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03/02/2012 08:52 AM

Acupuncture for pain relief

Posts: 4
New Member

Has anyone tried acupuncture for pain relief from spinal stenosis?

I have days where my pain is a 10, radiating down my right leg and settling in my ankle and big toe to the point I want to rip my toenail off.

I have tried physical therapy, home stretches, and have finished 2 of the series of 3 injections, in addition to OTC and prescribed pain medication (Motrin, Tylenol #3, percocet - none of which touch the pain.)




03/02/2012 11:38 AM
RaoulPosts: 4219
Group Leader

Accupuncture might help. It helps some.

You need to understand that this is not a race - it is a marathon.

You say you tried a bunch of things. yes. But now you need to start to combine them to get some real relief. One or two is not going to do it.

combine the following -

1. soft topped , firm bedding.

2. ice lower back (or cervical spine) for 20 minutes on and 2 hours off - times 4 per day

3. apply bengay to lower back (or cervical spine) - - times 3 per day

4. for regular pain - take tylenol 3 or vicodin 2 times a day.

5. for nerve pain - take gabapentin 300 mg once or twice a day - - need to be titrated up by doctor.

6. for inflamation - take aleve 2 times a day (12 hours apart)

7. with aleve - always take ranitidine 150 mg to protect your tummy.

8. muscle relaxer - 2 times a day (((I personally like chlorzoxazon -comes as 500 mg tablets. I cut them into quarters and take a quarter in the AM and another in the PM))) - requires a prescription.

You can get support from your family doctor for the meds if you take copies of your mRI's in to them to have onn record for the justification for the use of these meds.

Take no more meds than you need. Otherwise they become ineffective.

Once the initial lfare has subsided - cut the doses to once a day. Should take about a month. Maintain the gabapentin at a minimum level of 300 mg per day.

hugs, Raoul

03/02/2012 01:35 PM
Posts: 4
New Member

Thank you so much for the advice, Raoul!

I have been "lucky" enough to be diagnosed early, at age 36. My mom, who is now 73, has been battling this for years, with no firm diagnosis. About a year ago she went to the Cleveland Clinic and found a team of doctors who were able to diagnose and have started a treatment plan for her. Unfortunately it is too little too late, as time and the disease have taken their toll. I look at her and see what my future could be if I do not take care of own body now.

I agree that it is a marathon. Sometimes it seems like a triathlon Smile Each day brings a new sensation of pain, and other days I wonder if I made the whole thing up.

Hearing the stories of others reassures me that I am not crazy, and that this wrenching pain in my back, radiating down my leg to my big toe, is real, and it is a real condition.

So we go on, trying different things, from diets to needles, pills to plants, hoping to find the right combination that will bring relief. I am lucky enough to have a family doctor who is willing to listen, offer suggestions for treatment, and entertains whatever idea that I may throw out there.

Most of all, having a great support group such as this brings it all together. Thank you.

Have a wonderful weekend, Raoul!


03/02/2012 02:34 PM
RaoulPosts: 4219
Group Leader

HI Amanda -

From your description of the pain location - you have either a pinched nerve or some minor stenosis at L4-L5/S1 in your lumbar spine. You should go and get a lumbar MRI to make sure there is nothing else going on there.

That will also help your family doctor to support you with the needed medicines.

When you sleep - you need to put a pillow under your knees to take all stress off of your lumbar spine. If you sleep on your side - put the pillow between the knees. Do not sleep on your stomach - it makes matters worse.

Minimize car trips and all other trips - such as bus, train, air plane as these will make it worse.

your bed needs to have at least a 6 inch thick memory foam topper on it to help the lumbar irritated nerves to hel during sleep.

I have 4 herniated discs in the cervical spine and 4 stenotic in the lumbar - and with the methods I outlined for you very briefly - I am not in any pain. You can stop the pain.

At your age - you can try physical therapy and should be able to reverse a lot of the basic causes. That is a good idea, as this is a progressive situation and it would help you for a very long time.



Post edited by: Raoul, at: 03/02/2012 02:36 PM

03/02/2012 03:21 PM
Posts: 4
New Member

You nailed it! Minor stenosis L5 S1 as confirmed by the MRI. Good call!

I have been lobbying for a memory foam mattress topper, and a new mattress. I appreciate the support for my cause. I slept last night with a pillow between my legs. I was surprised at the relief even just that small change brought.

Stay well!


03/11/2012 01:30 AM
Posts: 2
New Member

Please tell me if acupuncture helped your Spinal Stenosis. I am considering this. Also, I am considering going to a Chiropractor. Don't know if this would help the pain. I would appreciate it if someone mentioned this.

03/11/2012 05:36 AM
RaoulPosts: 4219
Group Leader

Accupuncture did not help my stenosis.

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