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Old 02-20-2009, 07:51 AM   #1
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Weird Pain. Sciatica? Please help!

Im 23 years old and was an active runner, and exercised regularly. Two years ago, I felt this slight pain begin deep in my right buttock. Within a week or two, it became pretty intense. I've been dealing with it ever since, and can't get it to go away.

The pain feels like a sharp stabbing pain in deep within the mid to lower buttock. It is most intense when switching between the standing and sitting positions, and when arching the lower back (like trying to do an ab crunch). The weird thing about it is that it is localized. The pain DOES NOT travel down my thigh or leg. Most cases I've read about sciatica deal with pain extending from the lower back/buttock down into leg.

The original diagnosis from the family doctor was a pulled hamstring. 4 months of physical therapy loosened me up which helped, but the pain never subsided. Got an MRI which resulted in a "slight" disk bulge. I also had a bone scan which showed no complications. 4 more months of therapy for the bulge, with little to no improvement. Saw a neurosurgeon who said the disc bulge is very small and is not the cause of this intense pain. He suggested Piriformis Syndrome. Went to another doctor for that, who upon examination and stretching me determined that it was most likely not piriformis, but rather Ischial Bursitis. He said that an anti-inflammitory steroid injection into the bursa should relieve the pain. It's now been a week after the injection, with little improvement. I felt immediate relief of the pain after the injection due to the local anesthetics, but once they wore off the pain was back the next day. The does not seem to have any effect.

What is causing this pain? I'm way to young and in shape to be crippled like this. I'm starting to lose faith in the medical field due to all of these mis-diagnosis'. Any ideas on what this could be? Or any ideas to help relieve the pain?

Thanks!

 
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Weird Pain. Sciatica? Please help!

Wow...I'm sorry to hear about your pain. As a once avid runner/exerciser/triathlete myself, I certainly feel for you!! Although at 43yo, I'm quite a bit older than you...yet I do have similar pain in my left glute. Much like yours, it's a very deep intense (almost throbbing) pain. Sometimes, the pain involves my left hip/iliac crest area as well. I've been dealing with this, on and off, for about 2 years now. I've had a quite a few varying diagnoses, including piriformis syndrome, hip bursitis, illiopsoas tendonitis, and a strain of the quadratus lumborium...so I know exactly how frustrating it can be trying to make sense of it all! To add insult to injury, I also have grade 2 spondylolisthesis at the L5-S1 level...which may or may not be a factor in all of this. It hurts so much to run right now, that I've had to really scale back on the running. I signed up months ago to do a Half Ironman event in July...and I'm having serious doubts as to whether or not I'll be able to do it now. If anything, I can do the swim & bike segments, but I'll either have to DNF the run or walk a good portion of it, as I probably won't be able to build up enough of a running base to run the half marathon distance.

Have you tried using a foam roller? I've been using one for a few months now, and it does seem to help somewhat. I sit on the roller, shifting my weight to the affected glute and I roll back and forth for a count of 20. When I get to a really painful knot, I'll stop and hold it there for as long as I can. It does hurt, but after a few seconds, the pain sort of "releases" and it feels better. You can also do the rolling with a tennis ball, although that is much more targeted and may induce a bit more pain than the foam roller. Another option, if you're willing to try it...is ART (Active Release Technique). Usually performed by a specially-trained chiropractor, ART is supposed to work wonders...or so I've heard. I haven't tried ART myself yet, but there is a chiro in my town who is hailed as "one of the best in ART", so I may just give it a shot and see if it lives up to all the hype.

Good luck and I hope you find some relief for your pain so you can get back to running again.

Linda

 
Old 02-21-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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Re: Weird Pain. Sciatica? Please help!

It is interesting that you describe this as "weird pain"; i am way older than you but active; i walk and golf alot; about 6 months ago i developed what i call a "weird pain", kind of like yours; it occurs when I walk; it is sharp, then it goes away; sometimes i have to stop walking, other times i can continue; it is very apparent when i golf, on my backswing. Sometimes this sharp pain will just happen when i make some type of motion; i went to a physiatrist who thought i had sacro iliac joint inflammation so i finally got physical therapy; it didn't help; in fact one of the therapists told me she thinks it is pyriformis syndrome; i haven't had an MRI because so much of what you find (like a bulging disc) isn't relevant to your condition and can result in unnecessary treatment and surgery; so i am left with this sharp pain but i decided to continue my activities and see what happens. sometimes unfortunately when it comes to back pain there is a lot of guessing and alot of dangerous and unncessary treatment and no real answers. i wish i had advice for you but if i had to pick a specialty, it would be a physiatrist.

 
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