I'm a 29 year old athletic male. About 2 years ago while I was working out with a trainer to rehabilitate my knee several months after a knee surgery, I finished the workout with a very sore back. The action that seemed to ignite the pain was a kettlebell swing exercise where I was swinging a kettlebell through my legs as I bent over and then swinging it up as I stood up.
The initial pain was really sharp and for several weeks I could barely reach down to tie my shoes. Since then, I have been in various levels of pain each day. Sometimes the pain is sharp in my lower back area on the right side and middle, sometimes it is a burning pain behind my hip in my upper buttocks area, sometimes it's an achy pain combined with tight muscles along my right side and lower back, sometimes while my back is aching my shin-area also aches, sometimes the pain goes slightly lower into my buttocks area.
I've had an MRI, an X-Ray, I've had a couple of epidural shots in my back, I've tried yoga, physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractics, mindful meditation, I've tried being physically active, I've tried giving it long periods of rest - nothing seems to help. I try to watch for patterns, but there seem to be few. The absolute worst pain usually happens when I'm at the mall, I guess it's the long walking or perhaps combination of walking and just standing for long periods of time.
I am willing to try anything to make it better, though at this point am wary to spend more money as I have already put so much into it with absolutely no results. Does anyone have any suggestions?
If it helps, below are the results from my MRI and XRAY:
There is lumbar curvature with convexity to the left. There appears to be some retrolisthesis of L5 on S1 with suggestion of pars interarticularis defect and some facet degenerative change. There is probably some disc space narrowing as well at L5-S1. There is disc space narrowing at L3-4 and perhaps L4-5
Note from doctor: The x-rays show your known scoliosis. You also have some arthritis and some disk disease in the low back. The last vertebrae has slipped forward a bit as compared to the sacrum. The next step is the planned physical therapy as a good back routine often gets rid of symptoms from the low back. Let me know if the physical therapy does not help.
1. Mild L3-4 posterior and left lateral disc bulge, minimally narrowing the inferior aspect of the left L3-4 neural foramen.
2. Mild L5-S1 right lateral disc bulge, slightly narrowing the right neural foramen at this level and slightly abutting the exiting right L5 nerve root.
3. No other significant central canal or neural foraminal stenosis identified.
4. Mild degenerative disc disease of the lower lumbar spine, worst at L3-4 and L5-S1.
5. Mild to moderate hypertrophic spondylitic changes of posterior elements of the mid to lower lumbar spine.
The conus medullaris terminates at T12. There is mild lumbar levoscoliosis. Vertebral body alignment is otherwise normal. Vertebral body heights preserved. There is probably a small hemangioma in the right side of the S2 vertebra. Bone marrow signal intensity is otherwise unremarkable. Mild L3-4, minimal L4-5 and mild L5-S1 disc space narrowing is present. There is slight disc desiccation at L3-4 and L5-S1.
At T12-L1, no significant disc bulge seen. The central canal and neural foramina are patent. Direct axial interrogation is performed at following levels:
L2-3: No significant disc bulge. Central canal and neural foramina patent. Mild bilateral facet joint hypertrophy.
L3-4: There is a mild broad based posterior disc bulge with mild left lateral component, resulting in minimal narrowing of the inferior aspect of left neural foramen. Central canal and right foramen are patent. Mild to moderate bilateral facet joint hypertrophy and mild left ligamentum flavum hypertrophy are present.
L4-5: No significant disc bulge. Central canal and neural foramina patent. Mild bilateral facet joint and mild bilateral ligamentum flavum hypertrophy. L5-S1: There is a mild focal right lateral disc bulge with probable small annular tear. This small bulge minimally narrows the lateral aspect of the right neural foramen at this level and slightly abuts the exiting right L5 nerve root. The central canal and left foramen are patent. Mild bilateral facet joint hypertrophy noted.