I am 20 years old and have been experiencing back pain for almost two months now. I finally went to a doctor yesterday, and, after taking a panel of x-rays, he found Schmorl's Nodes on three of my lumbar vertebrae.
I was prescribed a muscle relaxer and a narcotic. He basically told me that though the nodes are there, they may not be the source of my pain. The pain could be coming from a pulled tendon or muscle.
Trouble is heat does not help, and the muscle relaxer did not touch the pain last night (though it did aid in sleep). I could be wrong, but that tells me that it is not muscular.
After consulting Dr. Google (horrible idea and I know better), I have found scary things like DDD which these nodes are a sign of. What I am wondering is this:
Is it normal for someone as young as I am to randomly develop Schmorl's Nodes without previous injury?
Should I seek another opinion?
What is the likelihood of it being something more complex like DDD?
I did not participate in any sports at all past the age of 7. I was in the marching band though. 2 years marching Alto sax, 2 on Tenor, and my senior year on Bari which weighed about 30 lbs. Other than that the only thing that may have caused a spinal issue was the fact that I worked stock for almost 2 years at a grocery store and I always help my dad with the heavy lifting when he delivers cabinets (he's a cabinet maker).
The doctor said it's common among ball players and competitive bull/horse riders but that he had never seen them in someone my age without a history of either. :/
What type of doctor gave you this diagnosis? Are you supposed to return if the medication he gave you does not work?
I would think that if your pain persists for another month, you should make an appointment with a spine specialist, if you are not seeing one now. They may want to take a MRI to see if you have something else going on in the spine that is not visible in a X-ray.
I don't know much about Schmorl's Nodes in someone your age. In an older person, they are often noticed on an imaging study that a patient is having for another reason, such as a herniated disc, and they usually are asymptomatic.
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post: cwilliams6 (05-01-2011)
I went to the injury center at the local hospital because I am away from home for summer break. He said to come back in two weeks if it wasn't any better but that if I did end up coming back he was going to send me to physical therapy which my insurance won't pay for.
As of right now if it doesn't get better by the time I get back home in July, I will go see a specialist that a relative has used in the past for a herniated disc.
I've had Schmorl's nodes in my spine since I was your age and now, at almost 60, my vertebrae look like Swiss cheese. The thoracic spine is the worst.
I have no idea where they came form but I can share what I am doing now....I'm making sure that osteoporosis is kept at bay. For me, that means taking some nasty drugs. But you are young enough to make sure you get lots of calcium and Vit.D(get a level done) and exercise to keep your back muscles strong.
Osteoporosis hits the spine first! And since you have trouble now, get ahead of the game so it won't become a problem, ever.
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: cwilliams6 (05-01-2011)