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just some advice)

Well got into a car accident in Jan. Been having lower back pain also butt and upper thigh. Its been horrible, cant do my normal yardwork unless I want to be in severe pain. Cant carry, hold my kids like I used to. Been days where the pain is so bad I can barley walk I just lay there and tbh I been in tears quite a few times. Been on vicodin and baclofen and they help but still in pain. Did pt for 2 months and it just made it worse, pt then declined service after I could not lift my left leg without help while laying down. And said they would not continue until the dr took mri and x rays. So got my x ray found a compression fracture of l1, mri showed a small bulge on l5. Well dr said everything is normal, the bone marrow is fine which means fracture is old and the bulge is not enough to cause pain. So now I am lost on how to fix my back and get rid of this pain. Anybody else ever been told they are fine but have pain and issues like this? Everything I have read saying its a disc issue but dunno where to go from here. Thank you


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Is this a family dr. or an orthopedic/neurosurgeon? The older I get I think family doctors are only good for referrals. And even then, the Internet is helpful as well. Family docs don't know much beyond very basic stuff.
  • Max,

    Many chronic painers like me go through life with spinal ligament problems that cause bulges into the disc space, but does not impinge on the spinal nerves (at the side).

    Fixing a problem like this can cause more pain than it removes, which is why people live like this their whole lives.

    The truth is, everybody gets spine problems eventually. We should have never stood up.

    I first started having problems in my late 20s, in grad school. I had pain in my neck, shoulders, arms. I went to the pain clinic at school, and they gave me Tylenol with codeine. That was my start with opiate analgesics. That was 35 years ago.

    I have discs that bulged, but now they've shrunk to nothing, and many of those joints are fused. It limits my motion, but fortunately, the pain seems less these days. Maybe because I spend too much easy chair time.

    By all means, go see your doc, get worked up. Hope you have that great Obamacare insurance! :#)

    But it might be a good idea to visit with a pain psychologist to work out some pain management strategies? This technique, called CBT, can help reduce pain by half. I have believed for a long time now that if you are in pain, and you don't have a relationship with pain psychologist, then you're missing half the treatment.

    It's never too early to learn how to deal with pain.

    best wishes.
  • I am very sorry to hear about your severe pain and difficulties. Obviously, everything is not all right. During my original episodes of back pain, I was out of work for 5 and 1/2 months. During that time, many surgeons & specialists said that the x-rays & MRI results were not conclusive. They ascribed my back pain to various vague causes giving me epidural steroid injections, oral pain meds, and nerve ablations which were not particularly helpful,
    Next, I saw a physiatrist (a physical medicine & rehab doctor) who watched me walk and observed how I moved because I have cerebral palsy. That doctor then had me lay down and move my knees against resistance. Within 5 minutes, my back pain was completely relieved! He correctly diagnosed me with SI joint dysfunction and showed me how to fix that problem myself.
    Having said that, those results are not typical and I would not want to raise false hopes. However, there are a few important lessons that I learned from those experiences:
    1. Xrays & MRI's look mainly at the body's structure (anatomy). Pain involves the structure of the body (anatomy) and the body's function (physiology). If the air filter on your car's engine gets clogged, the structure (anatomy} of the engine is still intact, but the engine will not work properly because the engine's functions are disrupted.
    2. Pain is real and it is a real problem! Pain is debilitating, Some people mistakenly think because you cannot see pain on an x-ray or an MRI, it is not a reality, They shy away from talking about pain because they are worried about appearing weak and needy or out of touch with reality. Do not fall into that trap! You have a real problem and you need real help.
    3. It can take time and patience to find the right doctors and treatments to help you. Often, you may need input from different medical specialists and therapists to find a treatment plan that works for you. Do not be afraid to ask for second opinions or try other doctors or therapists if you are not satisfied. You are in control of your treatment & your life. Doctors and therapists are there to help you.
    4. You are not alone!

    I hope that this advice helps you and good luck!
    Calm Seas
  • Yes once a doc told me there was nothing wrong with my, was not for my back but for a different issue. I was shocked because I read online for the same condition that many others were told the same thing.
  • Yes this is just my family doc. Thank you guys for the comments and links. I will def look into pain psychologist never heard of that before. Calm Seas your words are very inspiring=)
  • My family doctor gave me a similar story at first. I like family doctor and he generally does well by me. However, I did not fully buy into the concept that I had to just endure the issue. I did not act on that feeling at the time.

    My health insurance provided me a health care coach who suggested that I go to a Rheumatologist. I did this for awhile and eventually the Rheumatologist suggested that I may want to develop a relationship with an orthopedic surgeon. After a year, I visited an orthopedic surgeon who was part of a practice that specialized in spine health issues. He referred me to pain management under another doctor in his practice. I went through pain management for a year. That helped some, but I started to get new symptoms, namely my legs were getting weaker. The pain management doctor sent me back to the surgeon. I had back surgery, and am doing much better. I still have some issues, but it is definitely an improvement over my previous condition.
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