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Lower left back/hip pain + Nerve problems..help :/

ChristineGCChristineG Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello all, I've been having constant lower back pain for about 4 years now along with odd nerve sensations but not in the lower back, actually in the foot and calf area. Basically, I'm a 23 year old female who was injured in a car accident in 2007. In that accident I fractured my hip in several places, my sacrum in 3 and my neck in two places. I had a fusion of my hip to my sacrum with two screws holding me together for life it seems as well as surgery to remove pieces of spine that fell and aggregated my nerves. I can't sleep at night and I feel it's due to all the pain that I have in my back I also have pain in my hip (left side). If I had to describe the pain i would call it a deep ache, bone pain not muscular or joint related and it feels like there is something like a ball stuck in my lower back, I would also consider this pain a shooting pain as well, its just so hard to describe I wish I could think of the words. I'm very limited and it's frustrating me. I was going to the gym regularly but had to stop due to making the pain worse and making it harder to sleep at night. I can't sit for long periods of time (about an hour or more) it just makes the pain worse and unbearable. When I stand for long periods of time my left leg feels like its falling asleep and begins to turn color. I've had many procedures done on me such as acupuncture, steriod injections, epidural injections, I've had a diskogram done, as well as a coablation of my L5 disc. I've been told my L5 disc is herniated as well as rotten and leaking fluid throughout my body possibly causing the weird nerve sensations I feel at night. I've also been told I have myositis ossificans and arachnoiditis. Doctors aren't really sure what is causing my pain and I don't know if I have enough money to keep spending on procedures that may or may not work. I've been told to have a diskectomy done by one doctor, but was told to get at least 3 opinions before undergoing this procedure. I just don't know what to do anymore it's hard to deal with the pain during the day without any form of medication I'm worried I'll become addicted. I take 750/7.5mg hydrocodone at night 1/2 pill once or twice depending on my pain and it doesn't even kill the pain, it somewhat dulls it but I can still feel it. I can't take regular classes at school without within in pain after an hour of sitting in the class and had to recently quit my job (vet tech) because of all the lifting I had to do of very heavy animals on my own. I know I can lift them on my own without a problem, it just hurts me in the long run and puts so much stress on my back not allowing me to sleep at night. I've also wanted to get back in to physical therapy, but was told I need a prescription for it so I'm at a loss of what to do anymore. How can someone live the rest of their life like this? On no sleep due to pain, not stand or sit at a job for long periods of time? Who wants to hire a person with so many problems? I'm never going to get a good job with all my problems and I cannot live life in constant pain. If anyone has any kind of suggestion I am open to it. I've tried turmeric, fish oil, benadryl to sleep, herbal supplements to sleep, melatonin, glucosamine and magnesium. I've drank alcohol before and it knocked me out real quick but I don't want to have to drink every night just to get sleep. Also my doctor has me on amitriptyline 25mg and pramipexole 0.25mg to help with me sleeping and it hasn't helped me sleep. :/
I'm sorry if this is completely disorganized and jumbled and there's more I could write as well but I'm just so upset and running out of options I feel. If anyone could help me out with anything please let me know. If you're going through something similar or have gone through something similar please let me know.


  • Also, to describe the nerve sensations in my calf and foot it's a burnin and tingling feeling. I can't put my foot on grass or step on anything otherwise it hurts like crazy. I try to always have one shoe on my left foot to prevent anything from being stepped on. My foot is extremely hypersensitive to anything touching it. If someone tries to "tickle" it, I get pain instead of a tickle. Also shaving my left calf gives me tingles and burns as well. I don't know if this helps or anything. Bah I knew I would mess something up, couldn't figure out how to edit so I'm just going to post this in a comment. Oi this could go on forever so I'm going to stop here.
  • Hey there Christine-
    I can relate to how you are feeling- each day is like a rollercoaster, and with sleep deprevation, I just don't have the 'juice' in me to not feel like giving in. BUT- it has to get better... I feel it is so very important to keep positive, however you can do it. I make up wierd songs to my back, sounds odd I know.. but it helps me get through that time frame.
    There is so many options out there- and you certainly have explored some of them:) This forum is so helpful to me, for support, and for finding out further information.
    I read a book called The Healthy Back Bible. It is awesome- and has taught me more about how to listen to my body- to keep a journal of pain/activities you have done.. that has helped me figure out what does and doesn't trigger my muscle spasms, etc.
    I know PT is important. I couldn't afford to go regularily, and told the PT that. She gave me many exercises, photocopied, and went over each one with me. I do them religiously at home daily... every day!, no matter what.. then i reward myself with a treat.. a cookie, a fresh juice, something you love and helps get through the agony of the PT. I also have gone in at a 6 month time frame to go over the exercises, to make sure I am doing them right, and maybe get another exercise.
    I found heat helps at times, ice other times.. I have learned when the stretching is "bad pain".. and push when the good pain is present.
    Chronic pain and sleep issues are brutal when trying to 'get better'. I had to deal with both, still am, and it does help some days. On the days it doesn't... then I find a humour in something and make myself laugh.. even if it hurts, laughing that is.
    I am feeling for ya! and know you are not alone! there are lots of us in the club-- and we are here for you..
    Cheers for today!
  • i can relate to some of the things that you've shared. Having trouble sitting and standing really sucks and i feel the same way that no one will hire someone like that. The change in color of your leg concerns me and i think that you really need to get that checked out. I also have the hypersensitivity,mine is in my hands,my feet have lack of sensation and i have to be careful to check them frequently for cuts and blisters.I also relate the that kind of bone pain,i say the same thing and i've come to realize that its due to nerve pain. The amitryptilene that your taking should help the nerve pain but if its not then you need to ask your doctor to switch it to a different nerve pain med. that will do a better job. Narcotics are fine but there not as good at helping nerve pain as a nerve pain med.With all your problems from the accident i'm surprised that your up walking around. Have you tried massages to help your pain? i know that won't cure your problems but it might relax you a bit and that might help some of your pain. I go every two weeks for one just to try and relax my muscles.What about a hot bath before bed to relax you as well, do you have access to a tens unit? those are supposed to help with confusing pain signals. I used one for a long time when i was having neck pain before my surgery.
  • Sounds like you are dealing with some of the same emotionally draining stuff I've been putting up with. You want to function normally and at 100%, but you can't. Also, everyone else expects you to function at 100% but does not understand how limiting your situation is. So you try.... and it just seems like a pathetic effort. I mean I push through and support myself because I have no other option, but overall it's not what I want out of life. I feel restricted physically and socially. And since back pain can be really tough to diagnose, say, if you have multiple back issues or potential pain generators.... no one really knows how to fix it. If it could be resolved you would want to work towards the solution whatever it takes, but when you don't know if there even is a solution IT BLOWS. A problem is something that can be fixed, otherwise its not a problem but a fact of life. I haven't yet accepted this back pain to be a fact of life. Which doctor or treatment to seek next? keep working on it!
  • @Sally: I go to PT twice a week. :/ It helps somewhat but I'm still struggling with the sleep. It's good to have the exercises though, to know what to do and how strengthening the core muscles is a key to less pain and weakness is a big reason I learned as to why I and so many others have pain. I can't exactly say that completely confidently though, considering everyone is different, and everyone's pain isn't the same. From what I heard Pilates should help, and I did hear suggestions about doing Yoga, but I also have heard some complaints from other pain patients about how Yoga has made the pain worse; Could have to do with using the muscles improperly and having other muscles compensate for lazy muscles. I'm going to check out that book you suggested; Reading material helps get everything off the mind for a moment. Sleep is the only reason I complain though, about my issues. If I could sleep, but have constant pain I wouldn't even BOTHER with getting my pain better. At all. The last thing on my mind is the pain. But sleep is just impossible at this point. Could be some psychological problems too from what I was told by my D.O. Thank you for your help and kind words. :3 It's such a relief to talk to other people who know what you're going through. Even if it isn't completely similar than my pain or issues, someone else out there is going through something that is causing them somewhat similar problems. I mean.. it sucks that we have to go through these things but at least we don't have to do it alone.

    @Tammy: I'm trying the amitryptiline but only for sleeping purposes, not much has changed with the nerve sensation. I did try Naproxen and Gabapentin as well, but those didn't help either. I recently found out that my doctor said my screws could be rubbing against a main nerve going through for foramen in my spine. He recommended that I take out the screws, put in something to hold my pelvis and sacrum together because apparently they never fused. 4 years and no fusion. Go figure. -.-; Then he said to put in a spinal cage as well since my disk is dead anyway, and useless. I just don't want anymore surgery. I have to get a CT scan and MRI done soon, but haven't heard back from my insurance yet as to if I'm covered. Also, he suspected that I have an infection growing in my spine after my last procedure. He ordered me to get a blood test done. I don't feel like it. I've been stuck with so many needles lately since I have been in and out of the hospital lately for sleep issues and have no other signs of infection.
    @R_M: I agree with everything that you wrote. I feel 100%n the same. Back pain could be caused by so many things. And doctors just expect you to "deal" with it. Please tell me how someone is supposed to function on no sleep for literally two days straight? That doesn't prove that the back pain is that bad? I mean they don't have the pain and can't just tell us to suck it up. Some people don't believe that I have legitimate pain too. The doctors suspect I want the drugs.. I mean, if I really wanted JUST the drugs then I wouldn't be doing all of these procedures on my back, I wouldn't have had any sort of surgeries, and would be focusing specifically on the meds. I can function normally throughout the day without them. The only time I feel I NEED them is at night, to sleep. Or well to help dull the pain. I just noticed since my last procedure the pain has gotten significantly worse; once again that would be a repercussion of all the surgeries I decide to put myself through. It's crazy how all of you can relate to all these problems. I always thought I was the only person who experiences the things like this. Thankfully I'm not, but once again it sucks that everyone else has to deal with these things. I could easily just focus on getting pain meds, to mask my problem but that's not what I want. I don't want to MASK it. I want to FIX it. Meh, life goes on I guess. I hope everything gets better for you and if you ever find anything that helps you, let me know. :3
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