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Old 12-10-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Between Philadelphia and Allentown, PA
5,077 posts, read 12,703,549 times
Reputation: 3713

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HI everyone...

here is my situation. I do welcome all thoughts and any "expert" medical advice....

I have a doctor, he's part of a 2-doctor practice. They are part of a larger organization and for the most part I never go to the doctor... In two years, though I've been to the same doc for unexplained back pain. Last August - did an xray, showed nothing. Doc put me on steroids and muscle relaxer. Pain ended up going away, never did do the steroids - not a big fan.

BTW, I'm a 39 yr old female in relatively good health, non-smoker, eat healthy, etc.

So, fast foward to two weeks ago, I found myself in a lot of pain in my lower back, it was localized there and not moving around. I kept taking Motrin, used heat packs, etc.. hoping to get it to go away.
A week ago, the pain began to get worse, now spasms, pain shooting down back of butt area and around to hips. Again, nursing with Motrin (600 mgs a pop). Now pain is so great that I can't sleep at night, and am almost in tears.
Fine, I know when to admit defeat so I see my doc. He's a pretty good dianostician,asks me some questions, has me do some brief exercises and then puts his thumbs into me and I thought I would go through the roof.
Sent me for an xray, gave me steroids and muscle relaxer.

Last night, in SUCH unGodly pain, I am () this close to going to the ER - I was actually crying and I do have a high tolerance for pain. Finally at 2:30 am, I took more Motrin, finally fell asleep (before bed took a Soma) which did nothing...but mellow me out.

Today I call for my results - this is what they say.

"There is straightening of the usual lumbar lordosis. Vertebral body heights and pedicles are intact. There is a mild narrowing of the L4-5 intervertebral disc space. Mild diffuse anterior spurring is again seen (previously xrayd in Aug 2008). There is no evidence of acute fractuer or dislocation. Sacroilliac joints appear unremarkable."

So, in Laymans terms.... WTF does this mean? The doc explained that my spasms are causing my natural curve of my spine to straighten which would cause pain. How do I know though that I don't have a bulging disc or something? I really feel that an MRI would be good to rule out everything for sure....

Thoughts??
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:29 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 33,722,918 times
Reputation: 4005
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreaspercheron View Post
HI everyone...

here is my situation. I do welcome all thoughts and any "expert" medical advice....

I have a doctor, he's part of a 2-doctor practice. They are part of a larger organization and for the most part I never go to the doctor... In two years, though I've been to the same doc for unexplained back pain. Last August - did an xray, showed nothing. Doc put me on steroids and muscle relaxer. Pain ended up going away, never did do the steroids - not a big fan.

BTW, I'm a 39 yr old female in relatively good health, non-smoker, eat healthy, etc.

So, fast foward to two weeks ago, I found myself in a lot of pain in my lower back, it was localized there and not moving around. I kept taking Motrin, used heat packs, etc.. hoping to get it to go away.
A week ago, the pain began to get worse, now spasms, pain shooting down back of butt area and around to hips. Again, nursing with Motrin (600 mgs a pop). Now pain is so great that I can't sleep at night, and am almost in tears.
Fine, I know when to admit defeat so I see my doc. He's a pretty good dianostician,asks me some questions, has me do some brief exercises and then puts his thumbs into me and I thought I would go through the roof.
Sent me for an xray, gave me steroids and muscle relaxer.

Last night, in SUCH unGodly pain, I am () this close to going to the ER - I was actually crying and I do have a high tolerance for pain. Finally at 2:30 am, I took more Motrin, finally fell asleep (before bed took a Soma) which did nothing...but mellow me out.

Today I call for my results - this is what they say.

"There is straightening of the usual lumbar lordosis. Vertebral body heights and pedicles are intact. There is a mild narrowing of the L4-5 intervertebral disc space. Mild diffuse anterior spurring is again seen (previously xrayd in Aug 2008). There is no evidence of acute fractuer or dislocation. Sacroilliac joints appear unremarkable."

So, in Laymans terms.... WTF does this mean? The doc explained that my spasms are causing my natural curve of my spine to straighten which would cause pain. How do I know though that I don't have a bulging disc or something? I really feel that an MRI would be good to rule out everything for sure....

Thoughts??
The normal lumbar lordosis (curvature) is missing, therefore it's STRAIGHT, just as the doctor said. There is also some narrowing between two of the vertebrae (L4 and L5), meaning that the intervertebral disc is compressed. You've had bone spurs on the vertebrae since August '08 (these are normal aging changes) and they're still there. Basically, that straightening is causing your pain.

What would an MRI do that would change your treatment? Probably NOTHING.
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,115 posts, read 9,411,192 times
Reputation: 9423
Have you ever tried yoga? Might release some of the pain by creating some more space between your vertebrae...worth a try, I think. Helps keep my back toned up. I've had some spasms before that have brought me to my knees...none since I took up yoga...
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Old 12-10-2009, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
Reputation: 18533
If muscle spasms are causing the problem, go to a therapeutic massge therapist - different from a relaxation therapist. I had had muscle problems for years and for a while I was getting a massage per week.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:25 PM
 
4,618 posts, read 10,494,859 times
Reputation: 10286
Unless you are having radicular pain, pain that radiates down the leg from nerve root compression due to a herniated disc a MRI adds nothing.

MRI's should be done to answer a specific question and to aid in surgical planning.

Low back pain without radiating pain into the lower extremities typically doesn't warrant a MRI. Even if you had the MRI and it showed a bulging or herniated disc.....now what?

If you performed lumbar MRI's on a hundred random folks your age you would pick up a lot of herniated and bulging discs....most of those same folks would have no symptoms to correspond with the MRI findings. So what do you do with that data?
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Between Philadelphia and Allentown, PA
5,077 posts, read 12,703,549 times
Reputation: 3713
Thanks to all who replied. Getting older sucks, huh? LOL I'm glad to say, I'm feeling a lot better, my doc wanted me to see orthopedics but honestly, if it's age related, it's happening whether I want it or not so, I'm not going to waste my time or insurance on something that is bound to happen anyway. I feel a lot better, spasms have stopped, numbness has gone away and all is well.
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