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Will it ever go away????

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi Spine-health! I'm only 19 (almost 20) and a girl fell on me in June of 2007 during a dance performance, and I have been in pain ever since... sorry for the long post, but I really would like some advice...

Here's my timeline:
*June 07 - Initial Injury my lower back was spasming several times an hour and i was in extreme pain, unable to get into docs for another week(had to dance in a 4 day camp/performance and was popping my dad's left over Toradol like M&Ms and not getting much pain relief)

*June 07 - PC doc tells me its probably muscles strains and gives me some muscle relaxers and naproxen (no relief)

*July 07 - Tried Chiro (some relief but pain always came back)

*Aug 07 - MRIs and Bone Scan taken by my 1st orthopedic surgeon he says nothings wrong with me other than some strained muscles (I was barely sitting/standing) and prescribes 3 months PT, no dancing and to continue w/ naproxen. PT says I have SI joint dysfunction and my pelvis constantly slips out of alignment

*Oct. 07 - I had some relief, then I started dancing again and pain got worse than before, I carried a pillow with me to school and many classes I'd have to stand up b/c I couldn't sit a whole hour, went to new orthopedic spine doc and he takes x-rays diagnoses me with spondylolysis at L5 on my right side... he prescribes meloxicam and tells my I can dance to my pain tolerance... (when i dance i don't have a pain limit, i'm really good at ignoring pain, then afterwards i die)

*Nov 07 - still going to PT (got my prescription extended) and still dancing just no running/ wt. lifting/ too much jumping (impact things)

*Dec 07 to May 08 - I continue dancing mostly marking the routines until performance time in order to reduce pain... During this time I fell from a jump directly on my hip and knocked my pelvis so far out of alignment i couldn't walk and it took 3 PTs to adjust me back (of course the day before we left for nationals/internationals) Not dancing wasn't an option as 66 girls were counting on me.... ended place 5th on my solo internationally.

*May 08 - Grade 2 ankle sprain falling from a jump (i blame all my falling on numbness/tingling in my right leg) I couldn't feel my rt. foot when I landed and my whole foot inverted. couldn't use crutches b/c too painful to back so i was in a wheelchair and wore a boot for over 2 months... No dancing and back to PT

*July 08 -start dancing again (re-roll ankle twice)

*Aug 08 - start college as a dance and kinesiology major, at this point i'm still taking meloxicam and tylenol all the time and still in LOTS of pain and ignoring it pretty well

*Oct 08 - my dance professors realize how much pain and tell me to go back to my ortho spine doc. and he says same thing he said the yr. before, get another opinion from 3rd orthopedic spine surgeon who orders a CT to check the spondylolysis diagnosis b/c he says i shouldn't be having sciatica w/ spondylolysis at my pars of L5... CT Results: spondylolysis neg. but finds 3 bulging discs and bone spurring at all Lumbar/Sacral/Iliosacral joints. Doc says if I don't dance for 6 months I will be better, and changes my meds from meloxicam to relafen

*Oct 08 to Dec 08 - dance professors force me to drop almost all of my dance classes causing me to lose my scholarship, I barely finished out my semester as dance major and then transferred for the spring semester to a local community college at home

*Jan 08 to Present - no dancing since last Dec. and I still have pain doing everyday activities. I still can't sit or stand longer than 2 hours or my back throbs. I can't run b/c that causes severe back pain. I'm no longer taking pain meds, but I really would like to start dancing again, but I know the severe pain would return

will i ever get relief...??????



  • I forgot to add that I did traction/e-stim therapy at new Chiro this past spring/summer and thats really when I was able to come off the meds...but again relief was only temporary
  • How sad that you are having trouble doing what you are passionate about.

    From my experience with back, neck and spinal problems over many, many years, the body takes quite a long time to really heal.
    You may feel better after a short while, but the repair is not complete and the same activity will just cause the injury again. This time it will take a bit longer to heal, as there is probably some scar tissue there now.
    If you keep on redoing the damage, it will take longer and longer to heal, and it will never be as good as new again.
    6 months or so sounds like a reasonable time to abstain, and in the meantime work on a tailored stretching and muscle strengthening routine, designed so that it will not aggravate your condition. Be very careful here.
    If you let your body heal properly, giving it lots of time, who knows? Dancing may be possible again.
    But-you must be patient, and try not to undo the repairs that your body is making.

    Have your sacroiliac joints checked out by your chiro. They can lock up or float, causing all sorts of pelvic, lower back, buttocks and thigh pain.
    Pain meds just bounce off.
    My chiro fixes mine, but I have to be so careful for weeks afterward as it can lock up over the smallest thing. Twisting is the worst.
  • Peter makes some very good points. One problem with athletes is they are in a hurry to return to the activity they love...as a result they often go back too soon. It is like picking a scab. The body has healed to some extent. Then the activity begins before complete healing has taken place and the person is back to where they started. Healing has to start all over again.

    I assume you have been checked for spondylolisthesis, which is a slippage of one vertebra over the adjacent vertebra. It is quite common in young dancers, gymnasts and divers...particularly the sports where the back is in extension.

    Sometimes bone spurring is caused by tissue or bone rubbing together, or one across the surface of the other. It is a sign of the beginnings of spinal arthritis.

    You might want to try getting yet another opinion from a fellowship-trained spinal surgeon. In the meantime it is important that you really baby your back. Avoid all those activities involving bending, twisting, pushing, pulling or reaching. Avoid anything that vibrates, like roller coasters, etc. or those vibrating exercise plates. You should probably not be running or any exercise that involves a repetitious pounding. For now your best bets are walking and stretching.

    It sounds to me like you don't really have an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment yet. You've seen several doctors, but they all have different opinions. I would suggest you keep looking for a spinal specialist that can help you.

    Good luck to you. I can only imagine how crushed you are by not being able to do something you love. But, don't give up. Keep looking -- sometimes it takes a great deal of perseverance to find a specialist that can help you.

    xx Gwennie
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    formal medical advise. You should always consult with your doctors.

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message

    I know this has to be very frustrating to you. Anyone your age just can not imagine having spinal problems and not being able to do the things they love to do.

    Both Pete and Gwennie made excellent points. I know that you want to get back to dancing as soon as possible, because 1- You love to dance and 2- Scholarships
    But returning too soon can just open yourself for many other problems. This has been proven time and time again with professional athletes. They get injured and try to get back playing ASAP... Then they get hurt again, somewhere else, but its more severe. When you damage one part of your body and try to do what you did before, your bodie's natural instincts are to protect the injured area. But that means you are left vulnerable somewhere else.

    You've been to the Chiropractor several times. I would suggest getting an appointment with a Neurologist or Neurosurgeon. You need to have a second or even third opinion. Then hopefully the team of doctors can come up with an action plan.

    At your age, I would strongly suggest doing whatever you can to avoid surgery. But that decision always remains between you and your doctor.
    There are so many conservative treatments available that can help with many spinal problems. Exhaust all of them before taking the next step.

    All of us here can voice our opinions, but in the end, we are still lay people. The actual diagnosis and action plan has to come from your doctor.

    Besides the physical pain, I can imagine right now the emotional pain is very strong. I tore ligaments in my left knee during the first varsity football game of the season. I was told I had to miss the entire season. That ripped into me much more than the physical pain.

    You do have one major thing in your favor....
    Your Youth and the fact that you are in good shape.
    That can help so much during any healing process

    Take care
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • But you may be in the same boat as many of us here are. It may never go away but hopefully you will be able to get some control over it to make the pain more tolerable. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • You REALLY should see a place such as this... they CAN get rid of chronic pain... I've heard many good stories. I may go here.. but not until I'm ready for more rehab type treatment.. it's too soon for me yet.. just 4 weeks after my herniation.

    Find a similar place where you live.. assuming you don't live in MN! :)

    Spam link removed by forum Authority (Cath111). We do not permit spam links on Spine-Health.
  • thanks for the replies.... I just realized they were here. I am currently looking into a laser spine surgery. I won't post the name since I know it will just get deleted, but there is a place really close to where I go to school. It's not the kind that goes through the sacral hiatus, they use two tiny incisions on each side of the spine that are minimally invasive. They use x-ray fluoroscopy and a magnified video for guidance to repair the discs and remove some bone spurring. I can't find hardly any reviews of this procedure, but they doc's were chosen as one of America's top orthopedist/spine surgeons of America by
    Consumers' Research Council of America for 2009.
    Anyone know anything???

    I also looked into accurascope, but it seems there is a high chance of nicking your spinal cord.
  • be sure and put "laser spine surgery" into the SH search engine.. you will find lots of info about some of the different "institutes" and what happens... good luck! Jenny :)
  • Hi lulu... thanks for the input, and yes I have googled it on SH and read almost all of the forums relating to it, but it seems no one one the site has had this specific type of laser spine surgery, or even one kind of close to it. The results are going to be different for every procedure... I am getting another MRI on Friday morning since I haven't had one in over 2 years... and then seeing what they say and going from there.
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