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need some ideas for lower back pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,899
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Lower Back Pain
Ok... I am an otherwise healthy 21 y.o. female. I have had my back pain since I was 11. I have done physical therapy about 5 different times at 5 different places, acupuncture, 7 different chiropractors, pain killers, muscle relaxers, NSAIDs, hot and cold, xray, mri, bone scan, and mylogram all came back negative. Because of my pain i have had 3 rounds of cortizone injections and 6 rhyzotomies but never got full relief from them. My pain is mostly in my lower back L4-L5 and now in my neck. I have radiating pain into my buttocks and down my legs. It has been 3 years since my last rhyzotomy and my pain has been constantly increasing over the last 4 months. I used to get relief from laying down but now it hurts me just as much as sitting standing and physical activity. My doctors dont have anymore ideas on what avenues for me to try and they are unwilling to work with me anymore. they just keep shoving pain pills to me.. i cant change doctors because it is a military doctors and i dont get to choose who i see. if anyone has had these kind symptoms or ideas i would greatly appreciate it. Im at about an 8-9 on pain scale everyday and dont know what to do help please!!!

dont know if this relates.. but been having stomach pains,diarrea, bloating, and occasional blood in stool

currently on ultram, vicoden, skelaxin, and ambien


  • Welcome to spine-health, have you seen a surgeon?
  • what kind of surgeon?? the doctor that did my injections and rhyzotomies was a pain care specialist and the first person i saw that couldnt help me was a orthopedic surgeon. what othe kind of surgeon would be able to help me?
  • a neuro-surgeon....
  • yes they said they that they couldnt do anything.
  • What does your doctor say about your stomach problems? I am unfamiliar about how the military works so my question is that since you didn't hurt your back in the military why can't you see any other doctors? Maybe you can try massage therapy. That helps some people. It seems odd that with all the tests done nothing has showed up. When was the last time you had a MRI done? Maybe it's time for another. Good luck to you.
  • Welcome to spine health. As you know we are not drs just patients with our own personal experiences. So any info we give you is personal and not medical.
    Sorry you have been having pain since 11. Is it possible to be gynocological in nature???? What did they say when it started that young???
    What type of pain do you have.
    Sharp, dull, burning???
    Number one I would be very concerned about the stomach pain, diareha, blood in the stool and bloating. Not good signs for anyone. They could be from the meds or other underlying conditions.
    There are several conditions that can cause back pain. That also radiates to other places in the body.
    I would suggest other medical testing if possible.
    Blood work etc.
    There is also a condition of the spine called spondylolthesis which I have. That was not found on any MRI, CT etc.
    Only found by a xray bending forward and backward. Its a unstable vertabra. I felt like my stomach and back were on fire and it radiated down my legs.
    There are different types of orthopedic surgeons. Only certain ones specialize in the spine. The other knees, joints etc.
    If you do check into a neurosurgeon make sure it is one that also specializes in spines As there are many different types.

    I know its probably very hard being in the military etc trying to get care. But with the stomach issues that is the first thing the drs that care for you should check out. I personally would be as aggressive as you can with that one. To me they cannot deny you care. But of course again I do not know that much about how the military works.

    Hang in there a pain level that high everyday is indication of something going on in the body along with your other symptoms. My personal opinion only.

    Let us know how you make out. We are here to support you the best that we can.

    Terri >:D<
  • well the way the insurance is you have to get a referral from your primary dr before you can see anyone else. Because all of the tests havent shown any abnormalities, they wont send me to any one else. Ive had my last mri done about 8 months ago and it was an upright mri. it didnt show anything either. i have done massage, it gave me relief until i had to sit again but then the pain went to the point it was before. Im not quite sure about the stomach problems, ive had them for a while. the doctors dont seem too concerned about that either
  • i know you guys arent doctors or anything.. just thought i would get some opinions from people that have maybe gone through the same thing or something similar. i got a pelvic ultrasound a few months ago and nothing presented. all my doctors first told me that it was because i grew too fast. my first xray showed a fracture but my bone scan didnt, my mri showed a tumor on my spine and the myelogram showed no tumor. after that no one has been able to figure out what is wrong. my pain is a dull ache that feels like i constantly have to "pop" my back joints. its hard to describe but like if you were frozen in place and unable to move for a few hours.. you get aches and muscles get tense. thats what it feels like no matter what. i get also shooting pains into my coccyx and down my legs sometimes in my hips. i now am unable to lay on my side because of the pain that shoots into my hips. I also did the xray bending foward and backwards and nothing came up. It is really frustrating because all my drs. think that i am making this up!! because ive had it for so long, they brush it off but then specialists keep saying that im too young to have this pain and they dont want to do anything else invasive because of my age which to me doesnt make sence because this pain is very real. What other kinds of tests are there? ive practically done everything that i can think of!
  • Have you had a discogram?i havnt had back surgury either,i have been living with back pain for 15 years,they told me there is nothing that can be done,i have also had a rhizotomy....When i was first injured they said nothing should be done because of my age....
  • thanks for answering back. i know its frustrating when it seems you have used all your options.
    mabye a endocronologist?? (spelling) sorry. to check inside for anything. they are internal drs if im correct. someone correct me if im wrong on that.
    if a fracture showed up on a xray and not the bone scan thats odd. plus the tumor. of course sometimes those go away on there own.how many drs looked at your films?
    hang in there girl and keep trying!!! you should not have to suffer in that type of pain hun. as you read on here some people it has taken years to find out the sourse of pain.
    my daughter is 21 now. she started having pain in her side about the age of 15. we have done ultrasounds you name it.
    she still gets it.
    she even has a stone that is 2mm. now i have chronic kidney stones you think they would just blast it. i hate to see her in pain.
    so we are on a merry go round with her to. sometimes thats just the way our system is. and we have excellent insurance so that even stinks even more. sometimes we have to be our own detectives. some drs will even tell you that. the good ones out there anyway..
    i am going with her next time to the drs and we are going to get to the bottom of it. hey we are paying the drs they are not paying us..

    keep thinking postive sweetie. i know back pain all to well, plus a host of other health issues.
    do you have access to a hot tub??? or pool??? they may be helpful if only temp.

    like i said we are here to support you mentally in any way possible. no one should have to suffer!!!
    i say that now that i am recovering from spinal surgery and need something stronger while trying to recover and its a dead end road.

    are you still active in the military? im taking yes??? anyway you can take medical leave for awhile? or have you already tried that?

    right now concentrate on those stomach issues. that worries me personally.. i imagine it does you to.

    HANG IN THERE!! ;)
    terri >:D<
  • bryana- hello and hope you get some answers soon. Based on all your symptoms, there is a problem but no dr seems to be able to pull it all together. The back pain and stomach pain may or may not be related and it seems like you need more testing.
    The MRI that showed a tumor does have an abnormality and I would press to get that repeated. It took several MRIs until they found a benign tumor on my spine and this was causing pain and functional problems. It was a lipoma with a tethered cord. That is not to say you have this but I just wanted to give you my example.
    The blood in stool with all the abdominal issues also need to be checked. It is hard to know what is casuing that but I wonder if you have a good PCP? You may need to see other specialists yet ie gatroenterologists, gynecologists, spine specialists and so on. I wish there was an easy answer but keep pressing on until you get answers.. take care..jade
  • Im so sorry to hear about your troubles. Its hard for me to see other young people with similar problems. It is really unfortunate to have such bad pain symptoms at such a young age (Im 22) I have degenerative disc disease , arthritis , herniated discs (In the lumbar region) and sciatic nerve pain on a daily basis. Blood in your stools is never to be taken lightly. You need to report this to your doctor asap. Bring a list of the medications you are currently taking with you to the visit. Including the dosage, daily amounts and length of taking them (one month, one week...etc...) best of luck to you and keep in touch :))) .

  • Hi...I just got to this site today, but also suffer from tethered-cord syndrome and have the Lipoma and also an intradural lipoma that is pressing on my spinal cord. although this is a source of some problems I also had a fall several years ago and broke my tail bone (coxex) in two places. I just started a job several months ago where I sit for 10-12 hours a day. after that I started having terrible back pain and at my tailbone...nothing seems to help and I have been through all the tests and many dr.s. I'm getting another opinion from a different neuro-surgeon as the first said it was too risky to operate...but then the pain management dr. says that he thinks at least some part may be helped by surgery..I really don't know what to do as the pain is so bad and I can't take any kind of strong pain killers. I hope that we might all get some answers and will let you know what my new dr.s visit goes and the info he may provide. (wed. 10/22). so any advice I can get would be appreciated also. Thanks! :/
  • naturaljw- Hope you got some answers. I had surgery for the tethered cord and it did help with the leg pain. I was told that a neurosurgeon is the dr to see and ask how many tethered cord surgeries he's done. I believe that pediatric NS may even see adults with tethered cord. I only had the surgery when I was told I had functional problems and a risk of paralysis if I did not have surgery. I waited till I absolutely had to have surgery...jade
  • Wow sorry to hear of your pain...Gonna make a long story short I remember my pain startin at age 9. in my legs, loosing the use of them and being paraylzed. No doc would run a test. finally at the age of 32 a chiro ran the mri and found I had tethered cord. I had the surgery to release it but it didnt help. Im sorry to say that if this is what you have, they tell me there is nothin they can do the pain is on the inside of my spine and it wont show on Mri. Pain meds is all they can do for me. I have saw the top 2 neuro's that deal with it here. No doctor in my county new what what was wrong with me...all my life I never knew..dont give up find a doc who will listen to you. As for me I have all the stomach issues and it does come from my back, espically with the muscle, with the pain level so high and the muscle spasm so bad my stomach will not work until I get some pain relief. This is a rare condition and not many docs even know what to look for and when they find it they dont know what to do. If you have any question I would be glad to help. Good luck to ya
  • Hi there, since you have tried most of the solutions/treatments that I know I don't really know exactly to suggest. I would normally suggest trying out different forms of therapy to help ease the pain but your condition seems "greater" than most. I hope that you do find the right solution soon and the only thing that I can offer you for now is prayers.

    Get well soon! I'll post some updates if I get some info based on the symptoms you listed.
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