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Chronic low back pain but normal test results

Hi, I am a 22 year old male that weighs around 125 pounds and I have chronic back pain, but every test (Mri, X-rays, ct scans, bone scans) have shown normal results. Last year on February 8th 2014, I was using the bathroom and when I went to leave the room, I switched the light off and all of a sudden I had very sharp shooting pains go up my spine, and they didn't stop for the rest of the night. I could not walk that night by myself. It was very hard for me to walk for 2 months after that and resorted to using a cane. I have been off the cane for 8-9 months now, but that's because my left leg was getting smaller and smaller. But since then, my back muscles are in constant spasm mode, and never stop. You can literally see my muscles coming out of my back at any given time of the day. My low back constantly hurts. But if I do too much then my middle and upper back starts to hurt (burning, feels like someone is grabbing my muscles and pulling on them) until I can finally go to sleep at night. All the doctors I have seen say they can not find anything on my test results. I don't know how that's possible. I can bend forward slowly but it is very hard for me to come back up, and I cannot bend backwards at all. It feels like something is being pinched when I do. I have slight movements from left to right, but not free range motion like I'm used to. I am 22 years old and my life has gone to shambles because of this back injury, and I have found no one that can help me. I do not want to be on medicine anymore. I need help please!
Justin duke


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385

    Welcome to Spine-Health

    It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

    Here are some questions that you should answer:

    - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

    Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
    of your situation and make it easier to respond.

    Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

    Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
    Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
    As such, no member is permitted to provide

    - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

    What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
    You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.
    It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
    I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

    Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

    Specific comments :

    Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

    --- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator :
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Your doctors who have done your testing, are they spine specialists?

    My primary doctor tried to work with me about two years before referring me to pain management.
    That was best for me!

    He did different testing, had me on effective medication immediately. Sure it needed to be tweeked as we went along, but medicated did take the edge off of that chronic pain.
    EMG test was most revealing to doctor. It showed areas of my spine that were effected that I didnt even give voice to.

    I had some epidurals. Some effective, some not.
    But I find pain management , and investigation of source or cause of pain, to be trial and try again.
    It can take time.

    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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