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need to know

Ive had back pain since my early 20s.after going through ps off and on,chiro,and accupunture for years im now at the point that I can no longer continue with my usual everyday activities from my pain.im a mailman and while walking one day something cramped up in my buttock that droped me to my knees.i also can tell you that a certain movement lunging forward will cause me a great deal of pain usually not that day but comes the next day.this spring I was picking up my dogs doodoo in the back yard with a kids shovel,using one hand on the shovel while bending slighty forward for 15 min left me in agony for 3 days.im currently attending a work rehabilitation program but am currently waitng for my mri come October.i am attending the program but am coming home only to lay on the floor with my feet up because of the pain.i have constant low back and butt pain that goes to my knees.a couple of times I had tingling on the bottom of my left foot.thr dr at the program is handing me meds as if they were candy and suggest that if the don't work then he wil do some cortison shots.please help I need to know,is it ddd?lumbar arthritis?sacroiliac disease?


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    you will need some formal diagnostic testing to determine the root of the problem.
    Without that, everything is pure speculation.
    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
  • Yes, that's the frustrating part is not knowing. I went to my program today and after lifting approx 50-60lbs through leg press, arm press. Within 10 minutes after my workout I took the biggest spasm in my back. A tight burning clench that pretty much put me to the floor. Hopefully soon I can get injections to pin point and diagnose the source of the problem.thanks
  • Hey MW. Ron's right, without diagnostic tests we can only guess what's wrong. My husband suffers from piriformis syndrome (you can search it here) & he'd say it sounds like that. I could be sciatica from a herniated disc. I have degenerative arthritis & I can find similarities. I really don't know but October is a LONG time to wait. Is there anything you can do to get that pulled forward?

    Please don't go to a chiropractor just incase it's structural, a herniation or something. An 'adjustment' could cause big problems for you.
    With anything else I can think of with similar symptoms physical therapy will probably be the first step so it's worth trying that. What meds have they given you? A muscle relaxant & antiinflamatory could help. If you've already tried that & it's not giving much relief you could ask about a nerve med like Gabapentin or Lyrica. I personally get on with Gabapentin type meds best. Lyrica & Savella caused terrible side effects but were all different.

    I'm sorry you have to wait so long...ugh!!! I always used to think that problems that came & went for years & persisted had to be structural but my husband has been suffering with muscle issues for years now! There's no use worrying about milk that hasn't spilt yet. You do have a very physically taxing job though. What does the 'rehabilitation program' involve? Is it helping at all?

    There are lots of little tips here to help with the pain while you're waiting. Hang in there! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks for the replies, through the program I have been prescribed 7 different mess, I'm currently on number 6 with no relief in site. I'm meeting with the Dr on Friday and will be practically begging him for cortisone shots to pinpoint the exact locations. Based on what he told me is that the sacroiliac joints are inflamed as well as l4-l5 degenerative changes. Also the facet joints are inflamed. After having my physio theraphist do an evaluation today with walking, lifting, pushing, pulling. I again am having a burning clenching feeling in my back that feels like spine irritation with the usual butt and back pain . it seems the more I do with a slight bend forward like the story of the lady who's a sandwich maker, the more I find myself laying on the floor with my feet up trying to get some relief. As I lay here on my back I can feel nerves in my but and leg bounce around.
  • That they have you doing physical weight exercises without the MRI and without a diagnosis based on tests. That could be doing more harm than good
  • Well, I just received my MRI results and it basically says that I have a bulging disc l4l5 with nerve compression on the left side, also an annular tear l5s1 with nerve compression on the left side with mild spinal stenosis. My dr, put in the request for me to see the specialist. Will surgery be an option for me? I am in everyday pain and cannot perform my job duties.
  • I'd see a board certified spine surgeon (neuro) with your diagnostic tests. He might want to do more. He should talk you though your results & your options for treatment. I always make notes before I go & take notes while I'm there. I'm always in even more pain by the time I've got to an appointment & waited around. It's frustrating to remember questions when you're on your way home after!
    Surgery is a very personal choice. I'd get second & third opinions. Ask questions like 'What will happen if I don't have surgery?". There are concervative treatments but depending on how bad the compression is surgery might be the best option...or not! You can't really tell from MRI results. You need a good neuro that you really trust to point you in the right direction. Best of luck. Let us know what he says.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Now that you know you have nerve compression & damage please be careful what you do. No chiropractor adjustments! Your specialist should take you through what you can & can't do until this is treated. Any kind of physical therapist should look at your results & tailor your therapy accordingly.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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