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Terrible Pain when Standing

Hello There !

I have been practicing Tango dancing for over 2 year now. And i do alot of torsions and flexions when i dance. I am 29 years old and never had back problems in my life.. Two months ago when i came back from a Tango Ball, i felt irritation in my lower back. Thinking it was muscular problem i thought it would go away. But it became worse day by day. I took and X ray and an MRI. It shows slight reduction in disc size of L4 and L5. I also shows very small listhesis in the L5. I do not have any pain going down my legs. The pain is localised in the lumbar region

I have terrible pain when i stand for more than 3- 4 mins in one position. However walking cause burning sensations when i walk for 100mts. Sitting for extended periods of time causes burning and stabbing pain too. The pain is like a knife being pierced into my back and turned at the same time. I can bend forward, back ward and sides too. The only thing that gives me relief is when i am lying down and there is no weight on the lower back.

My doctor told me that I must have torn a disc but this does not show on the MRI. My question is : Is there a possibility that i have stress fractured a facet joint ?

What can i do to confirm that i havent fractured a facet joint?

Could a torn disc but not herniated cause so much pain when standing ?

Anxiously awaiting reply


  • Maybe try a bone scan instead of an MRI. My GP explained they are much better for bone diagnosis. I had pain for 8 years incorrectly diagnosed until I had a bone scan. Also if you have an MRI (he told me these are better for soft tissue) try for a standing MRI. There are a lot in the US. If lying down helps you a standing or sitting MRI makes more sense. Look at the difference on You Tube. Nothing except the obvious showed up on a prone MRI for me. I think when you lie down your spine probably goes naturally back into place especially if standing and sitting hurt.

    Sleeping with a pillow between your knees helps take the pressure off your spine. Check to see if your hips are aligned. If not I wear built up shoes on one side. Don't know how you are going to Tango without heels but it's worth a try. Seems to have gone on too long for muscle damage but if you are still dancing Tango you may be reinjuring yourself .

    My pain was like a knife being twisted in my spine and never went away. How well I know that pain. They worked out eventually it was the one on top of my 80% wedge crushed T5 thoracic spine. It was crushed to the side not to the front so it was my T4 slipping out continually to the right causing my pain.

    Keep a pain diary every day for a week - one side activity - other side pain level. I kept mine every 30 minutes. It was interesting that the things I thought were doing me good - like walking the dog were causing the most pain. It helps the Drs as well to pinpoint mire accurately - that's the theory at least but I stopped doing the things that exacerbated my pain.

    So maybe also get a sports physiotherapist to look at the ones above and below your painful area. If it is mechanical ask them to put your spine into correct alignment - after 8 years of agony it was instant pain relief.
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