This forum has lots of great information from helpful people. Your stories, experiences, and the way you all help each other are heart-touching. Thank you in advance for reading my first post.
When I was 8 years old, I was in a body-boarding accident that violently hyper-extended my lower back. As my back quickly bent backwards, I heard and felt a loud "pop." My body then became numb for about 2 seconds. I swam back to shore and went along with my day...no persisting painful effects. I lived the rest of my life as an active adolescent and teenager, playing sports, weight lifting, skateboarding, and running. I remember sometimes when I stood in one place for too long, my back would get stiff and uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I never had my back examined and never took the incident seriously.
I am now in my 20's, and 3 years ago I had the same exact thing happen to me! The only difference was this time I was body-surfing. I was thrown into the water, and again my back was hyper-extended and popped. I had the same numbness, and swam to shore the same way as the first time. The only difference was that this time I immediately felt stiffness that encompassed my entire lower back. I figured I tore a muscle or had some other less serious injury, and figured it would heal much like my first experience.
Unfortunately it hasn't healed the same. My back is exactly as stiff as it was 3 years ago. 2 years ago I saw my first chiropractor. He didn't take any x-rays, said that I was young and should heal, and began stimulating/manipulating my lower back. The treatments didn't offer relief that lasted longer than the time it took to get home. I stopped going and tried to take some rest away from my active lifestyle. I rested about 6 months. The discomfort went away slightly and I was fine when living a sedentary life, but when I had to do anything physical, my back would flare up worse than before the rest period. I then found another chiropractor, who did the same as the first (no x-ray or MRI, just manipulation/stimulation to my lower back). He said it may be a herniated disc, but there were no further steps taken to get an MRI or x-ray. I went to my general MD and he said "that unless the discomfort is bad enough that you would want surgery, then it is pointless to get an x-ray or MRI." He offered some pain meds, which I declined, and said try acupuncture or physical therapy. I did acupuncture and it did not help at all. I have not yet tried physical therapy.
I went back to my general MD recently, still complaining about the discomfort. He finally recommended me to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon finally gave me an x-ray, which he said looked completely normal. He gave me an anti-inflammatory medication that he told me to take to see if it would alleviate the stiffness in my back. He said if it doesn't, the next step will be to get an MRI or CT scan.
I am extremely frustrated because I have never had an ailment that has not healed. I am also frustrated because this seems to be a "mystery problem" and no body seems to know the underlying cause. I have done my share of research on this forum and it seems like a possible diagnosis would be spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis. However, when the orthopedic surgeon reviewed the x-ray, he said there was no pars defect, so I could not have these conditions. What do you guys know or think about this doctors diagnosis?
I am extremely desperate to find the condition I have. I also want to find more proactive ways that I could strengthen myself and help the healing/coping process. Have any of you had a similar accident or had similar symptoms? If so, what was your condition? What did you, or the doctors do to diagnose it? What were your options for healing/strengthening? How are you now?
Reading through these forums shows me the true misery that back pain can bring to people, and this really scares me. Any advice or tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks!