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So worried

This is my first time posting to a forum but ive hit rock bottom, currently taking 25mg of amitriptyline for "nerve pain" although i haven't received a diagnosis to date. Around 4 years ago i developed a tender spot on my back right where i would have had the epidural on my first child, there wasn't neccesarily back pain when moving as such it was just tender to touch and painful when pressed on (just in and around that epidural space) a couple of months ago i noticed my big toe on my left foot was slightly tingling to the touch just at the very tip of the toe, seen gp and was referred for blood tests to check for diabetes vit b12 deficiency etc, blood tests cake back clear with no inflammatory markers, i went back to gp to discuss what could be causing the numbness in toe, at this point i had started having burning sensations down both legs with slight back ache pain in elbows and shoulders also, i was giveb a physical examination and when she pressed on the lower part of my back the pain was a 7 on the pain scale where it would have been a 5 before, she prescribed 25mg amitriptyline and thinks i am suffering from nerve damage and maybe some depression, i am just beside myself with worry that this is something more sinister and its really affecting my quality of life, still have no received appointment for xray on lumbar spine will probably be waiting 6-8 weeks as in Ireland there are such long waiting lists unless you pay hundreds to go privately, has anyone else experienced similar problems and what was the outcome, also i should mention that i can bend over with no pain and it comes and goes throughout the day, but sometimes can be severe, really need some opinions from others that have been in a similar situation, thanks a lot. 



  • hi sarahk29

    welcome to spine-health

    if your doctor thinks you have nerve damage, i am very surprised she did not refer you for an mri to investigate this fully.  if your symptoms have not improved or got worse, make another appointment and go back and discuss this and make sure you tell her all the symptoms you have mentioned here.  if you have had any changes in your bladder or bowel or lost control at all, this could be connected, so report that as well as soon as possible

    please update us after your appointment..

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research on spine-health that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health





    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 700

    To me, which sounds similar to my previous condition, you may be experiencing sciatic nerve impingement. In your heart of hearts, do you really feel your diet has led you to having diabetes? Just trying to differentiate it from nerve impingement in your thoughts. 

    You said the pain jumped upon the doctor putting pressure on your low back, so to me, that would be a sign of impingement, not diabetes. If you feel the pain originating in your low back, and extending to your toes, its not out of line to think it could be disc bulge impinging the nerve. So then, you find out why your disc is bulging. In my case it was the vertebrae compressing the disc causing the bulge. And the bulge impinged the nerve. But why were the vertebrae compressing the disc? Something is moving them out of alignment. My guess is since muscle moves bone, a good start is to look at your muscles being out of balance. An easy way to tell that is to find out if your pelvis is rotated, or tilted. Or if your hips are higher/lower on one side. An xray would also tell you if your vertebrae are compressing. 

    Hopefully that gives you a good starting point! 

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  • sorry i never mentioned that my blood tests came back clear i don't have diabetes or any vitamin deficiencies, the pain seems to move around from my lumbar spine to my thoracic, she has just recommended an xray to check there are no discs affected, sometimes the pain also shifts from one leg to the other and will travel down the back of my thigh and to my knee, i have had a tender spot for 4 years but just recently it has become more painful especially when standing for long periods of time i seek to get relief when in a leaning over position if that makes sense? I am going to ask her about an MRI i have arranged a doctors appointment for tomoro, i also get a strain pain in my right shoulder but I've experienced this in the past and it has disappeared for months then returned, not sure if its down to stress or posture i was told my posture was off in the doctors and i also have knock knees not too sure if all of this combined is causing the issue, MarWin was your back also painful when pressure was applied? 

  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 700

    Just remember....the Hip Bone is connected to the Back Bone. The back bone is connected to the shoulder bone. Yada Yada Yada. So its not uncommon to have pain in the low back, upper back, shoulders. Normally the best place to start is your center, or pelvis, to start correcting postural dysfunctions. Fix those, and you may see results with less pain. 

    It stinks that in your case, you have to wait to get an appointment. Then wait to get the diagnosis. Then wait to get in to see the specialists. Lots of waiting while you are in pain. Bummed for you. 

    I had some pressure-applied pains, but boy, I tried an at-home-TENS unit once and my pain went through the roof. 

  • Dear Sarah, 

    Your first bit of information (numbing in the toes) sounds like it might be caused by peripheral neuropathy. I developed a severe case from exposure to agent orange while serving in Vietnam. If that is a concern I suggest working with a neurologist. 

    The pain in your thighs and when standing for long periods sounds very similar to a condition I also have.   My pain was such that I couldn't walk a department store without gasping for breath and I couldn't stand in one place without excruciating pain.. I described this situation to my primary and an orthopedic doctor and after an MRI I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis.  There are many websites that show basic diagrams of this condition.  I found relief from bending over and stretching.  By far the best relief I've found is to use a cane. I use the cane to lean on and to help ease the pain while walking. It also helps with my balance.

    I'm sorry you have to live with the pain you're experiencing.  Stay on top of your doctors to get whatever care and relief you need.  Keeping a journal also helps when you have any appointments.

    Wishing you the best,

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