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Long-Term Pain in Lower Back, does anyone share symptoms?

Hi there,

I'm looking for anyone who has similar symptoms to me and if any treatment or lifestyle changed has helped you recover?

25 year old male, physically active, suffered an injury 2 years ago playing badminton which resulted in chronic RHS lower back pain that leaves me unable to sit for extended periods. Sitting for periods of over 30 minutes results in increasingly intense pain in a particular region of the RHS lower back which one doctor thinks is the tendon connected to the RHS glute. The tendon itself is tender at all times if pressure is applied. Pain from sitting for a prolonged period will persist for the rest of the day. If I avoid sitting, I avoid intense pain, but can still feel constant mild discomfort and mild pain in the same area. Other pain triggers are lying on my right hand side, and going down on my haunches.

I am able to play sports at my usual level without any pain, and in fact after intense exercise I find that my back pain decreases in the short term. However it always reemerges after at most a couple of days. The pain is always triggered by sitting, no matter the position, and currently I sit for less than a half hour each day. However, the injury does not seem to heal if I simply avoid sitting - have done this for about a month and the pain is still there.

Have seen a number of doctors, all of whom have had different diagnoses - facet joint inflammation (for which I had steroid injections - no effect), SI joint inflammation (steroid injection - no effect), tendonopathy for which I had targetted steroid injections into the tendon, which do reduce pain in general BUT do not get to the root of the problem as prolonged sitting will bring back the pain fairly quickly.

Have seen a number of physios and osteopaths, and have found exercise and stretching programmes to be basically ineffectual.

I know these symptoms are quite specific, but if anyone has any similar experiences or symptoms please get in touch about whether there was any effective treatment. It seems like such a minor injury, and one that could eventually heal if I made the right treatment and lifestyle choices - however, currently I fear that I won't be able to hold down any kind of desk job as I simply can't sit down for more than 10 minutes without intense pain which lasts for hours after the sitting.




  • Hi Oracle,
    Yes last year I found out that my L5/S5 disc popped out a little, dont really know the exact reasons but weak core & back and extended sitting at office hours and dancing must have caused it. I could sit for 15-20 mins after that pain in my hips and thighs used to start up! I did MRI and went to surgeon & spine specialist but just found out that physio therapy and exercises and walking would help. I did physio therapy for about 4 months and acupuncture and alot of walking but no change. Over time the pain disappered from thighs and hips but still lower back pain continued. Recently after 6 months the pain has started and I dnt have any physio sessions left and immense amount of pain has started into my right thigh and hipbone, I work at the office so sitting for extended hours and no movement. I dont know what else shall I do as well, same boat as yours. I am done with taking painkillers and physio isnt really working for me too expensive. These days I cant even exercise coz my back pains alot and stretching causes too much tension. Am worried for how long is it gonna go.. I am 27 years old and have a very active lifestyle but dont want to hang around with pain all the time.
  • Have you had an MRI? What is your current treatment plan?
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Lcochran4 - yes, have had two MRI's. One doctor found evidence of inflammation in both facet joints (RHS and LHS, though have absolutely no symptoms in my left side). But other doctors have looked at the same MRI's and essentially said that they don't see anything structural.

    Currently I am being treated by a sports injury specialist and a physiotherapist. I have received targetted steroid injections into the tendon I mentioned for pain relief, and am doing an exercise and stretch program recommended by the physio which involves squats, single leg bridges, and a few specialised stretches. To be honest I'm not seeing much benefit from the physio work at the moment - it has been about 4 weeks since I started and though the pain has decreased, I think that can be mostly attributed to me resuming taking NSAIDs.

    I am taking a break from studying at the moment and so can ensure that I avoid sitting all day and do adequate exercise (which seems to help me), and in general I feel that the day to day pain is lessening. But I still can't sit for prolonged periods, and am unsure whether what I'm doing currently is enough to get me back to a level where I can sit.
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