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Low back pain for 3 years, Drs wont take me serious because of age!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Lower Back Pain
So, 3 years ago I was in a car accident, and have had severe back pain ever since. There are days when I cant even walk. My legs have given out on me, I have been to the ER so many times, they know me by my first name. ~X( The only thing I have been told as far as diagnosis goes is I have facet joint osteoarthropathy...Ive had nerve ablations, injections, many many different meds and tests. MRI,spinal tap, etc. The only thing they saw was degeneration on the facets and my spinal fluid showed some abnormalities but they cannot pinpoint it. Right now, im taking 20mg x2 a day of oxycodone, PT, naproxen, etc. Any advice? All doctors keep telling me Im too young to have degenerative disease problems, and they refuse to diagnose me with anything because of my age :jawdrop: Any advice would be wonderfully appreciated! Thanks for listening


  • Is it more nerve pain or muscle pain you have?
  • :) hi ! well you don't tell us how old you are! i ruptured 2 discs at 15 and the doctors did not believe someone my age could have that happen. i was 24 before i received the proper medical care and was in a wheel chair. keep pressing your pain issues with other doctors. your pain is real and tests don't always show up pain. you will find someone to help you i know! good luck and see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • mominpain- Just because they can't pinpoint it yet does not mean there is a specific problem. They just have not located it yet. I had a few MRIs till they saw the problem and a discogram (though painful) gave alot of diagnostic information. Ask for more tests and press about the spinal fluid issue... :))) jade
  • and no one will listen to me. :W By the way, I just turned 27. I know im not the only one who's Dr probably doesnt listen to them, but it gets so frustrating sometimes. Its pretty bad when the ER department treats you like a head case. ~X( I have tried pushing the spinal fluid issue, but since I dont show the signs for MS, they arent willing to look any further. They said that basically, the only thing it could be is MS with abnormal spinal fluid....
  • I was diagnosed with having DDD at the age of 28 and had my first fusion (L5-S1) done later that year. Am due for my 2nd fusion (L4-L5) in a mere 5 days (age 32 now). IMHO, there is no such thing as "too young" when you are dealing with alot of pain that you shouldn't be and need help fixing it. Be a royal PITA and keep pushing for the help that you need. Good Luck!!
  • facet arthropathy and it is very, very painful.
  • Yea, age has nothing to do with it. Im 29 and have a degenerated L5-S1 disc. Guess I am lucky that I found the right neurosurgeon who listens. I see My NS on the 21st to try and setup a PLIF and get it approved by workers comp.
  • I am 27 also. I know EXACTLY what you mean. My doctor kept telling me it was muscle spasms. I finally had to demand an MRI.

    The only thing I could recommend is to keep fighting!! Keep searching for a doctor that will listen, and who doesn't only look at you for your age.

  • I'm 19 and have DDD in my L5-S1
    I know exactly what you mean! The dr's don't want to do anything because of my age...and I think it's ridiculous...just keep your head up high and keep trying to convince them that you are in your body and they aren't and there is no way they can really know exactly the pain that you are going through...if you ever need to talk about anything just messege me!
  • My back has always bothered among other problems and recently my back has really started giving me a lot of trouble and I am in constant pain. some days I just want to scream or cry or both and I finally seen my new dr today and he just did not even listen to me and now says that I am too young to be on my current meds I have taken for 13 years!!!! When sometimes it does not even help for the current pain that is unbearable OMG I am so fed up with how they treat people in legitimate pain but he sure did not mind taking the insurance money for my office visit. I really think until they go through something that traumatizes their life they can never understand I am at my wits end. I do not know what to do. Still in pain and no help in sight.
  • I've seen this in more than one post, and wonder what it means? "IMHO"?

    Please be kind.... and try to not laugh too much....
  • IMHO nobody should laugh at you. It took a bit for me to decifer it also. It means. In My Honest Opinion. In the newbies introduction there is a forum on all of the things like that. To me it is amazing that people can actually come up with this stuff. LOL

    Now the good thing about this question is that I know for sure that I helped. LOL
  • I was 24 when i had my l5-s1 herniated disk.
    I went threw pt,work Harding etc. to make the story short my spinal surgeon told me he would not do the fusion till i was at least 30 yrs old.I suffered in pain for 3 more yrs until he finally performed the surgery and i am still in pain!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,726
    Jeaux and Melissa,

    I still have a had time keeping up with all the terms, some of them are pretty straight forward, others not..
    Here is a cheat sheet:
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • "IMHO" this is not a silly question. I didn't know either *laughing at myself* I googled that one!!
  • I have the "worst" PM on earth! I can't wait until I can find a new one!!!!!!! image:)" alt=">:)" height="20" />
  • ROFLMAO? Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off! =)) I had to ask what that one meant! I'm always having to ask, I'm kind of a text shorthand virgin. After a while it starts to come to you more easily. :)
  • As anyone who has read my own post knows, I have some serious anger issues with my own doctor's. But I believe that I am now even angrier at the doctor's who treat the younger patients! I have read quite a few stories on here of men & women in their early 20's who are in serious pain, and I seriously doubt that age has anything to do with it. I was 36 when my own life came to a screeching halt and I felt that was too young, I hate the idea of this happening to people even younger than me.

    How obtuse and dimwitted can doctors be to believe tha age can make any difference? And 27 is definatley NOT too young for this! I think a lot of it goes back to the fact that if a doctor can't find a problem right away, it must be all in your head. There seems to be a lot of this going on. I've certainly heard this before over other health issues that I have had.

    I would highly recommend that you continue to look for a doctor that will take you seriously. I managed to find a Spine Center for my last surgery and this is the only thing that they focus on. That's the kind of help that you need. Someone who specializes in this field. Even NS don't always know everything about the spine. And for some unlucky people, the cause of the pain is never found. But that doesn't mean that their pain is any less real.

    Look for a specialist in this field and lay out the whole story. It's the best advice that I have. If I ever have to have another surgery (God forbid) I will definately return to another specialist like this again. And the spinal fluid? What the heck are they waiting for to discover what is abnormal with it? I'm no expert but that sounds pretty serious to me. Good luck in your quest and I hope you find a compassionate doctor that will take you seriously very soon.
  • for your kind words! :H I ended up in the ER tonight, and my pain had gotten so bad, I had the worst migraine I had ever had in my entire life! I thought I was going to die! :''( So, they gave me 2 shots of morphine, and I told them it didnt work, they acted like I was lying. So then they gave me a shot of Dilaudid and phenegran (if you dont know, phenegran is for nausea) and it makes you extremely tired, but she said I "needed rest is all" So then they gave me a pill of hydromorphone (dilaudid) and they expected it to work for my migraine since nothing else did. I had told them that my back pain was going away but for the love of God, please give me some Imitrex or something besides pain medication for my migraine because I am going to shove that clipboard up your a%8! I couldnt take it anymore. They said they would send me home when my pain was under control. My headache started to go away after they finally listened to me and gave me Imitrex, and even though Im weak from not eating all day, and feel like a zombie and my pain is still around close to pulling hair, I said I felt better so I could get the hell out of there! :W Sorry I wrote you a book about my visit. The other thing that made me mad was the Dr stated I needed to get off narcotics because its making it worse! How the hell would they know? Its the only relief I get now :/

  • ER doctors believe that all pain patients are addicts, I am sorry you had to deal with that attitude when your hurting.I refuse to go into the ER because of this unless it is life or death.Hope you feel better.
  • I'm so sorry you have to go through this! My issues started at 28 and I did get told a lot I was really young for this. Thankfully my doctor referred me to a spine specialist who ordered an MRI first thing. Has your doc sent you for an MRI? If not, demand it. MRIs give much better information than simple x-rays.

    Good luck!

  • I guess I have been lucky. I have always had doctors listen but just misdiagnose it. First injury was from Soccer at age 18. Misdiagnose until I was 22. Then injured my back again at age 26 in a different spot and had surgery a year later. I hope you get help for your back no matter how old you are. Its is horrible pain.
  • Im really sorry i can relate as being 22 with a few very serious and painful conditions ive been shrugged off by most doctors it sucks it makes me want to "shove their clipboard up their ass" as you said. I like that idea
  • . . . to hear your problems. I am 40 and have had severe back pain for almost 6 years now. I have DDD at 3 levels and the Dr says I have the spine of a 70 yr old - nice huh?? I too have had facet joint injections,discograms, nerve ablation, sympathectomy etc. I have been told that I am too young for surgery but it has now come to a point that the meds (3600MG Gabapentin a day, 400mg Tramadol a day and a 20 mg Butrans patch)are just not helping enough to keep me at work and doing the basics like dressing, bathing etc. I have an appointment in Nov to discuss surgery which I have been told will probably involve two level fusion and ADR at the 3rd level. I'm not hoping for a miracle - just a better quality of life, it's not too much to ask, is it??
  • Yep. I am 33 and worker's comp doctors treated me like I was making all of it up and that I had fibromyalgia!! When I got some good doctors they found out I had a torn disc in the L5-S1 area. There ARE good doctors you just might need to talk to people or ask around. Keep trying. I know it is hard to believe when you are going through it that there are good doctors but trust me I have been through the ringer and can testify!! Just go with your gut feeling! I actually got so depressed from how all the doctors were treating me. When I went to my pain doctor he knew I had really given up. He encouraged me, got me to laugh, and showed he really cared. He even called me on the phone on the weekend to check up on me that first month I came to him. There ARE good ones out there. Walk out right away if they don't believe you. Your pain is real and noone should tell you otherwise!! There are doctors out there who ARE lazy and don't want to be bothered with figuring out what the problem is!! I know this is a shot in the dark- do you live in CA? If so, maybe you could go to mine :)
  • I live in Montana, where the only decent medical care is going online to Webmd.com :> Although, I have traveled around the state to try to find someone who will listen to me, I have still had no luck. My In-Laws live in CA though, Chico to be exact. I would love to hear any recommendations you may have. It might be worth going down there for a visit and some relief of pain as well. They have only seen their granddaughter once and she is 9 months old. :( Not their fault or our fault by any means, its just gas and flying are outragious right now. :<
  • I strongly disagree with you on your statement
    Frustrated101 said:
    ER doctors believe that all pain patients are addicts

    That statement is simply not true and is completely unfair to make in a public forum.


  • I hear ya on dr's saying it's in your head or you're too young or my favorite I can see where some of thre problems are but there's really nothing we can do about them you're too young. GRRRRRRRRR I had multiple injuries between the ages of 12-14 I'm 28 now and have been in constant searing pain now for over a year. I have always had this pain off and on since the injuries occurred bad enough that I fainted the first few times it happened as a teen. No win the last year it just hasn't gone away. You can only get dropped from 10-15 feet in the air so many times before your back gets mad I guess. Keep pressing on though there are decent dr's out there and the good ones will fight for you. I FINALLY found a good one (2 actually) and hopefully I'm on my way to a "fix" if one really actually exists LOL
  • On more than one occasion I have had doctor's who do not listen to me when I try and tell them what my body is saying. I have gotten smarter over the years though and I realized that I am paying the doctor to service me, not the other way around. I have walked out and found another doctor before.

    Are you in a small town where this is not easily done?

    One Love,

  • That is something that has always bothered me. Doctors take OUR money for only a few minutes of their time, usually no more then 15 minutes, and they act like they are doing US a favor. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? That they are giving us a service that we are paying for? I've read so many articles on this, and watched so many programs about this, that we are supposed to be in charge. It's amazing how that really doesn't work no matter how hard we try. The only other remedy is to fire the doctor.
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