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ridiculous pain in my bum (left side) aggravated by bending/sitting and sleeping.

bfp84bbfp84 Posts: 6
Hi all,

First post here.

I'm at a bit of a loss with my back/bum/leg pain.

I am seeing a specialist on the 21st of May and will undergo an MRI scan shortly after.

I have a pain in the left side of my bum (toward the top) which feels like someone or something has grabbed it and has squeezed it as tight as it could possibly be. The pain is constant but aggravated by sitting for any period of time but sleeping seems to be the largest problem - for the last two weeks I've woken up between 2-5am with severe pain and been unable to get comfortable again. Secondary to my pain it's keeping my fiance awake and she has sleeping problems as it is.

Strangely, if I walk (and struggle greatly) for about 30 minutes, sometimes the pain goes away.

The doctor has given me 50mg tramadol, 100 para /30mg codeine based pain killers and more recently 2mg of diazepam. The pain killers help, but the dosage of diazepam had no impact on me at all, the pain is the same, the feeling is the same, I don't feel sleepy, etc. I've had physio and also acupuncture.

I can't be the only person with this problem but it's plagued me for 9 months now. If anyone else has had this problem and/or has some advice I would greatly appreciate it.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 05/08/2015 - 9:19 PM
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • Did you have a back injury 9 months ago?
    It sounds like the bum and leg pain are symptoms of something higher. If the back pain is to the left side also this suggests muscular. Maybe swelling in your muscles in back and bum are aggravating one or all of the nerves that go down from back to foot.
    Have you had any numbness?

    To be honest you seem to have had it longer than me but I do sympathise. I've been 3 weeks and worried about how long I,'ve been using codeine, if you've used it for 9 months isn't that dangerous?
  • I have the same sort of symptoms. I have pains in my hips and lower back and si joint but mine is like a stabbing pain or burning.for me walking helps too if I'm really bad it can take a while for me to feel better while walking also if I overdo it hurts too.

    I have degenerative disc disease in my lower back,spondolysis and multiple bulging discs. My l5s1 is my problem disc though and its the one that is bulging alot. I have problems with my si joint at times as well. Though this doesnt mean that is what is wrong with you as a lot of lower back issues have the same symptoms.

    For what's wrong with me what helps is not sitting for any length of time cause that's what hurt the most. I use a exercise ball sometimes to sit on to watch the TV and gently bounce on it. Yoga helps,i also got back exercises to do and swimming.acupuncture helped a little for me but as soon as I stopped the pain came right back so it can be expensive. I find for me icing my back helps better than pain killers. It might not be the first time I apply but by the second and third time of the day I really notice an improvement. At night taking a warm bath helps me muscles relax a little before I go to sleep sometimes I put Epsom salts in not sure if that helps much though.

    My only advice is really to keep moving slowly. I hope you get good news and the help you need to help you get better.
  • Henry VIIIHHenry VIII Posts: 38
    edited 05/10/2015 - 2:14 AM
    I had two years of awful psychiatric therapy for sleeping disorder until it was discovered that I couldn't sleep because of the pain. :D

    Now still after all physiotherapy, exercises and medications I feel much pain after sleeping in both legs. I assume the problem is that I spend actually at least 8 or more hours sleeping in different positions when legs are stretched and mostly immovable, and the pressure when I lie on the bed seems to be the same like I was sitting or walking. I would have to discuss with the doctor about possibilities, but she already told me that my leg tendons are underdeveloped and that the degenerative disease of the spine causes these kind of symptoms. What can be used and showed to be partially effective to me is to take that huge (pilates) medical ball and put the legs on it in 45 degrees position which allows muscles and tendons of the lower parts of the legs to get relaxed. Muscle relaxants can help too, but also they can have a side effects to feel dizzy and drugged.
    Scoliosis vertebrae THL
    Sy CC et CB
    Sy THS
    Sy LS chr
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I do get numbness in my left leg, usually from just below my knee right down to and including my toes.. the only way could describe touching that area would be after you've been exposed to extreme cold and then make contact with that area.

    The pain is always to the left, never anywhere else.

    The diazepam I was prescribed (just 7 tablets @2mg) was totally ineffective, it had no impact on my back and no impact on my general feeling.

    This came from nowhere and there was no injury or trauma associated with it.

    The pain is progressively becoming worse, it's at the point where it's almost intolerable.
  • I get numbness in my leg too.I mostly just get the pain down my left leg too.I think this may be cause my disc is bulging to that side therefore hitting the nerves to that side.

    My pain started in my first pregnancy and 6 years later its got a lot worse. I still am searching for what can help the most for my back.

    Really hope you get some relief soon.
  • Hello,

    The biggest problem I have is the fact I moved from one part of the country to another mid process for an MRI scan toward the end of last year. Upon getting here I am told I need to begin the whole process again - e.g wait another few months. I'm considering paying for a private MRI as the pain/problems are getting progressively worse.

    I've been unable to sleep past 3/4/5 am for the last two weeks as I'm woken by pain and unable to get back to sleep. Last night I woke up totally soaked in sweat as well (first time this has happened) I'm not currently taking any medication for this so it's not an undesired side effect of painkillers, etc.

    The only comfortable position I can find is sitting in an office desk with my feet tucked under the chair at a 45o angle almost. I can do a similar thing on my sofa which kinda looks like


    Not the best for posture but it's better than having my legs straight.
  • I had very similar symptoms, your sciatic nerve runs from your rear end down the leg. My Ortho explained to me that once your nerve is compressed, everything else reacts including your muscles in the area. So sitting will hurt, and if you are sleeping on your left side this will also aggravate the nerve. I would get an MRI done, you don't want the nerve pain to turn into weakness. Nerve pain is intense and if you do have a herniated disc pressing on your nerve on the left side you should have it checked sooner than later. Not trying to scare you but I've been through all this before and just looking to help someone else out.
  • Thanks again,

    Seeing the specialist spinal team on the 21st of May.

    Woke up this morning at 1, 3 and 4am in intense pain. I'm going to call and find out the cost of the MRI today as I'm willing to self fund if it means I can give them the MRI at the meeting in 11 days.

    I had bloods taken yesterday at the docs to rule out anything else.

    Did you require surgery Kev?
  • bfp84, yes I had a couple surgeries. One was back in 2011 when I had a MicroD on the l5/s1 and then this past January the same disc collapsed and had a fusion done since there was very little disc left. It herniated and I had severe compression of the nerve. I couldn't sleep, barely move to be honest. Sitting was unbearable, I had to lay on my left side (herniated on right). Not trying to scare you but just trying to help inform people who've had similar symptoms. If you have a good ortho or neuro they will immediately diagnose the issue. Best of luck, keep us posted on your progress and stay on top of the doctors.
  • I see that kevhead beat me to the punch, but it's because he and I have had similar experiences, I believe.

    You sound like I did this time last year....the pain was intolerable and I wasn't sleeping. I couldn't stand or walk for more than about 3-4 min. tops without excrutiating pain. I could sit ok, but my left leg would get tingly or numb or just uncomfortable. I couldn't sleep with my legs straight out at all for months. It just wasn't going to happen. The best relief I got was sleeping on the couch with my legs propped up on the back of the couch or draped over the giant exercise ball on my stomach (I was so exhausted, I occasionally fell asleep that way for a few minutes at a time).

    I'm torn on my non-medical advice to you because knowing what I know now, I would have happily paid the money out of pocket for the MRI I so desperately needed rather than jumping through the insurance hoops because it might have saved my nerve. It definitely would have saved me a lot of pain. Now I most likely have permanent nerve damage/weakness in my left leg/foot because of delayed treatment. But since you have an MRI scheduled soon, you may be ok. I will caution you with this...if your symptoms get worse between now and then, if you have any sudden onset of weakness in your foot/leg or you have any loss of control/sensation in the groin/saddle area, it is an emergency. Don't wait. Go to the ER and be the squeaky wheel.

    I wish you the best of luck. Keep us posted.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • I'm sorry your going through this. I went from working to laying most of the day in pain. The disc will structurally get worst. Mines kept popping one after one. Only ice and salons menthol help. Try sitting in a car once a day for 5 minutes each leg. Left leg across knee of opposite leg to get oxygen to but muscle. It helps! Also ice and keep your legs elevated and ice. I pray we all get relief
    Lia Lovelace
  • Hello everyone,

    Thanks for the responses.

    Basically the problem got worse to the point where I couldn't do anything at all, I struggled through this for about three weeks. I then went two weeks ish mostly symptom free, then one night at about 3am I woke up in agony and went downstairs to try and sleep on the sofa so I didn't disturb my partner as she hardly sleeps anyway.

    Anyway, by 4AM the pain was that intense I went to A&E, assessed by a nurse, then a doctor and admitted. I had an MRI done on the same day which confirms a "moderately herniated" disc between my L4-L5 (L5 root irritation). I was told provided I had no issues with controlling my urine and poo movements I would be seen again in six weeks. I spent a total of three days in hospice pumped full of various drugs.

    I'm now in a situation where my symptoms aren't too bad (about 10 days of tolerable pain) and my appointment is fast approaching with the spinal surgeons (7th of August).

    I really don't know what to do?? If they suggest a steroid injection or surgery do I go along with it and hope it's fixes? Or do I hope I continue as I am with tolerable pain - still unable to be active but I can walk, sit and sleep okay.

    Every day now is spent wondering if the symptoms will revert to crippling pain, an example of this was two days ago I had really bad pain in the top of my bum (same place as before) but the pain was now in both cheeks rather than just the left. This pain subsided within a couple of days.

    I just don't know what to do, if I goto the surgeon and say it's tolerable and it's left as it is. What happens if it flares up again? Do I go see my GP get referred, get sent for the mri a month later, wait a week for the results and then wait six weeks to see the surgeons and then wait however long for any action to be taken.

    Totally at a loss.


    My doctors notes say that reflexes in my left foot are absent
  • By the time I get in to see a surgeon my pain is often so bad I find it really hard to focus & concentrate. I hate all that waiting only to get home with more questions than answers. I do loads of research, make lists of questions & take a note book. Make sure you go through everything before you leave. The surgeon will want to study the actual images from your MRI, not just the summary sheet so make sure you have that.
    Be completely honest & say everything that you've said here. It's fine to voice all of your concerns to your surgeon.
    Have you seen a pain management specialist for their opinion/care?

    If surgery is a consideration I'd try to get a few opinions first. This s the rest of your life.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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