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Unidentified Chronic Pain

snookiessnookie Posts: 358
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:22 AM in Chronic Pain
Does anyone else have this? Most of my pain is in my left buttock and runs down the outside of my leg all the way down to my foot. My MRI's showed nothing that should be causing this pain. Just a transitional L5, small bulge and an annular tear at L4/L5.

I did 3 months of PT which didn't help. WCB discontinued my PT because I have plataued.

Today my Dr said that I have unidenntified chronic pain, and that all he can do for me is give me meds. He gave me a 3 month RX for Tridural and told me to come back when I get low.

I'm really upset that everyone is giving up on me, I'm only 28 years old. Trying to work and raise a 2 boys when I'm in constant pain is soooo hard.

Unfortunatley I'm in Canada and I can't call another Dr, specialist or PM, without a referal. I'm out of options.

Thanks for the chance to vent. It helps a lot to have this place.


  • Hi there,

    I have been dealing with horrible back pain for more than 8 months. Finally had an MRI which didn't show much except a bulging disc in the thoriac area but doc said that shouldn't be causing me problems. He took me off of the pain meds and doesn't have an answer for my pain. The next step is Pyhsical therapy.

    I think I can kind of feel for you as I feel that my Doctor has given up on me as well. I don't know about you but my quality of life sucks. I can't even do the simple things like taking my Pug for a short walk. I have tried and I come home in tears, it hurts so bad.

    If the PT does not work I don't know what I will do.

    Oh and to top it off this morning my Pug Bugsy tried to jump on to the recliner with me and missed and now his back or something is hurting. He can barley walk up the stairs and I have to lift him in to the car. If it isn't better by Monday its off to the vets office for him.
  • I'm sorry about your Pug, it sucks when your pets get hurt. I have a little min pin, and love him to death.

    I hope PT works better for you than it did for me. PT put me into shock, and the ER on more than one occasion.

    It's so frustating to be in pain, and have the Dr tell you that you shouldn't be. I can't believe the Dr took you off of pain meds because he can't see a reason for your pain! That's horrible! I've done some research on MRI's, and they don't show everything. I hope your not suffering too much
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  • I had an annular tare and it was the cause of the butt leg pain that you speak of. It can cause plenty of pain because it allows the gel like substance to ooze out of the disc and compress nerves. Why are they not addressing the annular tare?
  • :) hi! don't give up after one doctor! keep pressing this doctor with your pain issue. since when can't a bulging disc and tare cause pain? ask for other tests! how about a bone scan? i am really sorry to hear you are having chronic pain. perhaps the support you find here will be of some comfort! i have a boxer i try and walk daily and it doesn't always work out like that! good luck in your quest! Jenny :)
  • Snookie,

    What happened during PT that sent you to the ER? That's pretty scary.

    I used to love to walk and hubby and I used to walk 3 miles almost every evening, now I can't walk 50 yards with out horrible pain. Doc wants me to walk and I'm trying but it's not working out so well.

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  • I to have a herinated disc with an annular tear at the L5/S1. I do have the same symptoms just as you have. The doctor did say that this could be a problem and in the future may have to be surgicaly repaired. If it was not for all my other back problems and the past surgery's that I have had I would have had it fixed a while ago as it is painfull. Have you gone to a different doctor for this? I also see a orthopedic doctor. They are more up to beat with this kind of stuff compared to the regular primary doctor's. If it keeps bothering you mabey it would be smart to see a ortho doctor.
  • PT-The exersizes that they had me doing were to much too soon. It was a WCB "fast track" PT program. I tried to talk to the exersize therapist, but she told me that I had to do them if I wanted to get better even if it hurt. She also said that if I didn't do them I could lose my WCB benifits. The pain put my body into shock on two occasions, I was violently shaking, blood pressure crashed. It was pretty frighteneng. After the second time the PT and WCB decieded that I had plataued and that PT wouldn't help anymore. My case is no inactive with no ongoing benifits, other that RX coverage.

    The annulat tear-my doctor, who is just a family doc, says that the tear isn't causing pain because in the MRI it did not show nerve root compression. The PT said that it was possible that it did not show on the MRI because I was lying down but when I asked the Dr about that he said no. If anything was wrong it would of show up on the MRI. While he belives that I'm in pain he claims that there is no cause for it.

    Second opinion-I'd love to see another Dr, problem being that I'm in Canada and this is a WCB case. In Canada the health care is almost free, however there are quite a few problems with the system. There is a major shortage of Dr's, there is a one year waiting list to get a family Dr in my city right now. I also cannot see a NS or an ortho without a referal from my Dr and approval from WCB. I can't get either, my Dr sees nothing wrong doesn't think that I need a referal, tells that to WCB and so nothing gets done. Wcb doesn't care, I've only missed a couple days of work. As long as I can continue to work they won't do anything for me.

    I'm feeling really frustrated with the system right now. I can't believe my family doc gave up on me. I'll be 28 in a week! I'm too young for this. I can't believe that he's just giving up, telling me that the rest of my life I'll be on painkillers. I don't want to live that way.

    Thank you all for 'listening' to me vent and your responses. I don't have anyone in my life that I can talk to about this. Being able to express my self to people that understand has helped so much.

  • always here to listen to each other. The MRI did not show mine either. It took a discogram to find it.
  • What did you have done to correct your tear? Was it a decompression or partial discectomy? Did it work for you?

    I've been struggling with tears at l5/s1 and l4/l5 for over 20years. I have nerve pain that goes into my groin and butt (left side only) and lots of pain at the two discs, especially when I sit. My straight leg test on the left is excruciating to the back.

    It sounds like you've been through some of this stuff and I'd really appreciate what you see as effective for tears. I'm not interested in a fusion.
  • My situation was a bit different- my MRI last year showed a disc herniation with potential to for compression in both right and left nerve roots with thecal sac indentation. I went thru PT and epidural shots which did not help. I saw a surgeon, and I was sent for a CT/Myelogram. It used to be the gold standard until MRI's came along. It does, however show more detail. They caught my nerve impingement because I was stood up, rather than being laid down an MRI machine. The proof was shown, and I went on to have surgery.
    Ask your doctor if he would consider ordering a CT/myelogram. Sometimes MRI's can be inconclusive, and perhaps what's truly ailing you will be seen. I have to tell you it is expensive, and can be uncomfortable to go thru it. Some places sedate you, some don't. I prefer sedation. Take care
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