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  • Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

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    Old 04-05-2007, 08:08 PM   #1
    thebluecoat
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    Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    LONG POST


    I'm 20 years old, and have been suffering from lower back (lumbar) based pain for about 3.5 months now.

    The issue (pain,discomfort) seemed to come on gradually, I cannot recall an eventful fall where massive pain struck upon me. In the beginning it hurt so bad that I had to take what was accessible to me (800mg of Ibuprofen + a heating pad strapped to my back) while I slept, in order to dull the pain.

    I wound up going to the ER, where I had x-rays done to rule out any type of bone breaks or fractures which came back fine, I was told I needed to have an MRI done next to rule out disc herniation.

    After receiving the MRI, the results came back with no evidence of disc herniation with a report that says " The conus demonstrates morphology and signal characteristics. There is straightening. Signal from the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs is normal with what is seen of the pre and posterior lumbar soft tissues normal. Axial images from the L2-L3 through the L5-S1 disc space are normal. A canal stenosis is not seen." : to me after visually inspecting the films myself, I really don't see a disc herniation, after comparing my images with other images I can find on the computer.

    I have been prescribed high-strength anti-inflammatory which don't even mask the pain, like it doesn't target the problem perhaps, and it makes me extremely cotton mouthed. - this doesn't ease my pain or make it go away

    I have been prescribed hydrocodone/anti-inflammitory medication mixed, this just makes me feel high, and does not mask the annoying pain.

    I have been prescribed a muscle relaxant, which is so powerful, I couldn't even move, but yet still felt the annoying lower back pain.

    So honestly, I don't even take any of the above mentioned medication because it does nothing except mess me up, and masks the issue which I feel should be resolved.

    ======================

    I was prescribed PT, in order to tackle a possible "Muscular Issue" which my doctor thinks it is. After 4 weeks of PT (3 days a week) combined with a high protein diet, along with strict following of their daily exercise and stretching routines, the problem still persists, so I discontinued PT on the grounds of "Im 20 years old, and should aggressively respond to treatment of any kind, being that the treatment is actually helping, which is wasn't"

    ======================

    I then was prescribed Chiropractic, which I'm currently still under the care of, I'm going (3 days a week), and my treatment consists of manual lower back adjustments, and electro stimulation + heat therapy. This seemed to provide temporary relief and it seemed that my issue was being correctly worked on. I was cut back to (2 days a week) and my symptoms aggressively bored its head once again, and I'm now back to a (3 day a week) regime, which I'm currently no longer responding to.

    =======================

    I've had a-lot of time to explore the actually pinpoint of where the location of the pain is coming from, it is very localized between two spinal vertebra, and I experience mild radiating pain from that exact area, which anyone would say "Disc Herniation" but the MRI proves otherwise.

    One thing I noticed upon experimentation with trying to relieve my own symptoms is that if I sit in a chair, make two fists and lift my upper body up, reducing the weight off of my lower back, the symptoms almost instantaneously vanish. If you know what exactly im talking about, this to me seems like a mimic of spinal decompression.

    Also, when I sleep and get off of my back, I wake up with ZERO pain or irritation, but once I get on my feet, within 15-20 minutes the pain seems to spike up and then plateau throughout the day

    The pain is NOT exacerbated by movement.

    So my main two questions are,

    1. If there is no MRI evidence of disc herniation, and what I mentioned above makes me feel better, should I ask my chiropractor if I could possible be a candidate for the DRX9000 Spinal Decompression machine?

    2. What type of (possible) issues could I be suffering from? or what other methods of care should I look into with my described symptoms, that other people here have sought?.


    Thank You All In Advance,
    tbc

     
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    Old 04-05-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
    Harmony5
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Welcome TBC!

    I'm very sorry you're having so much pain that has not been diagnosed. That has got to be frustrating. If it seems to be more than muscular, and you said you've had an MRI, my thoughts are you should have a Myelogram. A myelogram shows more details of the nerves than even an MRI. That's good you went to PT but since it is still bothering you so much, you should at the least have a 2nd opinion or even a 3rd opinion if necessary. I know how miserable back pain is. I am 1 week post op from having a fusion and so far it has helped.

    Keep us posted as to how you are and if you find out more.

    Harmony

     
    Old 04-06-2007, 04:51 AM   #3
    BlueAtlas
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Hello BlueCoat, and welcome to the board. We're not doctors, but we've all had some kind of experience with back pains of various sorts. We can give you lots of peer advice.

    Can I ask what kinds of doctors you've seen (other than the chiropractor)? If you haven't seen a back specialist, like an orthopedic doctor who only works on backs, I would suggest that you make that your next step. If you've already been seeing an orthopedist, I would echo what Harmony said and get another opinion. I'm assuming that this is all new to you, that before the last 3 1/2 months you had no particular back problems.

    Chiropractic has its time and place, and it sounds like you found one who has helped you, but I would caution you that if you do have something serious going on in there, manipulation could do further damage to it. Personally, I would put the chiro on temporary hold until you get a definite diagnosis.

    Are you in generally good health otherwise? Are you in good shape? At age 20, if you're in good health and physically fit, I would expect you to be responding more quickly, too. Something else must be wrong that the MRI didn't show.

    Let us know what you find out. There's probably someone on here who has been through it already and can share their experience with you.

    Take care,
    Emily

     
    Old 04-06-2007, 05:03 AM   #4
    yvette777
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    I agree with Emily for sure. Also pray that it is muscular really. There are other test they can do as well like a Cat Scan. I wouldn't let anyone adjust it personally. Is your weight appropriate? Are you physically in shape? I am asking these questions because they are important with back pain. Any added weight puts stress on our spines. And the best thing we can have for our backs are really strong cores.

    What they tell us generally is walking is the best and non jarring and swimming. Even if they find a bulging disc etc. usually the things they try are the same, with pt, and time etc. - If some of the meds are to strong where you don't take them, ask your doctor if you can have something else.

    I personally love heat on my back, but be careful on those heating pads I have a huge scar from one. They say the best is moist heat, those packs you can put in the microwave are good, but don't stay hot long enough.

    I hope you find some relief, we all here know how bad it sucks!!!

    They have given you the steroid packs right?

    Good luck, vette

     
    Old 04-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
    thebluecoat
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Yes, my current weight is within the acceptable BMI categorical representation for my age and height range. I am also psychically fit, well was more so , but ever since I've been out of work not so much.

    I'm going to call my doctor on Monday and ask for a prescription / referral for a myelogram, I've looked into this procedure, and It doesn't make me feel too confident about walking away feeling good from it. My younger sister received an epidural during pregnancy, much like the way this procedure is executed, they hit a nerve , and her whole body jumped, followed by extreme migraine and CSF leaking, they wound up having to patch her CSF leak with her own blood, which then symptoms disappeared, still, damage I'm not too interested in dealing with, but with how annoying this is, I'm ready to deal with anything.

    And no, I have not been given a steroid regime for my pain, should I discuss this with my doctor, I'm not really interested in any further medication unless its going to solve the problem.

    Ill post back on Monday with what my doctor feels I should do in my current situation.

    Thank you all for your help

     
    Old 04-17-2007, 10:47 AM   #6
    thebluecoat
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    I went to see an Orthopedic Doctor today. His findings from my x-ray posed to him that at the time I was experiencing "back spasm". Which is why he said it was important that I bring in the X-Ray + MRI films. He doesnt see anything wrong with my discs or anything like that (Thankfully).

    However, he suggested an FCE, and im like "But what about my back pain" , I mean, I went there to possibly seek alternative methods to what Im currently doing now, which isnt illeviating my pain enough for me to feel confident about returning to work.

    I said to him "what causes me to have the back spasm then" and he just gave me a roundabout error and said it was probably from a pull/tear, Im not that behind in medical science myself you dont suffer from a back spasm for 3months straight day in and out.

    I brought up the myleogram, and he said he does not reccomend it, because of his findings between my MRI and X-Ray, but in my opinion, if inflammation and irritation are the #1 causes of back spasms, shouldn't I be a candidate for an epidural?

    Im going to ask my chiropracter if I can try a couple of DRX sessions, because strangely while sitting in a chair (which bothers me the most) if I lift my body up with my hands, all of my symptoms dissapear (Does this not mimick spinal decompression?)

    Im so young, and I dont even know what is going on, what should I do ? what should I say to my regular doctor / chiro ?

    Please give me some suggestions on what to do now

     
    Old 04-17-2007, 05:15 PM   #7
    kkmom
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Wow blue coat, i do not know what to say. Are you still in the same amount of pain today as you were a few weeks ago? And what is this fce the md is recommending? I do know that sometimes a muscle sprain or tear can be extremely painful and take a while to heal and at the same times cause spasms due to the injured site. I know someone who experienced this. Well, please keep us updated, and i hope all goes well for you. I know how it is to be young and in pain. Take care ok
    Rachel

     
    Old 04-18-2007, 07:56 AM   #8
    thebluecoat
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    I sched another appointment with a different doctor at the same location, and the appointment is for April 26th (which is better than may and june appointments for other locations).

    I'm so young, and barely know how to describe these symptoms, I am in a little less pain since the date of injury, because I haven't been working. I definitely would like to have an epidural done, to take down the inflammation. How would I go about asking for this done.

    And don't I have a right to exercise that option ? I mean it wont hurt me right ? Ive already had PT , and chiropracting trials on it. The only thing that provides me with relief is the Electro stimulation Therapy I receive at the chiro office, which is suppose to reduce spasm, and reduce inflammation.

    I seriously want to exercise having an epidural done, can someone give me information on how to direct this want/need to my orthopedic doctor.

     
    Old 04-18-2007, 03:09 PM   #9
    thebluecoat
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what I should ask my orthopedic doctor as to what I can do, or what options can I look at ? I really would like to go in with a sheet of paper, typed about my problems and what im experiencing.

    Can I do that ? If it seems alright, can someone please explain to me what are important things I should mention ?

     
    Old 04-24-2007, 07:53 PM   #10
    jenareneep
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Don't have an epidural injection done unless you are seriously in major pain. I had steroid injections in my neck and injections are going to put your life on hold for a lil while. For me a long while. But it could make it worse and there's alot of side effects from the drugs. I have been through everything and I always come back to the gym. If you workout the muscles in that area it works. Believe me it will hurt before it gets better. I was scheduled for a radiofrequency rhizotomy which basically burns the nerves in your neck. I decided to go to the gym before going so extreme.

     
    Old 04-24-2007, 08:28 PM   #11
    chadwickBT
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Bluecoat, I'm in about the same boat, fortunately I am still able to work, desk work which means lots of sitting which bothers me but I am able to get up every few minutes and strech which helps. I found that the electro stim I get from my chiro really helped so I asked for and got a TENS unit (smaller, less powerful version of the same thing they have). I wear it at work sometimes and when I'm at home and it helps, not totally but really takes the edge off. I can't wear it when I'm doing activities which have not been much lately but I do swim as regularly as I can because I know it helps me build muscle strength and is low impact, but even that hurts when I'm having a "bad day."
    Good luck getting a DX and fixing it!

     
    Old 04-24-2007, 08:39 PM   #12
    jvirtue
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    The epidural could be a bad idea. I have so many of the same problems you describe, none of the Dr.'s could come up with the source of my problem. I have lots of little things going on but nothing to cause the amount of pain I have. after 4 MRI's and a bone scan, and 2 epidurals a new Dr. say's it's Spinal Lipomatisis. only a dye inhanced MRI will show it. Ask your Dr if this might be the source of your pain.

     
    Old 04-25-2007, 10:38 AM   #13
    lilredsmom
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    First thing first, don't go to a "Pain Specialist" all they do is give you drugs. If you do go ask what your alternatives are, physical therapy (it helped me to walk and function somewhat normally than I was before), aqua therapy, tins unit, and even if this is outside your "box" acupuncture. My pain specialist suggested none of these, her suggestions were, morphine, methadone and stuff that was even stronger and yes I had my series of of spinal injections that were horribly painful and did not do a thing for me. The acupuncture was not painful and it worked, I went 2 a wk but even with my co-pay it got xpensive so I had to quit and I reffused any drug stonger than the Methadone. Point is, we do have choices and options, go on-line or ask others as I did.

     
    Old 04-25-2007, 11:26 AM   #14
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Hey Bluecoat, it's me again. I too wasn't so sure about all the symptoms I was feeling had anything to do with my back so I searched on-line everything from "back pain" to what I actually had, DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease). I found links that helped to explain all my aches and pains. I'm sure you too will find what your looking for. Good hunting.

    Last edited by lilredsmom; 04-25-2007 at 11:29 AM.

     
    Old 04-25-2007, 11:46 AM   #15
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    Re: Lower Back Pain (what is causing it?)

    Bluecoat, just read your last post. Hey, I'm bored today that's why I'm on line this long! It couldn't hurt to ask about the decompression although when it was posed to me it was because I have the herniated discs but it never hurts to ask. They can either say Yes or No.

     
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