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confusing symptoms

calliopecatdogccalliopecatdog Posts: 4
edited 01/02/2015 - 4:59 PM in Lower Back Pain
I have osteoarthritis along with degenerating discs in my lower back. My CT myleogram shows that the bulging is on the left side of my lower back. I have had several RFAs on both sides to help eliminate the pain and allow me to function. However, the last two times my right side has still hurt significantly after the RFAs. My doctor is confused and is am I because the pain should be on the left more than the right. My question is can the cause if the pain be on one side and the pain actually be on the opposite? I am at a loss and need some info on why its not acting like it should.


Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. Here are some questions that you
should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen?
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results
    - What medications are you currently using?
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

Also please remember, there is no one on this forum site that is a medical professional. Therefore, no one can provide you with a diagnosis of your problem. You need to discuss that with your doctor.

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 01/02/15 22:59



  • The back pain first started over two years ago and we have been managing it with gabapentin 600mg 3xs daily plus pain medicine. I have seen two nuerosurgeons which one prescribed physical therapy that made the pain worse. I see a pain management doctor so I can try to live a seemingly normal life but its not working. I didn't have an accident or traumatic injury that caused this. I was obese and had gastric bypass and lost a lot of weight. My doctors think that the fat supported my spine and hid the problems caused by my bad genes. I should tell you that my grandfather and father have these same conditions, theirs just started later in life than mine because they took better care of themselves i guess. My pain started on morning after I woke up I just couldn't move I hurt so bad, I thought maybe I had slept wrong and then the CT showed the bulging disc. I can't have MRIs. The nuerosurgeons don't want to do the fusions of my lower vertebrae due to my age (both) said this. They want me to be older to get this done. I have had 2 CT myleogram with contrast. Right now my doctor is confused as to why my pain is on the right side when the discs are clearly bulging on the left. The RFAs I have had should take care of any of that pain but I am still in severe pain on the right side. So has anyone ever heard of people hurting on the opposite side of where the pain should be?
  • I honestly feel like back pain can radiate, just as abdominal pain can. It could be a number of different things. Back pain is so hard to pin point. Most of my pain is down my right leg, but over the past couple weeks has started down my left was well. There are so many nerves in the areas with our problems, that its so hard to understand exactly where and why we are having pain in certain areas. Im sorry for your pain, and I just wanted to send a message letting you know youre not alone in this journey. We are here for you.
    Spine-Health Moderator 
    Ankylosing Spondylitis
    Bulging discs T12-L3
    Annular Tears with Disc Extrusion L4-S1
    Moderate Central Canal Stenosis
    Moderate Foraminal Stenosis
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Ligaments
    Spinal enthesopathy
    L4-L/5 PLIF with cages, rods, screws 2/15 

  • Thank you for your message. I appreciate it. There are days that I feel so alone because the RFAs should have stopped the pain but they didn't. I feel like this has taken over my life and I can't do anything about it. I feel useless in my house. I can work from home and do so from my bed. My child is suffering because I can't do a lot with him. It just sucks. Sorry I am just angry that I feel like this and there seems to be nothing i can do to make it better.
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