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28 and about to give up

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello I am a 28 year old male with intense lower back and right hip and leg pain. I sprained my lower back nearly to years ago from simply bending over. The injury was the worst pain I have ever felt and I was unable to move for 2 weeks. I was evaluated my multiple chiropractors and doctors, given the usual muscle relaxers, pain meds, and physical therapy. Over the last 2 years the pain has become more constant and my back goes out more frequently. I usually make an appointment with my family doctor and get the same treatment. MRI and X Rays have come back clear. Small amount of scar tissue around the lower lumbar, but "nothing to be concerned about" as they say. 3 weeks ago my right hip was hurting fairly bad. The best i can describe it is it feels like a marble sized pinching in my right hip and grows in size throughout the day. eventually leading to my lower back and right leg. The pain got so bad I had to lay down on the concrete floor at work, which hurts because I can never fully relax, but it seemed to help. After laying for about 15 minutes and the pain seeming to reside, I attempted to get up and couldn't lift my legs without immense pain, like a extreme bruising in my lower back. I went to an emergency clinic and was given the same treatment as always. Last week the exact same thing happened, but this time I had to go to the hospital. Same treatment, all tests came back clear. I am at the end of my rope here. Doctors seem to think back pain is fake when there is no tests showing anything. I am way to young to hurt like this and am at risk of losing my job. Please any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated.


  • I am so sorry you are having such a terrible time. I wish there was something that I could say to explain your problem but I'm not a medical expert, just another spiney who can relate to the pain and fear and confusion you must be feeling. Is it possible for you to go to a doctor and explain what has been happening and ask for his help to get his support in seeking answers to what is causing your pain. I know its a hassle but perhaps a diary would help to show any pattern that may be part of your pain. Wishing you lots of support and gentle hugs - Paula
  • :H I know how frustrated and stressed out you must be by your situation. Only us spineys here on the forum can sympathize with what you're going through.

    If all your tests have come back clean, has your doctor talked about referring you to pain management. I know several people have suggested to me that a discogram is a good test to have because it can show tears, etc. that don't show up on an MRI.

    You really have to be the "greasy wheel" with your doctors where your health is concerned. Sometimes it just takes time, rest and patience for your issues to heal which when working for a living poses a huge problem.

    There's a wealth of information on this site and lots of people to lend you support and share their experiences with pain.

    Have you tried a massage therapist? Does icing your back help? While I was working I had a bag with all the pain relieving gels and ointments, special back and seat cushions, a tens unit (ask for prescription for one from your PC), heat and ice packs, etc. Do you use good support in your shoes?

    Anyway, I'm sorry for your distress and I hope that you will get some answers from your doctors regarding your issue.

    Take care,

  • In my experience function is much more of an indication of pain then a diagnostic test. Don't give up, find someone who understands functional assessment and get evaluated.
  • judy is right...tears inside the disk that arent seen by mri can cause extreme pain.. there is a fluid inside disk which when in contact with nerves in side disc will cause your symptoms. if in fact this is the case the disc has to be cared for. dont give up...find dr who will listen. i would recommend spinal surgeon even though you most likely wont need surgery. by the way no lifting and dont sit for long periods of time. change positions often and walk often......pete
  • Find a Pain Management Dr. In my experience I have found that they are willing to do many more tests in order to diagnose your pain. I have multiple annular tears that never showed up on an MRI either. My PM doc found them by doing a discogram after I had been through 2 years of all kinds of docs looking at me like I was crazy because MRI was clear. I have been told that only the really severe stuff shows on MRIs. I have read many stories of folks being treated like drug seekers especially the younger folks. Please keep trying different docs until you find one that will help you.
  • Welcome to SH. :)

    There are other tests which may show what is causing your pain--the discogram (as has already been mentioned), or CT scan, to name just two. If I were in your condition, the next time a doctor wants to do an MRI I would explain that this particular test has not been successful in the past in diagnosing the cause of your pain and then request an alternative diagnostic test. Also, even though you've been evaluated by several doctors, you haven't found the right one yet because you still don't have a diagnosis and satisfactory treatment. Don't give up until you find help! You haven't said what types of specialists have examined you. Perhaps you've not been evaluated by the right specialist yet, or maybe you need to be evaluated at a center which specializes in spinal injuries. Whatever you do, don't give up--there is help for you, you just haven't found it yet! >:D<

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • Welcome to Spine Health! You'll find a lot of good info here and about the best community of support in the forums, from people who have already walked a mile or two in your shoes!

    JJ is right, get a referral, specifically for a pain management doctor or physiatrist. They specialize in dealing with this type of pain. Ask your PCP for the referral and if he won't do it, call your insurance company and ask for a second opinion for one. The insurance companies can be a pain, but they can also be an advocate if you ask.

    When my PCP was blowing me off (a number of years ago), I dropped him and found a new PCP. I now have a family doctor that I like very much and who has been active in trying to diagnose me. (and is closer to home -- score!)

    Unfortunately it can be a long arduous fight, don't give up on it, and don't be afraid to call a spade a spade. There are many doctors I'll never see again and others I like. You'll slowly build up a team of docs that you like and who are interested in getting you fixed!

    Good luck and keep us updated!
  • I understand your concerns and frustrations. I have been dealing with back pain for 6 years, and because my symptoms don't match what the MRI shows, and they can't figure out what my pain generators are, no one wants to (or can) do anything. I had surgery in 9/08, but still have pain :( I have found that you must advocate for yourself no matter what. It's a pain (literally!), but you have to keep at it. I am going to a pain management doctor on Wednesday--a new pathway in my quest to figure this out. Keep at it, don't give up. You just need to find the right doctor. At least that's what I keep telling myself...
  • i would get another opinion for a start .have you tried a TENS ? if not its worth a go .good luck
  • Wow I never expected so much feedback. Thank you all for the advice, I few things I have not thought of yet. I have an appointment this week and plan on making sure my doctor is listening. Will keep this site updated and continue to listen and learn from you all.
  • I am going to tell you what I knw personally. I was in pain for 2 1/2 years going to every otho, neuro, and had every test MRI, CT, Myleogram and was told they couldnt find anything. I kept going until I finally went to a spine clinic 3 hours away. They did a discogram beccause small tears dont always show up on MRIs. They found three torn discs and I finally had some answers. I had a two level fusion last Dec.
    Tears are tears no matter how small or large they are very painful. I also went to a pain managment Dr before they found them, he tried a number of treatments such as radio frequency lesioning, and such. Go to pain managment Dr as you need some help till you can find out what is going on.
    Dont give up. I thought I was a nut job, cause no one could tell me what was wrong. I went to PT and everything trying to get better. Hopefully you will find what is wrong, Have your Dr send you to a Board Certified Spine Ortho or Nuero. They should be able to help you find out what is going on. Dont give up, it took me two and half years, but I knew something was there, and it was...Good Luck!!
  • I had the same experience after a car wreck in 1986.Pain in back and down the leg.Left me unable to function.The orthopedic guy said the MRI was negative and sent me back to work.Went to the best neurosurgeon in my area who did a CT scan. Sometimes lateral disc herniations{or tears} will not show up on a MRI. A good neurosurgeon will look at your symptoms-evaluate you and have a good idea what is wrong before the tests results.Find a neurosurgeon or spinal center-even if you have to go to another state.You have to be very persistent with the medical system.The CT scan provided the results-I had surgery and was relatively pain free for 20 years.Everyone is different.This is just my experience.Surgery should be a last resort.You can't recover from something until you get a proper diagnosis.Keep trying until you do.
  • was the same. It just takes the right doc to get the right diagnosis. I finally found a great PM doc that did a discogram and found that I have numerous annular tears among many other spine ailments. Good luck and please do keep us posted.
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