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

Lower to Mid Back Pain now for 6 Months

PlainOldDeANPPlainOldDeAN Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Chronic Pain
First time posting so please let em know what I missed if anything to help out.

In November of 2009 I stressed my back while doing some simple work around the house. I was stretching my arm and leaning to the side to reach a high spot on the wall to finish a painting job as part of my honey do list. I felt a pinch then all of a sudden a pain that simply dropped me to my knees. For about a week I was almost immobile and went to see my doctor. He put me on Pain medications and told me to heat and ice 3 times a day.
Two weeks went by and my back started to feel a little better. Then I went to open my front door and it was locked. The jolt of the door not opening as I pulled again dropped me to my knees. I went through the whole pain meds and ICE and heat again. This again happened about 3 weeks later.
I went to Physical therapy for 4 sessions and then had an MRI done.
I have 4.5mm Bulge indents theval sac on L4 and L5
L5/S1 3.4 Diffuse disc bulge

I am now seeing pain management and they note that the MRI doesn't show anything why I am having the pain I am.

When I lift anything over 10 lbs. I feel a strain and become sore.
Sitting for periods of longer the 30 mins I feel pain from my lower hip area to my shoulder blades.

Pain: The pain comes in a couple forms. Most of the time it is a Strong pain that cover a large are from my lower back to my lower shoulder blade.
Other form is when I lift or rotate my body I get this sharp pain in my mid back that then radiates out over my back.

Ice and heat seem to help
I wake up after 5.5 hours sleep do to the pain of sleeping wakes me up.

I have tried 2 cortisone shots and they seemed to of numbed the lower back area but I still can still notice a dull pain and then my back becomes sore again.

My doctors look at me like I am someone that is complaining about nothing and also I beginning to think that they believe I am just hunting for Pain meds.

I simply want help and want to be able to hold my Daughter again.




  • Have you tried physical therapy? Personally, that's what worked the best for me for the type of pain you are describing.

    Be sure and read all of the spine health articles on lower back pain and herniated disks.



    Your doctors are not likely trying to blow you off, but doing what they are supposed to do- wait. Most back problems heal on their own without intervention. But personally I've never been turned down for a referral to physical therapy!
  • Sorry to hear about your back pain Dean. I had a herniated disc also. I had an annular tear that has resolved on it's own and wasn't seen on my second MRI about 18 months later. Do you have any other numbness or pain anywhere else? I was put on an anti-inflammatory and have tried Naprosyn, Celebrex and finally Voltaran. Are you taking any anti-inflammatories? I'm also taking Flexeril a muscle relaxant for the muscles guarding around your spine area is trying to protect your spine and I have sciatica also in my leg and get muscle spasms and fasciculations.

    I also take Cymbalta used for sciatica in my leg. Are you taking any nerve pain meds? I've also tried amitriptyline and Lyrica a for that. I've been to 3 Pain Management Drs for their opinions and with each Dr. I received different injections like facet joint injections as well as the cortisone epidurals. I've also had trigger point injections for the muscle knots.

    Just let your Dr. know that the pain meds wear off after 2-3 hours or whatever is your case and maybe they can help you. I even got a referral to an Orthosurgeon or Neurosurgeon for their opinion. If you have any numbness first you should see a Neurologist. Best wishes. 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
  • Definitely check out the articles posted by HappyHBMom, and I agree with her that PT is probably a good thing to ask your doctor about at this point. 4 sessions just isn't that many for a back problem. For me personally, PT makes a huge difference...

    The area you describe sounds like it could be the quadratus lumborum muscle giving you trouble. It runs from the back of the hip bone to up below the shoulder blade area (you can google it and see if it corresponds to the area you describe). You might specifically ask your doctor or physical therapist if this muscle has trigger points in it or could be the cause of some of your pain. Pain can cause certain muscles to shut down, and others to become overactive, so that's why PT can be so helpful because it re-trains the correct firing patterns in the muscles and can "wake up" some of the shut down muscles.

  • Yes, if it's a destabilization of the spine causing nerve pain, you'll probably need several months of 2x or 3x weekly physical therapy to get a handle on it. Gently increasing the strength of the muscles that hold the spine makes a big difference!

    Also, a good physical therapists will go through your entire day with you and find out what you might be doing to stress your back, and give you new ways to do those things that place the burden on other parts of your body.

    Good luck!
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of information here via articles and videos and the forum members are very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive.

    One thing I wanted to clarify is the difference between a bulging and a herniated disc. There are articles that will tell you the difference, but it's important for you to note that on your MRI, your discs aren't herniated, they're bulging, thus the suggestion for PT. Bulging discs can be helped with conservative therapy much easier than herniated discs.

    Also, you might want to ask your doctor if they will prescribe you some muscle relaxants. A lot of back pain, when there's strain on the spine or spinal area, comes from muscle spasms and muscle relaxers can help. It sometimes takes trying a few different ones to find the one that works for you, but it might be worth a try.

    What kind of doctor are you seeing for this so far, your PCP? I so, you might want to try and find a fellowship-trained spine surgeon/specialist, either ortho or neuro, to take a look at your MRI. If you find one that is in a spine center, then you would most likely have the benefit of a physiotherapist and PT all in one place where your surgeon (that doesn't mean surgery, just treatment) can send you to the different areas he or she feels will best help your situation.

    Just thought I'd throw some of those suggestions out there as food for thought.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.