Let's talk about your experience of Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

  • 1

1 Answer

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
10 years with the last 4 the most severe. Have done it all. Just had a NM bone & joint scan and it confirmed what recent MRI's confirmed moderate to severe degenerative changes of spine (and now hips). Was on 4mg dilaudid q 6 hrs for a year but quit 11 mo ago when 4 mg stop helping. I'm at wits end at this point, walking, attempting to get up from sitting and even driving my car causes severe pain. Any suggestions for relief?
Almost nothing to help, honestly.
Pot and an analgesic. Some pool therapy?
Yes, these therapies are conservative (in comparison to surgery) that help to relieve the pain associated with DDD in some people.
Analgesic is not a long-term treatment. Pool therapy can relieve the pain. I prefer surgery. I had my first spinal surgery at 20, my second and third at 21. Sure, the procedures hurt. But the pain I endured before the surgery was extremely horrible. I had permanent  damage and I even could not lay flat without great pain. Thanks to the surgeries, I get rid of the pain. And now, ten years later, I work happily in a physically demanding job.
As Every Journey with DDD is very different one common factor that is always there is Pain! This is a little of what I’ve tried in the last 16 Years to help in My Situation, You may be able to recommend other treatments to throw at My Docs!
I suffered a very severe injury that affects multiple areas of My  back? I was really hopeful for a fast recovery and before My first MRI weeks after My accident when nothing seemed to help reduce the pain I was in.   My Surgeon ordered X-rays of My lower Spine and was 90% or better positive of a great outcome for me on My lower disc injury. He Ordered an MRI as a precaution and after it pointed out Three different areas of injury in my lower, mid, and upper back lower neck regions his Optimism changed to an outcome with a very low percentage of  less pain and  a greater probability of more pain if I had surgery.  It was a 50% chance at lessen my pain and as well as a 50% chance Surgery would increase My Pain Levels.  I ask His Personal Opinion as if it were Him as the Patient with His knowledge what He would do in my Situation and His honest answer was not to have Surgery till My level of Pain was so great it became unbearable even with the Meds I am prescribed.  I searched out a Second Opinion at His advice as well before My final decision of surgery was made. I sought out an opinion from Emory University Medical Center Surgeon in Atlanta Ga.that is World Known and highly respected in this field.  His recommendation was as My Own Surgeons and that was No Surgery until unbearable pain, and both gave the same unsolicited advice which was ,”If Any Doctor says they can fix Your Back and Your Pain, Run or in My case Hobble a fast walk, away from them because there isn’t a Medically know “Fix” for Your Back or Your Pain. “ I took this advice to heart as well as the knowing that from December 2, 2004, I live in a daily amount of pain that My Meds never numb. I have learned to hap-hazzardly live my life with this pain, which some days is worse than Others but always a constant reminder that I will never have the life I had before that December Afternoon in 2004.
I truely hope You can find a way to rid Your body of the excruciating pain You have to endure but if You must live with a degree of pain know that getting with a Good Reputable Pain Management Specialist can help You at least salvage some form of the life You once had. The pain I know from truly living Experience is very hard to deal with but it can be done with the right regiment of meds, Physical Therapy and other ground breaking tools of treatment becoming available through research. The main thing I can tell You and hope You Understand and take away from My rambling is that being in some degree of Pain isn’t the very worst life case Scenario, as My Doctor told Me of My Personal Condition, He said, “ A lot of People with numerous disc injuries such as Yours/(Mine) are Bed ridden and unable to walk, You Still have the ability, although in pain, to be Mobile so for that be Thankful!” So I have tried to realize and most of the time I’m successful to be Thankful that I can Walk and I do have a Caring, Concerned Pain Management Specialist and His team,  that are always trying to help Improve My Quality  of life with the very least amount of drug regiment of Daily Medications that I must take to achieve that life.
I say get a Qualified P. M.Specialist because when I finally found and came under My PMS now He has reduced My daily Medication regiment over Half the amount of Meds I was prescribed before Him. He did this by changing some, reducing greatly others as well as Other Pain Reduction Techniques Periodically so that I don’t have to take as much meds daily.  My Docs before were only interested in giving Meds and spending about 5 mins or so with Me which is impossible to know what I’m dealing with.  My PMS NOW, He or one of His team,  takes as much time as needed which has been an hour to genuinely make sure He’s doing His best possible to help My Personal Battle with the Everyday/Every Second of Pain I endure!  Please  Make sure You have the Best Knowledgable Physician possible that’s interested in Helping You deal with the pain and Worsening condition that’s causing the pain and not just treating the Symptoms of Your Disease. Treating Only Symptoms isn’t helping You Mentally deal with the cause and therefore Affect that Your disease plays on Your Body as well as You Mind and Healthy Thought Process You need to be the very Best You You can possibly Be! Whether in a Low Degree  or High Degree of Inevitable Pain that You must endure.
I do hope however that You can find a treatment that will eliminate Your Pain, just because Surgery wasn’t right for Me doesn’t mean it’s not a good hopeful alternative treatment to a daily regiment of Meds that never numb the entire Pain.  As above Some People have had great success with Surgery as well as other Treatments that haven’t been My Answer as of Yet to help with My Pain, but possibly might be the answer to Your Situation. In the beginning in 2005 I had an experimental new treatment then, called Disc Replacement Injection Therapy, unfortunately it wasn’t the cure for Me but I have read and Heard these treatments have come a long way since My experimental try then, as well as numerous other treatments I’m sure I’m not aware of!
Good luck on Your Journey My friend I hope You find the Pain relief You need and seek! Everyone deserves to be able to live the life They want, to the fullest!