nothing compared to where I was previously. By previously I mean that practicing was virtually impossible and by the back nine on any given day of playing I was struggling and miserable and then needed a couple of days to recover.  Plus, I have to remind myself occasionally that I AM almost 66 years old so 36 holes followed by a night on the town pretty much falls into the "bygone days" category.

I would add that RFA treatment is not without risks and while it is considered to be "minimally invasive" it IS invasive nonetheless and you need to carefully follow the post procedure protocols to prevent infection.  One other thing to consider is that in my case I usually am completely pain free immediately following the treatment but that's due primarily to the effects of the local anesthesia that will wear off pretty quickly.  It sometimes then takes several days up to a couple weeks for all of the nerves to "die" and that's when you'll have a better idea of what to expect.  I mention this only because you might otherwise think that the treatment was a failure but just might need to be somewhat patient.

Best of luck to you.  I hope you've finally found something that will provide you the relief you seek to improve your daily quality of life.  Even so, don't stop researching and educating yourself on the matter as things change quickly in this field and while it's unlikely that you'll ever be "cured" you will be able to manage your discomfort and function normally and that's all anyone can really ask.

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#110 radiman

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for the input guys. If this does work, I'm looking forward to being able to play golf two days or more in a row again!

My insurance requires that they do this test twice before they'll cover the actual procedure. So, three trips in total. I am not a fan of needles going into my spine.

Any long term side effects I need to worry about?

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#111 vernon

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:18 PM

View Postradiman, on 06 December 2018 - 10:02 AM, said:

Thanks for the input guys. If this does work, I'm looking forward to being able to play golf two days or more in a row again!

My insurance requires that they do this test twice before they'll cover the actual procedure. So, three trips in total. I am not a fan of needles going into my spine.

Any long term side effects I need to worry about?
The insurance requirements are ridiculous and in my case they never changed, not even after multiple prior successful procedures.  The only good news is that the two primary injections do help to ensure that the culprit nerves are accurately identified prior to the RFA increasing the odds of an effective treatment.  They also will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect during the actual RFA.  Another  benefit of sorts is I got at least a few days pain relief from the "test" procedures but still hated to have to wait.  And, while I don't have a real problem with needles, I don't particularly care for the extra opportunities for something to go wrong or to develop an infection.  That never happened and I never had a single side effect or complication but it certainly still goes through ones mind.

If they haven't already I'm sure they'll go over all of this with you but this has been my experience:

The procedure itself is relatively quick - in fact, the prep probably takes longer than the RFA does.  From the time you enter for prep to leaving for recovery is about 20 -30 minutes tops. The procedure itself isn't something that I can say I ever actually looked forward to but it's also relatively painless.  In fact, I think the greatest amount of discomfort is the initial injection of the anesthesia which is kind of like what you would get at the dentist and that's a guy that I DO have a problem with.  Kind of a bee sting and a little burning but it's over with before you know it.  

You'll be lying face down looking through a hole in what could pass for a high dollar massage table.  Make sure that you get as comfortable as possible since you obviously can't be moving around after they get started.  I also highly recommend thoroughly scratching your nose because if you don't I can guarantee you that sucker will start to itch the second they begin!

After the anesthesia takes effect all you'll feel is some pressure in the areas that the doc is inserting the RFA probes.  Again, not loads of fun I guess but it's not painful.  During the actual burning of the nerves there were a couple of times that I did get a sensation that the area was getting pretty hot but that might have just been my imagination too.  Most of my lower back treatments required four burns on each side which as I understand it is more than "normal" and initially the doc even recommended that I break it up into two sessions.  However, I decided against that and wanted to get it over with so my level of discomfort was probably a little greater than some but it still was no big deal.  

I still think most of what I would describe as discomfort is actually more a matter of anxiety than actual hurt.  If you mind's right it's a breeze.

Afterwards, you'll likely spend 20 - 30 minutes in recovery as they want to check your pain levels and make sure that your vitals have stabilized before releasing you.  My blood pressure tended to get pretty high during the process and they always made me wait until it was back to normal before they let me go.  They also will likely require that you have someone to drive you home although after my first few visits the doc waived that requirement for me.  Since you can't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before you'll be starving and I always stopped on the way home to get something to eat.  Then I usually just take it easy for a couple of hours and apply some ice to the area as it can swell some and get a little sore but I found this to be very minor.

Heck, most times I was out playing golf the next day but it's probably best to err a little more on the side of caution until you're comfortable with the whole deal.  Be sure to keep the area clean and dry and you won't be able to shower until the next day so make sure you do that right before you leave for your procedure.

All in all I found RFA to be life changing and borderline miraculous.  And the prolonged absence of the pain not only gives you a big piece of your life back but it will also enable you to take advantage of other opportunities to get some exercise - maybe try some yoga, stretching and strength building to improve your overall health as well as well as that of your back.  That was something that I missed almost as much as golf and really appreciated being able get myself back in a little bit better shape.

So if you mean are there any negative long term side effects, I would say, "zero" - at least for me anyways. In fact, after a few days you won't even be able to see where the needles went in.

And as I mentioned I've had seven of these things and if your experience is anything like mine I think you'll be a happy guy.

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#112 SomedayScratch

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:39 PM

From a former vllage green member...I hope you can get relief. I've got lots of issues too for the last two years with a herniated disc and spondylolisthesis, which is essentially when facet joints fracture bilaterally and that causes your vertebral body to shift forward and downward. So my L5 is shifted forward and downward onto my S1 and that pushes the disc into weird places as well as the vertebrae itself messing up the nerves. I have moderate foramen narrowing on one side, and severe narrowing on the other... and I'm only 24. It sucks, and I've tried absolutely everything. Loads of PT, Chiro, and injections. All of those things have helped minimally, and the biggest difference for me has been DDP Yoga. Look it up. You don't need the full programs because a lot of the stuff is wasted time. I take some of the main movements from the program and have created my own 15 minute routine, that I try to do at least once per day, and when I am consistently into it I can get enough relief to the point where I can at least get some exercise. I am far from healed, still have pain on a daily basis, but this yoga program at least keeps me flexibile and able to golf and walk! PM me if you want more info.

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#113 rightslice

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:46 PM

View Postradiman, on 05 December 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

Had a follow up with my doctor yesterday. After describing my limited relief from the cortisone injection as well as my current symptoms, he's thinking the pain may not be the disc as much as it is my facet joints (location of my arthritis).

So, we're going to be doing a test where he injection anaesthesic into the for effected joints that will last for about two hours. If that is the source of my pain, I will have immediate relief for that short time. Then, my option is to have them burn the nerve to block the pain (should last 6 months to a year).

While that is a temporary fix, I feel a little better knowing the exact source of the issue. My disc is still bulging and at risk of a rupture. So, I still need to keep doing what I'm doing and avoiding certain lifts and motions.

Had the nerve burn done two years ago, both sides. (supposedly only lasts a year) I'm still pain-free in conjunction with core exercises it' s been a Godsend.   Good luck!

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#114 vernon

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 04:47 PM

View Postrightslice, on 06 December 2018 - 03:46 PM, said:

View Postradiman, on 05 December 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

Had a follow up with my doctor yesterday. After describing my limited relief from the cortisone injection as well as my current symptoms, he's thinking the pain may not be the disc as much as it is my facet joints (location of my arthritis).

So, we're going to be doing a test where he injection anaesthesic into the for effected joints that will last for about two hours. If that is the source of my pain, I will have immediate relief for that short time. Then, my option is to have them burn the nerve to block the pain (should last 6 months to a year).

While that is a temporary fix, I feel a little better knowing the exact source of the issue. My disc is still bulging and at risk of a rupture. So, I still need to keep doing what I'm doing and avoiding certain lifts and motions.

Had the nerve burn done two years ago, both sides. (supposedly only lasts a year) I'm still pain-free in conjunction with core exercises it' s been a Godsend.   Good luck!
Yep, the longevity of the benefit will vary from person to person and even procedure to procedure.

Bottom line is that the nerves will almost certainly regenerate over time and when they do it's likely at least some of the pain will return. That's why I strongly encourage people to not just sit back and enjoy the new freedom of movement but use it to better your overall physical condition which can only serve to enhance the effects of the procedure.

For me, finding a good chiropractor in addition to foam rolling, a few yoga exercises and some simple stretching has gotten me to nearly three years since my last RFA and I don't (knock on wood) anticipate having to go back again anytime soon.

A guy just has to be diligent and stay really invested in the overall process of caring for a less than perfect spine.  You can get help for sure but in the end it all comes down to the individual and how bad they want to get better and stay better.

You can't just wish it away that's for sure.

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#115 skraly

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 12:05 AM

View Postradiman, on 06 December 2018 - 10:02 AM, said:

Thanks for the input guys. If this does work, I'm looking forward to being able to play golf two days or more in a row again!

My insurance requires that they do this test twice before they'll cover the actual procedure. So, three trips in total. I am not a fan of needles going into my spine.

Any long term side effects I need to worry about?
The initial use of an anesthetic to make sure the proper nerve roots are identified is pretty simple and straight forward.  A local anesthetic numbs the skin.  The needle to inject the nerve root is inserted and as the medicine is injected you will feel pressure at the site.  The numbing effects of this injection typically last a couple of days.  Assuming this works you’ll be set to get the actual RFA procedure done.  The actual RFA procedure is a bit more complicated.  My doctor used what is called conscious sedation.  This so I wouldn’t accidentally move during the procedure.  Apparantly not all doctors do it this way.  If yours does use conscious sedation you will need to have someone available to drive you home.  As with any procedure like this, local infection is the most common, but very rare, complication.  The procedure doesn’t involve entering the spinal canal so no worries on any kind of paralysis.  As mentioned by another, it can take a few weeks to get full effect from the procedure.  There are no real activity  restrictions afterward.  Just go by how you feel.  If you’re really sore, I wasn’t, just take it easy for a day or two.  For reasons of which I am not sure about, the RFA procedure seems to have a better success rate when used lower on the spine than in the neck area.  Assuming the procedure is successful you may find that the pain can return at some point down the line.  If it does the RAF procedure can be repeated.  But be warned that your insurance company will make you jump through the same hoops all over again before they okay the procedure.  Good luck going forward.  Let us know how it goes.


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