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diagnosis question

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Lower Back Pain
My husband has had ongoing lower back pain for over two years now. We've gone to many specialists, but no one seems to be able to come up with a diagnosis; they have established that it is not a skeletal issue, however.

Most days, his pain level is around a 5-- not completely debilitating, but always on his mind, for sure. We have seen back surgeons, pain management specialists, neurologists... last month, we went to the Mayo Clinic, thinking that they might be able to give him some relief, but to no avail.

The most frustrating part of this, at least from my perspective, has been the feeling of hopelessness that comes with no diagnosis. Do any of you have any suggestions for where we should turn to next? As of now, he is just taking Tramadol regularly and basically putting life on hold. We would love a "next step," but don't know where to go from here...



  • Sorry to hear that they can not come up with any diagnosis, we here at spine health welcome you to the forum, however we are not Dr.s and would not be able to tell you anything as far as a possible diagnosis. I would wonder if any of your Dr.s have done a MRI or a Myelogram, if not I would try to get something like that done, try to hang in there with this, they will find your problem, sometimes it just takes time. If you get frustrated and need someone to talk to , by all means talk to us we can help you get through the rough times. You are welcome to pm me and talk, sorry I couldn;t be of any help but I dont know either. I would ask a nuerologist to do a workup for me. Keep your head up, things will get better.And remember we are here to support you.
  • I've noticed from my own experience and by reading others, it seems the docs have difficulty pin-pointing the actual diagnosis. Instead they put you through all these tests to eliminate what it isn't and go from there. I dealt with the pain for 6yrs before getting surgery, then got surgery over a year ago. I'm still in the same pain and most times more pain than before surgery. I still don't have a diagnosis. The only real sure thing I do know is that I hurt all the time and don't want to be like this anymore.

    Good luck. I hope they are able to figure out what is going on with your husband. I'm glad you came here for support and answers. Your husband needs all the support he can get. The only one who can understand how a spiney feels is if they experience this pain first hand.
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  • Hi Blythe,

    Does your husband have other symptoms besides the back pain? Has he had an MRI? More information would be helpful. I hope you can find an answer to his pain.

    Best to you,

  • dont always show the problem...i'm going to assume hes had an mri....there are disk tears that dont show in which case a discogram may be needed...also one person recently posted that a standing mri showed promlems a regular mri didnt.
    it could also be from poor posture or conditioning. best he starts a program of back and stomach conditioning...but if his gut feeling is that theres something wrong dont give up in your search....pete
  • can be a symptom of another problem .bowl/prostate/aortic aneurysm etc i am not saying that he has any of these nasties but maybe you should explore other avenues rather than focusing on the back ..just a thought
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  • I had surgery L5-S1 in 2001, had flare ups but with the Chiropractor and medication I could function. On October 4, 2007 a person ran a stop sign and it the vehicle I was riding in. I went to the Chiropractor and it did not help at all. Had a second surgery and still hurting worse than what I was prior to the wreck. I would tell my husband to do physical therapy, go to the Chiropractor and do a lot of praying!

    The pain management doctor that does my epidural shots wants me to get the nerves burned but I refuse to do that as I have read horror stories on the internet.

    I have read very little about the artifical disc and seriously thinking about that.

    I would wait for any surgery until I could not stand the pain anymore!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks for all of your help. He has had MRIs, Xrays, CT scans, nerve conduction studies, and a discogram... he has also undergone several rounds of PT and has had epidurals at the L4, L5, Facet joint, and SI joints. Nothing seems to help much... the Facet joint injection got rid of a bit of his leg pain, but his lower back is still more or less in constant pain. This all stems from an injury two years ago; Nate was camping with buddies, they got drunk and decided to rough house. He wasn't ready for it, but got tackled from behind. Anyway, I don't know if more info helps, but if anyone has an idea of where whe should go post- phys med, neurologist, and orthopedic surgeon, I am looking for ideas. Thanks!
  • Pain Management? My PM is actually the one that finally gave me a diagnosis. I had been through much of the same as you are describing for 2 years before finally getting a diagnosis. Don't give up. I know that it is disciuraging but you must keep going to doctors until one of them is able to diagnose and help. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Thanks, J.J. The pain management doctor we've gone to has a solution of, "well, we'll just try more pain killers." Not something my husband is super eager to use as a long-term solution. He's only 28. Maybe the solution is to look for a different pain management doctor. At least now I have a direction to pursue-- thanks again!
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