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Newbie here needing advice

Hi, since I'm new I'm sure you know the first post is always a long one.

I am 27 years old, 5'3 and (now) about 15lbs overweight. However, this lower back pain has been there since I was probably around the age of 20 or so. I never paid attention to it, as I wasn't in pain all the time. I would feel the pain if I laid on a flat surface. Example: after getting up from laying in the tanning bed, I had to sit down to put my pants back on. I couldn't lift my left leg without substantial pain. It would go away fairly quickly though.

I became a vet tech, and that is definitely physical labor. I've had to go to the doctor twice for pulled muscles in my back. Lifting dogs, fighting with dogs that are thrashing around...and the steady flow of dogs that I was bathing, which meant spending a good amount of time bending over the tub. On days like this, the pain was a bit more severe. However, I still did nothing about it...that is, until I got pregnant.

I noticed very early on in pregnancy that my back was hurting every single day, even when I didn't really do anything. I was expecting to have back pains, but not this early. I basically got to a point to where my leg would give out on me when I stood up, bent over, or sometimes just in mid-walk. I would yell out a bit, and have to catch myself from falling. It was intense and sharp pain, that would cease pretty quickly. I ended up having to leave work at 7 months pregnant because I could no longer even bend over to clean kennels, or do something as simple as sweep the floors without extreme discomfort.

The last trimester was HORRIBLE. I did begin to see a Chiropractor at that point, who told me his thoughts were that I had SI joint dysfunction. He couldn't do any x-rays or anything because of the pregnancy....but I began the therapy. I went 1-2 times a week, as much as I could afford to go. The last 2 months were the worst ever. I had to wake up at night every 30 minutes in severe pain, knowing I needed to roll over to my other side. I would have to reach up, grab the head board, and use my arms to pull myself over. After laying down for that long, I couldn't lift my legs at all. I would have to keep myself very close to the edge of the bed so I could literally "roll" out of bed in the morning. I couldn't even sit up or do anything that involved movement of my legs.

I have had times during pregnancy where I moved the wrong way, and I could literally feel the "pop" sensation, which is where I would imagine the SI joint to be. After that, I was in agony. My husband had to drive me to the Chiropractor's office and physically get me out of the car because I couldn't lift my legs. After an adjustment, I wasn't pain free, but I could move a bit easier.

Well now my child is 2 years old. I have been back at work for some time. I am now finally doing more of the physical labor part of the job, and have been for the past couple of weeks. Lots of bending over to clean kennels, bending over to wrangle squirmy pets, bending over to bathe dogs, and of course picking up the heavy guys as well. I am thinking now of how out of shape I must be. The familiar pain is now back again. This week I have been working doing the physical stuff, and as of today (my off day) I have been in a good amount of pain. I had to clean a few things around the house today, and found myself asking my husband to pick things up, so I didn't have to bend over. When I get up from sitting for a bit, I feel that extreme sharp pain that makes me want to just fall down.

After I sit down for a few minutes the pain pretty much goes away. Sitting down during pregnancy always made it go away as well. If I was feeling extreme pain, just sitting down made it feel like my pelvis was going back into place or something...not sure. But standing back up is a different issue. I feel like I have been walking around somewhat "stiff" legged for the past 2 days. And today was worse. I remember telling my husband, "My back is on fire!"

I am not sure what to do from here. If I should continue seeing the Chiropractor, or if I should go to an Ortho or what? I definitely love my job, and do NOT want to give that up...can't afford to anyway. I have never been the type that wants a desk job. I don't want to feel crippled for the rest of my life either, I am not even 30 years old yet! And of course, this makes having another baby seem unrealistic now. As I'm sure the pain would be far worse the second time around. I am now not even sure if this SI joint diagnosis is correct.

Any tips or advice is greatly appreciated.


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 1,031
    I think it is time for your primary care physician to order new imaging, x-rays and an MRI and then refer you to the proper care.
    Your career is not going to help this matter and it is time to seek out the solution to this problem before some permanent damage is the result. Be persistent, be your own advocate, research, ask questions, and don't give up. Most of us here started out the same way or similar to what you experience. There is a wealth of knowledge amongst the people here that suffer similar symptoms and have been successful getting relief with non-invasive measures.
    You can do the same, it's time to move forward, do it today with a phone call to your doctor.
    Take care and keep us all posted here,
  • A chiro can be great and help alot, but it sounds as if you are past the point of chiro. In my opinion they def have their place, I see one. But some chiros think they can fix anything and some even discourage seeing back specialists. Its time to move on to prob a pain mngmt doc. If you have a good primary care or family doc they should send you in the right direction!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
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  • The thought of seeing another doctor for better diagnostics has crossed my mind within the past week or so. I am so stubborn at times I guess I just need to hear it from other people. This week (because of scheduling) I actually have been sitting at a desk all day. I can't stand it and find myself getting up frequently. I found myself today doing the "sideways" bend like a pregnant lady, just to pick up simple 20lb bags of dog food from the floor to place them on the shelves. Hubby gave me a gift card for a professional massage...first one I've ever had. I remember the lady telling me she would do some stretches for me. While trying to do that, she said she couldn't, that I was too flexible. There was nothing to stretch. I don't know what that's supposed to mean!? HAHA! And I remember a childhood pediatrician telling me that I was "double jointed." Which I am assuming just means I have flexible joints. I am beginning to wonder if the extra flexibility is the cause for these supposed "immovable" joints to be luxating?? Oh my, and now I am having memories as a kid...reaching my arms up to stretch and having to jerk them back down quickly from feeling my shoulder come out of place. Oh I think it's coming together in my brain! So many questions! Yeah, it's time to maybe start with the ortho and go from there. Thanks for the replies!
  • Welcome to Spine Health. I am a bit concerned because you said something about being too flexible. Have you ever been evaluated for something called Erhlos- Dahlers syndrome? I am not sure that I spelled it correctly but one of the signs of it is extreme flexibility. It might be worthwhile investigating.
  • I've never heard of that. I just googled it and evidently have 6 out of 11 symptoms. Skin seems to be a major thing, and I don't have any problems with my skin or when I've had to have stitches in the past. However...the increased joint mobility, joints popping, joint pain, etc...OH YEAH! I've had that since a small child. Well I definitely have to go ahead and schedule something, as sometimes it takes a while to get in to see someone here. And literally while typing this my coworker just text messaged me to tell me that the schedule was wrong. I thought I would be sitting at a desk tomorrow, but I'll be working in the back as technician instead. As much as I jumped for joy when I read it (I love my job), I am also anxious at the same time. What am I going to feel like at the end of the day tomorrow?! It has taken me a lot of persistence with my boss to get my schedule where it is....basically for me to be working as a tech. (Long story). The last thing I want to do is to go right back to him and say, "Hey I know I complained the entire time that I wanted to tech, but now I can't." OYE! I have to fix this!
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  • Hi!
    I have been I vet tech for 18 + years. Having L5/S1 fusion June 12th. I love my job as well and will work right up till the Tuesday before. I'm a surgery/anesthesia tech. Ask your primary MRI and referral if needed. Our job is unimaginable for others!!!
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
  • RachelRRachel Posts: 5
    edited 05/30/2013 - 8:26 PM
    I am glad someone here knows exactly what we go through lol! I have only been a tech for 6 years...nothing compared to your 18! I only wish we had specific jobs at my clinic. I do surgery, exam rooms, kennel duty (boarding facility), bathing, floors, everything down to cleaning toilets and changing light bulbs.We are a pretty busy clinic too, with only 4 techs including myself. I had a neighbor a few years ago that told me she had to retire as a vet tech because the job had injured her back so badly. That was kind of scary to think about. I've been doing a lot of thinking since Sandi's reply and I have never truly thought about all of the joint pain and flexibility issues I've had even as a child. I really think this is the key to proper diagnostics. Now to only find a doctor that will truly listen. During my pregnancy I kept trying to tell my doctor how bad the pain was getting...his reply each time was, "Yep and it's just going to get worse. That's part of pregnancy." I had to refer myself to the chiropractor. As a matter of fact, he wouldn't listen to me about me not being able to get pregnant either. After a year, I had to refer myself to the fertility specialist as well. Thankfully I don't need a referral to see specialists! LOL! I guess my gyno has made me so leery of doctors really listening to me. Normally I am just a number...just a person to hurry out of the door. Hope I can find a good one :)
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