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Old 03-11-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
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Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

I have had low back pain now for over 3 years. I first noticed my low back muscles on my right side hurting after a long drive or playing hockey. I would experience the pain for about 3 days and then it would subside. This went on for approximately 3 years. I originally thought I had a deep muscle tear or a soft tissue injury that kept re tearing but after speaking to my doctor and chiropractor they told me that if that was the case it would have healed by now.

The past 6 months the pain has been constant and will hurt in different places at different times. The pain at times is directly coming from my lower middle spine right underneath the tail bone but will then some times switch into the lower right side muscle tissue area above the buttocks. When this pain subsides it goes back to the low middle spine area. Most of the time I feel a burning or irritating feeling that is constant. I have quit playing hockey or doing anything pysical in hopes that it would eventually heal its self but it has not and keeps getting worse. I have no problem walking or bending or touching my toes, I have no pian down my leg. I have gone for a bone scan and a cat scan and I am currentlly waiting for the results but from reading the threads im guessing there not going to find much on the x rays and scans. Has anyone else experienced this amd if so is there ny recomendations I can try. I love sports and want to get back to doing them but I cant with what is going on in my back. I have tied being active and building up my core and back strength, which did not work at all either. It is so frustrating cause the rest of my back is fine and the movements is fine, Its all coming from my lowest part of my spine and tissue. Any thoughts or remedies would be helpful

Thanks Jesse

 
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:02 AM   #2
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

Welcome to the board.

Have you played hockey most of your life? Did you play full-check hockey in your teens?

Does the pain feel like it is deep within more than when you press on that area of your spine?

 
Old 03-12-2012, 06:07 PM   #3
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

Hi,

I have played full contact hockey my whole life but i dont know if that is what has caused tyhe problem, its hard to say. yes sometimes I feel like the pain or irritation is deep in the right side tissue or muscle just above my buttocks area, other times it is right in the low centre spine under my tail bone. It seems to be getting worse and worse. The only thing that helps a little bit is when I see the Chiropractor and he moves my back, the pain subsides for about 16 hrs and then starts coming back again.

 
Old 03-12-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

The reason I asked about the hockey is because there is a condition called spondylolisthesis that is not all that uncommon among adolescent athletes who are involved in contact sports or who do sports where the back is in extension, such as diving and gymnastics.

The simple explanation for spondylolisthesis is an instability that is created when one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent vertebra. It usually happens, or is most common in the lowest two segments: L4-L5 or the L5-S1 vertebral segment.

It is the type of thing that one can have without realizing it -- it often doesn't really cause any problems or pain, but sometimes a fall or something later on in life can sort of reactivate the issue. If the slippage is bad enough, it can press on a spinal nerve, causing pain that radiates out from the back to the buttocks, hip or leg. It can also cause spinal instability.

It would fit in with the situation at the chiropractor because when you are realigned, the vertebra gets moved off the nerve, so you are comfortable again until the vertebra slides out of alignment again. I had a spondylolisthesis and was quite unstable for a number of years. My pain moved around, sometimes often, sometimes it would remain in the same place for quite some time.

When you get the results of the imaging, be sure to ask about this condition.

Last edited by teteri66; 03-14-2012 at 09:33 AM.

 
Old 03-12-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

My advice having gone through some back issues myself would be to have an EMG done, it's a nerve test. Sounds like some muscle spasms honestly which could be caused by a disc pressure on your spinal nerves. I've been through all the x-rays and cat scans etc showing no real issues except a slightly bulging disc not a surgical candidate or so they say. To get to the root, was sent to physical therapy etc-no help, my symptoms are much more than yours but your physical condition and muscle strength due to being athletic may help in masking the additional pain. I wound up going for pain injections which is almost a cure but for only 2 months so i have been going for injections every 3 months for the past year. I also bought an inversion table to hang and stretch my back - it was oh $125.00 from Walmart I believe- it's a great help so I would recommend one to anyone having back problems. So long story short request the EMG then you can try pain injections if they can pinpoint the area as they did mine with that test, stretch that back out and keep those muscles in shape.

 
Old 03-13-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

Inversion tables are a matter of much debate. Very beneficial for some, but those very few who have adverse effects, the results can be absolutely debilitating. Do some research before using such a machine.

A different way of getting to a similar result is through lumbar traction. You can do this yourself or at a physical therapist. At home, if you have a tall, sturdy table, place your upper body face down on the table, with your hip pointers at the very of the table. Let your legs hang over the side and allow your lower back to stretch. If your table is not tall enough for your legs to hang, then keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees to let your lower back stretch.

I would avoid any new exercise or stretch, along with any activity that causes pain, until you have been evaluated by a doctor and had any necessary imaging performed.

 
Old 03-13-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

I was going to say the same thing about the inversion table. As a matter of fact, I still have one in my front hall that has never been out of the box. I bought it, didn't get around to assembling it right away...then was "forbidden" from using it...so there it sits.

When someone has a spondylolisthesis in the lower lumbar area, most of the treatments that are appropriate for "most" spine patients can be dangerous.

 
Old 03-13-2012, 09:49 PM   #8
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

There's also a risk of stroke or aneurysm, so if you know that you are at risk for such events, then clearly avoid. Most aneurysms strike without warning. Apparently, this particular risk can be mitigated by not hanging all the way upside, but at a 30 percent incline. Either way, talk to your healthcare provider and do your research. Like life, most forms of treatment, or even inaction, carry risks and benefits.

 
Old 03-14-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

Thank you for your info, I will do some re-search on spondylolisthesis . It seems I have to try and self diagnose becuase my doctor just wants to perscribe me pain medication and tell me that there is nothing he can really do. I am 38 years old in really good shape but I can not lift anything, run and have difficulty bending over the sink to brush my teeth. My father is a Chiropractor and I have been getting almost daily adjustments and he fels it should heal up as long as there is no tumor or disease causing me problems.

You mentioned you had this condition and pain for a number of years. Was there anything you did to help the condition or did it just heal with time? how are you doing now?

 
Old 03-14-2012, 09:49 AM   #10
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

Perhaps your father could give you a flexion/extension x-ray of the lumbar spine. He would be able to check the films to see if there is a spondylolisthesis.

My spine is no longer unstable because I am now fused from L3 to S1! I never played hockey, but I no longer skate at all due to the fear of falling. I have numbness in my feet and also some that runs partially up toward my knees which has affected my balance...so, being the prudent person that I am now, and wanting to avoid any further surgery, I don't want to risk taking a bad fall on my tailbone!

I am completely speculating here, but perhaps due to all the impact from hockey, your facet joints have some degeneration of the arthritic nature going on. This can also cause some instability if the joint itself begins to wear down, or it can cause pain as the edges become rough, bone spurs form, etc. This can push on a nerve as the joint expands. This should be a change that would be noted on MRI.

 
Old 03-14-2012, 10:51 AM   #11
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

thank you for the advice but I have done all the stretching and back core strenght excersize and still have the same issues. As for the Inversion I have also done this and it seems to make things worse so i am staying away from hanging up side down for now. I see my doctor on March 19th for my results of my bone scan and Cat scan x ray so i will wait and see if anything comes from that, but my opinion is there not going to find anything.

Thanks for all the comments and if anyone else has any suggestions im happy to hear them as unfortunately I feel I have to self diagnose as much as I can in order to get a doctor to listen properly and send me in the right direction. The last thing I would look at is surgurey because I really think that it would most likely make the pain worse or end up causing more problems in the future. But again thats just my opinion what do i know Im not a doctor.

 
Old 03-20-2012, 07:19 PM   #12
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

So I finally got my results back from my bone scan and cat-scan. I woud like a little help with the results as my doctor made no sense helping me understand the findings. Also telling me that there is nothing I can do and wont send me to a specialist because I have no pain going down my leg, so I can't be considered a candiate for surgury. I laughed and said so all the pain in my low middle back under the tail bone and the right side for over 3years is nothing. At times when its really acting up I can hardly bend over to brush my teeth. He said with out pain down my leg then there is nothing he can do so here is a perscription. I was so irritated as it took me 2 months to get into do the tests and another 2 weeks to get in to see him and get the results to have him tell me there is nothing I can do.

My Bone scan came back saying everything is normal which was good to hear so I have no cance or tumors. My cat-scan came back saying: At L4-5 there is circumferential buldging of the disc annulus. Posteriorly and centrally is a mild braod based disc protusion which is mildly impinging on the thecalsac. The disc material protrudes about 4mm into the spinal canal from the posterior margins of the end piates. There is no impingement on the traversing nerve roots. No central spinal stenosis. There is mild narrowing of the neutral foramina with mild impingement on the exiting nerve root on the right.

At L5-SI the perithecal fat is normal and there is no central spinal stenosis. No disc hemiations. no impingement on the exiting nerve roots.

Impression:

L4-5 Mild broad based central disc protrusion slightly impinging on the Thecal Sac

Mild narrowing of the right neutral foramen at L4-5 with mild impingement on the exiting right nerve.

So does anyone else have any opinions on these findings? is there really nothing I can do and I have to live with this pain until who knows when? any comments would be appreciated.

 
Old 03-20-2012, 08:09 PM   #13
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Re: Has any one else experienced these types of low back pain symptoms

My first question to you is what kind of doctor are you seeing? Were you told by an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon that "nothing" can be done?

I would agree that nothing in the radiology report jumps out as a red flag indicating that surgery would help your pain. In radiology language, specific words are used to categorize the severity of certain problems. You will not that your issues at L4-L5 are listed as "mild." The classifications are minimal, mild, moderate and severe.

You have evidence of a disc bulge between the L4 and L5 vertebrae. It is centrally located and is slightly pressing into the thecal sac. The thecal sac is a tough membrane that surrounds the spinal cord in the cervical and thoracic spine, and as the spinal nerves twist together and form the cauda equina the rest of the way down, the thecal sac protects these nerves. When something presses into this, it can cause some nerve irritation or nerve compression. If this were significant, you would be experiencing pain in your leg. Without this symptom, the doctor is assuming that the thecal sac impingement is not that bad.

[B]Mild narrowing of the right neutral foramen at L4-5 with mild impingement on the exiting right nerve.[/B] The foramen are openings through which the spinal nerves exit the spine. There can be a variety of situations that can cause the foramina to become smaller in diameter. A bulging disc is one cause; degeneration of a disc or a facet can cause this, too. As the opening fills up, there is less and less room for the nerve, which will result in nerve irritation and/or compression. This is commonly referred to as stenosis (which means narrowing). There are several places where stenosis can occur in the lumbar spine. One is in the central canal, and the other is in the neuralforamina. Depending on how much the opening is affected, the amount of pain generated by the stenosis may be very minor or severe.

Again, your radiology report indicates that the changes are mild.

If you are not doing so already, you may want to consult with a physiatrist or an interventional pain management physician. It may be that your best bet is pain management. Possibly a series of steroid injections would be enough to cause the tissue to shrink enough that it will move off the nerve, and provide you some relief.

 
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