I'm not much of a poster here, more of a lurker, but have a long history with back problems.
I've come across a frustrating "thing" here on this board: too many people say they are "in pain, the pain is unbearable, the pain is in my back, or the pain is in my calf and I feel it in my foot"...etc...
Well, I know enough about back pain to know different types of pain can mean different things - and that there are different types of pain, i.e., burning, electrical, aching, sharp, dull, radiating sharp, radiating aching, radiating electrical...etc... I myself recently, after 20 years of back problems (L5-S1) experienced a new pain I've never had before: electrical shock pain in the back of my hamstring. Literally, like someone took a tiny needle hooked it up to an electrical socket and shocked me - as soon as it would happen is as soon as it would go away - THE MOST HORRIBLE PAIN SO FAR that I've experienced but when searching here - couldn't really find anyone who had described this type of pain.
So...what that in mind...what is your specific problem/diagnosis and describe your pain, be specific if you will. This may help us all.
I have Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis of L5 on S1, herniated disc with loss of disc height at L5-S1, and bulge with annular tear and DDD in L4-L5.
I have very sharp pain across my lower back. I say it feels like I have knives stuck in it and someone is twisting them around. Then I have achy burning pain in my groin and hips. The pain radiating down my buttocks, legs, and into my feet is achy and burning, and sometimes feels electrical. I also get pins and needles sometimes in my calves and feet, and numbness in my toes. Sometimes I think it would feel better to cut my legs off. I also feel incredibly weak from my hips down.
My pain isn't as bad as megss or Run262 but maybe one day it will be. I'm 28 years old and I experience dull shooting pains down my right leg only, the pain is not very often. I am achy along the right top part of my pelvis bone about 2 inchs form the spine. The pain then goes into my buttok and I also get alittle pain over to my hip. I've had the pain for the last 6 months with no improvment. X-ray's reveal no problem. Been seeing a PT for 1.5 months, which include acupucture and pelvic exercises.
Run262 has a point about the lack of info people give in their threads. Maybe it would be a good idea if people included how long they had the symptoms, their age and what actions they've taken so far to correct the problem.
I totally understand what you mean. I also get random electrical shock feelings like jolts of electricity at random places on my body - this can happen even at rest lying perfectly still. They can physically make me jump.
I have had no work on lumbar - bulged L4, herniated L5-S1 with nerve root displacement. This problem only this last year. I am 50. From my lumbar I feel burning pain down the fronts of my legs, at my thighs, to my shins. I have throbbing and great tenderness type pain in the shins (my legs can't touch each other), My knees feel like a sharp type pain. My calves get charley horse spasms. My ankle and bottom of foot have a achy type muscle hurt (this isn't really pain more nuisance aches). Second toe next to big one throbs. My back is stiff and achy and at times on the lower hip I get stabbing like knife poke. No treatment yet, going to have an epidural in a few weeks.
No work on my thoracic, probs going on a little over a year - medium bulges at T2-3, T5-6 and T11-12 with cord effacement but not compression with an asymptomatic hemangioma spanning 2 levels. From my thoracic - there is tenderness along my whole center spine from neck to tailbone, and at bulge levels I have what constantly feels like a knife in the back being twisted. And squeezing feelings and muscle spasms. I also get chest tightness and severe achiness, under armpit and down my side spasms. And random nerve pain in chest that moves around depending on activity and position. Not pain, but I get funny muscle twitches near where my arm connects to my chest. Many epidural injections, light PT, ice, heat, lidoderm patches, stretching.
For cervical since 2004, started at age 45, I had two surgeries there (acdf C4-6 with hardware/bone) then revision ACDF C4-7 - with donor bone/hardware. Pain still remains - general stenosis, bulged C2-3, hernated C3-4, cord effacement, bone spurs, new post surgical bone ridging in all previously cleaned areas. I have permanent nerve damage, it causes sharp, stabbing pain that shoots into the arms more on right. I have burning at the forearms and wrists, sharp pain along the outside edge of my arm, my deltoids have a constant spasm, tenderness and burn. I get muscle spasms from use that cause charley horse type cramps in my forearms into my hands. My shoulder blades get so tight they feel like a rock and a knife being twisted there. My neck aches and burns and my ear tingles and aches. I have tried everything ice, heat, PT, many epidural injections, including accupressure to accupuncture.
I am in pain management - on fentanyl patches, hydrocodone backup, neurontin, mobic at times. stopped muscle relaxers. I can get to pain level 3-4 if I do not do anything at all, I can stick around 5s if I stay home, if I do one activity outside the home like a ride in the car I shoot right up to 6, the longer away from home it hits 7s and if I stay out around 4-5 hours doing a doctor visit and a stop to eat, I can easily hit 8. This is daily.
I hope this informaiton helps others figure out what hurts and that lots of people enter their info.
First I had 2 extruded discs-L3-5 could not walk for approx 2 weeks, then walked like penguin, then toddler til I graduated to looking like quasimoto. Electric knives stabbing, pain, legs buckling, shaking, atrophy in one leg, feeling of rosebush thorn branch stuck in my leg. Stabbing pains down but and legs, severe pain and numbness down both legs, couldn't feel one leg for 2 weeks. Could not carry my coffee in my right hand, could not shut or open a bathroom door. Could not get on or off toilet for 2 weeks. Leg would jump on its own.
Had 2 disc microdiscectomy- Renerniated-L4-5, L5 nerve impingement. leg jumped on it's own, bad pain down both legs, shooting and stabbing, still looking like quasimoto, leg not AS atrophied, numb waves, feeling like someone took a bat and beat my legs, stabbing, electric, burning, pins, and waves of severe increasing pain in back to but that I have no choice but to lay down or it just increases in severity. Waves of but and front going numb. Cannot 'walk' distances of a food aisle, need someone to hold onto to pull on to get my leg going to try and take a dinky step. I limp.
This is a really useful thread - I came across it searching for info on a type pain that I can't work out if its back-related or not...no-one mentions it here, but I'll post more specifically on a new thread.
The worst pain for me was for a long time also the dominant one in my case. It never responded to any kind of pain killer, but fortunately was also one that I was normally able to control by changing position. It would come on in any position where my back was straight. Lying on my side, curled up, was always total relief, +10 to <3 in less than a few minutes. It would start gradually along the side of my lower leg, then build up to include the base of my back, my upper leg, top of my foot and big toe. I think a severe stabbing pain that moves best describes it (stick the knife in hard then cut through?). It would start more like a cold twinging with an localised ache. At its peak, I would feel waves of nausea, and every movement would provoke a severe "spike" of pain. Eventually, I would "crumple" to the ground to relieve the pain. Fortunately, I was rarely in a position where I couldn't stop the pain before it got to this point. Ironically, the few times I was were in hospital - having to lie flat for MRI scans are always murder for me. When the pain was at its peak, all sorts of uncontrollable leg twitching, toe-curling and body trembling would accompany the pain.
Honestly, in all this time, I've never worked out if this is claudication or "sciatica". I have foraminal stenosis caused by disc problems at L5/S1 and retrolisthesis at the same level.
I still get angry with friends when they ask me if I think stress makes my pain worse. Of course, I just smile and say I don't think so, but really what I'd like to say is try fracturing your leg in several places then being forced to run on it for a mile, and then ask yourself the same question!
I get a whole bunch of other lesser pains and sensations, some specific to the nerve (buzzing, *****ling, numbness) and some to the back (cracking noises when I straighten or bend, generalised aching, localised piercing pain, muscle soreness) but the one described above is the absolute killer!
I know complety what you mean by "electrical shock" sensation. I have it emanating from my sacrum down the back of right leg to just above the knee. Along with the intermittent "shocking sensation," I have tingling in both feet and weakness (inability to negotiate stairs) in my left leg. I feel as though the source of the problem is my sacrum and spend countless hours searching the net to see if anyone else has encountered the same or similar problem. The only recommended remedy posed by my neurosurgeon is a decompression. When he offers his panacea, he shrugs his shoulders as if the pain is all in my mind.