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lower back pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi there... i am looking for information and or opinions. I have had lower back pain for about 10yrs, but becuase I have a super high pain threshold never went to a dr. until the pain in my L thigh became unberable during walking and excersice. I had an xray and it showed and I quote from the dr. "there is degeration of the L4/L5 much more advanced than I would expect in someone your age" all of 45yr old. I am now on Celebrex, Morphine and sched for MRI next wed. my symptoms, chronic pain in the lower back, through my L hip and down my L leg to my knee. Pain is excrusiating if i walk more than 10-15min and I have to lean forward when at my desk at work and at home sittingon the couch with my knees up to my chest to dimish the pain. The pain is always present but the meds take the edge off.

is there someone else with same symptoms? from some research it sounds like I have Spinal stenosis..?

thank you for reading..


  • Sounds as though you more than likely have some spinal nerve impingement in the L4/L5 lumbar area and the up-coming MRI will show much more specifically just what's going on (compared to an X-ray)...and to what degree.

    You're very much still in the "acute" stage right now with this physical issue, so my advice would be to follow your Doc's advice closely and don't over-do anything in the way of activity right now.

    Best wishes, take care and I hope these issues resolve quickly for you but until they do...this website and forum area is an excellent place to seek advice, understanding and friendship amongst the "pain-ed" community. :)


  • Welcome to the board. Don't feel too bad about the age comment. The disks of our spine actually begin the "aging" process beginning in our twenties.

    X-rays are only a beginning step to learn about your back problems. They will show if bones are out of place, cracked or broken, but they do not show soft tissue. This will be done by the MRI you are having on Wed.

    Your problem does sound like stenosis since you specifically mention that you feel better when leaning forward. It could be a herniated disk or foraminal stenosis that is causing the nerve compression.

    I know just what you are going through. I had bad stenosis at L4-L5 too, but I also had spondylolisthesis which required a fusion. I waited about three and a half years before deciding on surgery because I kept hoping to find another solution. But when it got so bad that I could not stand more than about a minute and I was driving down the drive-way to the mailbox, I knew it was time to act!

    Usually a doctor will try "conservative treatment" before ever talking about surgery. This might consist of oral steroids or epidural steroid injections, a course of physical therapy to strengthen the core muscles and ligaments that support the spine, etc. Sometimes you can get the inflammation to go down, or get the disk to heal on its own without surgical intervention. You will know more after you get the results of your MRI.

    Are you seeing a spinal specialist? If not, you will want to find one soon to interpret your MRI and diagnose your "issues."

    Please post often with your comments and questions. You've found a great place to come for information and support.
  • Oh yes, if this is all new to you...here are a few tips.

    You will want to avoid any activities that involve, bending, twisting, reaching, especially overhead, and lifting anything heavier than about a gallon of milk. Also try to limit the amount of time you spend sitting as it puts 30% more pressure on your disks than standing.

    Whenever you have an opportunity, lie on your back, flat on the floor. You may use a very small pillow under your head, and can bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides with palms facing up. Just breathe deeply and slowly and try to relax. This position is a form of natural traction and helps to unload the disks. Try to do it for five to ten minutes several times per day.

    You might want to try icing your lower lumbar area for ten minutes at a time...or you can also use a heating pad if it feels more comfortable.

    Drink LOTS of water to keep well hydrated and try to walk for your exercise. I know how hard that is...but try to take a couple short walks each day if you can. This increases the blood flow to the area and helps to keep the spinal nerves stretched out. Do not just go to bed!!
  • You've already gotten great advice but I thought I'd let you know that my symptoms were very close to yours although I had pain & swelling all the way down to my foot & I had foot drop. You're MRI will give you a wealth of information! Take it easy until then and take slow, short walks whenever you can.
  • hi...I see on your bio that u have had these injections...is that the same as neurotomy?
    I've been advised by my dr. to have a medial branch block for diagnostic purposes than to do the neurotomy or spinal injections if I get relief from the branch block.
    Are all spinal injections cortisone? from what I can read it sounds like this proceedure 'burns' the nerve endings????
    I am confused can anyone enlighten??
    also is this a painful procedure????
    thx Pat
  • Welcome to the board ~

    You might want to start your own thread. What you are inquiring about is different. You will get many more relevant responses if you start your own thread and provide a bit more information on the specifics of your back issues and pain.

    In the meantime you might want to take a look at this link:

  • Thanks everyone for the tips and info, and yes I have gone the route of non-invasive treatments, chiro, physio, Mackenzie method physio..I live in Canada so there is no such thing as going to find your own Dr. or Spinal surgeon..you have to be referred by your family dr. or in my case because I don't have a family Dr. due to Dr. shortage I have to be referred by the ER dr...think twice before you think you want Universal heathcare.. thanks again..
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