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Suffering from severe back pain. How to get relief?

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Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 2189 Questions
I have has several mri's with no results, i have had a nerve study but the results aren not in yet, I have such sever back pain that I would do anythig to relieve it, I have gone to a pain management clinic but I NEED releife now, I have thoughts of hurting myself just to make the pain stop, I WAS THINKIG OF A MASSAGER BUT DONT KNOW WHAT THE BEST WOULR BE FOR ME FOR TH PAIN THAT WAS INDUCED BY A LP FOR A BOUT OF VIRAL MENENGITIS, pLEEASE HELP ME,PLEASE GET ME INFO Asap because I am about to go to a pshyc doc to see if it is in my head, I cannot sleep at night and moving is a nightmare, I have to use a walker because when the pain is severs my legs will give out, I have fallen severat times
Posted Mon, 12 Nov 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 2 hours later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I understand that you are going through a very difficult time dealing with your pain. You have also mentioned that several MRIs have failed to detect any medical cause for the pain. In such cases it is likely that certain neuro-chemical imbalances in your brain can be causing you to have a heightened perception of pain. This is called a somatoform pain disorder, where the person experiences chronic pain, but there is no medical cause found. Now, this does NOT mean that 'everything is in your head' and that you are simply imagining the pain. In this conditon, these neuro-chemical imbalances cause the person's pain threshold to get lowered and he / she starts percieving abnormal pain when there is no major underlying pathological stimulus. So, when there is chronic, unresolving pain, soon the person develops distress and anxiety due to the undiagnosed pain and this anxiety itself then starts worsening it more. Soon this becomes a viscious cycle, leaving the person in extreme suffering.

Now, of course, it is absolutely essential that any underlying pathology is excluded first. I hope this is being done systematically and your sleep and having suicidal thoughts, it is definitely advisable to consult a psychiatrist for help in managing this stressful situation. Like I had mentioned earlier, these neuro-chemical abnormalities in your brain respond well to certain types of anti-depressant medication e.g. Duloxetine (as the medication can help setting right these imbalances). In addition, reducing your anxiety and getting proper sleep will also help you feel better overall and give you more strength to deal with the pain. Sometimes, patients are prescribed certain centrally acting muscle relaxants like Baclofen, which may help in relieving the chronic muscle spasm which may be compounding the pain.

So, please stay positive and don't lose heart. With appropriate treatment, I'm sure you will be able to overcome your problem soon.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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