Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Some questions on my back pain

dodgyspineddodgyspine Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm very confused and frustrated. Been dealing with a back issue for 2.5 years. Have had 2 MRI's, 2 ESI's, loads of physio and seen spinal nuero surgeon. MRI showed mild bulge of L5/S1 though no nerve compression. Disc is also dessicated with mild loss of height. MRI's were taken 1 year apart and on second MRI the disc bulge looked slightly improved.

My main complaint at the moment is right now for example, sat at my desk, on my left side, to the left of my spine and just around that bump (SI joint?) on the back of you hip i have a dull ache, feels like something is kind of stuck there. If i stand up and walk around if feels better. If, when i am sat on my chair, if i tuck my left foot up under my bum, so the left side is then raised a bit higher than my right, this makes it feel better. I went to the gym yesterday and had a good work out pain free and felt pretty good for the rest of the day and evening.

On examination (i saw a new PT just last week) i have no pain on any movement (flexion, extension, twisting ect)and the only thing he noted was that when i bend to touch my toes my lower back tends to stay quite straight, rather then bending forwards nicely, so he has given me some stretches to try and loosen this up (knees to chest, followed by cobra). This does help my lower back to feel more flexible and i did this before and after my workout yesterday but not today the familiar feeling of something stuck back there is back again.

Does anyone here have similar symptoms or could guess what is going on here or suggest anything i could try? Sometimes i wonder if the docs/physio are missing something and are too focussed on what the MRI showed but then again, perhaps that is wishful thinking and it is simply the disc that is causing these symptoms.

On the whole, my sypmtoms are much better than they were even 1 year ago but i still just can't get over this final hurdle and am still in varying degrees of pain and discomfort on a daily basis. I will live with this if i have to (i do not want surgery), but i just want to be sure that nothing has been missed!

Thanks for listening!


  • Your post stuck out to me because of your description of having to sit on your foot. That is the *exact* symptom I was having, and it really seemed to throw people! When you sit on a hard surface do you feel both of the sit bones, or just one? Do you tend to sleep with one knee pulled up into your chest?

    Those were my symptoms, and the diagnosis ended up being sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Obviously you'd need to have a doctor diagnose this, but it would definitely be worth asking *specifically* if they have considered this. Basically, what can end up happening is you get rotation in one side of your pelvis, and since the ilium is connected to the lumbar spine you get kind of a pulling effect as the hip bone rotates away from the spine while you sit which is why sitting can be painful when the SI joint is problematic. This little bit of twist in the pelvis is why it feels better to sit on the foot because your foot essentially levels off the pelvis.

    There are *loads* of non-surgical treatments for this, and it usually responds pretty well to PT. Has your PT done any manual work? Usually PT's are pretty good at gently mobilizing the SI joints to get the pelvis back into alignment, and then they usually put people in an SI belt to try to hold the alignment. The goal is to strengthen the pelvic musculature enough so it will hold the joint in place without the use of the belt. You might also get them to check your right glute muscles, as trigger points in the piriformis and other gluteal muscles can sometimes cause the non-painful side to lock down which further aggravates the painful side. Another option is an SI joint injection, which could be useful diagnostically if you feel better while the anasthetic is working.

    And of course, as you said perhaps it is from the disc, or maybe the disc has just caused some dysfunctional neuromuscular patterns that are causing a secondary disruption of the SIJ. I'd run it all by your doctor and PT and see if they think that could be possible.
  • Thanks for your reply.

    Hmm, very interesting. You are the only person who has had the same symptom as me!

    I don't sleep with one knee pulled up but i used to sleep sort of half on my stomach, facing right with my left (bad side) leg on top and in front of my body, sort of bent at the hip and knee so left leg almost flat on the bed if you get what i am trying to describe! So my leg would be pulled up actually, only i'd be laying almost on my front, not on my back. Also, if i lay on my back, if i bend my left leg at the knee and hip and drop it out to the side, this feels nice.

    I will test the seatbone thing on a hard surface.

    I've had a few physios do some SI tests like the stork test and squish test and neither of these tests have been positive though i understand SI joint problems can be difficult to diagnose and these tests are not difnitive. How was yours finally diagnosed?

    All my issues actually started with a bad case of IT band syndrome in the bad leg (i was a runner) which has always made me wonder if there was some kind of hip dysfunction going on.

    I will definitely mention it to my new physio when i next see him. I have only seen him once so it will be interesting to see what he says as he is looking at me as i am now and with fresh eyes as it were.

    I will let you know how i get on.
  • You're not alone. I was diagnosed with SI Joint Dysfunction 3 years ago along with all my other issues. After my fusion surgery 2 1/2 years ago, both my SI joints locked in place from the stress of the fusion. It took my physical therapist about three weeks to manipulate the joint back to the way it should be. I have found that walking keeps this joint functioning at optimum performance most of the time. I get a good flare up about 1 once a month. Your therapist should be able to diagnose the problem.

    Good luck.

  • You might also want to do some reading on the psoas muscle. It is the major muscle that flexes the hip. It is a powerful muscle that can remain contracted rather than releasing when it should, and can cause the pelvis to torque. Problems with the psoas often go hand in glove with IT band tightness.

    Also sometimes people assume they are just flexible when, in reality, they have hyper-mobility in their joints, which is not necessarily a good thing, particularly if it occurs in the SI joints.
  • Hmm, all very interesting reading indeed.

    All my problems with this first started with a bad IT band flare up (i was a runner). I then did months of stretches that i now know would have put a lot of strain on my lumbar spine/pelvis areas etc though i did not realise this at the time - hindsight is a wonderful thing!

    I have also been told that i am slighly hyper-mobile in my hips...

    I think this avenue needs to be walked down again..
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.