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Pain with nothing on MRI???

autimom4everaautimom4ever Posts: 25
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Lower Back Pain

Is anyone else going through this?

I have been going through daily sacral/coxxyx pain along with right hip flexor/inguinal pain for 4 months now.

MRI shows nothing
Ortho says "I don't know"
Neurologist has sent me to PT (helps some)
Spine specialist gives me a coxxyx injection (has not worked).

I just want to know the cause of this pain and for it to go away...

I'm only in my 40's.... Not ready for a lifetime of pain..



  • I hate not knowing the cause of the pain. I remember having a lot of anxiety pre op about not knowing where the pain was coming from. I said, "I'll deal with whatever it is, I just need to know what it is!". I felt relieved when I was diagnosed, even though I needed surgery. Atleast I had hope. Now I am dealing with mid and low back burning pain with no diagnosis. MRI does not show anything significant. I am dealing with it through PT and meds, seems to be helping.

    Anyway, maybe try a different doctor?
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I'm RIGHT with you on that one! Mine happened due to a fall, but every test comes back clean and every treatment doesn't work.
    I've been through cortisone injections, chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, nerve block procedures, and a radiofrequency neurotomy and NOTHING has helped.

    I'm 22 and certainly not ready for a life of pain. I'm not giving up on this, that's for sure!

    Good luck!
  • I had the same problem about 6 months ago. But the thing is I have hardware in my back so nobody was able to clearly see what was going on in the area that I had pain. What I was suggested to do was get a diskogram done. It worked, they were able to see one cause of my pain (I have chronic pain that can't really be diagnosed though it's complicated..). They told me that I had a herniated disc and that they wouldn't have been able to find it without the diskogram. I mean, you could try it.. but it's really painful. They give you a twilight sedation for the beginning while setting you up and what not but wake you up in order for you to feel what they're doing to you because sadly your pain with the test is the only way they can diagnose you. Apparently they insert a needle into discs that you don't feel pain with and then a needle in the area where you do feel the pain. They'll inject I think a saline solution through each disc and if this solution stimulates the pain for you then they're going to know and clearly see what is going on in there. I suggest to give it a try :3
  • I'm the same feel like I'm going mad I'm fed up taking really strong painkillers as they start causing problems with other areas tried every spray/ heat pad going getting fed up searching for answers on the net and I'm bored sick of day tv! As I'm on morphine I'm not allowed to drive so what am I supposed to do MRI was clear was told wear and tear showed up which wasn't good- so how do I fix that! Been on traction beds too painful had physio made it worse so were do I go from now!!!!

    Rant over! Thanks for reading this
  • I have just got my results and the MRI shows 'Mild wear and tear.' I have been in pain for 6 months, sciatica in both legs and constant back pain. I cannot sit or drive for any amount of time.

    Everyone is saying what good news this is - and I guess they are right as it's not surgery or anything bad, however I wouldn't describe this pain as 'mild' and thats what it sounds like - as if I am making a fuss.

    How can such pain not actually be anything????

    Anyway good luck autimom! I am in my 40's too and not sure what to do next!

  • I'm seeing that I am having to do stretches twice daily and trying not to focus on the pain (which is VERY hard)....

    I'm going to have a hard time if I have to have this pain for the rest of my life...

    ****TRYING to KEEP THE FAITH******
  • Hi,

    ive been having chronic lower back pain, spreading down into my left leg for the last 12 months. all of the tests have come back negative.

    I had facet joint injections 4 weeks ago and still in agony.

    any advice please.

    im 36 years old and dont want any stronger pain killers..
  • I know the feeling I've got enough tablets to start a my own chemist! Im fed up not being able to drive its been 3 months, just want to get off this medication ! Any body out there' got a magic wand please that I could borrow!!
  • Mri and many tests somerimes dont show the problem, Years ago i had few mri and other tests that never did show that i had l4l5 disc was leaking, Only years later i had a discogram which finaly concluded findings of the disc being bad,

    The disc leaking causes what leaks out to agrivate the nerve and feeling of sciatica symptoms along with what they call discogenic pain,

    The leak dont have to be real bad to cause severe pain so when they dont see it on an mri they assume pain cant be real bad, Thats when i learned that pain specialists work along with the ortho or neuro dr,s because many times who will do the surgery are mostly involved in doing just that, the surgery! If they cant see it they cant fix it,

    A good pain specialist is important to find the pain generator with the injections, discogram test, or whatever test he has to do so he can relay it back to the spine specialist for further consideration for posible surgery,

    I dont know if this is in any way helpful to any of you with your symptoms but i figured i toss it out there just in case,

    Nobody wants to have pain at any age and surely not for the rest of there life,

    You have to push to find the direct cause sometimes just so you know what your options are, Often surgery is not the best option for everyone, Often alternative treatments out there can help and improve a persons symptoms,

    With so many ending up with on going complications even after surgery, you have to be sure they are a 100% sure what the direct cause is for the pain, So geting more then 1 opinion even after having findings is usualy a very good idea,

    Spine is much more complicated then our car, You can replace the thermostat and see if that helps and if it dont you can always replace the water pump without causing any damage,

    With surgery each time they have to go in if wrong surgery was done or surgery just simply never resolved the problem, the scar tissue build up alone makes it a problem not to mention the damage they can cause during the surgery,

    Best of luck to all. And remember! An aple a day keeps the dr away,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hi,
    Had a visit with my GP last night to explain that things have got no better and all he could say was

    "well i dont know what to do, i'll try and arrange for an earlier appointment with your pain doctor but in the mean time just take extra painkillers"

    I mean how many painkillers can he expect me to take a day???

    Sorry for the rant, hope you all have a great day...

  • I'm wondering what he's gonna "try" or "suggest" next.

    I'm so sick of this....

    I will update after the appointment
  • Hi,
    I had problems getting my injury diagnosed-- I had multiple xrays, ct and mri's. I finally had an angel of a gal share with me about a new MRI machine in Canada-- I just posted all about it in alternative treatments.. wasn't sure where it should have been posted! (still new at this!).
    Anyways, the DYNAMIC MRI, the one I had my test on is located in Kamloops, BC, (can't post the link on here- against rules, but you can google it, the MRi in Kamloops for more info).
    I finally had a real diagnosis! and this specialized MRI showed my injury in a way the lay-down MRI's could not. So, after 3.5 yrs of stating I have a back injury, my GP finally believes me! All thanks to this test. (oh, private clinic means medical does not cover the cost... warning!).
    It was the only answer for me, looking back on it all.. that has gotten me to a point where I can get into PM's now, etc... all the process.
    So, DO NOT GIVE UP!! Just because a test shows "normal", or "mild" wahtever... your body is talking to you by being in pain. you have to listen. keep being pro-active- like we are all on here! research, research, and be your own advocate.
    (and, after years of my GP telling me 'it's all in my head", he acutally said.. 'gee, you must be in alot of pain", and he thanked me for showing him that just because he doesn't 'see' it clearly in one test, to LISTEN to your patients! )
    YOU are right. YOU know YOU. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
    I look forward to readign more about you on this posting--
  • As a result of years of prolonged sitting, I acquired an over use injury to my tailbone (degeneration is what my chiropractor called it). It got to the point where it was too uncomfortable and painful to sit down on even the softest of cushions and the discomfort affected me in every aspect of my life. I had a CAT scan done and the results showed no visible injury. In the mean time, my doctor gave me pain medications that included Celebrex and Hydrocodone – Two medications I knew I did not want to take. I had to find a solution! I was literally forced to come up with a way to sit more comfortably while reducing pressure to my spine and tailbone. I first designed my seat in May of 2010 which was first incorporated on my drum throne. My seat design creates a “Floating Spine” greatly reducing spinal disk compression caused by sitting and greatly relieves pressure to the tailbone. Prolonged sitting is brutal on the spine. Within a couple of weeks my tail bone stopped hurting and I was able to stop taking the pain medications which were costing me over $200.00 per month and haven’t been to the chiropractor since (8 months). Shortly thereafter I designed an office chair that I use at work and at home. My seat design works so well that at the encouragement of friends I started a business known as Carmichael Throne Company. Our mission is to help combat the adverse effects of sitting by providing you with our affordable line of seating products. Go online and check us out. You will be glad that you did.
  • I'm not sure about all this reliance on an MRI to pinpoint problems. Never had one.
    Do they indicate soft tissue dameage for instance?
    If not, you are getting only half the story.
    Do they show joints that might be only just out of alignment, or stuck?
    If not........

    I have similar pains in the lower back and SI joint area on both sides, making it hard to sleep as the low level pain just gnaws away.
    When my SI joint locks up, as it does frequently, I give it a day or so to fix itself then go the my chiro who is able to release it immediately.
    I visit him every 3 months for a general loosening up as the joints all tend to stiffen up.
    I also visit my physio frequently for loosening up the spine bone by bone.
    Spine needs regular maintenance like this.

  • Back from Spine specialist:

    1. Did bloodwork to check on Rheum disorders and sacroilitis
    2. ANOTHER MRI is being ordered ($$$ I'm losing a lot of money) of pelvis/sacrum
    3. SI joint injection being ordered

    He wrote me prescriptions for Neurotin and Flexeril.

    Neurotin seems to be working a little...

    This whole ordeal is wearing me out!!
  • well, i managed to get through to the pain management team yesterday and they have agreed to move my appointment forward to two weeks time for further investigations.

    at least its a step in the right direction (i think)

    i know how you feel autimon4ever i feel completely worn down with all this hassle...

  • that's sounds good daimon75 .. but the pain management team is really working good or just an other money eating organization .. check out all the other details regarding the team before going through :)

  • Hello!
    I am wondering if there are others out there who are having the same issue as I have: I had the anterior posterior lumbar fusion L4-S1 in November, 2011. I still have not been able to go back to work do to an incredible pain down my left leg. Also, the surgery site hurts like crazy when I lay on my side.
    My doctor prescribed galabentin for nerve damage last month. I was in shock! Nobody had told me about a possibility of nerve damage prior to the surgery. I take now 6 galabentin a day and there is a little relief in sight. But I also take morphin immediate and extended release tablets, Valium, muscle relaxers, and percocet. Last week I was told that we have to start decreasing the amount of pain killers I'm taking. I told them to fix my pain first......
    CT scan shows NOTHING! So based on that I am supposed to be OK! What is girl to do!
  • I had mri done that showed two broad based bulging discs in L2-L3 and L3-L4 and multilevel wear and tears (degerative disc disease) and all three doctors say it can't cause this much pain since neither are touching nerves in my lumbar region. This is so fusterating nobody seems to believe that I'm in so much pain I'm only 22. I tried everything pt for 10weeks, chrio,massages, ultrasound, tens and heat/ice packs nothing seems to help fully. The workcomp doc I just went to says it's just a strain I knw this isn't a strain. I'm having pain in my legs that go numb where I can't feel anything I've fallen two times two times. My right foot swells like a watermelon. I have frequent bladder problems. This isn't in my head and I'm tired of people not taking me seriously.
  • I don't think anybody has suggested inflammation as the cause of the nerves being stirred up.
    The MRI results would surely indicate that the defensive mechanism of inflammation would have well and truly kicked in.
    This wouldn't show on an MRI, but should be common knowledge.
    See your doctor about taking an anti inflammatory to see if it helps.
  • I am 31 years old and have been in pain for over a year. All mri's and blood work have came back normal. I have lower back pain and arm/hand pain (both arms and hands) and all over joint pain. I have become unable to work and therefor lost my job. Yet a year later I am still without any answers. I hope that you are able to get some help because I know how frustrating it is. I have had drs tell me there is nothing wrong and it is just stress. Went to counseling and the Dr said it is not stress because she could tell that my pain level increased the longer I sat. Which I had tried to explain to my other Drs. Good luck!
  • You might be surprised to learn that doctors are not usually the best ones to consult for your sort of problems.
    They do only limited study, no refreshers, and are strictly limited by using only clinically proven treatments.
    They are good for referrals to specialists, but they still ignore the other area of 'alternative' medicine.
    And this is where I think you should go.
    Get your spine, muscles, ligaments, fascia etc thoroughly checked out, piece by piece, by a good physiotherapist.
    They are trained specifically to detect and treat problems in these areas.
    You would need to also look at your diet as you may be having a bad reaction to something in it.
    Not an easy task to do, but see if you can cut out, one by one, all dairy, wheat, soy, preservatives and basically anything highly processed and manufactured.
    Diet is almost never considered by doctors as they have virtually no training on it.
    Your various symptoms may or may not be related.
    Do you own research, and work your way through all of the possibilities.
    It's the only way.
  • well, went to the pain management team and had a few things recommended,

    Morphine patches for the pain,
    Pain management classes,
    and a TENS training course.

    still no sign of a diagnosis though..

    Hope your all having better luck..
  • Seems to be a common thing these days in medicine to treat the symptoms but not find the cause.
    Drug companies don't want us to get well, and have no interest in preventive medicine, and this all filters down to the doctors, unfortunately.
    Drugs for everything.
    Glad to see you are not accepting that.

    Have you tried the experts in diagnosing spinal and soft tissue problems-physiotherapists?
    I have had great success with the ones I found recently. Not so much with previous ones, so you may have to try a few.
    But they are really good at finding out what is wrong and then seeing what they can do to get it fixed.
    I'd suggest you do that immediately. Then ask them about remedial massage. Some offer this as well. Also been of great benefit to me.
    Keep thinking outside the box!
  • I have been having severe lower back pain and hip pain since Mid-Dec. Have been going to Chiro and finally went to see a Dr. to get an MRI. I have an L5 Disk Extrusion thus causing issues with my nerve. Now mine showed up on the MRI but I had them X-Ray my hip area too because of concern.

    I have Arthritis in my hip and I am only 36. The arthritis in my hip is also causing problems and this maybe what is causing you issues since it did not show up on the MRI. Something to check out.
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