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Lower back pain, thigh/groin pain - updated

WBWWB Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Lower Back Pain
I've been dealing with a moderate lower back pain for years. The first time I strained my back was around the age of 19 lifting a heavy item too quickly. This caused some pain so I had some heat therapy and the pain subsided.

For the past dozen years or so I've had moderate lower back pain. I'm 39 now. About 7 years ago I developed a pain in my left thigh toward the inside. While sitting I was fine but when I went to stand I would feel the most God awful pain start. The pain would reach a level of 10 within a few seconds and then it almost felt like something would shift and the pain would subside. If I sat down or bent over the cycle would start over. I have a very high tolerance for pain but this was unbearable. My GP prescribed muscle relaxers which didn't do much so I just toughed it out. The pain did go away after a week or so.

A week ago Monday I felt the pain start again. Not a level 10, I would say about a 4. Upon standing the pain would reach a certain point and then would subside. The next morning I was making breakfast and I sneezed. It felt like a gunshot went thru my lower back. By that afternoon I was in the immediate care with tears streaming down my face I was in so much pain. The lower back was hurting around a 6-7 but the pain in my left thigh/groin was beyond a 10.

The thigh pain was in the area where the thigh and groin come together. Laying on the xray table was pure hell. The doctor injected Tordol into my left buttock and prescribed Vicoden, steroids and muscle relaxers. The xrays showed no abnormalities. I haven't had any MRI's.

Here it is a week +2 days and I'm still in pain. The pain is now centralized to the front of my thigh and left hip. I stopped taking the Vicoden and switched to Ibuprofen but I'm still in pain. Laying down I have no thigh/hip pain, only when I walk. The back pain is constant. As stated before I've had the back pain for years and up till now I've just accepted it but I'm tired of being in pain.

I've been to chiro's but didn't get any relief. I called two different spine doctors but both are booked 3 weeks out.

So I've come to this forum seeking answers from others who have/are experiencing what I am. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


I had a non contrast MRI performed and below is the interpretation:

At L2-L3 a shallow, broad based, leftward disc protrusion is identified. This extends from the central aspect of the disc toward the left foraminal region and is most pronounced in the left paracentral region. The disc causes mild to moderate impression upon the ventral aspect of the thecal sac and abuts the transmitting L3 nerve root as it approaches the left lateral recess. The disc protrusion measures up to 17mm transverse by 3mm AP. Mild underlying disc dessication is present. Mild left formainal narrowing is seen.

At L3-L4 an annular tear is present within the right forminal aspect of the disc. Mild underlying disc dessication is seen. A shallow right foraminal disc protrusion is noted which approaches the exiting right L3 nerve root. There is mild to moderate narrowing of the right neural foramen.

At L4-L5 mild disc dessication end endplate spurring are present. There is also mild ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. Mild underlying narrowing of the central canal is present. A mild annular bulge is seen. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing is present. Mild ligamentum flavum hypertrophy is present. There is mild central canal narrowing within the thecal sac measuring approx. 9mm x 9mm at this level.

At L5-S1 no focal disc bulge or protrusion is identified.

I've haven't made my followup visit to the doctor yet. I'm here looking for some opinions/advice from others who have similar problems.

Thanks for any input.


  • Hi WB,

    Welcome to the board. The pain/symptoms you describe are very likely lumbar in nature from what you describe. I'm sorry you'll have to wait 3 weeks to see a specialist. See the link I've posted below (dermatome chart), it maps the spinal nerve routes:


    I'd recommend not going to the chiropractor until you're assessed, could create additional problems.

    If you develop any issues w/ continence (bladder or bowel) or severe weakness in your leg/foot (foot drop) - please consider this a medical emergency and get to the ER ASAP. Continence issues are symptomatic of cauda equina syndrome (CES) which need to be addressed immediately. Drop foot or other severe leg/foot involvement should also be addressed ASAP.

    I'd recommend whatever type of back doc you see (neuro or orthopedic spine), try to get to one that is fellowship trained and whose practice is devoted to the treatment to spinal/back issues.

    Ice can work for some to ease pain, others find heat helps, sometimes alternating between the two offers relief. Gentle stretching can sometimes help as well. Under the 'wellness' tab above, you'll find some helpful links to ergonomics, exercise, etc that may help ease you some til you see the doc.

    Please keep us posted, you'll find a good group here that's more than willing to share their experiences and help whenever they can.

  • Be sure to make an appointment with a spinal specialist, perhaps several, for a variety of opinions. You can pursue pain management while you wait those three weeks, but at least you'll have the appointment.

    I would just like to make a comment about the dermatome link posted above. Bear in mind that these maps are an approximation of the area of skin that relates to a specific spinal nerve. Obviously none of us in reality is this precisely constructed and there is a great deal of overlap in the human body. But it gives doctors a starting point for where to start looking for problems in the spine if you go in complaining of your right big toe being numb.

    Please note that the dermatome map from the Wiki site is from a German doctor. The charts used in the US vary a bit in the demarcation of the dermatomes. So you might want to run a search and take a look at some other dermatome maps, too.

    Hope you can get a handle on what is causing your pain, and find a successful solution soon.

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