Diabetes and Arthritis

By Greymoon Latest Reply 2018-10-29 13:41:09 -0500
Started 2018-09-25 13:08:06 -0500

I was at my doctors office yesterday concerning my lower back. Going over the MRI results, I was told, I have a collapsed disc, a bulging disc located in L-4 thru S-1. There are also small growths which are pressing on the spinal canal causing me to lose feeling in the lower waist and legs, also, embarrassingly loss of bladder control, as well as advanced degeneration in those disc, and arthritis. Being a type 2 diabetic, high blood pressure, heart problems, (enlarged left ventricular area), trying to find solutions for pain relief is a chore. There is the option of surgery, physical therapy, (which even doc admitted could lead to more problems). I have been scouring the web and in touch with pharmacist about what I can take O.T.C. to relieve the pain to a tolerable.
One direction I am going to do is to purchase a TENS unit. I have a friend who does P.T. and is willing to help me out. I would like to know if anyone else is going through similar thing?

7 replies

MelodyRain 2018-10-29 13:41:09 -0500 Report

I have this issue in my neck. They didn't want to surgery at this time since I still have a little space for the spinal fluid to circulate. Having it where I do affects my balance and my shoulders and upper back. I did have some PT which was helpful for me. The specialist I say gave me gabapentin which helps with nerve pain since I have several bone spurs that are pinching my nerves. That all has helped. Since my neuro test was normal I was told that I might need surgery in 10 years. So I'm just careful about doing to much and doing things where I could fall and injure it further. The biggest thing that helped me was strengthening the muscles around the injured areas. So I have worked on the shoulder muscles and the upper back muscles.

Greymoon 2018-10-20 07:27:25 -0500 Report

Yup, surgery is the suggestion that was made. Fusing the discs, removing the growths, although he said they would most like;y grow back, and a rod inserted. Still be one the medications for the arthritis. I have opted to wait until after the first of year, because I do not want to be flat on my back during the holidays, (you know the look I got from both the neurologist and my doctor), So I have severe restrictions now, short walks, avoid bending, standing, sitting limited as well. So I have a new well padded lounge type chair. Huge difference with stiffness and soreness. Some friends who are willing to assist, not do everything, but help me with things like shopping, and getting to and from appointments. So, will see how it goes from here.

Nick1962 2018-10-29 09:34:24 -0500 Report

Both sorry and happy to hear that. If done properly, you have no idea how much relief this will give you. It’s like getting a whole new life. Hopefully you’ll get some nice nurses who will push you. The first couple days will be brutal, but the harder you try to get up and walking around, the faster you’ll get back to good again.

Nick1962 2018-09-28 14:14:47 -0500 Report

Yes, I have been through exactly the same issue. Once in my lower back (same as you, but L1-L4) and recently in my neck (C4-C7). Both cases ended up in surgery. It doesn’t go away or heal once damaged.

Spinal issues such as ours are progressive and with many people, they are lucky to outlive that progression. Not us. Unfortunately, I think you’re past the point of any OTC solution, but confirm that with your doctor or physiologist.

Here’s how mine went; my chiropractor kept me going for several years, but wear and tear continued. Then it was OTC pain meds, after that prescription meds (and associated side effects), then nerve deadener/steroid shots (which are not nice on diabetics, not to mention excruciatingly painful in that part of the back). It took about three years before I maxed out on the number of shots they could give me yearly, and pain meds, and I burned up a TENS about every six months. Then, finally surgery (or risk paralysis).

Being in pain took a toll on my physically, but mentally as well. It realty eroded me and my attitude away. If the surgical option is on the table and affordable, I’d say take it. As we get older, that option gets taken off the table because of the risks involved, and you will at least have many more pain free and active years.

Greymoon 2018-10-17 10:16:23 -0500 Report

I have a consult tomorrow with my doctor and a neurologist. From what little he did give me over the phone, the discussion will be about surgery. I am off of the P.T., and refuse to go on anything heavier than Neurotin for the pain. It came to a head on Saturday when I was coming home from the store and from the waist down just went totally numb, needless to say I hit the sidewalk hard, and lost both bowel and bladder control. It only lasted for about a minute, and a tad embarrassed. About the only good thing i can say is that at least my sugar was at 103, and my A1c was at 7.9, (down from 8.8 2 months ago). Here's the kick in the fanny, while I was being helped, someone walked off with my bag of groceries!! But it's all good, if they needed them, I have no problem with it.

Nick1962 2018-10-18 11:18:49 -0500 Report

Well, first, sorry to hear that. Second, good luck and let us know how that goes.
I’m no doctor, but from my personal experience (and your mileage may vary), you’re way past the “management” stage of things. PT isn’t going to do anything except aggravate the issue, and living on pain pills is honestly, no way to live. Hopefully you can find a decent surgeon, and I can assure you, whatever temporary pain the surgery causes (and it will be brutal for a few days), once you get past it you will find new life.

suecsdy 2018-09-25 16:00:14 -0500 Report

Sorry to hear about all the problems in your back. I have them also; degenerative disc disease and a misaligned vertebra (spondylolisthesis) with arthritis, of course. Oh, and a tarlov cyst which has eroded pretty much a whole vertebra. I'm very fortunate that they aren't currently painful or problematic. IThey did send ne to PT to strengthen my back when they saw the misalignment. I don't know if it helped, but it didn't make anything hurt. The exercises they gave me weren't difficult and I still try to do them at the gym. I have an inexpensive tens unit that I've used on my feet for tendinitis and I'd like to get one that's a little better. It kind of feels good when I use it and I'm thinking of getting the larger pad for the back except I don't know if I'd be able to get it on and off, living on my own. Ibuprofen always worked well for me as a pain reliever, but I can't take it anymore as my kidneys are already compromised. If you find something good otc, please let me know. Tylenol just doesn't do it for me.

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