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Lower back pain-college student, help ASAP

savannah1996ssavannah1996 Posts: 2
edited 12/31/2015 - 8:02 AM in Lower Back Pain

I'm 19 years old (will turn 20 in September) and have been having severe back pain for about a month now. I have not had any kind of accident. For a few months now, I have been having pain that was not constant and was treatable with movement, medication (either ibuprofen or Tylenol) or heat/ice. Now, the pain is becoming too much for me to handle. I cannot sleep at night as it hurts severely to lie down. It also hurts to stand up if I am not moving around. The pain is in my lower back (in the center of my back) and I also have been experiencing a burning, needle-stick sensation in my inner right thigh and calf muscle at times. This sensation only lasts for a few minutes at a time but is severe when it occurs. I also have numbness in my bottom on the right side, but this numbness is mild.

In high school, I was a competitive cheerleader and gymnast. I had injuries in other parts of my body at times but never had back trouble. I have been exercising now around 3 days a week for around an hour or two, but have had to cut back as it hurts my back too much to move around. I still try to do some cardio, as I don't want to become completely inactive. My mom and grandmother (as well as other members of the family) have numerous back issues such as DDD, sciatica, arthritis, slipped/protruding discs, and spinal stenosis. I know not all of these are genetic, but felt it was important to list.

I visited the doctor on Monday (it is now Thursday). I saw an NP, as my family doctor was on vacation. She gave me prednisone, flexeril and hydrocodone/APAP 5/325. She also requested I have an X-Ray and I completed that the next day. The prednisone has not taken effect as of yet. The flexeril makes me SUPER sleepy so I have only been taking one per night right before I go to bed to help me sleep, but is not helping with the pain at all. I have been taking the hydrocodone once three times a day as it says on the bottle, but it is not helping with my pain. It takes an edge off of it for about thirty minutes, but the pain is still there constantly afterward. Though my NP didn't request a follow up at my appointment, I plan to see my family doctor next week to discuss my results and talk about medication and other options for recovery.

My main questions are, what problem do my symptoms suggest and what could I expect from my doctor's visit if the X-rays come back clear? I am not imagining my pain, it is very severe and I am having anxiety over my future appointment. I have never been in pain like this before.


Welcome to Spine-Health

While you may have provided us with some information, there is always more to provide.

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
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    - 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 :

From just reading what you documented and the fact that leading up to this you did not experience any problems, I would think your problem is more acute in nature.
Could be a muscle pull or strain a pinched nerve, etc. Everything you said points more to that. Acute pain is exactly that. It can be very intense, especially when moving in
certain ways. But over time, the pain and problem should start to diminish. Muscle strains and pinched nerves can take some time to heal. Many times, doctors will advice heat, some muscle relaxer (in your case flexeril), some mild pain medications and physical therapy. Honestly, many doctors would not even prescribe any type of narcotic at the stage of the situation you are in.

If you X-rays come back negative, that should be good news. No, unless your doctor sees something and recommends you see a spinal specialist who may or may not suggest a MRI. But take one thing at a time.

The words you ended with:
savannah1996 said:
I have never been in pain like this before.
again, make me think your pain is associated with muscles or nerves and not specific disc related. But, as I am not a medical professional, I can only speak in terms of past experiences.

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/31/15 13:53 est

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