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Looking for advice

Leslie AnnLLeslie Ann Posts: 3
edited 09/28/2015 - 2:36 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all. I am 43 years old. When I was 14 I broke 2 vertebrae in my lower back so I have always had some back issues that I have been able to, for a lack of a better description, deal with. On March 8th of this year I was in the gym doing weight back extensions. It wasn't something new and it was the same weight I had been using for 2 months. There was a loud pop as I was doing the extension and I had immediate burning pain across my lower back and down the outside of my left leg. I went to the ER and they told me to ice it and use a brace until the pain went away. I went 3 weeks walking on it and trying to tell myself it was getting better. However one day at work my left leg "disappeared" and I fell. It didn't go numb, I have constant pins and needles along my back and left leg, it just simply wasn't there. I immediately went to my family Dr who referred me into a PMR Dr who has been trying injections into the discs and nerves but nothing seems to be working. The MRI shows that I have 4 bulged discs in my lower back which are pushing on some nerves. He sent me to physical therapy. Physical therapy doesn't work because as soon as I move it results in spasms that they massage therapist has to rub out. Was the sent to surgeon who doesn't feel that surgery is an option at this point. He has referred me into a neurologist to check for nerve damage. The PRM Dr did an EMG which shows some damage but he didn't get into details. I have a 4 week wait before the neurologist can see me.

So what I'm looking for here is advice as I feel that I am not asking the right questions. I currently cannot sit, stand or walk for any length of time. I now have to use a cane as my leg comes and goes. I dislike pain meds as they don't really help the pain and leave me fuzzy feeling. I have heard that acupuncture can give relief short term, is that accurate?

I rarely leave the house or do anything at this point as it can get extremely painful without notice and even with the cane I sometimes fall. Is there some sort of exercise I can do at home that would help? I've asked every dr and therapist I have seen and they all just tell me its a nerve issue and I need to be patient and it will get better. I am very frustrated.

Any help, support or "I've been there" comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that 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
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- 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
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- 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.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

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

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

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 : 09/28/15 08:36 est



  • Leslie Ann said:
    Physical therapy doesn't work because as soon as I move it results in spasms that they massage therapist has to rub out.
    I don't know your exact situation with Physical Therapy, but do you feel like your therapist did a good job? Did they show you any exercises or stretches that you could do while lying down (since other positions are painful for you)? I only ask because in my own experience, I had to switch therapists in order to get on a better program.
  • I feel like they're good, but I don't go honestly know. They are extremely compassionate, which I know doesn't always mean good, but they're who the I was referred into. I did check them out prior and they have an excellent reputation I was able to speak with 2 former patients that are friends of a former coworker and they were pleased with them. One went for shoulder injury and the other for a hip replacement. Prior to this I haven't done therapy for almost 30 years. I was taken out of therapy now until the neurologist sees me. I wish there was a list of questions we could just print off for each type of Dr. I do write them down as I think of them but I just feel like I'm missing something obvious. Almost like if I just asked the right question the pain would just disappear. Lol.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 10/01/2015 - 10:31 PM
    If you were to use the ..search, on this site, upper right on page, you may be able to type your concerns, for ex: questions for first time appointment pain management.

    There is a thread that does help bring to mind some questions for Doctor that some of us mostly think of after we leave the office. :)

    Searching on any concerns may lead you to older posts, articles and or videos.
    Sometimes searching on issues of concern to you may lead you to more questions that you could write down for Doctor, also.

    You may be reminded of question that you feel you are missing.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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