Hi There, I'm new.
My current problem is that I hurt my back at work. I experience lower back pain, leg pain, a deep aching, and just recently shooting pain, some burning tingly feeling.
Short version: At first, it just felt like I had pulled a muscle because my lower back only felt very stiff and sore all the way across the bottom. It seemed to have gotten better but while at work a couple months later, I felt my lower back pull with a bad pain that time. It became lower back pain with baritone (dull) type of pulsating pain. The doctor I've been seeing is my employer's doctor. He is a family medicine specialist. He told me it was a lumbar sprain and muscle spasm. He released me to full duty, gave me ibuprofen and a muscle relaxant with some exercises to do (bending forward, bending backward, twisting from side to side, pulling my knees up to my chest, etc). After a few shifts at work, I felt my lower back pulling with everything that I did so I stopped and went back to him to let him know it was hurting me.
We did an xray and a shot of toradol. He said nothing was broken. It was a lumbar sprain with what he believes to be a partially and temporarily pinched nerve, and put me on modified duty (minimize bending and twisting, lifting up to 10 lbs, alternate between standing and sitting), told me to continue with the meds and the exercises. After a week, I started getting worse. Along with the dull pulsating pain, I started experiencing sharp pulsating pains in my lower back as well. Then it became upper thigh pain. The pain was really unbearable. I started having trouble sleeping at night, not being able to find a comfortable position. I went back to the doctor only they had me see one of their other doctors this time. He said he didn't see any evidence of a pinched nerve and told me to go back to work. I tried but couldn't. Went back to the other doctor (family medicine). He told me that what I was experiencing was highly unusual, etc but he put me off of work pending an MRI.
The insurance adjuster finally authorized PT. I went and they evaluated me. They said they believe that I had a L4 herniated disc that was pressing on a nerve. He told me to stop doing the exercises the doctor had given me. He said he didn't want me bending forward at all, that he only wanted me to stretch backward, do a prone exercise as well as keep up with walking. I did that and rested. My back started feeling better so I thought I could at least do a few things, one of them being shaving my legs. Bending forward at all was a big mistake. I started feeling shooting pain down my leg and a deep aching to my toes. I was all kinds of flared up and even experienced what seemed like my first bout of a tingly burning feeling in my buttocks.
At my next PT appointment, they could barely do much aside from some isolated ab muscle exercises, ice therapy and the electrical stimulation. I got the MRI a day later which was just on Friday. They elevated my legs up and did MRI without contrast. I went back to the family medicine doctor and he said good news, your back is fine, the MRI is normal and you can return to work (I won't go into the entire story because it's long) but basically he minimized everything. I was crying because I didn't understand why I've been experiencing this much pain if the MRI is normal, etc etc. He made a lot of really bad insinuations and then the appointment was over. I asked for a copy of the radiologist's report before I left. It says, "minimal diffuse disc bulges at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1, no significant disc space narrowing or disc desiccation. No significant central canal stenosis or neural foraminal narrowing."
So I'm shocked that he would say my MRI is normal. For a moment, I started freaking out thinking oh no! If my MRI is normal, then what is going on? What if something serious is happening somewhere and causing this? It hurts to drive, it hurts to sneeze and cough. It hurts to sit. It hurts to stand. This is crazy. I've never had back trouble before. I've only ever sprained an ankle and have never broken a bone.
I came to these forums mainly for mental/emotional support. I don't really have a plan and haven't really gotten one from their doctors. All of this time, my only goal has been to figure out what is wrong with my back and what to do to make it better so I can get back to work. My husband is a wonderful provider but I choose to work. I went through a training program and everything and chose to work for this employer. I actually enjoyed working there. I don't understand why they are being this way towards me. My main concern is that because of how slow they are being about it all and because of how much they are minimizing my experience, how am I supposed to get better? This laying around, only doing a couple of exercises and taking medication can't be what heals me. I'm concerned that not having a plan will do more harm than good, long term. That's the short version.About lower back pain