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Help please, backpain, numb thigh, painful bowel

I am 23 years old. I hurt my back at work last april. For 10 months I was manually flipping steel plates that weigh roughly 220-250lbs anywhere from 50-120 times a day. Also, these plates are sitting at about my shins so I have to bend over to flip them. My back had already been hurting a little for a few weeks before that, probably just muscular. Then I felt a quick sharp stabbing pain in my lower back and made a claim. I had pain in my lower back whenever I twisted, bent backwards a little bit, bent forward all the way(felt okay when I bent forward a little bit) The workmans comp doctor said it was probably muscular or a torn ligament. Never got an xray or mri. I know that roughly half the time they are inaccurate with seeing what is going on anyways... They told me to do physical therapy but i could not due to schedule conflicts(fulltime work, fulltime school, and fulltime father of 4) I was out of work for a few weeks, was taking a muscle relaxer, had a steroid treatment, and taking ibuprofen 800s 3-4 times a day. Even with workmans compensation I could not afford to miss work since my income is the only income for a family of 6. So after a few weeks, when the pain became manageable I went back to work. Still did the same job with a different procedure (no flipping manually) for a month or 2. Started a different job at the same shop in July. I now Grind the plates. I work with plates ranging from 220-400 lbs, but I use a hoist/ magnet to move the plates around. There is a lot of reaching, pulling, stretching, bending, lifting(not the plates), and twisting. About a month ago I was working and all of a sudden I got a strange sensation just below my left buttocks. It really felt like I soiled myself. I checked and nothing. Its happened to me twice now. Now for the 1- 1 1/2 weeks my lower back (roughly L3-4-5-S1 area) has been bothering me. Then, 3 days ago, I was pulling a plate(300+lbs for this one) and I got a short crippling sharp stabbing pain followed by a dull dissipating pain in my lower back. I kneeled to the ground instantly and felt like I couldn't get up for a min or two. I went home from work after that. Since then my lower back hurts when I bend backwards even a few degrees. It hurts when I twist, bend forward all the forward, when I sit straight up. It really hurts when I cough and it even hurts when I bear down while having a bowel movement. For the past couple nights I have been so restless no matter where I try to sleep. Only getting a few hours of sleep now. I am very low income for a family of 6 and the deductible on my insurance is 12,000 $!! Needless to say I can not afford to go to the hospital right now. I just do not know what to do at this point... Cant afford to go to the hospital, cant afford to miss work, cant even afford workmans compensation! What Do I Do?!?! And what is wrong with me? On top of fulltime school, fulltime work, father of 4(2 of whom are my stepchildren), and this insane and unpredictable back pain, I have been dealing with severe tooth pain and relationship issues for quite some time now. Life has dealt me a full hand, Any advice/diagnosis would greatly be appreciated... Hard for me to think rational and logically these days...
Thank You


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,841
    Unfortunately no one on this site is medically trained to give you a diagnosis of what is going on with you. Until you can get to the hospital, see a doctor, etc the only suggestion I could give at this moment is apply heat to the area that is bothering you and take some over the counter NSAIDS.

    But you still need to get a formal medical review of your situation.
    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
  • I can totally sympathize with you. I was injured at work in the beginning of July (13') I also work in a very intense manual labor job. You said you made a claim to your employer about your injury. You should be able to go to the doctors and not have to pay for it. That's what workman comp is for. If it was me and I was experiencing the symptoms you are I would definitely go to a doctor and see about getting some x-rays and a MRI

    I know it's tough financially to be out of work but you also need to think about your health. My doctor took me out in the beginning of September and its not fun. workman comp doesn't exactly support a family so I was allowed to file for unemployment as well. Once again not the greatest but it helps.

    Because I waited and injured my back worse I am waiting to have an ALIF L4-S1 w/posterior screws surgery

    One other piece of advise to share is look at retaining a comp lawyer. They can work wonders if you find a good one
    alif l4-s1
  • any visit to the ER should be covered by WC. The thing you need to be concerned about is worsening/increasing pain, numbness in the buttocks or genital areas, inner thighs - similar in distribution to where your body would come into contact with a saddle if you rode a horse.
    Difficulty or inability to control either your bladder or bowels is another area to be concerned over.
    You can start by contacing your GP for evaluation,
  • You need to see a back doctor - neurologist or neurosurgeon for an MRI and CT scan. The technology today is awesome. My son hurt his back at work and had surgery. He was out of work for 9 months. Workman's Comp should take care of that for you. DO NOT WAIT any longer to get help because the pain will get worse. I suffer from sciatica because 2 cysts are pinching my sciatic nerve. Had the MRI and CT Scan suggested by my neurologist. Also saw a neurosurgeon who said no surgery, thank God. I wear a TENS machine, go to therapy 3x a week with a back specialist, and have a certain way of getting out of bed in the morning or after a nap. If you are interested in the exercises, let me know, but PLEASE see a doctor immediately. You cannot afford not to.
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