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Mystery lumbar pain

kgwickingskkgwickings Posts: 8
edited 05/20/2015 - 9:27 PM in Lower Back Pain
Hi there!

I am 43 year old female with ongoing back pain. In my twenties I had a pain that was sharp that came and went in my lower back in a specific spot when my foot hit the ground. This would be very random. Orthopedist said that I had spina bifida occulta. Pain went away and then last summer, (over 20 years later) I started piloxing (I had been walking 5-8 miles a day for three years leading up to this and running on occassion). Piloxing is like kickboxing. After my classes, I would walk to cool down, but after a few minutes walking, my lower back would get REALLY tight and tired. I would stop, stretch it and walk, only to have it return a few minutes later. This was really just after walking a half mile or two. Then, it went away and returned in the fall for a few weeks. I made a doctor appointment and it went before my appointment. I felt there was a tender spot on my left l4 or l5. I also had a burning feeling in my outer thigh/hip area that I asked him about b/c I thought it was bursitis. It was so bad that I stopped all exercise for a few weeks until it subsided. He thought I was having muscle spasms and told me to stretch. He said it was not bursitis.

It was gone and came back in December. Went away in January and returned in March. I have had it now since end of March. I feel as if it gets worse after I have been sedentary due to colds or whatnot.

I went to another ortho last month. Xrays came back normal with NO sign of spina bifida. I don't have radicular pain. I don't have any weakness, numbness, etc.. I CAN do elliptical and run without back pain. I just cannot walk or stand for extended periods. Referred to PT for a month. I have been doing core and glute exercises as she thinks my activities were quad-centric and left my back and glutes weak. No improvement, but I am still doing exercise recommended as it isn't making it worse. I have a tender spot on my left side near my l5, I think.

Pain is relieved by bending forward, sitting. Anything that moves knees to chest. Pain is more like a creeping tightness that worsens without rest. It isn't so much like a spasm, IMO. It seems like stenosis, but I am young without radiating pain and degeneration.

I also have IT band symptoms that can be attributed to muscle imbalances in hip and glute too. GRRR..

seeing a back specialist soon for an MRI. I took steroids and it made it so bad that for the first time I had pain sitting and sleeping.

On a good day, I wouldn't notice anything unless I went for a long walk. On a bad day, it is hard to prepare meals.

It just seems really outside what I have read about.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 05/21/2015 - 2:58 AM
    It is good you will be seeing specialist soon.
    There are other tests besides MRI that can help doctor investigate source and or cause of your symptoms.

    For me, I had EMG that proved most revealing to my doctor.
    Test was painless to me, and indicated effected areas and issues that I had not given voice to.

    Of course, each situation is so individual. Tests effective for one may not be revealing for another.....but need continuing to another test that would be more revealing.
    Also, effective treatment to one may be ineffective to another.

    Good communication to doctor is so important. Explain all your symptoms and reactions to treatments he prescribes....how it makes you feel.
    My experience has been trial.......and try again.

    I wish you all the best as you and your specialist work together.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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