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Pain in lower left back and side. Can anyone help? Dr. says muscular. It's not. Help!

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Old 10-11-2008, 03:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 68
Seabreezes22 HB User
Pain in lower left back and side. Can anyone help? Dr. says muscular. It's not. Help!

I am so sick of this pain. It's actually located on my left side, under my ribs but before my hip and spreads over to my back. I suffered for two weeks before I made an appt. and saw my dr. He said it was muscular, take Advil and don't strain it. I tried this for one week, and no relief. Does anyone have some insight as to what could be causing this pain? I'd really like to go back to my dr. and ask him to check something specific, but I don't know what it could be. Like I said, it's more on my left side, but radiates to the back. Leaning to the right side does NOT increase the pain, like a strain would. It actually hurts worse if I bend to the left.

I'm at my wits ends and just want relief.

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Old 10-11-2008, 07:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MN,USA
Posts: 2,520
megss HB User
Re: Pain in lower left back and side. Can anyone help? Dr. says muscular. It's not. H

I don't have any ideas on your pain, but I would like to give you some advice. Go to a different doctor! Here's my story: My pain started 5-6 months ago. I went to the DR. after 1 month. HE told me the same thing...a muscle strain. I knew better deep in my heart. I called back after another month or so and he said "it's just a muscle strain!" I told my gyno at my yearly visit. He gave me Naproxen to take for a week. No improvement so I went back to see him again. He had no idea so gave me a referral for physical therapy. I went back to my regular DR in tears. This time he gave me prednisone. It didn't work so I called back and his response was "Make an appointment with me in a couple of weeks." I was at my witts end as well, so I referred myself to an orthopedic. I have had to wait forever and my appointment is finally next week. Heres the best part. Last week I couldn't stand it anymore so I went to urgent care. They took x-rays and I found out that I have Spondylolisthesis. Basically, I have tiny fractures in my spine which have caused a vertabrae to slip out of place! Ouch!
So the moral of my story, if you feel in your heart (and you know your body best of all!) that your problem is more serious, than listen to your instincts and go see a different DR.
Good luck!

Old 10-11-2008, 08:34 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Posts: 2,381
Justoneofus HB User
Re: Pain in lower left back and side. Can anyone help? Dr. says muscular. It's not. H

Hi Seabreeze. It's really hard to know if you have a muscle issue going on, if it's related to a possible spine issue, or a combo of the two.

It's not at all uncommon to take a conservative approach to things. Most often, given a little time, things get better and tend to resolve on their own. I am not saying you should just sit there and wallow in your pain. I am just saying that it's "normal" for the doctor to start off with the "easy" or "do little" approach first, then if the patient shows little or no improvement, to look more into the situation.

If you have the ability to see a specialist on your own, without a referral from your regular MD, then make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. A back surgeon need not be immediately sought at this time, unless you have been diagnosed with a spinal issue. A regular ortho can easily diagnose and is much more intune to the muscle and skeletal being than a regular MD.

If it's not overly serious be it muscular or skeletal, you may only need some stronger pain meds, possibly an anti-inflammatory, and some PT to put you right again. A CT Scan or MRI could tell alot more as to what may or may not be going on.

Hang in there and keep us posted on how you are doing.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Old 10-11-2008, 10:26 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lee's Summit, MO USA
Posts: 4
ccurts HB User
Re: Pain in lower left back and side. Can anyone help? Dr. says muscular. It's not. H

Investigate "Piriformus Syndrome," as symptoms just like my husband's. It is rare condition and difficult to diagnose. Need the best spinal specialist you can find. May need to find a neurosurgeon. Ask dr. if any experience with this before make appointment.

Old 10-12-2008, 07:21 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 68
Seabreezes22 HB User
Re: Pain in lower left back and side. Can anyone help? Dr. says muscular. It's not. H

Thank you so much for responding. I will wait it out one more week, then I think I will bypass my regualr MD and make an appt. for a speacialist. I agree with taking a conservative approach, but I would think that my doctor would know me by now - that I don't see him unless I haven't already tried the common sense approach. It's just irritating.

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