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Hello..A Back Issue

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Lower Back Pain
My name is Phil. I a 51 year old male living in the Bay Area. Active and happy, with that additional little battle with back problems that seems to just "spice" up life a little extra now and then.
Found this forum and thought would share my experience now and see if could find any feedback or shared experience. L5/S1 laminectomy about 16 years ago, off and on problems throughout the years, but returned to running and normal activity for about the last ten years.
Last MRI was in July 2007, which showed a facet cyst on L5-S1 which appears to displace the right descending S1 nerve root anteriorly within the subarticular gutter causing moderate to severe narrowing of right subarticular gutter and possibly sequesterd disc fragment.
Last four weeks began an intensive workout regime of all the usual:running, hill walks, weightlifting, bycycle-alternating exercises for about 2 hours a day.
In the last 3 weeks have had a constant throbbing in my lower right back and butt, not painful at all, and most felt while on the bed and sitting.This is a new experience, the throbbing. Occasionally, will have leg and foot pain, not atypical of past bouts through the years. Can walk and carry on normal daily routines with not to much problem.
Doctor felt that I probably inflamed my back and now on second week of physical therapy and taking Motrin(though not really need it at this time.)
My concern is the throbbing with no pain. It sometimes seems to settle, but never entirely goes away.
I have stopped my workouts and just do moderate walking and seem not to be getting rid of the throbbing.
Am I just being too concerned because of my past back history? Should I just give it more time and calm down?
Thank you for any feedback you may offer..


  • Hi Phil,

    Welcome to Spine Health. One thing I have found is that we tend to know our bodies well enough to know when something just isn't right.

    Not sure I understand what the doc decided was wrong if really anything.

    So there's no pain, just throbbing? Interesting. Is there any stiffness associated with it at all?

    Are you to have a follow up with this doc after PT? Was this doc a spine specialist?

    I think anyone with a past history of spine issues has the right be concerned if their back "doesn't feel right". The key though is you. What does your gut instinct say?

    Anyone I know who is a fitness junkie, who is willing to stop all workouts is getting a signal from their body that something isn't right. I learned a long time ago that I have to listen when something like that tries to speak.

    Just my opinion,

  • Phil,

    Depending on the fibers of the nerve involved and the specific site sometimes there can be throbbing, aching, or numbness in the absence of pain. The throbbing sensation could be muscle fibrillations which are spontaneous muscle contractions due to muscle denervation or weakness. Your past history of surgery more than likely left you with some spinal instability and weakness even though you are an active guy. None of the excercises you described specifically target the spine specifically even though there is general activation. My advice is find a qualified PT,DC or rehab specialist and get an evaluation done, it will help shed some light on your situation.

    Randall Pruitt, DC, DACNB, DAAPM, MUAC
  • Hello,
    Thank you for the replies to my message. Any support when you find yourself in unknown territory is so welcome.
    Physical therapy has helped, but the throbbing persists, so will return to my doctor for additional guidance.
    Doctor Pruitt your advice about my problem is a great starting point. I do have a history of muscle denervation and fibrillations in my right calf which is directly related to my spine history, and after an extensive monitoring by a very good neurologist over the past year, I felt comfortable with becoming active far greater than have in the past year. Think that I may have overdone it, though.
    One question Dr. Pruitt, if you have time. Since I have little pain, would Motrin and ice prove beneficial for the problem or do I continue just taking any medication only if I need it?
    Thank you again,
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