As I mentioned in my self-introduction on the new member board, I am a 27 year old male. About 10 years ago, I suffered a compression fracture in the T11/T12 area (I'm not certain on the exact location - I don't have access to the report at this time). My treatment consisted of bedrest on a simple fulcrum (a folded bath towel placed under the lower-middle back), followed by a 5lb lifting limit for the next 6 months.
For about 5 years following, I had little to no issues with pain, but it seemed to set in pretty abruptly when I was assisting my Dad gathering firewood one day. I was unable to get out of bed the next day, but the day after that I was able to move again with much less pain.
The issues I experienced seemed to come on gradually over the next couple of years, starting with low back pain, but extending to some digestive issues. I was able to work through it with the help of a chiropractor until this past summer.
Before I get into what happened recently, let me explain the digestive issues a little more in-depth. Please pardon the graphicness of it.
When I first noticed the digestive problems, I had just eaten lunch with my parents at a local Mexican restaurant. Just as soon as I finished eating, I began to feel mighty bloated and excused myself to the restroom. Just that quickly, I had passed everything I had just eaten, as I saw undigested food in the toilet. After I had completely emptied my digestive tract, I felt very exhausted and asked my parents to take me back to my apartment so I could rest.
This sort of thing seemed to come and go. It would start with the stomach, go into the low back pain, and more recently it went into numbness in my legs, primarily my left.
The more recent issues started when I was working with a personal trainer at the gym. Before I even began my program, I informed the trainer of my earlier injury and he tailored my program to strengthen the muscles in my middle and lower back.
One day when I went in for a session, I was already sore. I told the trainer and he told me to let him know when I felt any
pain. We started with some light squats, and moved to some sort of exercise where I lifted 20lb. weights over my head. After about 5 of those lifts, I was feeling pretty sore, so I told the trainer and he had me finish with 10 minutes of the elliptical. I was unable to even do 5 minutes on the machine so I went on home.
The next day I was really sore and noticed the numbness in my legs. I had been unable to hold any food in my stomach for a couple more days after that, so I scheduled an appointment with my doctor.
My doctor was out of town, so I met with another doctor in the same practice. Because of the pain I was in and the inability for me to hold any foods, she ordered an immediate MRI of my thoracic and lumbar spine. The report of the MRI can be found here
After the MRI, I met with a neurosurgeon to discuss the results. He stated that I did have 3 ruptured or bulging discs, but because of their location he was not convinced that they were the cause of my pain or stomach issues. In fact, he said that the stomach issues were probably a flu-like bug and dismissed it at that.
Unhappy with the report from this neurosurgeon, I returned to my primary doctor (who was in the office this time). She said that if the neurosurgeon said it wasn't the problem, that it wasn't the problem. But she didn't want to dismiss it as he did, so she ordered an MRI of the CNS (brain).
This MRI came back clean ("unremarkable" as it was stated in the report), so my doctor prescribed me some high strength Ibuprofen and Methocarbamol.
Now I have been on this "pain management" program for the last 4 months and I'm pretty unhappy with the band-aid solution I've been given.
Things have been pretty decent for the most part, but today it hit me again.
In the MRI report, the reviewing MD stated that I have DDD. But the neurosurgeon said that my issues are not related to my back problems at all, and my primary doctor seems to be reinforcing this. Because of the way the back pain, numbness, and stomach issues seem to coincide, I am not convinced.
I have been unable to identify this as a food allergy or anything viral. I'm just getting tired of being told I have to live with this for the rest of my life. Can anyone offer any suggestions or advice on how I should proceed? I would be willing to provide the MRI images if necessary.