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IMPORTANT**Undiagnosed re-injury - won't heal

Alec TAAlec T Posts: 1
edited 11/18/2015 - 2:03 PM in Lower Back Pain
I am posting in hopes of finding someone who as had a similar experience with back pain or can provide me with any helpful information regarding my injury. Let me start by saying that I have seen three physicians, two physical therapists, and a chiropractor. My MRI has been reviewed by three doctors, all of which say my spine looks perfectly normal for a 20 year old man, however, I continue to have lower back pain and sciatica symptoms.

The initial injury started while kickboxing about eight months ago. I was doing bag work and felt a sharp pain in my lower back on the left side. I continued training with the pain for a week before I decided to rest it and let it heal. After a week of rest the pain subsided and I went back to the gym only to have the pain return. This time I decided to take 2 weeks off. Once again, the pain was gone until I thought I was well enough to return to kickboxing. This is when I first tried physical therapy. I did the exercises prescribed but they only seemed to make things worse, so once again i decided to just refrain from strenuous activities, this time for three weeks. When the pain went away I did some shadowboxing to test out my back strength, and I felt fine until the next day when I woke up with a swollen lower back on my right side. My physician gave me some anti inflamatories and said that should do the trick. I took them and rested for another month until the pain was gone once again, only to reinjur my back shadowboxing...... again. After this injury I saw a chiropractor and rested for about six weeks, once again until the pain went away and I tried sparring. This time I woke up the next morning with sciatic pain and an inflamed low back on my right side. After the fifth time re injuring my back i decided I needed to rest much longer and strengthen my body with physical therapy.

However, after six weeks of physical therapy the inflammation did not go away, in fact, the exercises seemed to be making it worse. My PT told me to see my physician and come back in six weeks once the inflammation went down. I followed her instructions and got an MRI which came back completely normal, and waited for the inflammation to go down, only this time, my back was not getting better almost four months later.

Here I am eight months after the initial injury, and four months after my last re-injury, and now my back is not showing any signs of recovery. I have sciatic pain down my right leg into my foot, and my MRI reveals nothing serious. I saw a sports medicine doctor last week and he only gave me some physical therapy exercises that made my QL muscle swell up and hurt even worse.

I can't tell you how fed up and confused i am. Is there ANYONE out there that has any idea what is going on with me? Is my back going to heal? All i want in the word is to return to kickboxing, i don't care if it takes another year, i just want to know that someday ill be able to get back to what i love. If anyone has experienced something similar or has any advice at all please, please let me know.

Thank you,
Alec T.

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
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  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
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  • . Physical Therapy
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Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
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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 : 11/18/15 20:03 est



  • ThorSTThorS GermanyPosts: 1
    Hey Alec,

    what you describe sounds quite similar to my problem, from the constant reinjuries, to the time you took off from your sport between them. I practice Parkour. My back pain also first occured without an obvious reason, like an accident, instead it happened after a trainings session while walking home, 7 months ago.
    My MRI and X-Ray scans show nothing serious, but the problem won't go away. Instead 7 Weeks ago I also developed sciatic pain. I have not tried to rest for half a year or something along those lines yet.
    Light movement always helped me and kept the pain in check, but it has never fully gone away and after three weeks of resting the recovery began to stagnate.

    The bad news is, i have no clue as to what else you can do, other than "resting" while continuing physical therapy, strengthening your muscles and doing back friendly sports like swimming. 
    Psychologically, I think it's important to accept you are injured and that it will take time to heal. I know how it feels when nobody can give you a definitive answer to when, or even if, you can resume doing what you love. Don't give up on yourself, continue seeing doctors, your body tells you that there is a problem, so don't stop trying to find out which one.
    Try to find another hobby for now, which you can pursue, while recovering. Idealy something that keeps you moving, without putting strain on your lower back.

    I'll keep you updated on my progressions and would be thankfull if you did the same. As this Thread is a few months old, youmight have recovered allready. Maybe we can profit from each others insights.

    Best wishes, Thore S.
  • Thore - have you noticed any improvement yourself since you posted this? I'm in a similar situation as you and Alec.
  • SooveritSooverit Finger Lakes region of NYPosts: 459
    I'm not a medical expert, but can offer a suggestion based on my own experience and research. Sounds like it could be an annular tear in one of your discs. I say that because, like yours, my back pain began with a sudden, isolated pain in my spine. Like a tugging, ripping pain. Like you, I figured I pulled a muscle or tweaked something,  and I just needed to rest and avoid certain activities for a week or so. Over time, though, the pain spread out and became more consistent. Now it's constant and very painful.

    It was initially missed on my MRI, but ended up being a very apparent and large annular tear  (that is assumed to have ruptured at this point). 

    Maybe you could suggest this to your doctor and ask them to take a second look at the MRI? 

    Best of luck finding the problem  (and hopefully a solution) soon!

    Sara :)
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello ThorS !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Hello micah186 !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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