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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I am 70 years old. Several years ago I was having frequent muscle spasms in my lower back. I went to an orthopedist who took x-rays. He found an "old" compression fracture of L1. I was totally unaware that I had it. He told me that he couldn't do anything for me but suggested that I get PT for the spasms.

I had several different groups of PT sessions over the next few years but time seemed to be the best healer for the spasms.

I no longer have muscle spasms but now I have developed severe localized pain and stiffness in the lower back in the area of L1 and extending to my hips when I get up from a sitting or lying position. My first few steps are really bad but in time I can walk awkwardly stiffness and moderate pain. I cannot bend at the waist very much without bad pain. Standing on a hard surface causes my back to hurt very quickly as does walking slowly on a hard surface. Both also cause me to become lightheaded fairly quickly. In these circumstances, I have to sit down or risk passing out. Sitting on a hard surface for any length of time does the same. My pain and stiffness has gotten considerably worse in the past several months.

I went to a chiropractor recently and after about a dozen sessions he told me not to bother coming back as he couldn't do anything to help me. He recommended more PT. After about a dozen sessions of that, the PT guy also told me not to come back as he couldn't do anything for me.

I am wondering if I now have arthritis in L1 due to the old compression fracture. NSAIDs give me no relief at all, even when I greatly exceed the recommended doses. I don't want to take opiads if I can avoid it.

Does anyone have any suggestions concerning what my problem might be and what I might be able to do about it? My GP looks kind of puzzled and has no real suggestions.

Thanks for any help you can provide.


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