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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

This is my 1st post to the board. I am so glad I found this place. I have back pain that radiates down one leg and causes pain in my thighs and butt. I kind of feel like this will be a permanent part of my life. It is hard to stay positive when you don't know how to fix the problem.

Here is a brief run-down on my back issues:

1. Aug. 31 - I T-boned a vehicle while going about 35 mph. After the crash, the only thing that was sore was my jam from clenching my teeth so tightly. I saw the car, but had no time to react.
2. Two nights later I woke every hour in severe pain. Couldn't stand upright. Went my gyno. (also my general doc) and was diagnosed with muscle spasms. Flexeril 10 mg. was given. Xrays of mid back were taken.
3. Sept. 10 -- Two weeks later returned for checkup. Was told Xrays looked normal. Still couldn't stand totally straight w/o pain and couldn't flex back or bend backwards. Physician's assistant ordered physical therapy 2x a week.
4. PT (Sept. 15 - Nov. 20) During PT it was noticed that I started having increased misalignments and corrections. I noticed pain in right leg to the point of wanting to drag leg. Pain was most notable at the end of the week (after standing all day M-F).
5. Nov. 15 - Went to gyno for yearly check-up. She noticed odd posture. Didn't know about previous visits or PT. Ordered me to see a chiropractor. 6. Nov. 20 Chiro assessment said L5 locked in a position / pinching or contacting a nerve. Chiro advised I was still having spasms and he could feel the muscles tight all the way through back / hip area. Started visiting 2x a week. Progress was okay - still couldn't bend back and still occasionally had right leg pain. Right leg pain began to increase during January. It was almost constantly flared up. Chiro. suggested I had bulging disc. Asked physician for more muscle relaxers - she did it but advised she wouldn't continue. Throughout entire chiro treatment, chiropractor says L5 continues to lock sideways. sometimes it will pop in place, and sometimes will go weeks before it does.
7. Feb. 1 - lots of right leg pain. Now sore on left back too. Pain in both thighs and butt. Chiro refers me to a physiatrist for injections. I called my Gen. physician (gyno.) and requested muscle relaxers and told her about bulging disc. She wrote the rx but requested I have MRI.
8. Feb. 15 - MRI scan of lumbar spine results:

L3-L4: Small central extrusion creating mild central canal stenosis when combined with mild facet degenerative changes.
L4-L5: T2 hyperintense central extrusion creating mild central canal stenosis. Disc material just contacts the traversing L5 nerve roots. Overall, there is mild-moderate central canal stenosis, when the disc material is combined with facet degenerative changes. Foramina are patent
L5-S1: Right paracentral extrusion creating mild-moderate central canal stenosis. The disc material contacts the traversing right S1 nerve root and closely approximates the traversing left S1 nerve root. Foramina are patent.

1. Lumbar spondylosis from L5-S1 through L3-L4, as detailed above. The findings are characterized by (para)central extrusions at each level. At L5-S1, the disc material contacts the traversing right S1 nerve root and closely approximates the traversing left S1 nerve root. At L4-L5, the disc material just contacts the traversing L5 nerve roots. At L3-L4, there is no definite nerve root impingement. Correlation with the patient's clinical symptoms is recommended.
2. Mild leftward curvature of the lumbar spine.
End of report

9. Feb. 16 Report briefly reviewed by my doctor with me over the phone. She says no bulging discs. Pain is intense. Doc. advises continue with muscle relaxers.
10. Feb. 16 Chiro appoitment. I tell chiro I think it must be in my head, but I am in severe pain at night and no longer sleeping through the night. He reviews report - offers vague - oh "bulging disc" diagnosis. Nothing more - information on what to do rather than seeing a close colleague for injections.
11. Feb 17 - Intense pain. Follow up with reg. doc for MRI review. Explained for past two weeks I had been knocking myself out with a few drinks and OTC sleep med. She prescribes predinose, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, and percocet for pain. Even with percocet, could still feel leg pain. Note to be out 2/18 - 2/22. I stayed out 2/18, went back 2/21 and out today, 2/22.
12. Met with physiatrist. His impression is that since pain isn't "lightening" - I describe as "sharp," this may be a skeletal issue - not all nerve induced. He says big issue is S1 and advises I get an injection. He did the injection today. I am to call him in a few days. 4 weeks until next appointment for a possible injection.

My symptoms started as right leg pain - to the calf / knee area along back of leg only occasional (once or twice a week). I started walking sideways or in a strange way to compensate. I would improve slightly, walk normal, and then go back to the sideways walk. So Embarrassing! After 4 months of this, pain became more frequent (3 or 4 times a week). 5 months after accident - new pain in thighs - both thighs. Strong pains like throbbing or contractions but very dull - not sharp like leg. Also, another new symptom at same time - butt is having the same kinds of pains Like throbbing. Muscle relaxers don't help. If I sit, I bring on this pain. However, the pain can come from standing in a certain position. By this point, I was walking sideways. Numbness/tingling right foot and between toes. Leg pain still persists. Chiro says he can feel the muscles tight around spine.

I am not sure when I should start feeling better from the injection. As of right now (and it has only been 3 hours), I am still hurting. I don't think I am doing what I should be doing medically. My questions are 1. What does my MRI mean? Will I ever be able to bend back and return to normal? 2. What do I need to do at this point? Do I need to see a back doctor or someone for my issues?:confused:
I am so scared that I am going to always be this way. Just 6 months ago I was so much happier and physically fit. I don't want a life of chiropractor visits, medication, and inactivity. I am beginning to think I am crazy. Please help me!

Bless you for reading this if you made it all the way through.

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