Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | List of forums | Search | FAQ

chronic pain: not always "just in your head"

Posted by Elizabeth on July 11, 1999, at 22:23:42

Hi everyone. A while back I posted about a problem with chronic back pain, and several people sent very thoughtful replies - my thanks to all of you.

Well, I've been to the pain clinic and had a couple x-rays, and it turns out that there is indeed something identifiable that is probably causing the problem. Specifically, a word came up that I hadn't heard in more than a decade: scoliosis. (I'm 23 years old.) That's right: somehow, my spine has been curved wrong all these years, and I never knew it, and nobody noticed before!

The doctor at the pain clinic said what I have is a "facet syndrome." He tried to explain what that is, but I didn't get it, as I don't know much anatomy. Basically I think it means that something is pressing against something else that it shouldn't be.

The treatments they are recommending are site injections (steroids and a local anaesthetic), biofeedback (to fix my posture), physical therapy, and muscle relaxants (baclofen, a direct GABA-B agonist which has the bonus effect of helping me sleep a little better). They also want me to fix my computer setup so it's a bit more ergonomic.

Anyway I was astonished by this, because I had been expecting to get an answer like the one that most people with back pain get, namely that there's no identifiable reason for the pain and that I just have to learn to cope (along with the implication that it is somehow "psychogenic").

I didn't realize how much it bothered me not to have an explanation for my pain until now. Mind you, dealing with it is still going to suck - there's no quick and easy answer for it - but at least they have to admit it's real. I hope that one day we will understand the brain and have easily used techniques to observe its functioning so that the source of so-called psychogenic pain can be identified as well. In the meantime I would like physicians to be reminded that there are still many things about medicine (not just the medicine of the brain) that aren't well understood, so that a problem is not always due to "anxiety" or somesuch just because you can't find any other cause. (I had been to doctors and physical therapists for this problem before, and none identified the cause until now.)

If anyone has experience with any of this stuff, I'd love to talk about it.




Post a new follow-up

Your message only Include above post

Notify the administrators

They will then review this post with the posting guidelines in mind.

To contact them about something other than this post, please use this form instead.


Start a new thread

Google www
Search options and examples
[amazon] for

This thread | Show all | Post follow-up | Start new thread | FAQ
Psycho-Babble Medication | Framed

poster:Elizabeth thread:8605