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Need advice, please help.

vermithraxvvermithrax Posts: 21
Hello everyone, I'm new here.

I've had back injuries in the past, nothing that I ever saw a doctor about though. Usually went away after a month or so. About 3 months back I noticed my back was hurting a bit. I shrugged it off and figured I had hurt it on a camping trip I had gone on the week before.

A few days later, I felt a pain shoot down my leg when I was getting up from a seated position. This continued on, and I started to get a pain, when walking in my left buttock, into my upper thigh. This continued on for about a month, on and off.

As of today, the pain is more persistent. It is now from my buttock to my calf and I have tingling in my foot, especially when standing for more than a few minutes. It is worst in the morning, and it flares up at the end of the day, after I get home from work. If I lay down or recline it is much better.

A weird symptom I have, is that the pain seems to be worse when I have a full colon, or if I am gassy or bloated. I have been taking Aleve, or Advil for the pain, but it is blocking me up a bit, so that isn't helping either.

I want to go to a doctor, but I have no insurance, and money is tight. What does this sound like? I know I need to see a specialist, but an MRI, physical therapy etc.. is way out of my price range.

I don't know what to do....


  • When you have pain shooting down a leg or in the buttock area it is most often a sign of a spinal nerve compression. This can be caused by a variety of things -- really anything that can press on or irritate a spinal nerve or nerve root. It could be a bulging disc or a sign of spinal stenosis.

    It often comes about when there is a slight injury to the back that sets off a bout of inflammation. Sometimes when things swell, it puts pressure on the nerve causing what is often called sciatic pain.

    Try to lay low for several days. Avoid any activity that involves bending at the waist (forward or backward), twisting or lifting anything more than a gallon of milk. Try using ice on your lower back, no more than 15-20 minutes at a time.

    This website has excellent articles written by spinal specialists that will help you understand your pain. I am enclosing a link to exercises for sciatic pain that you may want to try, too. Proceed very slowly and cautiously until you see that they aren't making things worse!!




    Hope this helps.

  • went to my GP today and she gave me a Medrol dose pack and some Soma. Will this maybe help me? Anyone have experiences with Medrol or Soma?
  • As gwennie17 pointed out that your symptoms are classic scitica caused from a compressed nerve. Only time will tell how serious it is without getting an MRI done. Till than the medrol should help with bringing down the inflammation and as for the soma it is a muscle relaxant that should help you with bad spasms.

    Really now just follow gwennie17 advice and hope that you can get passed this. Do not be surprised if this takes some time. I believe 90% of the cases with back pain heal in 6 mos or less so the odds are on your side.

    You just do not want to be part of the 10% club like me.

  • Many times drs will try the medrol hoping it will bring down inflammation involved (if there is any). Sometimes it works better than other times. I hope it works for you to get you over the hump for now! I'm actually taking a medrol pack now too for something, possible inflammation(?) of my back. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

  • This is a post about Health Insurance and not having any to get tests by a member Jenny http://www.spine-health.com/forum/health-insurance-issues/no-health-insurance-and-teaching-hospitals
    I hope the steroids help take down the inflammation. I put ice/heat on my back & leg 20 minutes to take down any swelling and to improve circulation. Do Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Well, the Medrol seemed to help a bit for a while, now the pain is back full force.

    Went to a different GP and she did a full set of lumbar and pelvic x rays. She said my spine and SI joints look to be in excellent shape. Prescribed me Lyrica for the nerve pain and Mobid for an anti-inflammatory.

    Is it possible I still have a disk or SI joint problem? She said my spine looked very good. What else could be causing my pain? I know an MRI would be the best diagnostic measure for disk issues, but she told me she would have likely seen something on the xray.

    What could be wrong with me? I'm guessing the xray probably would rule out anything menacing like a tumor right?
  • Did the Medrol pack help for the full two weeks since you took it? I had that same result with my sciatic problem - it worked for a while then the pain came back.

    An x-ray can show spine problems, but there's a lot of things that can be wrong with your spine that won't show up on an x-ray or even with an MRI. If you've been reading some of the posts here, there seem to be a lot of members whose doctors can't find a reason for their pain, even though they've been through a battery of tests. Diagnosing spine problems can be a long road.

    The symptoms you mentioned in your first post sound a lot like what I was experiencing and mine came from lumbar stenosis and facet joint problems. Those can't be seen on an x-ray and sometimes an MRI will miss them too. I was lucky that my MRI showed all my problems, including a disc bulge at the level where I had stenosis and facet joint issues.

    I would read the post Charry included in her post and see if you can get an MRI. It really sounds like you are experiencing referred nerve pain which is pain due to something pressing on nerves in your spine that is causing the pain in your buttock and down your leg. It could be a disc, stenosis, facet joints - there are just so many things that cause nerve pain you need to see if you can get a doctor, hopefully a spine specialist, to help you narrow it down to a specific reason.

    I hope youre able to get the help you need. Please keep us posted.

  • I agree with Cath, I would push for a MRI, I have had PCP do X-rays on me and not see a thing. I would ask to be referred to a ortho or Neuro surgeon or at least to have a MRI, and see the Radiology reports. ;)
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