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Hello All,
I’m 34 years old and have been suffering from lower back/ left buttock pain for about 10 years. I go to a physiotherapist(ostheopath) every couple of months, and regularly see a strength and condition coach for workout routines which include breathing exercises, core work, as well as lots of flexibility work. The two sports that I love the most are golf and tennis, however, I now keep both at the minimum in order to avoid injury. I have a very stubborn GP who will not give me a referral for an MRI, ad who basically tells me to suck it up. I would say that I have 5 to 6 serious flare up’s per year, which land me in bed for a couple of days and cause me to miss work. I get very’ down’ and depressed when these flare up’s come on, and have a very hard time thinking rationally.
Question to you guys, am I making too big of a deal of my particular situation? I do not mean to be insulting in any way, however, it appears that many people on here have it much worse.


  • MarkInSFMMarkInSF Posts: 9
    edited 07/11/2012 - 4:08 PM
    To you, it is important. That's what matters. If it was causing me to miss work as often as that I would expect my doctor to take me seriously and try to get a solid diagnosis. When I first started having problems I was put off for a bit, but that was just to see if it got better on its own. That doesn't require ten years to find out. I've also had doctors who dreaded trying to diagnose musculoskeletal problems as so many different things can cause them. Anyhow, hope you get some action on this. And some of my many doctors undertreated pain, especially older ones. You may need a new doctor if this one keeps ignoring your difficulties. Good luck.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    It's very hard for any of us here to identify your problem. Without have diagnostics (X-Ray, MRI, etc). its hard to determine if your problem is muscular related or spinal

    Since your CPC did not feel it was necessary to schedule a MRI for you, they have had to have good reasons. Have you ever sat down them and have them explain their rational.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • If I had suffered that long with back pain and had that many flares no way would I stay with a doctor who would order the diagnostic test to find an answer.
    The first few times I went to the doc with back pain my PCP did what yours did, probably strain, rest, heat/ice ibuprofen etc. when it became a recurring theme he ordered an mri and found collapsed discs at l4/l5 and l5/s1. Since 2004 I've had 3 lumbar mri's to check progress of ddd and at least 5 cervical mri's. Yes they are expensive, but it's the only way to find out what is going on.
    Good luck, to you, you aren't making too much of the situation. Even if it's not anything serious not addressing it properly can turn something that is minor now into a chronic pain condition later, many on here can attest to that.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • Get a new PCP and ask for a referral to a spine ortho to evaluate your back. It sounds like your current PCP is a jerk! Don't be afraid to tell him so.
  • JohnJJohn Posts: 964
    edited 07/25/2012 - 11:15 AM
    Mike, Pain is pain and it is not always the length of time we have endured this condition, I have 20 years of tools and experience in dealing and managing my pain and although it has been ineffectual I would not want to be stating again, so I have much sympathy for those starting out on this eventful and challenging journey.

    It is a balance between disclosure and attempting to manage it more effectively, pain is subjective and if you expect a total cure here or in the near future that may be problematic. No amount of wishing that things were different will change that reality knowing where that transitional point is when our options become less, is never easy to locate or estimate.

    As Ron said, have you asked your doctor why no MRI is advisable, our initial perception is that pain and our condition is reversible and reality differs from that understandable objective, few that log on here after an eventful history return to who they used to be, we are the minority.

    My initial Op came when I could no longer stand up, eventually my professor said I was done, only a doctor or specialist knows your condition, even as the patient if you keep looking for that illusionary cure that is impossible no doctor is going to be able to say the words you want to hear and continually changing will not ease that reality.

    Be reasonable with yourself and others and try not to make a drama of everything or pain a lifestyle, keep managing yourself as best as possible; enjoy what you do now and saviour every single moment if you can. Be positive, pain everyday is not easy, chronic pain is an “entity in itself”, highly complex and intricate. R A Sternbach et al, Melzack and Wall.

    Devise a flare-up plan that differs from the norm, look at what you can do if anything to pace under the pain, you have survived those flare ups and will do so in the future, use that strong will against the irrationality when it happens and push back those unhelpful thoughts, find the right people to help and support you.

    You are important here, equally as me, I applaud your concept that you think others may be worse and they are at times, your needs are important to me.....

    Learn all you can about your condition and use it, take responsibility to manage each area better over time, and be kind to yourself.

    Take care Mike, John UK.
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