I have noticed this before, when my back is acting up..(like it doesn't every day??)..seriously...when I am standing or sitting, I notice this sensation of deep pressure in my lower spine..like everything is kind of being compressed. Yes, there are small herniations, bulges, arthritis..etc...but this sensation causes my back to ache...down my butt...into legs... like it radiates from the spine outward and downward. This is especially noticable after being out...to store....driving...sitting to long or just plain old walking. It just seems to increase during the day.. Laying down seems to help. As well as my medications. It seems best when I first wake up in the morning... Anyone have an idea? It is very, very uncomfortable, hurting and not nice. To say the least.
Sage - Have you had any surgery with hardware?? I am 4 weeks out from a fusion and this is a common ache for me.
It sounds like you have spinal stenosis??? When you have this pressure, does it feel better to lean on a cart, sit forward, or lean on a counter standing up?? If so, I suspect you are experiencing the pain from stenosis.
Just my thougts.......I pray that you find some relief soon.
Thanks for your reply. I'm not sure what I have, and it appears neither do my Drs. For some reason every MRI states something similar but different. Strange. The neurosurgeon I last saw in June said that I have 2 3+ bilateral bicepe reflexes with mild Hoffmans and lower extremity exam reveals 3 4+ patellar reflexes. He feels it may be a dysesthatic pain from spinal cord compression...but he doesn't see it on MRI... I had an ACDF at C5/6 3 years ago....but I also had the lower back pain, which I have been trying to find a cure for for 3 years (all due to a fall 4 1/2 years ago) (I copied all that from his report to my PM Dr.) Was referred to new PM Dr. in Jan. He said that I have some problems on MRIs, as did other Drs., but they can't figure out why I have all of these symptoms. The new PM Dr. gave me a facet joint injection on 1/22....he also found a small cyst in my facet joint and did something with it (drained it???) at the time of injection. The facet joint injection at L4/5 & L5/S1 helped a bit, actually had several really nice afternoons...told the nurse when she called that overall I felt about 50% relief, I was happy...but the Dr. wasn't...the nurse said they would probably do another type of injection (SI) to see if that helps more. So, to answer your question about the stenosis, I am not sure....Have thought of this myself, but they haven't mentioned it. Do have minally dehydrated disk spaces at L3/4 & L4/5..maintaind space heights...Small foraminal disk (left side)herniation at L4/5 with possible compression on left L4 nerve root...but, I have had until very recently more pain on the right side....now it is more central on lower back radiating on both sides, with more pain/compression feeling on right than before...but still have pain in right leg/ankle also, after standing or walking, I get the numbing feeling in my toes and front of feet. After the Facet injection things seemed better somewhat, but in the last couple of weeks, it is all coming back...worse, now, because the left side is now acting up...along with the right side.
Don't have another appt. until 3/29....in the meantime, usually, I take 3 10/325 oxycodone a day..(which I had reduced right after the injection) but in the last week I have been taking up to 4 pills a day...they help, but don't cure it....
Sorry to go on and on....such a whiner....but I guess today I just had to get it out. Thanks for listening...and for your suggestion....I'm not sure about the leaning on the grocery cart...think I may do that sometimes...as well as lift myself by my elbows when I am sitting in a chair...not to stand up, but to take the pressure off my lower back...
Thanks again..hope you have a good day..
Hi Sage. I am wondering why they are so befudlled to your symptoms. It sounds like classic sciatica. This pressure you describe.. does it feel like someone layed a brick on that side? Also it often accompanied tingling, stinging there, and sort of a constant light buzzing type electrical feeling there. Anything at all like that?
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
The pressure feeling feels like something is just increasingly squeezing/and heavy....just building kind of feeling. Like everything is just setteling in my back and legs...very, very heavy sensations... On occasion I do get stabbing sensations in my legs and feet...like someone sticks a pin in me. I get a numby kind of feeling in my lower feet and toes...which when I am on my feet too long just increases....and a swelling feeling..
Supposedly, the Drs. don't see what is causing this problem..the neuro thought it was spinal compression...but doesn' see what is causing it on the MRI's ... just the usual small herniations and bulges and arthritis...
Feels like compression...
Yeah, I know there are muscle spasms going on too...but the numbness that comes on in my feet is scary...not totaly numbness....just specific areas...guess a muscle could be grabbing a nerve and causing it problems too...also, the pain in my right leg follows a certain area all of the time...could actually take a marker and follow it down... Will have to ask the PM Dr. when I go... I do know that the back tries to protect itself from "injury" by creating muscle spasms.. Thanks for you suggestion...always something else to ask the Dr. about...but you never know...one of these days we'll hit on the right question!!!
Thanks Yvette,,,,yes, I have looked at the dermatone charts...and I have the symptoms in the legs, feet for the L4/5 & L5/S1 area....the Drs. seem to think I should have the pain in the left leg & foot more...rather than the right leg and foot....backwards is what I am (does being left handed have anything to do with this backwards stuff????? haha) When one of my primary Drs. did that tuning fork thing on my right ankle and foot on the outside of the foot and little toe, I had to stop and look down...wow...PAIN..also, the big toe hurt too....with numbness on top of foot. BUT because they don't see what they want to see on the MRI's..(and every MRI seems different..????) the neuro's and PM are scratching their heads. Since I had the facet joint injection (and cyst drainage) I have more pain on the left side - back & sometimes leg...but the right side just doesn't quit.... BUT, when I stand or sit for too long...it is amazing....the pain just grows and grows...and spreads from lower back to outside of leg, shin, ankle and into foot...even get the numby feeling across the top of foot and into toes.... Lately, the standing and sitting have become really a major cause of pain...so I am walking...then I have to lay down...to get it a bit better...think of abcessed tooth... It all got so much worse when I had to drive 9 hrs. home by myself a few weeks ago...guess things got mad. I have an appt. with PM Dr. on 3/29...the old PM Dr. referred me to the new one, and he is in charge of my pain meds., the new PM is doing all of the tests etc to determine what is causing the pain....they had me in PT for 2 weeks...that caused the pain to become much worse.
I have been reading sooooo many of the posts, just trying to figure this all out..learn from others....and it is so sad. We have to wait for major damage to show up before the Drs. seem to take us seriously....yikes, like anyone would fake this stuff....not fun by my standards...
It is such a giant puzzle...hope the pieces fall into place soon...because I am getting tired of it...not depressed...but I do get the occasional anxity thing, like, how can they not find out the cause....also, sleep is becoming more difficult....I fall asleep,,,but wake up about 3 or 4 a lot of mornings... I do my best sleep in the recliner!!!! (which isn't funny, because I never slept in any chair or couch until several months ago...when I put the recliner back, for some reason, it hits a spot where I feel relief in my back...and if I can keep the chair in that spot, I can get some sleep...crazy... I have been taking 10/325 of the oxycodone every 5 to 6 hrs....was only taking 3 a day, but recently,,,,have had some 4 pill days.... this does not make me happy...don't like meds. The med. does not interfere with my daily living...it allows me to have a daily living....I am not afraid of dependence on it...I'll deal with that when the pain is corrected... (have problems with lots of meds...so I am kind of limited as far as drugs...)
Gosh, I am sorry, I have run on and on...thanks all for listening..guess the last few days have just been more than I can deal with....
Have a pain free day...
I've done a bit of thinking about your post and it really does sound like there's stenosis going on there somewhere.
But also, with most of us it isn't just pain from one specific thing, but a whole bunch of things that affect differently...treating one, can bring on other symptoms, or in relieving the big source of pain, other pains and sensations are now more "obvious", if that's the word.
On top of the classic stenosis pains on standing/walking/sitting upright, I have:
tingling in the foot randomly, a toe-curling feeling, numbness, usually around the ankle and top of foot, sometimes on the sole, hip pains, buttock pains, shooting pains down the leg, a sharp pain in the back, a cold feeling in the lower back and hip, period-type pains on the left, a heavy heavy feeling in the hip when lying on my side (which sometimes wakes me up at night)...stenosis pains in the right from time to time (worse after the injection), a feeling of stepping on a pin when I stand up, really really achy crotch...god, I could go on and on...! Thankfully they're never all there at the same time.
But that's half the problem in describing pain. Who knows which is specifically the joint, nerve inflammation, nerve damage, the disc, the disc above (which is also bulging), muscles....or something totally unrelated, but I know that my "main" problem is the stenosis (standing pains) although even then it took the neurosurgeon to find it on the scans (everyone else just said sciatica from my small disc herniation...because that's what was obvious on the scan and in the reports).
This is what makes it so difficult for us [I]and[/I] the specialists...certain pains are classic symptoms, but quite often, things aren't obvious and/or don't show up on scans. Unfortunately, until something works or they can open us up, they don't always know what the problem is...
Anyhow, hope you find some answers soon. good luck
You put it in a nut shell...yep, described a lot of it down to a tea....haven't had the word "stenosis" formally put to my back problems as yet...have heard about bulges, lateral herniation...hypertrophy, arthritis of various things...yep, and the little sucker pains just keep on coming no matter what they are called.
We all share the same thing "pain"...who cares where it comes from, just want it gone!!!
It is so nice that people do understand my rantings when I am in a mood from all of this...thanks for thinking about my post..and talking about your problems,,,makes me think I am being selfish at times, when I whine and complain (like this morning) Guess it puts it all back into prospective...I am not the only one....and I do know that...really... I feel bad that we can't all walk into a Dr's office and get the meds., or procedure that we need to fix us up. I can dream...
Thanks all for helping this cranky old Grandma out today...it gives me a lot to think about....
No apologies for being selfish allowed on this board! You weren't so there's nothing to feel bad about. As for ranting...I don't think I've ever written a short post so I'm the world's worst culprit for that.
Keep us posted on the diagnosis, even if it takes time you will get an answer (I'm still waiting for a definitive one, as my consultants keep changing their minds). For me, the stenosis is my intepretation not a word they've used...they descibed narrowing of the foramina and canal and the word claudication...but then I'm in France so maybe the word for stenosis is different. Regardless, all my "standing" pains (the claudication, which is very severe and kind of builds up resulting in foot and calf numbness, until I have to squat down, or lie down, or cry) are the stenosis, but the other ones, I think, are from the herniated disc, or the nerve inflammation itself...the injection I had helped the shooting pains and the sharp pain in the back for about a week ("classic" sciatica and disc pain?), but didn't touch the stenosis...
See there you go, I'm ranting. I can't help myself.
hope cranky grandmother will be bubbling grandmother come the morning!
Thanks all for your help...today the cranky granny is a bit better...of course I haven't been standing & sitting all that much...yet!! See what happens later on... Even better, I had a much better nights sleep..finally...gosh what 6 hrs. of uninterupted sleep will make you feel like!! I know that sleep helps our bodies heal....but it's hard when your body doesn't want to sleep!! Then again, the meds seem to be working a bit better today..some days they do, and others it just seems they aren't as effective...oh well..not going to worry about it... I do appreciate all of the replies and ideas...gives one another way of looking at the issues...thanks all.
Hope you all have wonderful day...or a better day!!