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Pain in sacrum and buttock

Albino84AAlbino84 Posts: 3
Hi Everyone,

I found this forum few months ago and read it a lot and today finally decided to post my story here hoping to find some advice as I couldn't find something similar to my story.
I'am 29, 184cm, 77kgs. Rather athletic. I work in a office which involves a lot of sitting. My back problems started back in 2009 which is a rather long story which can be summarized: Had a back pain, not so severe but didn't go away, had an MRI which showed very little disc bulge located centraly (3-4mm) at L4-L5 and L5-S1 (very small bulge - maybe even not a bulge). Physio, drugs and chiropractors didn't help. Finaly after months of looking finaly I found a set of exercices which helped me (or maybe it's just time which healed me)
For the last 5 years I was living actively: skiing, hiking, running, etc. with no back pain. I had some little discomofrts but they disappeared after 2 or 3 days.

The present episode looks like this. In march it started as a groin mild pain or maybe more a discomfort with a subtle discomfort in the sacrum and buttock. First i tried to do all the exercises I belived helped me back in 2009 but they didn't. I went to a certified chiropractor and took three sessions. It didn't help - The pain got worse. It disappeared from the groin but located in the left part of my sacrum and buttock and was strong enough to keep my mind concentrated on the pain. I also felt some subtle tingling in my left foot. After this time I lost faith in the chiropractors but my friend convinced me to see another one which was very helpfull for him. I saw the guy and bang! After 2-3 sessions it was much better. He also gave me some exercices which were very hardcore. They concentrated on streching hamstrings and strengheting the core muscles (planks) But it all worked for me!
But again after 2 months of living a good live with no pain it returned. Sharp pain in the low part of the sacrum, buttock, and sometimes higher were sacrum attaches to the spine. Some sciatia also but not severe. And no pain in lumbar area!! (Or maybe very very subtle coming and going but it only appeared recently) It's better when I'am lying down.
This time this new chiropractor couldn't help me. After 3 weeks of unsuccessful tretment he adviced to make a new MRI. New MRI looks alomost the same like the previous one from 2009 except that L4-L5 disk is more dehydrated now and L5-S1 has a very small bulge, less than 3mm - could be normal. And now the bizzare part: the MRI says that the the bulged disc L4-L5 touches RIGHT L5 nerve root. All my symptoms are on the LEFT side! My chiro thinks that the pain isn't caused by the bulges - as far as he looks at the MRI (and yes, he can read MRIs) The second bizzare part is that Straight leg test and slump tests are negative for me. I can raise both legs freely up to over 90 deg with no pain in the back and sacrum

To summarize:
- No back pain (or very very little sometimes)
- Pain located in the left side of the sacrum (and lower) and left buttock
- Some sciatic symptoms but not constant (tingling in foot and calf) Sometimes pain was felt in the back of the tigh. All on the LEFT side
- MRI shows very little bulges and no compresion on the nerve roots oin the left side - rather right.
- Pain subsides when lying down.
- Can raise both legs with no pain. SLR and Slump negative.

Oh I almost forgot: Back in 2009 I had ruled out other conditions such as Lyme disease, ankylosing spondylitis, Rheumatism so that's not the case.

So my questions to the community are:
- Can these symptoms still be caused by disc bulge? If yes - How come? MRI says differently
- If it is somthing different then what is it? SI joint problems? My chiro made some adjustments on that but the pain is still there.

Please give some advice as it is starting to affect my live pretty hard and my mood is dropping down quickly.

PS. Sorry for my english. I'am not from english speaking country.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    There is nobody on the forum qualified to advice you on what is causing your pain, that needs to discussed with a medical professional.


    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Liz said:
    There is nobody on the forum qualified to advice you on what is causing your pain, that needs to discussed with a medical professional.
    Sure they can't. I'am not expecting a full diagnosis. I just assumed that maybe someone will share his experience which can bring some more light on my condition. Belive me I've seen a lot of medical proffesionals: PTs, doctors. One said it's caused by the discs, other said that it's just a sprain in the ligaments etc. It confusing! I just wanted to know if someone had a similar story: disc bulges on the MRI, no pain in the low-back, pain in sacrum and buttock, mild sciatica, SLR and Slump test negative - And what was their diagnosis and ways to recovery.
  • Hi. I've never experienced pain on the opposite side to nerve impingement. I don't know if anyone else can shed any light on that. My husband suffers from piriformis muscle problems (you can search for info at the top) & it presents in a very similar way to sciatica. It could be worth checking out with your doctor if diagnostic tests aren't showing spine damage that explains your pain. Sorry I can't be of more help. That's the only thing I can think of. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks EnglishGirl. Piriformis muscle has been ruled out too :( Tomorrow I'am seeing a new neuro surgeon. Has a lot of positive feedback. Maybe he will solve this puzzle.
  • Good luck! Let us know how it goes. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Hey, have you found a solution to your pain?  It sounds like you have exactly what I have.  I just had a severe L5/S1 disc fused and it did not resolve the pain.  I do not think it is from your disc.  I'm puzzled myself trying to find an answer.  What diagnostic tests did you have?  Does it feel like someone put a clamp on the left side of your tailbone/buttock area and tightened it really hard?  Is it sometimes hard to pinpoint the pain because it's so deep?
  • AJGormitAAJGormit Posts: 375
    edited 09/14/2016 - 6:39 PM
    It may be worth researching your nerve pathways from your spine into your legs.  This may give you more of an idea about pain in certain areas.

    The spine and nerves are very complex and can lead to different diagnosis from different professionals unfortunately

    Hope you find some useful information on this site as it has lots and then you have people contact on top of that.  We all know the frustration you are experiencing and are here to listen and support if possible

    Good luck and let us know the outcome of your appointment
    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015

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