I'm a new member to the Spine health website, but I've been browsing peoples' posts over the last 6 months. Just wanted to share my story and see whether anyone has gone through something similar or has any words of wisdom.
Last summer I began running quite a bit. I had been a "runner" in the past (kind of), but had not done it in a few years and started off the bat running 3, 4, 5 miles at a time, probably with improper technique. During this time, I strained my calf muscle twice and hamstring once. Soon after that, the pain moved to my back. What is confusing to me is that the pain has moved around and they can't seem to find the source!
The pain initially started in my upper back (which is normal for me) in August 2014, then moved quickly to my lower right back and outside of my right hip. My quadratus lomborum muscle was extremely tight and tender during this time (I only know what that muscle is because I live with a massage therapist). I finally went to an orthopedic doctor who prescribed physical therapy on the assumption it was a disc problem. After completing about 1-2 weeks of PT, my pain got worse and a low back MRI was ordered. I was also put on vicodin at this time (which just made me sick). The MRI showed no major problems (one disc was slightly bulged but only 1mm). By that time, the pain moved into my butt, only on the right side, and would not budge. The doctor changed my suspected diagnosis to Piriformis Syndrome, and had me continue with PT, stretching, etc. This was in September 2014, and the butt pain has just continued to get worse. They did a very specific MRI on my right hip and piriformis in November 2014, and everything looked intact. My ortho doctor then performed a piriformis injection because of my symptoms, but I felt no relief at all. During this time, I was continuing PT, seeing my chiropractor regularly who was doing active release technique (ART) and adjusting my back. I also then began accupuncture because I was willing to try anything at that point. I felt no relief from any of those. I switched doctors in January 2015, and at that point was feeling pain/tenderness in my groin/illiopsoas area on right side, in addition to the butt pain. I added hip and psoas stretches to my nightly stretching routine. This seemed to make the psoas/groin pain worse. In January 2015, I had another set of piriformis injections performed, plus a trigger point injection on the side of my right hip. These injections did not provide relief, if anything made the muscles more tender. At this point I was told not to do any form of exercise anymore (I had been still doing low impact exercise throughout all this, and trust me, it was a lot less working out than I was used to). The past three weeks I have not engaged in any exercise, not even going for walks longer than the five minutes it takes me to walk around campus at work or walk my dog. I now feel like my hip is stiffening up a bit, and my groin/hip/butt pain is still just as strong. A week ago I had a hip arthrogram done and my third MRI, all which came back normal (no labral tear, etc). The only thing that found was some fluid in the pelvis and a slightly thickened endometrium (sorry if TMI), which I'm not going to have to follow up with my OB/GYN about. At this point I have stopped PT because it wasn't doing anything, and stopped going to my chiropractor because I often felt worse afterwards.
I am living on Tramadol 50mg twice per day, and taking a lot of tylenol and advil on top of it, just to get through my day. Sitting is definitely the worst, and I try and get up as much as a can, but it doesn't help in the long term. I sit on a heating pad or ice all day everyday, or else the pain is strong. Don't even get me started on long drives. I feel like my quality of life has greatly diminished. I can't really work out, which is my biggest stress reliever, and I'm in pain at all times. If I am invited to go anywhere with friends, the first thing I have to think about is whether the restaurant or wherever we are going has cushioned seats or if I'll have to stand too long (which also hurts). I'm only 30 and am so afraid that this won't go away. It's also affecting my sleep, and at this point I can only sleep on my left side because it hurts to be on my back (butt pain), my stomach (hip pain), or my right side (hip pain). Somewhat recently the pain has also started making my right knee a little tight, and on occassion the pain goes down to my right foot.
I saw my pain management doctor yesterday and he know wants to try an SI joint injection to see if that is causing the pain. I'm going to do it, but I can't help but feel hopeless and like it won't help, due to all my failed previous procedures. I'm spending so much money on all of this and it feels like a waste.
I know this was a really long post and I'm sorry. I'm at my wits end! If anyone has had anything similar to me or can offer any insight or words of wisdom, I would greatly appreciate it!
1 1/2 years chronic pain in butt, hip, and sometimes low back. 7 steroid injections (piriformis, s1, si joint, hip joint). Hip labral repair arthroscopic surgery 12/2015. Sciatic neurolysis 12/2015.