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Any advice would be great

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello, my name is Jen. I am 22 years old and have two children. Since having my last child, who is now two, I have had constant lower back pain. It hurts on both sides of my spine( about an inch away from my spine on both sides). It feels almost like something is there. My back will start to bother me very bad; at times it is so bad that the only thing I can think about is different ways I can put pressure on it to make it feel better. Then after a couple of days the pain dies down, but stays for another week or so. When my back is finally feeling better it doesn't take longer than two weeks and I go threw this cycle all over again. I have had both an x-ray and an MRI and the results were normal.I also saw a chiropractor for two months. It did help, but it didn't seem to solve whatever problem I am having. Is there any other kind of test that I can take to test for different things? Also, I am taking Naproxen. It does help, but some days it does not cut it. My doctor does not want to perscribe me any narcotics, but there are times I am in a lot of pain. Is there any other types of pain medicine stronger than what I am taking now that will help; what are my options? Also, this past August I was swimming in a lake and dove off of the pi-line( not sure how it is spelled) and as I dove my back arched causing like a shocking paralyzing feeling in my legs. Well, still to this day my spine on my lower back is now bothering me, it is tolerable, but I can't lay on my stomach because it hurts my lower spine. I had my MRI one week ago, would it have shown my spine or just both sides of my lower back that is bothering me?


  • Was your MRI with contrast or without?
    Also, "WHO" judged your spine to be normal?

    MRI's can be interpreted differently depending on the set of eyes reading them. MRI's show 360º of the spine, nerves, discs, ligaments, tendons, other soft tissues.

    MRI's are great, but they are not 100% reliable.
    A disc can show up as normal looking on film, but in the body it is abnormal.
    Conversely, a spine can be in bad shape, yet the person has no pain or symptoms.

    As far as tests, I believe there are nerve conduction tests administered by neurologists. I hear they are painful.

    There is one called a discogram, but that is for when they know the discs are causing pain, just not sure of which ones. They test one disc at a time trying to replicate the pain you feel.

    A newer technology is neurography. This is taking a picture of the nerves by themselves. Here, they look for where the nerve is being pinched or other things.

    Many times it is difficult to pinpoint a pain generator. When you think it is one thing, it may be something completely different.

    Have you compared your symptoms to a dermatome chart yet?

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Thank you for your advice. As for the MRI I had, I have no idea if it was with or without contrast. But now that you have raised that question, I will bring it up to my doctor on Monday. What is the difference between contrast and no contrast? What is a dermatome chart? I do not believe I have completed that. Also, I am going to see a new doctor on Monday because I am not happy with the one I just saw.

    About 6 months ago, I finally went to the doctor regarding my back pain. She was awesome. The first thing she recomended was that I go to foot solutions and have an x-ray done on my lower back. So I did. The expensive sho inserts did not help and the x-ray came back normal. The doctor put me on Naproxen and viccoden for the pain and she sent me to a chiropractor that shared her office with her. I saw the chiropractor twice a week for about a month and a half. And I took the Naproxen most of the time, but I took the viccodin only when the Naproxen wasn't cutting it. Going to the Chiropractor did help, but it didn't elimanate whatever problem that I am having. Recently I moved two hours away. Therefore, I had to find a new doctor. I scheduled an appointment to see him. When I visited him I explained my history and told him that I would like to take the next step and get an MRI. He wrote me a perscription for it and I got one. The MRI results came back normal. When I called the doctor to find out the results and to see what the next course of action should be. I also explained to him the meds that I am taking. Immediately, he interupted me and said "well I am not writing you a perscription for narcotics." I explained that since he didn't have my medicle history (My first appointment with him he told me that he didn't need to get my medical records from my previous doctor)I just wanted to let him know what my last doctor did. He said "well I'm not your last doctor and I will not perscribe you anything." I then told him that I'm not asking for a narcotic and that if he isn't comfortable giving me that then he could perscribe me something that is stronger then what I am taking now that isn't a narcotic. The doctor said "if what you are taking now doesn't help then nothing will and if your in pain you need to go to the ER." Like I am really going to do that. See, my health insurance sucks. I have a $5,000 deductible (Annual) Every test from the x-ray, to the MRI ($1600.00 includes the doctor reading it), and to the chiropractor so far has been out of my pocket. Why would I go to the ER to pay a $100 copay,plus whatever additional charges I am charged with for my visit. I just feel that, because I am so young and since both test I have had came back normal that my doctor did not believe me and thinks I am a "drug seeker" when in actuallity I am willing to go through any course of treament that is recomended, even though 100% of medical cost is coming out of my pocket until I reach my deductible. I can understand where the doctor may be skeptical because there are manyy people who have drug issues related to narcotics, but the fact that he wouldn't perscribe me anything even if it wasn't a narcotic just erks me. Not to mention, but he doesn't believe me. I hope that my new doctor will take me a little more seriously.
  • pfdppfd Posts: 247
    edited 06/17/2016 - 2:23 PM
    Welcome to the board. An MRI with contrast means an IV is started and a type of 'dye' injected to give better definition to the images. A dermatone chart shows the nerve pathways for each of the discs and helps to pinpoint where they may be a problem. From the sounds of it, you don't have your MRI films or the radiologist's interpretation of them from the imaging center. I'd suggest you call the imaging center to see if they can get the MRI info to the new doctor before your appointment.

    Hope this helps, please let us know how it worked out.
  • I called the new doctor to see if they wanted me to get the films and bring them to him, but they told me that he has access to them; therefore I don't have to bring them. I faxed something in writing over to the medical center where I had my x-ray's done so they could send my new doctor a disc of my x-ray. I am going to bring up all of these test that you told me about to my new doctor on Monday. Also, someone told me that sometimes doctors will give a cortizone shot in your spine, but that it is painful. Do you know anything about this and if so could you tell me about it? I am thinking about asking my doctor to give me one for the pain.
  • Will I be able to get a dermatome test done even though my MRI came back normal. Also, does a family doctor do this or a Neurologist? The new doctor has PT in his office, but I have gone to the chiropractor and it is almost the same thing right? I don't mind going for PT, but that will go on for another eight weeks or so before any other testing is done. I would rather have more test done first, unless I can do both at the same time. Any suggestions?
  • Will I be able to get a dermatome test done even though my MRI came back normal. Also, does a family doctor do this or a Neurologist? The new doctor has PT in his office, but I have gone to the chiropractor and it is almost the same thing right? I don't mind going for PT, but that will go on for another eight weeks or so before any other testing is done. I would rather have more test done first, unless I can do both at the same time. Any suggestions?
  • It would be best for you to see a fellowship trained doctor which means they've done additional study/training in a specific area of medicine. For issues with the spine, you want to see either a neurologist or orthopedist whose practice is focused on spinal problems. Jot down all your questions and see what the doctor suggests what he/she feels would be the best way to start. Good luck!
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