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Terrible back pain

Philupnorth Member Posts: 3 Listener

Hi everyone, I’m after some advice on what I can do as I’m at my wits end as I am suffering excruciating back pain when I’m at work.  I have had two MRI scans 20 months apart which confirm I have a slipped disc & the latest scan said there had been no change but recently my pain has become unbelievable. I work in a warehouse & the constant bending now causes so much pain & I don’t know how much more I can take

 I am on a stage one on a capability procedure at work & I’m really worried what will happen if I go sick. What I can’t understand is in the morning I feel fine but as soon as I start bending repeatedly it literally feels like I have been stabbed in the bottom of my spine & the knife is being twisted. I am now part time & work 2 days a week & I had to cut my hours due to other health problems. I need a job but with my health as it is at the moment I would be unemployable if I had to find a new job as no one would take me on.

I having recently started physio but the exercises made the pain worse & I didn’t think that was possible.  When I told him he said the exercises he had given me were the simplest & gave me the impression he wasn’t interested in me. He suggested that when I see my doctor next to talk about getting stronger pain killers but I am already on 150mg Tramadol.  What I was hoping he would do would be to recommend I was to be referred to a pain clinic as my doctor has said she wanted to see what physio said first.

 It is a struggle to see a doctor & I have to wait until the end of next month to see my regular doctor again as I see her every couple of months as I struggle with anxiety & depression as well. The pain I am going through is also adversely affecting my depression as I just don’t know how much more I can take & I need to talk with someone who will actually help me get the treatment I need as the way its going I don’t see an end to all the pain at the moment


  • Seanchai
    Seanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    Sorry to hear about your back pain ....I am also on tramadol for my right leg ( which is the result of a bad accident ) ...I,m afraid the tramadol do not seem to be doing their job now ..but the doctor told me my next pain killer would be morphine ....I certainly will continue as long as I can without morphine as I know a couple of people on morphine as a pain killer and they are spaced out half the time...I,m bad enough with my various tablets for various ailments ...I also have anxiety and depression and COPD. ...but your back will be under extreme pressure at work bending and lifting . 
    I think you really need to get through to your doctor just how much pain you are in ....of course the doctor will need to wait on the physio's report.  They assessed me for physio but I was not suitable as I have no feeling on my skin on my right leg ...and the physio involved heat ...but it could be dangerous without feeling in my skin.I,m sure your physio will relay your appointment and report on your serious pain . Sometimes physio is not the answer Phil...but the doc has to go through the certain hoops , the same as we do if we are on sickness. 
    Good luck for the future Phil ...please keep us posted on what your doctor decides and how you are feeling about it. 
  • Philupnorth
    Philupnorth Member Posts: 3 Listener

    Thanks for the reply, in the past I was for a time suicidal due to something unrelated & I was on a very high dose of venlafaxine & I have managed to reduce it to the lowest  & I know how hopeless someone can feel with no way out & I don’t want to slide back after a lot of hard work over the last few years but I just want a way out of this pain and don’t know if there is anything I can do privately,  osteopathy for instance. I don’t know where to go to find out the information I need to get the help I need & if it means paying for it I will do so as I know I can’t go on like this

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Philupnorth - Welcome to this great community & thank you for joining. I also have lower back pain plus other problems all due to a genetic disorder I can't 'fix.'. Now here I should probably confess I'm a physio, altho I haven't worked as such for a very long time!
    At work, your bending is the culprit. Ideally you should bend your knees to lower yourself down, & not your back. I know this is easier said than done in the workplace, but is likely the cause of your increased pain. I'm also sorry your physio wasn't helpful; they should have shown you how to lift correctly. Then with pain, you need to break the vicious cycle, & any exercise that increases this is wrong, so I'm sorry they unfortunately were not much use to you.
    As you've found, being in pain adversely affects your mental health, & vice versa, & medication may not always be the answer.
    I can only speak from personal experience; it's finding a way to manage your pain, & undoubted stress. Sometimes it might be a combination of things that help too, as we're all different. I use 'gentle' exercise; relaxation, including correct breathing together with visualisations; distraction & mindfulness.
    Whilst I realise you can't do these in the workplace, anymore than I can tell myself to relax first thing in the morning, perhaps looking into these may get you back in control of your pain 'most' of the time.
    Please see: https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/therapies/abdominal-breathing.pdf  Something I used to teach & which helps reduce stress & pain.

  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Philupnorth and a warm welcome to the community! How are you at the moment? :)

  • Philupnorth
    Philupnorth Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Thanks everyone, Isaw the physio on Monday & I had had a better few days working. I can't remember if  mentioned it before but I work 2 days a week due to  health issues so at least I have plenty of recovery time as I see it between each time I work apart from every other weekend which I find really bad because its 2 days in a row but anyway he said if I don't improve over the next month he would recommend my doctor referred me to the pain clinic so hopefully I will get help soon.

    I have tried modifying the way I work to take pressure off my back as much as possible but where i work there are pick rates I need to hit which force people to pick wrongly as they won't hit targets if they did it by the book.

    Over the past 10 years its always been one thing after another starting with frozen shoulder in both shoulders requiring injections a couple of times each, tennis elbow in both elbows & both required an operation to cure the problem a year apart. Then came plantar fasciitis in both feet which needed a couple of rounds of injections to cure, then a rotator cuff tear which put me out of action for most of last summer.

    All this with battling depression, anxiety & associated problems with EUPD & the dreaded back pain but I don't know where I stand with my employer as I have has 2 MRI scans nearly 2 years apart showing I have a slipped disc so would I be covered by the disability act as it has gone on for more than 12 months & would I now be classed as disabled as my back limits me so much even when the severe pain I have experienced over the last 6 months wasn't there I couldnt for example stand still longer than a minute before I got pain but  as long as I was moving it eased off & cueing at the shops was painful but moving about doing the shopping wasn't. 
  • Laborador
    Laborador Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Hi There @Philupnorth, just a thought, tramadol and venlafaxine are similar on a molecular level, so work together for both depression and pain. Sometimes, reducing anti-depressants has an impact on pain, and so I suggest speaking to your doctor about it. Only a thought. Good Luck.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Philupnorth - Thank you for the update, & hope you get the referral you're hoping for to the pain clinic.
    As far as employment goes, I'm unsure if you hope your employer will look at 'reasonable adjustments,' perhaps finding another job you could do with them instead, which would then help your back. No-one should surely have to lift incorrectly to meet targets.
    You can certainly ask your employer to help. I don't know that you have to 'prove' you have a physical disability which is long-standing, but your mental health issues, which have been much longer, should also be taken into account.
    There's some info here on Scope which I hope may be helpful, whether looking at continuing working, or stopping work.
    It is always wise, as @Laborador suggests, & often mentioned here, to also speak to your GP, who may also be able to help.

  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Philupnorth, thanks for updating us. There has been some good advice above around reasonable adjustment. Is this something you'd be able to discuss with your employer at all?

    Please do let us know how you get on. :)

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,149 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Philupnorth , have you tried going to a chiropractor ? When I had severe back pain my spine had gone out of line , in desperation I went to one. It was the best thing I ever did, it was very  intensive initially and often painful treatment but after a period of treatments my condition was cured. They are different from physio and in fact I was advised that the exercises I had been doing at physio were completely incorrect and could have in fact made the damage worse as they were making me bend the same way my spine had bent.

    J hope you find a solution I know only too well how this affects everything in your life when in constant pain 


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