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Chronic lower back pain from gymnastics from age 9 (for 14 years)

zeronexxzzeronexx Posts: 1
edited 06/29/2015 - 3:34 PM in Lower Back Pain
I was a competitive gymnast and avid athlete as a kid and i always pushed myself and my body. When i was 9, i first noticed a slight ache in my lower back, right at the curve, only in the vertebra and radiating slightly outwards. It feels like a sharp pain, like its being pushed on very tightly, like a nerve is exposed.
One day during warm ups we were going from a back bend to standing (pulling yourself up off your hands thereby wrenching your back into a C shape) and i felt a sharp sudden pain that didn't go away. Since then, it has only gotten worse, mostly from any movement that arches my back. I am a martial artist now and trained for MMA fights so i know pain, but the pain i experience in my back is quite noticeable and distracting on a daily basis. It took me almost 15 years of pain to seek medical help but when i told my gen doc about the pain she said "don't worry about it". I requested an MRI after talking to a med student friend about to graduate and doing research online. She said they never start with MRI's and said she wanted to do an x-ray which i knew would not show any problems as per the research i had done. And it didn't.
She wanted to let it drop there but i insisted on the MRI. Finally she agreed after several visits and i got the results back and it showed a "disc bulge of questionable clinical significance" on the L5-S1. The summery said "your MRI was quite normal - that very small disc bulge is not likely causing you any problems or symptoms and does not need to be treated." which was very frustrating to say the least. How can a doctor say that a pain is not causing you any problems and you shouldn't worry about it?
So i am now at a loss of how i can get help from the medical community to solve what/where this pain is coming from. I have had countless broken toes and fingers and tore my MCL and haven't even paused my working out for them but the back pain is still the most debilitating pain i have experienced. I know its real and preventing me from doing the things i want to do that require physical activity.

Any suggestions and/or help figuring this one out is greatly appreciated! Thanks,


Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that need members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
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- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
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- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
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- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
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- 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.

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I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

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Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 06/29/15 21:38est


  • sandi123ssandi123 Posts: 456
    edited 06/30/2015 - 4:34 AM
    Then the next step would be consulting with a spine surgeon to see what he or she thinks. Primary doctors aren't the best option at determining what may be issues with the spine, based on just the report.

  • Instead of a spine surgeon, I would probably seek out the help of a spine specialist first. They have much more knowledge than a regular GP, and it sounds like you're not at the surgery level yet. I too have an athletic background, and put a lot of strain on my body over the years. I have finally found a doctor who is working with me to solve the mystery, so to speak. It definitely took countless doctors, and a lot of tests. Keep pushing your GP for a referral to a spine specialist. Good luck!
  • sandi123ssandi123 Posts: 456
    edited 07/01/2015 - 2:50 AM
    It simply is the right doctor to review the actual MRI images, that often picks up on things that other doctors miss . He or she can also determine, based on your symptoms the likely cause of the problems ,order additional testing if necessary, and make recommendations for further treatment.

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