What could be causing my back pain?

I have recently had a couple of MRI scans, (one in the normal horizontal position and one upright) to try and discover the cause of a worsening back problem. Having now spoken to my consultant surgeon, they can see some disc damage but nothing serious enough to cause the pain and loss of mobility I am experiencing. I have had a discectomy over 16 years ago, but this is not a contributory factor according to my consultant.

I am unable to stand erect and have a seemingly permanent stoop, and I can't stand or sit for more than about 10 minutes. I struggle to walk more than 100 meters without excruciating pain in my back and legs.

Physiotherapy has not had any positive effect, and I am now discharged from this service as a result.

The consultant and my GP are unaware of what could be the cause, but they also don't seem to be concerned in learning what is causing this problem, so I am left in limbo as a result.

Any ideas as to where I go from here would be much appreciated , as I can't continue to function without knowledge of what can be done to help alleviate this issue.

3 Replies

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  • All I can say is keep pushing. Scar tissue can cause more pain than the discs, I had an op at L5/S1 20 years ago and that causes more trouble than the disc, apart from the numbness!

  • Hello,

    It is not helpful that the 'experts' are saying that the disc damage is not causing pain? How do they know? Some disc damage is symptomatic and others not so much.

    I know the pain that my disc problems cause (L4/5 and L5/S1). It is different from the pain that I feel from the Osteoarthritis in my hips and Fibro.

    At the end of the day, you are the expert on your body.

    I have tried a few things in the past such as Acupuncture and Hydrotherapy. Both worked well albeit I only had 6 sessions of Hydromon the NHS.

    Consider Pilates or Tai Chi once your back has calmed down a bit. Both of these a activities are non impactive and will help you to build your core strength. Tai Chi will help you to relax a bit as well which does help.

    I currently see an Osteopath and a Sports Massage Therapist and have a treatment once a week alternating between them.

    I have a TENS machine at home and heat pads which also do the trick.

    In my mind, I like to have a 'stepped approach' if my pain increases. I take the following action:

    1. increase pain meds a bit to see if that does the trick

    2. Heat pad

    3. TENS machine

    4. A trip to the Osteopath

    This has always worked for me.

    Have a chat with your GP about pain relief. Your brain needs to stop getting the pain signals and then your muscles will start to relax. You may need to try several different types before you find what works for you.

    Make sure that you are prescribed something to protect your stomach if you are on anti inflammatories. Sometimes painkillers cause constipation which is no joke. I find that prune juice does the job.

    On another note, where did you go for the standing MRI scan?

    I hope that this information is of use to you.

    Best wishes.

    Dave

  • See a chiropractor. Pain can be caused by muscle spasms.

    Pain can be caused by postural problems. An Alexander Teacher can help with this.

    It is worth googling "erythromycin anti inflammatory effects".

    Occasionally I take erythromycin for painful back problems for about a week and it has worked extremely well.

    If you have a muscle spasm problem or a minor inflection in a tissue. The tissue will inflame and will cause nerves to be compressed. The compression of nerves will cause referred pain. By removing the inflammation nerves will cease to be compressed and the referred pain will cease.

    Hope this helps

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