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"Chronic Lower Back Pain"

About: Exmouth Health Service

(as the patient),

Chronic Lower Back Pain

Over the last 6 months I have developed lower back pain and I am struggling with my treatment options.

I have had multiple doctors appointments (10+). I have tried 14 different medications (Panadol, Panadol back and Neck Pain Ethical Nutrients Pain Relief, Voltaren, Duromine (to try to lose weight to help with pain management), Trammadol, Indocin, Nexium (due to reaction to Indocin), Lyrica 25mg, 50mg then 150mg tablets (up to 600mg a day), Codalgin, Ketorolac. I am now back on Trammadol (which makes me nauseous) and Atenolol (as the pain is causing stress and elevated blood pressure).

I've also been prescribed Celebrex, but can't afford it at the moment because I work casually and have had to take time off work due to pain and I also have a family history of thrombosis and am nervous about its side effects.

I've had an x-ray which shows early spondylotic changes in the lumbar vertebrae with mild scoliosis to left side. Degenerative disc disease at L5/S1 level with mild facet joint arthropathy at L4/L5 and L5/S1 levels. I've also had blood tests to check for arthritis which came back negative.

I live in a remote area so we have a visiting physio who comes to town once a month. His suggestion is to ask the doctor for a care plan for 5 visits to the private physio in town who has a Clinical Pilates background. However the doctor said they didn't provide care plans in Exmouth because they aren't a GP. The last GP I saw said that there is nothing that can be done and I just have to deal with it.

I've seen a private physio 4 times but am on a low income and can't afford to continue. I work casually and have had to take time off work due to the chronic pain. If there is no GP in town what are my options to get a care plan?

I'm very frustrated and in pain most of the time.

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear Chronic back pain

Thank you for sharing your concerns on Patient Opinion. I am sorry that you have experienced our service in this way and I acknowledge your frustration as it appears that you did not receive the high level of care that we aim to provide.

Dr Viney Joshi, Senior Medical Officer for the Gascoyne district, has advised that he has spoken with the medical practitioners at Exmouth Hospital and outlined the process and documentation for providing care plans. Dr Joshi would like an opportunity to assist you and to discuss your case in further detail and he can be contacted on 9941 0305. Alternatively you can call Tamara Sweeny, Operations Manager Gascoyne on 9941 0300 or myself on 9956 8695 and we can pass your details on to Dr Joshi.

Telehealth pain specialist services throughout rural and remote areas are also currently being expanded and enhanced and these services may be something that could assist you in the future. Telehealth is the use of information and communication technology to provide healthcare over a distance. Telehealth connects regional patients to safe, high quality and cost-effective clinical services closer to home and provides regional patients with improved access to timely specialist and emergency care, which can lead to improved health outcomes.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your feedback on Patient Opinion, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards

Michele

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