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Trying to Troublshoot Lower Back pain/ SI pain

Hello all,

At the end of January while visiting my parents I started feeling some pain in my lower back. Mostly centered, and it seemed like a lumbar issue. I thought maybe I had slept wrong on an unfamiliar mattress since I hadn't done anything strenuous in the days beforehand. As my week went on, the pain graduated from occasionally short and sharp bursts of pain during movement to feeling a constant ache regardless of position or movement. The pain had also migrated to the right of my spine, just above my glute.

I spoke with my PCP and she assessed my flexibility and strength and concluded it was muscular. She recommended some lower lumbar and sacroiliac stretches and had me on muscle relaxers at night. When the pain hadn't eased up in a few weeks she decided to refer me to a physical therapist.

My PT thought the same thing when we started treatment. Specifically, she thought I had cross pelvic syndrome, which sounded entirely plausible. I spend a lot of my day doing desk work and realized my posture was poor. Since then it has been corrected and I try to get up more and take quick breaks. She gave me more stretches to do, and during our visits she primarily did muscle release presses as well as massage treatments. My muscles were always incredibly tender during the presses but the discomfort would ease up after a few minutes. The pain reduced but seemed to plateau.

She tried doing traction recently to see if that would help. My first session was fine but there were no changes. And after the second session something must have gone very wrong. My right leg became uncontrollably restless and my pain became very sharp and intense, and started shooting from above my right glute, down, and through the muscle. I've tried epsom baths, heat presses, TENS, massage, stretching... and everything seems to keep the area irate. I was prescribed Meloxicam (I'm allergic to Naproxen) and it does little to reduce the inflammation (if that's what this is).

I met with my PT again today and she's starting to reconsider whether it is muscular or not and may have me get some imaging done. Since my condition has worsened, and we're waiting to rule out whether the traction machine caused some nerve damage, I'm at a loss for what to do.

I would like to get a second opinion, but in the meantime if any of you have suggestions, have had this much trouble diagnosing, or even have recommendations for someone to call I would be extremely appreciative.



  • hi daciafu

    welcome to spine-health

    imaging is the best way to find out what is going on, so that suggestion is the best one to run with.

    there are no medical professional on this site to advise you and members can only share their own experiences.

    i hope you are able to use this site for research and support, as it has helped myself and many others.

    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
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