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Old 01-29-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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Daughter with back pain

My teenage daughter has lower back pain for several months. X-ray was negative. PT for 6 weeks did not help and she started having pins and needles sensation off and on in low to mid back only. Referred to ortho spine dr who did CT scan which was negative. Pain is in one spot on L3 especially when pressed and then causes surrounding pain. Waiting on MRI, but out of desperation saw a chiropractor yesterday. Pain is worse today. Should we continue to try chiro? Ortho spine dr does not seem to have any answers or suggestions but testing and my daughter is tired of being in pain. Just hoping for some ideas.

 
Old 01-29-2013, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: Daughter with back pain

[QUOTE=Teacups1;5124728]My teenage daughter has lower back pain for several months. X-ray was negative. PT for 6 weeks did not help and she started having pins and needles sensation off and on in low to mid back only. Referred to ortho spine dr who did CT scan which was negative. Pain is in one spot on L3 especially when pressed and then causes surrounding pain. Waiting on MRI, but out of desperation saw a chiropractor yesterday. Pain is worse today. Should we continue to try chiro? Ortho spine dr does not seem to have any answers or suggestions but testing and my daughter is tired of being in pain. Just hoping for some ideas.[/QUOTE]

I have been in pain with my back for 15 years. Different specialists have tried cortisone injections. The first time I had one, it was good for 6 years. I've had many more since then without much success. The narcotic pain relievers help, and then I got addicted to them and needed to go to treatment.
I'm going to ask my doctor if I can try Suboxone.

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: Daughter with back pain

Welcome to the board. Before I answer you, you should know that those of us with serious spinal issues tend to be a bit negative about chiropractors in general. There are some individuals who really know what there limits are and when something needs to be referred out...but too many go ahead and "treat" with the patient ending up in more pain than when she walked in the door. They do have their place, but until you know what is causing the pain, I would recommend waiting.

Back pain is one of those things that can be devilish to diagnose. Does you daughter participate heavily in sports? Did she have an flexion/extension x-ray which would be given to check for spondylolisthesis? A young person's age often works against her when trying to determine a pain generator. Doctors tend to think nothing serious could be wrong....

I didn't allow myself enough time to finish this, so I'll be back in a bit. I'm off for an acupuncture treatment and will return to finish my thoughts.

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Re: Daughter with back pain

[QUOTE=teteri66;5124758]Welcome to the board. Before I answer you, you should know that those of us with serious spinal issues tend to be a bit negative about chiropractors in general. There are some individuals who really know what there limits are and when something needs to be referred out...but too many go ahead and "treat" with the patient ending up in more pain than when she walked in the door. They do have their place, but until you know what is causing the pain, I would recommend waiting.

Back pain is one of those things that can be devilish to diagnose. Does you daughter participate heavily in sports? Did she have an flexion/extension x-ray which would be given to check for spondylolisthesis? A young person's age often works against her when trying to determine a pain generator. Doctors tend to think nothing serious could be wrong....

I didn't allow myself enough time to finish this, so I'll be back in a bit. I'm off for an acupuncture treatment and will return to finish my thoughts. [/QUOTE]

Thank you. She is an athlete, but stopped activity due to pain. No flexion/extension X-ray yet, but her next appt they are taking one. Spine ortho said the CT scan would be better to check for spondylosthesis, but it was negative. His PA said she should still have the flexion/extension X-ray and the MRI. Everyone is telling us that a chiro will help her and the chiro also wants to see the X-rays and the flexion/extension X-ray, but is treating her already and said the first few appts may make her very sore afterwards. I guess I am worried if I am doing the right thing and maybe I should put the chiro on hold for a while. It just seems like we are going nowhere with her pain and it has been since October.

 
Old 01-29-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Daughter with back pain

[QUOTE=Teacups1;5124728]My teenage daughter has lower back pain for several months. X-ray was negative. PT for 6 weeks did not help and she started having pins and needles sensation off and on in low to mid back only. Referred to ortho spine dr who did CT scan which was negative. Pain is in one spot on L3 especially when pressed and then causes surrounding pain. Waiting on MRI, but out of desperation saw a chiropractor yesterday. Pain is worse today. Should we continue to try chiro? Ortho spine dr does not seem to have any answers or suggestions but testing and my daughter is tired of being in pain. Just hoping for some ideas.[/QUOTE]

Hi teacups & welcome, I wanted to say Im so sorry that your daughter is in pain!. I know how hard it is as a mom because my child had back pain (bulging disc) in college & i have alot of back problems myself and i wanted to take it away for him, wanted it to be me not him suffering! Luckily, his pain was relieved by an epidural steroid injection & has never had problems since. I pray that your daughter finds diagnosis & treatment & relief. God bless you & your daughter.

P.s. I just saw your second post & idk anything about chiro but in my opinion i wouldnt do anything that made her hurt more. If I
were you I would stick to rest, ice packs, heating pad, otc anti
inflammatories, hot baths until the dr prescribes medicine &
treatment. Is there any way her pediatrician or primary could prescribe something for her like a pain medicine, muscle relaxers, anti inflammatory?

Last edited by gmak; 01-29-2013 at 11:05 AM. Reason: ps, question

 
Old 01-30-2013, 12:17 AM   #6
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Re: Daughter with back pain

I echoed everything teteri66!
In my experience the Chiro I was seeing made my issue worse !
That's just one persons opinion but after reading information for myself and learning my symptoms were a giant red flag for chiropractic in medical literature I got mad. Although at this point a bulge had morphed into a giant extruded disc.

 
Old 01-30-2013, 06:59 AM   #7
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Re: Daughter with back pain

The fact that the area is sore right over the L3 level makes me wonder if she might have a cyst that is pressing slightly on a spinal nerve. This would not show up on x-ray or CT but would most likely be visible on MRI. In any case, I think it would be worthwhile to have the MRI, if for no other reason than to reassure yourself that there is nothing going on that any type of imaging will reveal.

Also I wanted to mention that just because one physical therapist did not have an impact on her symptoms does not mean that all physical therapy will not "work." There can be a great deal of difference among physical therapists, some being much more effective than others.

For pain relief, I would try icing the area...15-20 minutes per hour being careful to protect the skin. Sometimes a combination of heat and ice are effective. She may have a small amount of inflammation going on and ice will help with this.

 
Old 02-01-2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Re: Daughter with back pain

Thank you for your kind words. She remains in much more pain after the chiro, so we stopped that. She has now started with some episodes of tingling in her hands. I spoke with the PA in the spine ortho office and was advised that the hands meant cervical not low back and so maybe she has more than just low back. I don't know that that makes sense. But we have an appt in 5 days so hopefully we will have some answers then.

 
Old 02-01-2013, 05:23 AM   #9
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Re: Daughter with back pain

[QUOTE=Teacups1;5126316]Thank you for your kind words. She remains in much more pain after the chiro, so we stopped that. She has now started with some episodes of tingling in her hands. I spoke with the PA in the spine ortho office and was advised that the hands meant cervical not low back and so maybe she has more than just low back. I don't know that that makes sense. But we have an appt in 5 days so hopefully we will have some answers then.[/QUOTE]

Hi teacups, Oh im sorry that she is hurting so much i just wanted to tell you, just in case it might help you not to worry so, that I have only low back issues to my knowledge & my hands get tingling sometimes & my dr said if muscle spasms in low back then the next set of muscles spasm, up & up, & nerves & blood vessels can be affected temporarily with muscle spasms. Please let us know what the dr says & how she is doing, thanks, I hope that she gets relief soon.

 
Old 02-02-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Re: Daughter with back pain

I think she should try an epidural steroid injection. That seems to help.

 
Old 02-03-2013, 08:28 PM   #11
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Re: Daughter with back pain

Not being a Dr. I can't offer an opinion on what the problem is... but I would strongly suggest three things:

1) Don't stop pressing the Dr until you know EXACTLY what it is... and don't hesitate to see a different Dr if you don't get any answers from the one you are currently seeing.
2) Make sure they give you a good reason before they do CT scans... I find it hard to believe they did a CT scan before a basic x-ray (which is significantly less radiation, and would have clearly indicated any significant spoldylolisthesis) and MRI (which is NO radiation) and would clearly show any nerve issues.
3) Don't let them suggest treatment until you know EXACTLY what it is... as you could be making an unknown situation even worse by a Dr guessing at a therapy or treatment without knowing the real cause.

I wish you luck... I am sure you will get to the bottom of it.

 
Old 02-04-2013, 09:49 AM   #12
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Re: Daughter with back pain

I'm just getting back to reading through this thread since I last posted.

Sometimes the only sign of a spine problem a person has is in the legs even though the problem is in the cervical spine. This is due to the spinal cord. It is the major nerve center with messages running up and down the spine to the brain. The spinal cord itself ends for most people around the L1 level. From there on down is the "cauda equina" which is a series of nerves that wrap together and continue down until the nerves branch into the big sciatic nerves that run down each leg.

If the cervical cord is pressured or compressed, it can cause symptoms in the upper or lower limbs...but if a lumbar nerve is compressed, it will only affect the area that is innervated by that specific lumbar nerve. Other issues could cause the tingling, such as gmak referenced.

I look forward to hearing what the spine surgeon tells you.

 
Old 02-06-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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Re: Daughter with back pain

I'm back with my update which is really no update. The MRI was negative. The additional xrays--with flexion and extension--were also negative. We were told that is great news (which I know it is) and that the injury has to be some sort of soft tissue that is just not healing. So they are sending us for 8 more weeks of PT with the directive to come back in 4 weeks if we see no improvement. We reminded them that she already had 6 weeks of PT, but they feel this will be different because the spine ortho is ordering it and not the GP. I asked if she could have a shot to take down the inflammation and was told no.

I have an appt for her to see a rheumatologist. No, she does not have any auto-immune conditions, but this is one dr who will listen to her--she saw him several years ago after a long bout of Osgood Schlatter in her knee which just wasn't healing so she was referred to him...he made several changes to her care that resulted in almost immediate improvement. He has followed her one a year ever since and I figure it can't hurt to get his input.

Thanks everyone, I appreciate your advise and will gladly accept any more that you have to give. And I will keep you posted.

 
Old 02-06-2013, 04:27 PM   #14
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Re: Daughter with back pain

It is frustrating when doctors aren't sure what is going on. I do know that soft tissue issues can take a long time to heal. I had several different courses of physical therapy and discovered that the therapist can make a huge difference. Even though the "exercises" seemed very similar it was the difference between moving the whole leg in a big arc and learning to isolate one tiny muscle and only being able to move it about an inch. Maybe you will have a similar experience.

Sounds like the spine doc was reluctant to give your daughter anything involving steroids.

Hopefully the other doctor will know what to do. Please let us know the outcome.

 
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