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new member - would like advice please!

rowanberryrrowanberry Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello - I've never posted in a forum before - but I feel so alone and frustrated with this and feel less alone reading the posts here. So would like to make some contact with others who understand!

I have been suffering with lower back pain for about 4 months now - getting progessively worse. It started as an ache for the first month, in October is was more painful. November and December it's become acute and disabling. I have been to my doctor who has now agreed to an MRI scan (Although I have to wait 4 weeks) and I have seen the Physio twice. She thinks it is a herniated disc. On Tuesday she put me on traction which made no difference. Yesterday I could hardly walk, I am lying flat on my back most of the time. I am taking codine which doesn't really help.

Today I feel loads better but this has happend before and as soon as I resume normal life within a day or two I'm back on my back! Sitting seems to make it much worse. I can't bend forward at all, so find it difficult to pick anything up. I'm now off work for two weeks - whcih I hate as I love my job, but I work in an office so driving and sitting at a desk all day probably isn't helping matters.

My left side is worse and sometimes I have pain in my left leg and numbness. Most of the pain however is in my back.

Any advice about how to manage the pain and how to aviod these flare ups would be appreciated. The physio has suggested that if it doesn't get better on it's own I may have to have surgery - but I guess they wont know until they do the MRI.

I'm glad I found this forum - most people don't understand real back pain - I feel like I'm making a fuss but it really is ruining my life!!



  • Hi, I'm so sorry to hear about your back pain. I think your physical therapist is right, it sure does sound like a herniated disc. I just got done with a lumbar microdiscectomy and had pain running down my right leg into the middle of my calf. It felt like nerves and like a constant charlie horse anytime I walked or stood or just about anything. It also rang true when you said that sitting and as well as driving around would hurt. It really stinks that your having to wait 4 weeks til your appointment, I think next time you're on your back in bed you need to call the doctor and make an appointment to be scheduled in. I work in the medical field and once you have done the mri it only takes about a day for the Dr. to read the MRI then immediatly the results get faxed to the Doctor, so roughly about 3-4 days to get to the doctor. When it's only one leg and the lower back hurting it's usually because the disc is protruding out between the vertebrae and pushing against the spinal cord against the nerves. And depending on if it's pushed more on the right or left is why it's effecting that certain leg. Mine was on the right side, but immediately after the microdiscectomy the leg pain went away but the back pain is still there. But if you look that procedure up that's usually the case anyway. As far as how to manage the pain that's a hard one. Cause no matter how careful you are it's always doing the simplest things that'll hurt it. Coedine never helped me and I had to take hydrocodone and gabepentin, you should also probably try an antiinflammatory. I'm sorry I couldn't help more but like I said next time you get bad make an appointment and go that day and get those results and something stronger that will help you until you can find relief. God bless you and I'll be praying for your full recovery.
  • Just to add I went to a Chiropractor before my GP and he said I was too old to have disc problems (I'm a 43 year old female) I didn't think this was right as my dad has disc problems at 70!!! He 'diagnosed' imbalance and told me to chew on the left side as it had become to sensitive and was causing the back pain - I cancelled all further appointments with him!

    Also if I sneeze my back is agony - my left leg actually buckled when I sneezed. Does that sound like a disc problem to anyone?
    thanks in advance :)
  • Thank you for your reply Jennifer - it made complete sense to me and reassuring to know people understand - becasue you can't see back pain I'm sure people think I'm exagerating - but I try and hide it!
    The problem about the MRI is I live in the UK and there is no way I could get one sooner unless I pay for it and it's hundreds of pounds - I am lucky to get one this early. My GP said they would only do it if they were concidering surgery and it's taken me to cry to get him to take me seriously.

    I have a feeling that this isn't going to just go away. I've had back problems in the past but nothing like this.
  • HUUMMM, Yeah, I believe you did the right thing to dump that doctor. People never fail to amaze me on how stupid they can actually sound or how conceded that are to think they are correct about everything and not bothered to look at the facts. Why does the elderly complain of their back aching all of the time? It just makes no sense to me how that kind of doctor could still practice medicine. See, and I've had doctor's tell me that I'm too young to have back problems untill that take a look at my mri's. Your leg buckling is a new one so I have no idea on that. I'll be praying for you, and you can download on me anytime you need someone to listen. God bless you and your recovery.
  • Jennifer
    I don't think Chiropractors here in the UK are medical doctors so they can just about do what they want (and charge what they want!) Some are ok, but the one I saw didn't even examine my back!

    I will take your advice about the anti inflamatory's. I did try amitritliyne but it did nothing - Resting for a few days seems to be the only thing that eases it - but I can't spend my life lying down! Thanks for your kind words. Pain takes over your thoughts and everything - when you can't get away from it. I've become so irritable. Thanks for letting me off-load :)

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    If I read correctly, you said you would feel better, go back to your life and start hurting again.

    When my spine issues first started up..received treatment..and back to normal activities.
    Then doc told me..I would no longer have the ability to return to normal activities.

    That to say..no more lifting, twisting, bending....
    My little phrase through my head was...stay aligned, stay aligned, stay aligned...

    I think only your doc can tell what may be going on.
    Did you have an EMG? That was most revealing test for me and helped doc understand location of my pain much better.

    Are you seeing a pain management doctor? My doc got pain under control...the edge off, not fully gone,.. and then further investigating as to cause of pain.

    Take care!

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • yes -trying to do normal things starts it off again, mainly sitting. I thought it would just gradually heal and I would get on with things, but I have noticed a pattern, it eases off with a few days of complete rest and after one or two days 'normal' life (although I am being careful) it starts again. It never fully goes away though.

    It is literaly a pain in the bum! (very low back/bum/leg pain woke me up - it's 4.15 am :( )

    I will wait for the MRI which should shed light on it.

    What is an EMG? Not heard of it but I am from the UK so it may be called something else here :)

    We have pain clinics here, but I haven't been in pain long enough to be refered to one - needs to be 6 months so I'm on the way! Maybe Feb if it's still going on.

    thanks for the advice - I will try and stay aligned - I can't actually bend forwards at all - I guess it's early days - who knows maybe it will just heal itself - wouldn't that be amazing!

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