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Unidentified Chronic Pain

snookiessnookie Posts: 359
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Chronic Pain
Does anyone else have this? Most of my pain is in my left buttock and runs down the outside of my leg all the way down to my foot. My MRI's showed nothing that should be causing this pain. Just a transitional L5, small bulge and an annular tear at L4/L5.

I did 3 months of PT which didn't help. WCB discontinued my PT because I have plataued.

Today my Dr said that I have unidenntified chronic pain, and that all he can do for me is give me meds. He gave me a 3 month RX for Tridural and told me to come back when I get low.

I'm really upset that everyone is giving up on me, I'm only 28 years old. Trying to work and raise a 2 boys when I'm in constant pain is soooo hard.

Unfortunatley I'm in Canada and I can't call another Dr, specialist or PM, without a referal. I'm out of options.

Thanks for the chance to vent. It helps a lot to have this place.


  • Hi there,

    I have been dealing with horrible back pain for more than 8 months. Finally had an MRI which didn't show much except a bulging disc in the thoriac area but doc said that shouldn't be causing me problems. He took me off of the pain meds and doesn't have an answer for my pain. The next step is Pyhsical therapy.

    I think I can kind of feel for you as I feel that my Doctor has given up on me as well. I don't know about you but my quality of life sucks. I can't even do the simple things like taking my Pug for a short walk. I have tried and I come home in tears, it hurts so bad.

    If the PT does not work I don't know what I will do.

    Oh and to top it off this morning my Pug Bugsy tried to jump on to the recliner with me and missed and now his back or something is hurting. He can barley walk up the stairs and I have to lift him in to the car. If it isn't better by Monday its off to the vets office for him.
  • I'm sorry about your Pug, it sucks when your pets get hurt. I have a little min pin, and love him to death.

    I hope PT works better for you than it did for me. PT put me into shock, and the ER on more than one occasion.

    It's so frustating to be in pain, and have the Dr tell you that you shouldn't be. I can't believe the Dr took you off of pain meds because he can't see a reason for your pain! That's horrible! I've done some research on MRI's, and they don't show everything. I hope your not suffering too much
  • I had an annular tare and it was the cause of the butt leg pain that you speak of. It can cause plenty of pain because it allows the gel like substance to ooze out of the disc and compress nerves. Why are they not addressing the annular tare?
  • :) hi! don't give up after one doctor! keep pressing this doctor with your pain issue. since when can't a bulging disc and tare cause pain? ask for other tests! how about a bone scan? i am really sorry to hear you are having chronic pain. perhaps the support you find here will be of some comfort! i have a boxer i try and walk daily and it doesn't always work out like that! good luck in your quest! Jenny :)
  • Snookie,

    What happened during PT that sent you to the ER? That's pretty scary.

    I used to love to walk and hubby and I used to walk 3 miles almost every evening, now I can't walk 50 yards with out horrible pain. Doc wants me to walk and I'm trying but it's not working out so well.

  • I to have a herinated disc with an annular tear at the L5/S1. I do have the same symptoms just as you have. The doctor did say that this could be a problem and in the future may have to be surgicaly repaired. If it was not for all my other back problems and the past surgery's that I have had I would have had it fixed a while ago as it is painfull. Have you gone to a different doctor for this? I also see a orthopedic doctor. They are more up to beat with this kind of stuff compared to the regular primary doctor's. If it keeps bothering you mabey it would be smart to see a ortho doctor.
  • PT-The exersizes that they had me doing were to much too soon. It was a WCB "fast track" PT program. I tried to talk to the exersize therapist, but she told me that I had to do them if I wanted to get better even if it hurt. She also said that if I didn't do them I could lose my WCB benifits. The pain put my body into shock on two occasions, I was violently shaking, blood pressure crashed. It was pretty frighteneng. After the second time the PT and WCB decieded that I had plataued and that PT wouldn't help anymore. My case is no inactive with no ongoing benifits, other that RX coverage.

    The annulat tear-my doctor, who is just a family doc, says that the tear isn't causing pain because in the MRI it did not show nerve root compression. The PT said that it was possible that it did not show on the MRI because I was lying down but when I asked the Dr about that he said no. If anything was wrong it would of show up on the MRI. While he belives that I'm in pain he claims that there is no cause for it.

    Second opinion-I'd love to see another Dr, problem being that I'm in Canada and this is a WCB case. In Canada the health care is almost free, however there are quite a few problems with the system. There is a major shortage of Dr's, there is a one year waiting list to get a family Dr in my city right now. I also cannot see a NS or an ortho without a referal from my Dr and approval from WCB. I can't get either, my Dr sees nothing wrong doesn't think that I need a referal, tells that to WCB and so nothing gets done. Wcb doesn't care, I've only missed a couple days of work. As long as I can continue to work they won't do anything for me.

    I'm feeling really frustrated with the system right now. I can't believe my family doc gave up on me. I'll be 28 in a week! I'm too young for this. I can't believe that he's just giving up, telling me that the rest of my life I'll be on painkillers. I don't want to live that way.

    Thank you all for 'listening' to me vent and your responses. I don't have anyone in my life that I can talk to about this. Being able to express my self to people that understand has helped so much.

  • always here to listen to each other. The MRI did not show mine either. It took a discogram to find it.
  • What did you have done to correct your tear? Was it a decompression or partial discectomy? Did it work for you?

    I've been struggling with tears at l5/s1 and l4/l5 for over 20years. I have nerve pain that goes into my groin and butt (left side only) and lots of pain at the two discs, especially when I sit. My straight leg test on the left is excruciating to the back.

    It sounds like you've been through some of this stuff and I'd really appreciate what you see as effective for tears. I'm not interested in a fusion.
  • My situation was a bit different- my MRI last year showed a disc herniation with potential to for compression in both right and left nerve roots with thecal sac indentation. I went thru PT and epidural shots which did not help. I saw a surgeon, and I was sent for a CT/Myelogram. It used to be the gold standard until MRI's came along. It does, however show more detail. They caught my nerve impingement because I was stood up, rather than being laid down an MRI machine. The proof was shown, and I went on to have surgery.
    Ask your doctor if he would consider ordering a CT/myelogram. Sometimes MRI's can be inconclusive, and perhaps what's truly ailing you will be seen. I have to tell you it is expensive, and can be uncomfortable to go thru it. Some places sedate you, some don't. I prefer sedation. Take care

  • i have intractable chronic pain in my left sacral area and hip that the doctors can't seem to diagnose. i was living in nevada and, finally, with the help of pain meds, meditation, and an attitude change almost found a normal life.
    i moved to ca to be with my fiance and i thought i was doing great. i was still on meds, but i could cook and clean and even write a little, but i still can't sit or stand for longer than 30 minutes, and that's pushing it. i would take my breakthrough meds prior to going to a movie and had to get there very early to get the seats with the bars in front so i could put my legs up so my lower back would be flat as if i were laying down.

    well, i guess it wasn't enough for the fiance. he mentioned that he wanted someone who would be able to go listen to music for a few hours, etc., but he wasn't a communicater and i did tell him prior to moving that i had chronic pain, with all the details.

    to make a long story short, he broke up with me in a very stressful way--lied to my doctor there, called the police after he pushed me, etc.--and he towed my car when i was still traumatized from him lying to the police. i still don't know why he did what he did. but he wrote a letter to the district attorney saying that he wanted to teach me a lesson.

    i think that he didn't want to admit that he couldn't deal with my chronic pain, even though i asked him a hundred times prior to moving. and moving is very hard for someone in chronic pain.

    anyway, he ended up threatening me and towing my car, and me, back to nevada and dumping me like trash at my parent's house. i hate this man. i've never hated anyone in my life. i'm extremely spiritual and believe in forgiveness, and even forgave my ex-husband who probably caused the pain by throwing me across the room ten feet.

    so i get back to nevada and find out that the pain mgt. clinic that i had been going to since 2002 will not see me as a patient anymore. i'm already so stressed, and now i'm doctor shopping and feel like a real criminal.

    my brain feels fried from the neurontin one doctor put me on and my general practitioner was kind enough to write 2 prescriptions for my pain meds, but not for the break-through.

    so since oct 1st, i've not had breakthrough meds and the last 6 days, i've been trying to taper my long-acting medications and take the neurontin another doctor prescribed and i feel like the neurontin is making me nuts in the head.

    neurontin does seem to help a bit with the pain, i admit, but i am too afraid and feel too psycho to even leave the house. i just stay in my little room and cry and my parents really don't want me here so i just avoid them.

    i hate this so much. i don't know where to turn. i am too embarrassed to go back to my primary care doctor and ask for another refil and i've seen 5 pain mgt. doctor who just shrug and tell me to keep taking the pain medications?????

    and i'm not sure what to do with my primary care doctor. he
    s being investigated. he's never prescribed me pain meds until october of this year, but i guess he prescribed pretty regularly to others and is being sued by the parents of a girl who committed suicide by using prescribed meds.

    when i filled the last prescription, the pharmacist yelled at me.

    i can't even find a psychologist in the area to help with all this trauma, as none seem to want to take medicaid.

    i don't know if the doctors are treating me like this all of a sudden because i'm poor due to pain and disabled.

    7 months ago, i really thought i could have a life. now i feel like i'm unwanted trash, just a body with pain, and i'm rambling because this neurontin stuff makes me nuts.

    i'm taking a lumbar mri tomorrow, but i've had mri's prior and no one found anything. the pain began in 1996-7. i had a botched surgery--gyn--and my ex-husband was abusive and threw me across the room, but i really don't know what ccaused the pain.

    i wanted a baby and the gyn said the pain was caused by my enlarged uterus that was pressing against the nerve and she promised that the pain would go away if i had a hysterectomy. it was such a hard decision but i couldn't see myself raising a child alone when i couldn't stand or sit for 30 minutes, so i did it, thinking that i still had my creativity and i would make babies of novels and art, etc.

    and now i'm just being tossed to the wolves. i have literally been praying to get cancer or something that can be seen for 8 years. i just don't know what to do anymore and i'm so frustrated at these pain doctors. i went to a neurologist for 2 years, also, who put me on scores of drugs that were not opiates and, again, i felt like was losing my mind.

    i hate being dependent on medications that have a stigma like opiates and i would love to get off of them if a doctor could find the source of my pain. i want a normal life.

    i don't think i will survive the neurontin though. like i said, it does seem to help a bit for pain, but i've been taking it for 3 weeks now and was able to cut down my opiate medications by 1/3, plus i no longer take the breakthrough, but all i do is lie in bed and cry all day.

    what kind of life is that? i tried to smile, but my brain feels so foggy that i'm afraid to even visit with friends who knew me prior.

    when i was going to the neurologist, he put me on cymbalta and it was the same thing. i got very suicidal.

    i just want a somewhat normal life. i guess i returned to nevada at a very bad time--the dea seems to have set up shop here--but i don't see why i have to suffer because some people are addicts.

    i just want a doctor to listen. i think i know what they could do to treat me. i had an anesthetic shot and was able to direct the radiologist to the exact nerve that was hurting. you know, move the needle a teeny bit to the left, now down, a little higher, that's it.

    that was in 2006 and i was pain free for 18 blissful hours. i did more in those 18 hours than i do in a week. take away the pain, and i have lots of energy.

    the pain just wipes me out. i just want to be normal. i'm so sick of being treated like a criminal or a drug seeker when i just want to able to live again. i can't believe i used to be a college teacher and a published writer.

    i hate these anti-seizure medications, but what do i do? i know i will be cut off cold turker from my medications. i was taking 3 80 oxycontins and 3 dilaudids for breakthrough.

    that's a lot of medication, i know. but i was functional and happy. every since i began the neurontin, i've felt suicidal and agoraphobic.

    i also cut back so i'm only taking 2 oxycontins a day instead of 3 and my pain levels have gone way up so even though the neurontin makes me foggy and sleepy, the pain is now waking me up every 1/2 hour and i toss and turn and can't get back to sleep.

    i want some hope. how can a pain mgt. specialist tell me to keep taking the meds or i won't be able to walk, but at the same time tell me that he won't prescribe.

    i know the psychological stress of the break-up, and now searching for a doctor who will help that is within 10 minutes of me so i can et there, is making my pain worse.

    i keep trying to meditate, but i can't seem to get there anymore.

    i'm afraid of everything. i feel as if the world just wants to get rid fo me, that i'm a burden.

    i don't even look the same in the mirror. my face is all puffy. is that from the neurontin?

    and i know if i say that the neurontin is driving me nuts, even though it does help a little for the pain--takes it from 10 to 7--that the doctors will think i just want the meds i was on. i was yelled at by one doctor who said he'd prescribe anything but opiates.

    i'm sorry. i can't live like this. maybe if i take enough neurontin i will be able to withstand the pain, but i will be a zombie and end up in a mental institution.

    i think a radio-frequency ablation of my nerves would help, but if i mention it, the doctors just brush me off, as if i shouldn't be knowlegeable about the pain that is causing me to lose my life. of course, all i do is try to find out what's wrong and what new technology might be able to make me functional.

    i just don't have the patience to live like this anymore and the doctors are so slow. if nothing shows up on the mri, then we'll try something else in a few weeks. well, if i stay on the neurontin and cut back the rest of my pain medications, i won't be here in a few weeks.

    my face has broke out with cysts. i haven't had a pimple in 20 years. i feel as if i look like an insane person.

    being rejected by doctors is horrible. i'm sorry for rambling. i'm on a medication--neurontin--that i cannot stand. i asked for lyrica because i read it wasn't as bad, but the doctor said no.

    what am i doing wrong? when i first went to pain mgt., i was taking 5 vicodin a day. i was clueless about what was wrong and just cried in the office. the doctor put me on 30 mg. methadone.

    now the doctors see that i'm on medication and tell me to keep taking it but they won't prescribe. okay. where am i supposed to go to get an rx?

    do i need to go to the er?

    i'm just fed up with doctors. my psychiatrist tells me that my depression and anxiety are due to my pain and there's nothing he can do. i can't find a local psychologist to talk to. i'm afraid to see any more pain mgt. doctors, or i'll look like i'm shopping. one that i went to actually had a computer list of the 3 doctors i had went to.

    i almost think my best bet is just to suffer, get off all the opiate medications and start over. i'm just afraid that i'll be in so much pain that i'll curl up in a ball and take 100 klonopin instead. i have anxiety disorder and have been on low dose of klonopin 1 mg. since 1996, but i'm prescribed 2 a day, although i don't take two.

    i'm at a loss. i want to get fixed. i don't just want meds. one pain doctor just looked at my mri from 3 years ago and said, i can't prescribe you narcotics, you don't have anything that i can see wrong with you.

    well, i've been in pain and lost everything due to pain and now am living a non-life at 48. i just want to be functional and get a normal job and be able to date and maybe fall in love one day.....

    like that's going to happen. i don't know how i can feel like a monster compared to how i felt about myself in august, when i had a good doctor and a pain therapist. now i'm treated like a criminal.
    i don't have money to move again and couldn't move even if i did at this point.

    i just don't know what to say to doctors anymore. i'm sick and tired of seeing them shrug. i'm tired of hearing how they don't want to lose their license and will prescribe what i think are worse drugs--neurontin and other epilectic drugs that are making me feel insane--rather than what makes me functional. i tried telling them that i want to get off the opiates, and i do, but i need them to do something for the pain--an injection or anyting, but they just shrug.

    do i keep taking the neurontin and feel insane? i don't want to be seen as a problem patient. i called my old pain clinic 3 times and left messages asking them very politely to tell me the reason that they won't see me anymore and have received no response.

    would doctors help in er? or would they just give me medications until i find a doctor? no point in going for 2 weeks of meds, imo. i want a life back.

    and whenever i tell doctors--i remember from the neurologist--that cymbalta, effexor, lamictal, etc., and now neurontin--make me feel insane like i'm psychotic, they look at me like i'm an addict.

    i wish these doctors would try some of these anti-epileptic drugs they prescribe and see if they could function on them.

    all i have left is my mind. i was a writer. my dream is to finish my novel and sell it. i can't focus at all. i can hardly read and i used to read a book a week, at least.

    it's horrible to have pain that doesn't show up on mris. i'm hoping i've developed problems that will show tomorrow, but i still do yoga and stretch every day, as it relieves the pain. i am very limber. i used to teach yoga before the pain got so bad and i still do certain exercises because they seem to take the pressure off.

    i know that my spine is twisted and that's one cause of the problem. but i think either a nerve was damaged during a surgery or a fall, as well.

    i don't know why they won't take an x-ray of my hip and pelvis. i think they would find something. one pain doc even said that an mri won't show anything and an x-ray would be better, but he didn't want me as a patient due to the high amt. of meds the other clinic had me on, and so he just told me to go to a detox.

    the thought of sleeping on a non-tempurpedic bed without my ocomforting pillows makes me cringe with pain. i never even stayed at the hospital after my surgeries--i've had 4 gyn ones--as i wanted to get home.

    and i really don't feel as if i am an addict. i still remember when the first pain doc told me about opiates and said i didn't have to suffer. i had told him that i was scared of getting addicted and he went on and on about how pain meds were good things. and this is the same doctor who refuses to see me now. i don't get it.

    i'm scared and this neurontin is making me feel insane and i beginning to feel suicidal. i look different in the mirror. i don't want anyone to see me like this. i don't even want to take a shower. it's like a bad acid trip. i can see all my imperfections.

    anyone had a reaction to neurontin like this? am i stuck to either suffer excruciating pain or take a med that makes me feel like i'm insane?

    the latter will lead to death... i'd rather suffer than be insane. i really would. but i'm saying that when i'm on neurontin and still on some pain meds, and i probably would cave if the pain got to lvl 10. it's usually only that bad at night.

    and i lie on a shiatsu massager and try to break up the muscles atop the nerve that hurts and end up bruising and burning my left sacral area every night. this is no way to live. no wonder my fiance dumped me.

    i thought i was doing great, though. i guess my idea of being functional is not that of the rest of society, but i did think i was doing well, and now i am not doing well at all. i'm so sad and can't stop crying. i feel as if i'm grieving my own death.

    i gave myself a year from october 1st and told myself that i would keep trying to find a doctor who would help. but i don't know if i can make it through that year. i hate this neurontin stuff.

    but i don't know what else to do. it does help with pain and withdrawals from the pain meds, but it also makes me crazy and suicidal. and the more doctors that shrug or say that i should continue on narcotics but they won't prescribe--or one just didn't mention that i wrote i was pain meds at all--the less i want to go to another doctor who might help.

    i wanted to get some sort of treatment--injections or something--and taper off of the meds as much as i can. but i don't know what to do now.

    i've been in pain and unable to go to the movies even some days since 1998. i turned down trips to paris and bahamas because i couldn't sit on the airplane for that long. i have no life and now they want to take away my mind.

    i can't let them.
  • my pain is through the butt, down the side and back of thigh, the tail bone area hurts more when sitting, and the area of my spine where something is going on. An orthopedic surgeon said it was 2 herniated discs and then a neurosurgeon said my discs are fine(that there is no reason for pain)... time for a 3rd opinion? I'm only 21 and this pain is the worst!! my butt is the worst, radiating heat! Does it hurt real bad to drive? cause I had to stop the car and stand for a bit... i've tried physical therapy, pain killers, and steroids but none help this pain. would the injections help? The orthopedic surgeon says surgery is the only fix..

    something else i'm wondering about. This morning I woke up, walked to kitchen then took a seat. before i could get some cereal to my mouth i'm gagging like i'm really gonna puke with the pain radiating in my back each time. I stand and walk to bathroom and it stops. No actually getting sick.. and i'm not pregnant, for sure! so has anyone else had this happen????????
  • I was on neurotin and became severally depressed with it, my face swelled up and I thought I was loosing my mind. All I could do was cry all day every day. I stopped taking it and all these syptoms stopped.
    However I now have to deal with the pain again full force, but am glad that I dont feel depressed anymore. What good is a drug that gives you more problems on top of what you already have?

    Cheer up and do not give up, there are people here to talk to.
    >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • It could have been an adrenaline rush caused by the intense pain. I had that happened, and I felt like a surge through my body and I felt nauseated. I'm sorry you're going through this so young. Take care
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