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20 years old, will i ever get better...

Hi i'm new to this forum and just wanted to see if anyone had any advice. I just turned 20 years old.I injured my back on march 28th while weight lifting, mri showed small bulge at l3,4,5, and small protrusion at l5,s1. Had epidural shots, physical therapy and many other methods that were unsuccesful. One thing that troubles me is that along with sciatica and back pain, I have a clicking noise that occurs in my lower back. This "click" could make the pain switch to the left, back to the right, and even sometimes affect my groin. But at other times, the click takes away the pain. It's coming close to 5 months since the initial injury and idk how I'm going to go back to school with this pain. Doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists have all given up on me. I want my life back and I dont know what to do. Just wanted to see if anyone else had similar experiences.


  • BlueSkiesBBlueSkies Posts: 59
    edited 08/06/2012 - 4:45 AM
  • I just had to reply to you even though I don't have the answers you need. I have a 20-year-old daughter with chronic daily headaches, and I know how weary she gets of them. She goes to a neurologist next week, but I believe her headaches are initiated by stress. The mind-body connection is so strong, and young adults like yourself have unbelievable amounts of stress IMO. The pressures you're facing with trying to make so many decisions that determine the direction your adult life is going to take, not knowing what those answers will be, trying to do well in school...ugh. I hope you are able to find outlets for your stress, and I hope that has at least some impact on your pain.

    As for the click, I don't have any solid info on that, but could it be a muscle slipping in and out of place? You have probably tried a series of weekly massages, but if not, maybe that would help some? Bulges and protrusions, especially small, are so common and you've tried all the right things it seems. I have been researching piriformis syndrome recently at the suggestion of someone here, and you might look up on that. It's a condition where the piriformis muscle group in the buttock area contracts and aggravates the sciatic nerve causing sciatica type symptoms.

    I am so sorry for your situation. I have suggested to my daughter she take advantage of the fact we're paying for her college and living expenses for now and take a semester out of school to focus on her mental health and give herself time to make decisions. Can you take a semester off?
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  • i am sorry that you find yourself here at such a young age .have you been to see a consultant and have you any medical photography on your back {MRI/CT scan} ??it sounds like you need to see a spinal consultant .the good news is you are young the not so good news is back pain is a 84574RD to cure !! hence the forums up and down the Internet ,you are on the best one by the way ..you could try a TENS and ice/heat and a homedics massage unit whilst you decide what top do .i can only give you my 16 years of experience and it sound to me like you may require surgery .just make sure that you find a TOP END CONSULTANT as backs are notorious hard work to get right .i am on my third operation and that was fusion {the worst thing i have ever endured !! .hopefully you wont
    need anything as major but i think you should get checked out
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Spare no expense, hit it with everything you have even if that means postponing school a semester. Your health should be number one. Today can spare you a lifetime of pain.
    After recent injury I to have clicking in low back. When I get up from chair, move, get out of bed. I to only have buldges in low back, but I know something is wrong cause I know my body. I used a foam roller for years and now I get pressure then a huge click/release in low back area. Sometimes makes better sometimes worse. Could never tell doc that I would be crazy. I dont know if its a facet getting stuck, something in hip or muscular but I have also.
    Herniated T6-7, multiple herniations in cervical, tears in T5-T8. Stenois at levels and smorls nodes from thoracic thru lumbar
  • Hi Rob. I just wanted to respond since I have a son who just turned 19 and has been dealing with severe lower back pain from lifting weights in football off-season several years ago. This injury has had a major impact on his life, as I know is has on yours as well. We've tried many different doctors, many different professionals in many different specialties, and numerous interventions also. I know it's beyond frustrating for you. Two things I noticed on your post: the small bulge at l3,4,5 and the small protrusion at l5,S1 - sound a whole lot like the desciption on my son's MRIs. We finally found a doctor who didn't discount this and said the small bulges, etc. are sometimes indications of internal disc disruption/annular tears which can be quite painful. If you haven't already, you might research the symptoms of this condition a little and see if it matches your symptoms at all. I know it's so disheartening to feel like the medical community has given up on you - we experienced that also. "Go live you life as best you can..." is what we've heard a lot. At 19 or 20 this seems so incredibly unfair. However, we finally went to a spine specialty practice that houses many different doctors and provides several related services - this was by far the best place for us. The doctor had TONS of experience and really, really understood what impact this injury was having on my son's life. Anyway, my advice from several years of dealing with this is to keep trying to get answers - never give up even if the doctors seem like they have. Research and find the very best/most experienced spine doctor in your area and consult with him/her. We've been told by a couple of different, very respectable doctors that there are some extremely promising treatments on the horizon that will be real "game-changers" in terms of handling back/spine injuries. I really believe there are answers out there & I hope you find yours. I feel so badly for you because I know how much you're missing out on as a result of your injury. Believe me, my son knows, also. Best of luck to you!!!
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  • Hey, I know how that feels. I just turned 19 last month and have been dealing with back pain for as long as I can remember. I also can't seem to keep any pain killers down, so I'm in a wheel chair or bed most of the time. It's really hard being able to remember times when the pain wasn't so bad and I could go out, or swim, or ride a bike without being afraid of crying in front of everyone. Sometimes I just want to give up, because chances are I'll never have a full life, or get married, or even ever be able to move out of my parents home, or not have to live in an assisted living home.

    After being in pain for a long time it's easy to wonder if you'll ever have a real moment of peace again, but I have found a passion in seeking it out. Maybe it's unhealthy, but the only thing that keeps me from giving into depression is an anger driven obsession to find relief and shove a nice big "suck it" to whatever decided to deal me this sub-par hand in life.

    I can't say what will help you, but try not to give up. I tried it once, and it really sucked.
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