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Over 2 months of lower, middle and upper back pain. Please help :(

Hi all my names Tom, im 24 and in good shape at 6 '2 73kg,

About 2 months ago i started getting lower back pain, it was not that bad just needed 2 panadeine forte to ease the pain after work. Two weeks had gone by with the pain being consistent and not residing, i then went and got an xray with no abnormalities. The pain has been constant in the middle of my lower spine, when I bend backwards the slightest im in all sorts of pain, I am able to bend forward to touch my toes easily with no pain.

I am not able to stand in a position for longer then 1 minute without having to move because of the pain, sitting is easier though it is painful and i do use a heat pack all the time. I have to stand after half an hr and that is pushing it.

I wake in the mornings with lower back pain every morning now, this has only started in the past 3-4 weeks, before then everything had been due to standing or sitting. The pain has been so server several times only 10mg of endone would ease the pain. The doctors are hesitant to give me endone all the time though and i see their point.

I do not want to be on medication for back pain, this has effected my ability to do anything. I am stuck in im house all the time now. I am doing physio twice a week but it seems to do nothing, I think i should go back to jujitsu but my doctors are telling me not to.

Please help some one, this is ruining my life.
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Comments

  • Hi Tom. Welcome. I'm sorry to hear of your pain. Your story struck a cord with me since it sounds like you're in Australia and a young guy, too. I'm 23 and hurt my back a year ago, although I'm not much further ahead of you in terms of getting better, sadly. But yeah, it's a nightmare and the good thing about this site is we're all stuck in it together.

    They say that if the pain started less than three months ago it is extremely likely that it will resolve on it's own thanks to the body's natural healing process. So there is a kind of next level of investigations, specialists and treatments that come into play after that point at which it seems like it won't go on it's own.

    I say for the next month, you try to get through with whatever Panadeine and Endone your GP prescribes and after that start talking to him about referral to a pain specialist. That is who you want to see. Public pain clinics have waiting lists, so go private if you can. Mate, I hope your pain does go soon. This site is good source of support, so keep posting. Feel free to PM me if you want, too. James.
  • mark8888mmark8888 Posts: 1
    edited 09/11/2014 - 2:45 PM
    back pain may be costly and dangerous and need to be examined as soon as there is something unusual or a hard pain

    Soliciting or advertising is not permitted on Spine Health. Repeated advertising or soliciting may result in your account being banned. Please read the forum rules. http://www.spine-health.com/forum/forum-rules

  • If your pain persists you could always request an MRI referral from your GP. From what I can work out they give a much better picture of the lumber spine than an xray.

    Veronica
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Sorry to hear about your pain. I've had five back injuries myself, so I feel your pain.

    An X-ray only shows hard tissue (bone). An MRI shows soft tissue, such as your discs, which are the jelly-like cushions in between your veterbrae. I am no doctor, but it sounds like you have a posterior herniated disc. Posterior means it is bulging backwards, which explains why you can bend forward, but not backward.

    I would strongly recommend you do NOT return to jui jitsu. Rushing back too soon means you could injure yourself even worse!! Be patient. Just because physical therapy has not cured you immediately does not mean it won't work. You have to give it at least 3 months. If that fails, then you may want to try aquatic therapy (swimming). It is low impact on your joints and can help you build some strength and mobility back.

    Have you tried icing your back? Personally, when I used to heat to heal my back, it made it worse. Ice works best for me, but perhaps heat works for you. Maybe try an ice pack.

    I will say this: you being only 24 years old is an advantage from a healing standpoint. Do you smoke? Smoking has been linked to back pain. However, herniated discs can take 1-6 months to heal, depending on your age and the severity of the injury. Again, please be patient. If you rush back into jiu jitsu or try to lift something heavy, you will regret it.

    Like Veronica said though, get the MRI. It will give a better picture of what is going on down there. When I hurt my back, my insurance company said I had to undergo physical therapy first before getting the MRI. So it will depend on what your doctor and/or insurance company says.

    Never quit and never give up.
  • Hi all,

    Thanks heaps for your replies, i have recently got a CT scan and an MRI done both coming back with no real serious damage. Both reports saying minor and minimal but nothing major the doctor says. I have not gotten any better and it has been over 4 months now, I have seen a neurologist and he referred me on to a college of his and both no answers for me either. My doctor told me he thinks its a mental condition telling me im in pain and i really wasn't happy with that response, that really upset me because i know its there. When the physio was working on me they could tell how much pain i was in when they were pushing in certain parts. The endone and hot water bottle helps with the pain so how can be in my head? I asked for the next step which he said is a bone scan, im worried its going to show negative as well. I feel im not being believed anymore and its really playing on my mind too.

    My lower back is very bruised it is dark purple and gets darker in the centre on the spine, the doctors and physio had no answers for this and it is very tender to touch. I feel im running out of options and i feel im going to lose my job with all these failed results.

    Im in pain 24/7, ive started waking up with a really stiff body all over and takes a good 3-4 hrs to warm up now.

    I have reports for ct and mri if needed just let me know.
  • nataska73nnataska73 Posts: 17
    edited 11/05/2014 - 12:23 AM
    If a physcio is pressing hard on you this will only make you pain worse it sounds like you stiffened up and your back has gone into muscle spasms a physcio actually hurt my middle back by pressing up and down my spine my back went into severe muscle spasms and my doctor has ordered a Mri to find out what she has done please do not continue with anything that is painful trust me pain is way of your body letting you know something is wrong a physcio pressing pushing on you will just make it worse muscle spasms make you back very tender and tight ask your doctor for some muscle relaxers and hydro codeine as this helps muscular pain and soreness
  • You basically said it just started off not so bad and progressed...If we knew a bit more, perhaps we could help more? Do you think that this could be a work related injury? Jujitsu injury? Do you work out with heavy weights? Were u involved in an accident? Did you fall? Twist? Was it caused by an isolated incident that you can remember that began the cycle of pain? Trauma/blunt injury? Perhaps it is a muscle strain or tear? It's all conjecture at this stage. Perhaps seeing another Doctor for a second opinion would be beneficial? Are u currently resting your back? Bottom line, U need to take the pressure off your back and whatever you do, don't go back to Jujitsu until this has been dealt with! Also, sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs should relieve pressure on your back and provide some sort of relief. Icing the area may be beneficial as well.

    -DOUG-
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • My doctor has just prescribed me valium a couple of days ago and only suggested taking it at night time for help with sleep, though i have been finding everyday life a very big struggle mentally and physically. Today I had an argument with my insurance company about them not approving my anxiety and depression as a result to this back pain. I have been having breakdowns over the past couple of months and feeling very emotional 24/7, i ended up taking the valium this morning and felt better for a few hours then received the phone call that upset me a lot they make me feel alone and as there not believing me this caused me to have another breakdown these are horrible i crawl into a ball in feel as if i cant breathe. I took 2 more after that and after a while calmed down, the problem is the doctor only prescribed 1 at night and i feel in certain situations and nearly everyday life at the moment they are needed to help with my anxiety and pain.

    It was a progressive injury as in the beginning the first 3-4 weeks it was not a 24/7 occurance but after that and until now i have had a dull pain in my lower back with it alternernating to my shoulder blades and middle back. I worked at a bench that was a bit to low and made me bend in an awkward position and i think this was the cause of the pain.

    I have been resting nearly all day every day apart from doctors and physio appointments and shopping etc, just the needed things for life to get by. I have been referred for a bone scan, will get that done tomorrow.

    If anyone else has any more help that would be greatly appreciated, this is something i need to get to the bottom of to get my life back on track and start climbing back up that hill!

    Thanks everyone
  • prescribed the way you are taking them is not only dangerous but can get you quickly into trouble with your doctor. If he prescribed them to take ONLY at night, that is the only time you should be taking them. Self medicating for any reason is not something you should be doing.
    As far as offering you treatment ideas, until you know what exactly is causing the pain , there isn't much that any of us can tell you. If you aren't getting answers from your primary, then perhaps you need to be seen by a spine surgeon for a consult and any imaging that he may feel is necessary.
    It is possible that it is simply muscular and is going to need time to heal.......what else are you doing to lessen the pain? Stretches, simple walking, using ice, or heat to ease some of the muscular pain? There are several over the counter treatments you can use that may offer some relief.
  • Mine to was a injury I really found gentle walking and heat helped you say your resting all day you say your going to physcio but you seem to be getting worse can you see my point???None of these helped me heat helped me muscle relaxers some gentle stretching when I could and walking is amazing its helped my back injury so much I can now do squats again try walking and heat
  • deep heat and volteral gel and co hydro codeine all also help muscle pain
  • Chronic pain often brings on depression & anxiety. Talk to your doctor about it. There are many different meds & therapy techniques you can try. Fighting with our minds only makes pain worse. Please don't let this get out of hand. The brain can be just as crippling as the body. Please talk to your doctor. Reaching for a pill bottle when life hits hard isn't a good sign. Just like physical pain there are a variety of different ways to tackle mental pain. Please talk to your doc.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Hi Tom,

    Perhaps it is the fact that your Doctor has prescribed you with Valium that is the problem? Not only is this a highly addictive drug, but it is indeed short lived and if you do self medicate and take more this would absolutely pose a problem for you on more levels than one. In my opinion, what you should be taking is something long term to help out with both anxiety and depression. Speak to your Doctor and ask him or her about these meds -- "Paxil" or "Effexor." Paxil has helped me on an anxiety level like you wouldn't believe. It has also helped me with my depression and to cope with the effects this has had on my life. Bare in mind that it will take a few weeks to get into your system and work the way it should. I don't like the thought of anyone curling up into a ball and breaking down. It doesn't have to be that way. There are drugs available to help you get through this, but in my opinion, Valium is just a bad choice. Don't forget either -- at the end of the day, it is up to YOU. We all know it's easier said than done, so my advice is to get on the right drug and to put in the effort. I wish you all the best, Tom. Pls keep us posted and u r more than welcome to PM me anytime!

    -DOUG-
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,302
    edited 11/08/2014 - 3:33 AM
    the muscles weaken , your tolerance to activity decreases, your stamina decreases, and the pain levels will rise.
    It may be that all of this is simply muscular, and that there isn't anything serious wrong with your spine, and you need some time to allow the muscles to rest and heal, but that doesn't mean inactivity.
    Physical therapy , excercises and stretches should be part of your treatment program, and walking, several times per day , increasing your distance, time and stamina should be part of your daily activities, to avoid increasing the pain from disuse.
    The anxiety issues may be complicating the picture, since you are convinced that something is wrong, and the imaging isn't showing it................if you are spending a good amount of time thinking about your spine, or researching what it might be, then it may be making both the anxiety and the way you interpret the pain more intense.
    I am not saying that you don't have pain, but I am saying that focusing too much on it, when there isn't much showing on the imaging, at this stage of your diagnostic testing isn't going to help .
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