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Chronic Pain Since the age of 19

theplastickidttheplastickid Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello all,

Thought Id register on here and tell my story as just looking for a bit of support really surrounding my lower back pain that I have had for 2 1/2 years.

My pain first occoured at the age of 19 around April of 2007. I was very into bodybuilding and at the time worked in a gym.

The injury came over time and gradually built up, from a small ache in my lower lumber region to intense acheing and a feeling of no support around that region. The pain I experience is that of a severe tightness and it occours when my lower back is put in a possition where it has to support weight (eg. If i try and run, if i bend forward to sweep a floor, if i sit on a hard chair, if i lift something from the ground).

Around the time of injury my lower back was incredibly strong at the age of 19 I was capable of free weight squatting 150kg and performing a deadlift of 160kg both with GOOD FORM! So a lower back weekness and impalance was kind of out the question, if there was any concern of core stability it was my abdominal region.

My Treatment
When my injury first started to play me up I made a trip to the GP who prescribed me some anti-inflamatories and told me to rest so I used the drugs but to no avail. I then visited the doctor again who instead of refering me to a physio-therapist (on the NHS, im in the UK by the way). He told me "your young these things are ok they go".

I then decided to take it upon myself to see a chiropractor privately, the chiropractor x-rayed my lower back to find nothing out of the ordinary however he did say I have a bit of pressure on my discs, but nothing too extreme. The chiropractors fees were charged at £37 a session (lasting 10-15 minutes) and he told me I would need 3 a week (at the time I was a student). So I in total ended up spending around £800 on this guy who every week told me it was something different, who couldn't remember what he told me the week before and who constantly contradicted himself leaving me feeling pretty confussed. £800 down and with no help I then decided maybe physio is what I need for my back as I believe it to be muscular all along, no matter how much the chiropractor tried to convince me it wasn't.

I then went and paid for private physio therapy, this physio therapist told me that the cause of my problem was that my "lower back was taking all the support as I had under developed abdominal muscles, causing a muscular imbalance or prehaps I had a small fracture inbetween my discs and my spine bones that would not be picked up on an x-ray only an MRI". He said if this was the case he would refer me for an MRI scan after a couple more sessions and gave me abdominal exercises to do.

I trained my abdominals 4 times a week and have done since I went to see this physio about 1 1/2 years ago.

Anyway... a few weeks went by with my abdominal training but I couldn't afford to see the physio at the time. When I did have the money to see him I was told he had moved to the other end of the country to finish his masters degree and that if I wanted the MRI referal i would need to pay to come in and be seen by another physio for an evaluation. So i went to see this new physio and explained the situation and she told me "keep doing your ab work, i'd struggle to get you an MRI scan on the NHS". Basically.... I CANT BE BOTHERED TO HELP YOU!

2 Years has pased by this point
I decided to give my GP another shot and I went into his office and would not MOVE and stood my ground until I was refered to a specialist on the NHS, he told me "I can not refer you but I will refer you to a physio who can". I guess I had to go through the process.

This brings me to where I am now, I went to see the physio who gave me an x-ray (which came back with nothing) he said "your abdominals are very good it is not a problem with your abdominals, but I suspect it is a problem with the smaller stabalizing muscles around your spine. A small tear or an impact on those muscles during gym sessions, may have caused them to switch off and as a result your spinal erectors are taking the weight and stress of everyday things and tightening up under pressure or strain". He then prescribed me some lower back strengthening exercises to do that supposidly target the smaller muscles and not the large spinal erectors that are causing me so much pain. The exercises are:

Lying side knee raises.
Standing kick backs leaning on a surface.
Alternate kick backs on all fours.

I have been doing these exercises religiously for the past 3 weeks. My lower back pain is still immense, I can not run, it sit sometimes as well and I am in pain generally a lot of the time.

I have another appointment with the physio in 10 days but after 2 1/2 years I feel this will never end and at 21 years old it feels ever worse.

Sorry for the long winded essay but its pretty hard to sum up 2+ years in 1 post.

I appreciate any feedback anyone can offer.
Thank you.


  • The chiro did to you what most chiros do.
    They lighten your wallet.
    Sometimes they cause more harm than good.

    It saddens me to hear how people under a healthcare system like yours have to wait for treatment.
    Certain people are trying to do the same here in the U.S.
    I truly hope it doesn't happen here and that those people....
    well, I'll just stop right there and save the rant for another time and place.

    You need the MRI. (or CT scan)

    This is the only way to see what is going on inside.
    While it is not 100%, it will get you very close to a diagnosis.

    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Yeah the NHS service is awful!

    The depression I have and still go through regarding it I think is even worse than the back pain itself.

    I will see what this next physio says and I am going to INSIST he/she refers me to a back specalist which I hope will move me one step close to an MRI.
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  • good afternoon. talk about being bounced around...apparently the health people look at a strong young man and figure he cant be in too much pain. they go by your looks and not your symptoms.
    one question i have is what makes the pain feel better. does walking help? does laying on stomach help. does pain feel better or worse as day goes on. do you have pain in your legs? does the tightness go away with stretching?
    how about private insurance? is that expensive.
    have you stopped lifting weights?
    anyway you need a proper diagnosis and youre going though hoops with your efforts. at this rate it will be years before you are taken seriously. hope to hear from you soon....pete
  • Not posted in a while thought I'd post an update. I had an x-ray on the NHS which didn't reveal much, no major spinal injurys, so the specialist surgeon I eventually got to see said it is highly unlikly any surgery will be offered.

    However he did want to investigate further and I have had 3 extra x-rays at different angles and also an MRI scan. I go back for my results in december.
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