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"Normal" MRI?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 51,461
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am new here (well, I posted to the pain medication board a few hours ago but never here). My situation is that I am 32 years old and have had back problems all my life. Nothing that lasted more than a few weeks. All of a sudden, I have SEVERE tailbone pain for the last month and a half. I went to my doc (regular GP not an ortho) and she ordered x-rays and gave me Norco 5/325 (the x-rays came back normal). Then I followed up with her 2 weeks later after the pain had gotten worse. She gave me more Norco and ordered an MRI (I don't have the results yet but I am assuming they are "normal" because it was done almost a week ago and I haven't heard from her).

Has anyone here or that you know of ever had a "normal" initial MRI and still had pain? I am NOT faking and this pain is getting out of hand. I go back to see her in 2 days and I am worried that without anything showing on the MRI she won't refill my Norco (which isn't helping that much anyway, but I don't want to ask for anything stronger because she probably already thinks I am faking). I called an ortho that two people recommended but I can't get in for 3 weeks! Also, has anyone here had to deal with docs and/or staff thinking you are a drug seeker? When I go in 2 days should I just come out and tell her "I'm not a drug seeker, I am in pain"? I feel like crying because I am so frustrated. I feel like no one believes me! HELP!!

Sorry for the long post, but like I said I am SO frustrated and I just need some help/info/encouragement and these boards seem like the place for that. Thanks so much! Jessica


  • Tailbone pain could be caused by different things,i have had a mri and one said normal and then another one done a few months later,said i had moderate disc bulge l-5 s-1,i also have leavator snydrom,which causes me tailbone pain..i hope you find out what is wrong with you...
  • Do you have leg or backpain at all? Because before I stopped working I had some leg pain and severe tailbonepain. At Christmas I sat on the floor it was so bad. And until I had the MRI my family didn't know what was going on. Anyway I hope you don't have what I have and hope you feel better. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. please remain true to yourself and remember you know the truth about your pain and the need for pain relief. =D> it is very possible to have a fairly normal MRI and still have pain. for instance, a Bone Scan can show up joint pain not shown on an MRI. there may be other tests to show up your pain but besides that, you need to find someone who will take care of you and use the tests as backup, not the end all of your situation.. please relax and take a deep breathe.. (|: be honest and let the doctor tell you what she thinks you need to take.. then discuss from there. don't bring up meds the first thing you say.. let your doctor lead and you follow. good luck and don't give up!! :D Jenny :)
  • I had an mri done in my hometown and they said it was normal, and then when I went to the neurosurgeon he pointed out the herniated disk right away.
  • Ct scans and myleograms. Nothing showed up and I thought I was going crazy. I went for 2 years to many Drs before one suggested a discogram for a tear in discs. Not all tears show up on MRIs and they can be very painful. Not saying that is what you have, just talk to your Dr and take your MRI to ortho. Ortho is the Dr that you should see. Good Luck
  • my original scans in august 08 as interpereted by the ortho surgeon demonstrated that i had ddd and bilateral foraminal stenosis. thats all. my new scans seen by the neuro showed congenital spinal stenosis multiple thoracic herniations lumbar herniations spondilethesis but my neck is fine.

    having said that my pain levels are being put down to the spinal stenosis exacerbating the lumbar herniations that wouldnt necessarily cause as much trouble in a normal spinal canal.

    my point is that the ortho surgeon in my opinion blew me off and did not appreciate how bad my constant pain is yet the neuro bods took the pain and numbness seriously. i see him tomorrow for the results of more scans and nerve conduction tests.

    just dont give up or give in i think we confuse the docs and even today pain is a very porly understood by product of physiological conditions, that unfortunatley destroys so many peoples lives. thats my opinion anyhow for what it is worth.

    wishing you all a painfree week ahead
  • sorry to hear about your pain .i know what its like to be in pain all the time ...have you tried TENS ?i use the acticare unit its a high end TENS with other functions if you want more info see
    i know that it will not tell you what is wrong but this unit you can put it directly on your spine {unlike normal TENS}/can you go to another doctor?
    i have thoracic outlet syndrome as well as my lower back problems ..and it took the medical world over 2 years to diagnose it so hang on in there and be persistent!
  • graysayhk, I know how you feel. I had a herniated disc at C6 C7 and had an artificial disc implant surgery in Jan. Everything was going good thought I was in the clear. After 3 months I have started having incredible pain in my neck and shoulders again and of course the headaches. I went to the Dr. today to explain what was going on and they look at me like I am not telling the truth. I believe they think I am after pain meds. Of course I am after pain relief, what am I to do. We did another MRI, he see's nothing everything is normal. I tell him something is really wrong. I don't think he believes me. I have only asked for pain medication for when I have been in really bad pain and it was like an act of god to get it. I don't know what to do, I am almost afraid to ask for some relief I think I will start going to the Hospital, sometimes I think they care. I mentally can't take it anymore. I feel sorry for anyone who has had to go through what I am going through. I really wish I could find a Dr. who cared about your pain. It really hurts in more ways than one.

  • When I first had an MRI on my back pain, the pcp relied on the radiologist report. He didn't even see the MRI itself, the report didn't say I had broken facets. Nevertheless, the pcp continued to prescribe vicodin for me. I took the same MRI (got a copy on a disc) and brought it to an NS, he said several disc were herniated, no broken facets. Again the same disc, I brought to an OS, who pointed out the broken facets. I went back to the NS, and then he saw the broken facets. So, it is important to 1) get the disc and radiologist report; 2) seek different opinions, and 3) get them to discuss the MRI in front of you. Some doctors like to walk out of the room to a different room to see the MRI. If that is the case, ask if you can see it too, and join him. Another way is to load the disc into your laptop and bring it with you to the next doctor's appointment.
  • Hello, I am 31 years old and had low back pain kinda similar to yours by the tail bone. I fell off the handle bars of a bike and landed on my butt when I was 12 years old. Now at 31 started in Sept going on 7months now. It hurts to lay down and get up from laying down. My MRI showed degeneration and a Bulge Disc at the L5S1 and they said it's Pretty normal with age, But I was in Major Pain,, Drs. don't really get it,. I had to demand a second MRI 3months later just because my Pain was getting worse & I wasn't taken sereously,, Just go in there and explain AGAIN in Detail the Pain your in. Can you Post what type of Pain your getting,, Describe It? Sometimes it' Muscle Spasms or Inflammation and Ibuprofen or Prescription Anti Inflammatory Meds help,,, Just be Patient and don't get Frustrated,,, Hope everything works out,
  • I hope the MRI explains why you're having so much pain. If it is inconclusive, you can always request your PCP to refer you to pain mgt where they can do injections and other treatments. They are highly qualified to deal with spinal problems and can order additional tests to find things an MRI misses. Let us know if something comes up and I hope things work out for you. Take care
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