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5 years of pain

hey everyone,

I’m really just looking for any advice in regards to my situation

At age 15 (5 years ago now) I suffered a fall resulting in back pain, at the time I had a bone scan and x-rays and was told by the specialist I was being an over-exaggerating teenager and it will go away. 

Now I’m 20, the pain never went, only got worse...I would describe the day to day pain as moderate, sometimes severe in my lumbar, recently I have had constant left leg aches, and the occasional severe sciatica pain (2-3 in the last 6mths), I also get pain in my right leg, but this isn’t constant like my left. The back pain is fairly debilitating at times. 

My recent CT showed a moderate herniated disc pressing on my nerve, mild-moderate scoliosis and moderate disc degeneration at L5/S1, however my MRI showed only a small disc protrusion with no nerve impingement and only mild degeneration which is really frustrating...

I’m in constant pain and I’m really starting to struggle with it mentally, I can’t excercise, work effectively (I’m a nurse...) or sleep well...day-to-day is painful (but not excruciating). Im really not sure what to do, I tried osteotherapy a few years ago which didn’t work, I try to stretch when I can, sleep right and use good posture, tak etc, but the pain just won’t stop..I don’t even remember feeling pain free at this point

I feel like the tests are displaying that there’s barely anything wrong and I feel like I must just be being dramatic like the doctor 5 years ago said. I’m willing to try anything to reduce the pain so I can do activists I used to once love (with one condition...not regular analgesia) 

I’m only 20 and I feel like a big chuck of my teens was taken due to pain and although it’s only moderate pain it’s never ending and it’s driving me insane, if anyone can offer any advice, I’ll listen to anything :( 



  • If you can’t even exercise I’m curious why you’re referring to your pain as only “moderate.”

    Personally I would keep seeing additional specialists. 

    Please never give up.

    Someone out there can help you.

  • L4_L5: when I say I can’t excercise I mean like proper gym excercise, I go for walks and do some light excercise, but running, lifting and anything involving twisting or compressing activists causes me a lot of pain...

    Not only that but it’s also a mental thing...being in constant pain, adding excercise creates more pain (healthy pain I know, as it means it’s working), but all that combined with the back pain is sometimes too much mentally...

    I used to enjoy activities like bowling, softball and horse riding, none of which I can do anymore without severe pain...

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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,584

    I agree, you should see additional specialists.  It seems, at least from what you described is that you are 

    • In Pain
    • Diagnostic tests show only moderate problems
    • Are somewhat depressed over this entire situation
    • And do not know where to turn next

    The fact that your current set of diagnostic reports show only moderate indications, does not mean that you are still not in discomfort and suffer from pain.   So, seeing another specialist may be in order right now.  Having another pair of eyes looking at reports can have different results ( I am sure as working in the medical field, you understand that )

    However, even with another opinion, the results and diagnosis may be the same.   BUT from what you wrote, we do not know about any of the treatment plans your existing doctor has for you?  

    • Physical Therapy?
    • Medications ? 
    • Injections ?
    • Surgery?
    • etc?

    If the results are the same, then I would also consider seeing a pain counselor.   Everyone understands the physical aspects of pain, but many people do not understand the emotional  side.  These counselors are trained to uncover so much of our lives.  You would be very surprised to hear about some of your day to day stresses playing a major part in your physical pain.

    The positive side of this, is that you are young.  Being young, generally means you are stronger and that in turn means that your ability to respond quickly and efficiently to surgery, complications, etc is much better than someone 10,15,20 years older than you.

    Dont give up, maintain a positive attitude and outlook.  At your age, you should be viewing all of this in a positive manner  Once you start to look at the darker side, you may find yourself falling into that deeper hold.   Once you are down, it can be very difficult to climb back up.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Rhi1498

    Have you seen a neurosurgeon to discuss options?

    I have had sciatic nerve pain for 3 1/2 months now and I understand your frustration. Hardly 5 years, I know, but I've suffered from lower back pain for about 12 years now. Sciatica is new. 

    I think it needs to run its course. Have you tried PT and sciatica stretches? I'm not sure if MY situation is just sort of resolving on it's own with not working out...just walking and some PT stretches....but I tried a new back pain program called Back to Life by Emily Lark and I swear it is helping. I've been doing level 1 for 1 week now and my pain is better. Not gone, but about 30% better.

    I'm not a gimmick believer and  I admit I bought her CDs in a desperate state of mind, but I AM getting relief. Im really shocked actually. Again, I am not sure if it is coincidental and/or my pain was just getting better on it's own. 

    Either way, it's only $37. 

    I hope you find something that works for you. Dont give up. 

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