Back Pain Questions and Answers

This Q&A section is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Any medical condition should be referred to a qualified medical professional.
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Comment: I was chucked of my horse whilst in a gallop and somersaulted over the top landing on my back. Since then my diaphragm and neck are hurting as well as extreme lower back pain on the right hand side! Jackie

Comment: Great site. Looking forward to reading more. Seems like a unique resource so far. Thanks, Yvonne

Q: Hi can you help me to explain what is the meaning of result of my MRI, do you have any picture what happen on my L4-5 so i can understand well..see below for the results. L4-5 left paracentral focal disc protrusion obliterates the left anterolateral recess. Jasper

Q: I have 3 bulging discs and 1 herniated disc in my neck, and 1 herniated disc in my low back. I seem to be coping fairly well with the back, but the neck, especially the herniated C5-C6 is giving me trouble and this affects the left arm pain; muscle and nerve pain, as well as both my shoulders have pain and some weakness. I will not do surgery, but I can not continue to live this life of pain and I want to continue to be physically active. Physically and emotionally it is wearing me down. Any suggestions? Thank you. Evelyne

Q: Hi there, I get chest pain that goes to my tummy and then to my back it mainly happens at night time. What could it be? Lindie

Q: I have stared getting itching sensation on my left back upper side, say behind heart, there isn't any scar or rash as skin disease. now i feel a piercing pain around the area sensation is there.itching i feel under the skin not on top pls advice me whom to see, neuro or ortho. Santosh

Q: Hi, When i was young i fell off the tree landing with my bums and i passed out. I couldn't carry something heavy, work and breathe at the same time. I didn't tell my mother because i was scared she can beat me so i managed the pain for weeks by myself. for the past 20yrs the pain was coming and go maybe once in 2 to 3 months. The pain starts from my neck to my lower back. The type of pain is like a lightning or cracking. when i'm in pain i have to hold my breath. i cant talk. i cant move. The pain last for 2 to 3 mins. Now i cant sit for a long time.help me pls, Vengai

Q: Hi, I am really glad to find your site. Great idea!My history of back pain feels long considering I am 25years old. I was a competitive rugby during my teens. Lots of training, weightlifting and hard work. It was all supervised by professionals to ensure I had enough rest periods and recovery time as well as using the correct techniques -especially while weight lifting. What I was left with after Rugby was basically arthritis in my neck due to the heavy collisions I regularly took. What ended my career with Rugby was a constant hamstring injuries which I have recently found can be attributed to a genetic deformity in the base of my back-my Father has the same problems. My problem is that even though I am see a chiropractor once a week I am having back spasms periodically. What is worrying me is the back spasms are becoming more frequent- typically once a month at the moment. The chiropractic care is working better for my father but I was wondering what other treatment could I seek that may be more beneficial to me? I have family and I need to work to support them. The fear of not being able to do that in the future is starting to trouble me. Any advice would be superb. Like I said at the start I was so glad to see your website and any advice you may have I would be so great full for. Kind regards, John

Q: i have had 1 op on my lower back and 1 in my neck now i am am waiting on a 360 fusion the pain. my legs is getting worse i am waiting to see my back surgeon in april. i take orapmrpht to kill the pain, i am drinking it like water. i had a tia/stroke /9 fits. i am coming to the end of my wits. can you give me some advice please, David

Q: i have had lower back pain on and for for some years. but in the last year it has got worse, i had a prolapsed womb amd bladder and the doctor put the back pain down to this. in january of this year i had a hysterectomy and bladder repair, an although this has healed nicely i'm still experiencing lower back pain. its like a burning sensation from the spine across the back. it aches when standing and walking for too long. my doctor recommended tai chi and abdominal exercises which i have been doing for a month now but this has not helped. they are now sending me to physio but this will take 6 weeks, do you have any ideas or exercises that i could try as i'm due to return to work in a busy kitchen which involves a lot of bending and lifting. at the end of april, but i am concerned by this, my dad suggested using a support belt for the back. what do you suggest please help, thank you, debbie

Q: I am a regular runner and have been doing so for over 8 years. I was training for a marathon and up until 4 weeks ago things we fine until one day in the middle of a run I felt a tightness in my ribs which spread round to the middle of my back. The pain was stabbing and checked my breathing a few times. I continued for a few more miles but had to stop as the pain was unbearable. The next few days I was really sore but this eased. The problem I have is I cannot get back to running as despite rest it keeps tightening up around my middle back right across my back after a few miles. My whole right hand side of my back especially at the shoulders is very sore when I get a massage, but even this is not reducing the pain. What can I do to get back running as I am running out of time for the marathon? I have tried chiropractor, heat, massage etc and my GP has ruled out pleurisy. PS. I have never had anything like this before. Frank

Comment: I have been suffering from pain since Aug. 30, 2010 when an orthopedic doctor administered a cortisone shot in my right hip. I nearly fell on the floor. I did research and know that he hit the sciatic nerve as well as the piriformis muscle due to pain when sitting. Thanks to pain pills and muscle relaxers I can function. He never admitted his error and told me to hold onto the walls and furniture on my way out. I kid you not this really happened. How long can it take for this pain to heal and the condition to become a thing of the past?. Thank you for your information. Doctors do indeed make mistakes and some are arrogant enough not to admit it. Betty

Q: Hi, Really pleased to find your site , i have had lower right side back pain hip pain groin pain and sciatic type pain from my thigh to my foot for over two years i find it so hard to believe that with all the tests i have had that nothing shows to be the cause and no one is prepared to give a diagnosis at the very least . My whole life has changed as everyday is a sore one i am 44yrs of age ,female and slight build i have had two mri s one on my spine and one on my pelvis and hips nothing showed i tested negative for osteoporosis and spent a lot of money trying a chiropractor for relief i take solpodol, gabapentin amitrytaline and tramadol when very sore and bed ridden i cant stoop over , load the washing machine, drive or twist without pain and the pain intensifies by afternoon , i am close to loosing my job over time off for this i have one more test to get a hip arthrogram and i dread to think how i will feel if that comes back with negative results . I feel that people thin k i am (at it ) as after 2 years of this no one can give me answers i don't do high impact sports and my first signs of pain was a sore right hip almost sore to touch which has worsened over time, i get so down this has an impact on the whole family as they see me in pain, every consultant i see takes months to see you id love to hear from anyone in a similar situation. Jill

Q: We'll I had some pain from a rib that was somewhat out of place. I started taking Ibuprofen. Which seemed to help a bit. But decided to go to a chiropractor. The first treatment was ok. The second was horrible. I ended up at the hospital where I could barely walk and in pain in which I never had before. They gave me a shot of morphine for the pain and drugs to take home(Narcotics). As well as ibuprofen. The pain is subsiding a bit but not much. Like I said, these feelings/symptoms I never had before. How long can this feeling last? Should I go back and see him again? John

Q: Hi! My name is jessica and i have been suffering with lower back pain since i was in high school. I have been to the docs twice and they told me i needed physical therapy could be arthritis sitting up in my back or i have strained my back. Well I also went to the chiropractor too. She done some therapy on me and xrays and said that the very last disc in my back was thinning? I basically gave up on hoping the pain would go away. I suffer day to day with my pain. I have had 2 bad attacks also with my lower back pain and just a few days ago experienced an ever worse attack # 3 where i couldn't even sit up in bed or get up to walk to the bathroom. The pain i have is sharp agonizing in my lower back and radiates in my buttocks and down my hip into my leg and feels like spasms. I ended up having to go to the hospital that day cause of this bad spell. The ER doctor said it could be sciatica or a strain. He gave me pain meds and something for inflammation. My back still feels real sore now and alot of pressure is in my lower back. I don't know what else there is to do :(

Comment: Thank you for helping me with this great site. It has really been useful to me. Sincerely, Don

Q: Hello I'm a 32 year old male that has been suffering from what my doctors are saying is a bulging disc. I've been suffering from back pain since a car accident when I was 17 yrs. old. It caused a disc problem in my lower back & I had seen a Chiropractor for about a year because of that. It's always bothered me & has made it hard to be on my feet for long periods at a time. When I was about 28 years old I woke up with a horrible stabbing burning pain in the base of my neck which radiated through my whole right shoulder causing numbness in my arm & tingling in my fingers. Well so I had went through Physical Therapy, Pain Management & through 2 different Chiropractors. The pain lasted for about 1 1/2 years and these doctors told me it was because I sit at a computer all day and have been since I was 23 yrs. old because of my career as a Graphic Artist. The pain was always more intense at work in front of my computer. I then purchased an inversion table & a neck traction unit & began my own therapy while of course continuing my PT & chiropractic care. The pain finally went away. Well now about 3 months ago I woke up with that same pain again. The ironic thing about it though is, I had started seeing a Chiropractor again because of my lower back pain in which he was also performing neck adjustments, which kinda worried me because of what I'd went through a few years back with the neck & shoulder pain. Well about four weeks went by and my lower back was feeling much better but I started feeling some irritation in my neck & shoulder again which he told me was again my job & probably stress. Well then he had performed a neck adjustment & it was like instantly that stabbing burning pain came back. I've been suffering now again for about 3 months now which my Chiropractor now tells me I have Cervical Muscular syndrome & he had stopped performing neck adjustments. I've been doing Yoga now, PT & seeing a personal trainer which now I've started to feel pain free again. With that said I'll move on to my question concerning at hand. My doctor has now finally issued me an MRI because this is a reoccurring condition but now that I'm starting to feel pain free, will anything even show up on an MRI? I'm afraid now that I'm feeling pain free that this will be a waste of time & money. My doctor said whatever was happening would still show up even if I'm not in pain from it but I had a Physical Therapist tell me that once the disc has, I guess went back into place that nothing would even show up on an MRI, is this True? Thanks, Jeremy

Q: I have had this pain for months now, and it is frustrating, It is in the back and now traveling to my breast. I am miserable.I do not want to pay for any information, I've already spent too much money on over the counter, and prescription medications. I just need and answer, what can I do? Mildred

Q: Your site really saved my life. I do not know what else to say. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and feel so much better after years of being in pain. I am going to write up my whole story and send it to you for the back pain forum. Thanks again! Frannie

Q: Hello, I recently went to a NUCCA Chiropractor for dizziness and eye pain which I suspected were residual affects of a concussion I sustained in November. He claimed my complaints (which were mild) were due to the malalignment of my Atlas vertebra. During my consultation, he took X-rays and diagnosed me with degenerative disc disease and osteo-arthritis which scared the hell out of me and shifted my focus to those conditions rather than my curiosity over what NUCCA might do for my overall health. After one session I felt great but I chalk that up to feeling like I was taking positive action. After the second adjustment (both of which were extremely mild and even left me wondering how he could have possibly moved anything) I strained my neck muscles accidentally at work. It was nothing I hadn't done a hundred times before with no problems.. holding the phone with my head while straining to reach something on a shelf and being in that position for 5 or so minutes not realizing how much strain my neck was under. This time my whole neck seized up and for the past two weeks I've been dealing with disc/nerve pain. I had an MRI and my orthopedist didn't find the results all that remarkable and wasn't sure the bulging and protruding discs in my neck were actually causing my pain. But I can feel the pain directly over the spine, as well as radiating out in every which way. I also have paranthesia and intermittant sciatica. I have never had a back problem before so this is very disturbing and now on oral steroid pack but feeling very discouraged. Any advice? I'm a 36 year old female in excellent shape otherwise - not overweight and have always been atheletic. I regret putting my trust in this chiropractor. Am I doomed to be in chronic pain for the rest of my life? Thank you - Alice

Q: i am doing my research about women suffer more lower back pain than men. are u agree with this statement? then could you please give me some info about this topic. thank you, your kindness is highly appreciated :)Ainu

Q: hi i'm 42 i have had back pains for years but thought it was just wear an tear but later found out it was sacrolization of L5 then last october got out of bed and had awful pain in my back,buttock,down my leg into my foot ,tingles in my foot an leg, gp said it was sciatica but 5 months on no difference so had mri which revealed sacrolization L5,bulging discs on L4 L5 to the left and the front a tear but today tried a slow short walk to kill the boredom the muscles are already locked but it feels like something snapped and since it is awful pain from my lower back to the end of my toes i've had all the physio i can and all medication i can have but today nothing has even taken edge off what else can you suggest i'm waiting to see the back surgeon. many thanks mandy

Q: Hello, I started working as a software engineer at the age of 22. I worked for around 5 years. During this time I had lower back pain. i owed this to my profession and did not complain much about it. A year later, when I was pregnant I got RSI or CPT whatever you call it. I got relieved with myotherpay and posture corrections. After delivery, within a month I got coccydynia. The X-rays were normal. I suffered this pain for about an year and half. I attended Vipassana 10 day course as I believed that relaxation would help me. And it did too. I was cured of coccydynia in 10 days completely. I was so happy as I no longer had to carry a cushion around me. I have a very hyperactive child and I have become underweight after delivery. Mind you, I was slightly over weight before pregnancy due to sedentary life style and giving in to food binges. I joined work back as I was cured of coccydynia and I had taken a break of 2 years for parenting. Within 1 week of joining I got back my RSI again. I have gone for myotherapy again for about 3-4 weeks and stopped as I was fed up of it. The pain area changes daily. It is in the neck sometimes, sometimes my arms (both). I get lot of gas(burps) because of which I am unable to sleep at nights.Whichever area pains , when I press it, I get the burps. Off late, I feel nauseous after eating food or I don't have an appetite in the mornings.I get pain in the cerebellum area during the weekends. I feel as if the back of my brain will burst. I just don't know what I am suffering from. Can you help me diagnose my condition? Ratna

Q: Hello, Any information you may have for me and I would like to explain my condition to others maybe in your words if I don't do it correctly. Any information you have sir, if you could send to my e-mail would be a great help. This was my own business work e-mail but I still use it, but no longer work due to SEVERE PAIN. I have had back pain since I was young, I never did claim to the doctors it was since I was young (14). It was a case where I thought it was an ache. I ended up having several X-Rays done, several different times. No diagnosis for the pain,,, while all these are going on the pain is getting more severe,,, the only relief is stand, sit down, lay down, then bend over, then repeat it all again. After several opinion I got a doctor that cares why I'm begging him to help me, and not begging like most do for medications, so he wanted to up my pain medication which I didn't want, I want it to remain with the doctor who is doing the management as she is VERY STRICT and I want someone like this giving me powerful meds. I take Percocet (5mg/325)and Tramadol (100mg)together, The Percocet works on the radiating pain such as my lower back and legs HOWEVER it does nothing for the burning & numbness & electrical shocks I get. Tramadol with 1 325mg Tylenol, or if the pain is severe enough, with the Percocet, will give relief to the pain and burning and numbness and electric shocks. They can't find anything, I even came off medications for two weeks, to see if it was mental, pain went up every day for 2 weeks until the hospital put me back on them from me falling over from severe pain. Like I said I got a doctor who only cares about ME and WHY I'm in pain,,, He ordered a CT Scan with the most powerful we have (as an MRI is not available here for my shoulder size, very large). I'm found to have pretty severe Congenital Stenosis from L3-4 thru L5-S1, in this same area I also have Facet Hypertrophy (Bilateral) along with Calcification of the Posterior Ligaments. Maybe my symptoms can help others???? Also any advice you have would be great (article etc). Thank You, Butch

Q: i'm Sam from Kerala. for the past few weeks i'm going through severe pain on my spine (Coccyx) area. pls reply. i need your help, pls help me.

Q: The doctors have done all types of tests they say they found nothing wrong but I still have trouble walking sleeping, everything is harder on me I've done everything I could think of. I don't know what do! Thank You! Wesley

Q: Hi, I'm 18yrs old and have a problem with my lower back. some Doctors say I have problems with my disk as I was reading on your page. I'm in very much pain especially laying on my back or sitting or even standing. My parents are beginning to get desperate and so have I and think about going to Mexico to get the surgery there. But I would like o know if there are any other treatments. I have tried therapy and take many pills a day for my pain. Thank you. Gilberto

Q: my son just found out he has an old hairline fracture on his back. What do you suggest he do,the hospital just released him and gave him pain pills. Should he wear some sort of brace.If so can you recommend one? He drives an eighteen wheeler and the ride is pretty rough all the time. Thank You Joe

Q: after Mri scan impression was 1-Mild loss of curvature of lumber spine. 2-Dessication & degenerative changes seen in L4/l5 Intervertebral Disc. 3-Circumferential Bulging Along with Midline Protrusion OF L4/L5. cause sever compression of anterior thecal sac, cauda equina fibers& bilateral neural foramina. i m 21. this report is 1 year old. 3 days before i danced little bit after that i'm feeling sensation on the 2/3/4 disc but can't say perfectly at which disc. some time i feel like needle entering. what should i do and am i suffering Dessication & degenerative disease. last 3 to 4 days i'm feeling so much thirsty. after drinking 2 bottle water still feeling thirsty. i'm extremely worried. just help me or advise me. Bhabani

Q: 18 months ago I decided to do some exercise at home one evening. I wanted to train my lower abdominals. Double leg raises was the chosen exercise. As soon as I started I felt pain in my lower back. Foolishly I carried on and completed several sets. For a couple of days my back was sore but this pain came and went. Over the next couple of weeks I refrained from exercise but apart from this continued to lead a normal life with no pain. The only activity that I did perform during this two week period was painting bedrooms in the house. This however did not cause any pain. Two weeks after the double leg raise incident I attended a meeting at work that lasted approximately 2 hours. During this time I was sat down in the same position. Once the meeting had finished I felt pain in my lower back. At the time I thought it was nothing more than stiffness as I had been sat in the same position for so long and expected the pain to pass once I started to move again, throughout the day. Unfortunately this was not the case and the pain has been present ever since. I have lower back pain when sitting and bending forwards. This pain often travels into my buttocks and down the back of both legs, sometimes into my feet. I experience burning, stinging pain and often numbness when sat for longer periods. I also often get sharp shooting nerve pain when bending forwards. The only relief I get from the pain is when lying. For the first four months of the back pain I did not do any form of exercise hoping that the rest would help to heal whatever the problem was. Again this made no difference. I then decided to try and resume exercise hoping that regularly training and strengthening the muscles would cure the problem. I was unable to do many activities but could do some without making the problem worse. I could not run but could cycle and could lift light weights, so I persevered with this. For the first couple of months although things were not getting worse they were not getting any better. During the next couple of months where I returned to the gym there were several occasions when I would feel as if I had overdone things or aggravated the problem further. Each and every time this happened, my symptoms would get a little worse and I would have to cut back a little further each time on the exercises I could do. It eventually reached a point were I decided that enough was enough. Things were getting progressively worse and I should stop exercising completely until I was completely free of pain. I have not been to the gym or done any exercise for over two months now and my back pain has not got any better. In fact it has become worse. Worse than ever. Before the onset of my back pain I was a very active person. I would go to the gym at least three times a week and also play football twice a week. This back pain is ruining my life. I am slowly losing the will to live and cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. Part of me thinks I have done some physical damage during the exercise 18 months ago and it is not going to get better on its own. Part of me thinks this problem is psychological. On a medical note I have had two MRI scans. These showed no problems. I have also tried physiotherapy, chiropractor, pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs. None have helped at all. The next tests I am waiting to have are a nerve conduction study (EMG) and a bone scan (I believe this is to see if there is any inflammation or abnormalities with the bones in and around my back) I am also booked in to have a steroid injection in my back in 5 weeks time as it has been suggested that I may have sacroiliac inflammation. Please let me know your thoughts. It is much appreciated. Andrew

Q: Hi Sensei, my MRI report states At the L4-5 level, There is a disc protrusion extending more to the right than left of midline. There is also subtle spondylolisthesis at this level and moderate to severe degenerative change about articulating facets. AP diameter of the canal is 1.6cm, normal, with mild narrowing in the width. Level L5-S1 level is less than grade 1/2 spondylolisthesis. There is mild to moderate degenerative change about the endplates. Moderate degenerative change about articulating facets. Mild disc bulge. No significant narrowing of the canal. I have had 2 cortizone shots in my L4-5 right in November, 2010. It relieved the pain in that area with the piriformis right getting released at PT into January with exercises to buld the core. I had a skiing accident and landed on my right tailbone with severe pain in my sciatic nerve could not walk on it. I had a cortizone shot in the right siatica nerve. Relief for 2 weeks and went back to work. Pain in siatica ca me back. I was going to PT and not responding traction exercises etc. I am on meds for the pain and cannot work. I would request your suggestions surgery is scarry but with 2 nerve coming from both levels irritated. Alan

Q: I have been experiencing pain in my right sacroiliac region for about four to five years. I have been treated with chiropractics, acupuncture, cortisone shots, NSAIDs, and physical therapy. I also have a regular yoga practice. I have had x-rays and MRIs, which reveal only some mild to moderate lumbar disc degeneration. The pain was always experienced as a pointed, pinching or poking in a very specific area until I was in a severe car accident two years ago. Since then, it is worse, and now often manifests as a nagging pain, not quite a spasm, but similar to a rubber band being pulled too tight and needing to be stretched back. I have found a pattern...it seems to take this form a day or two prior to a change in weather (which makes me think it's arthritis), and is accompanied by pain in my ankle, which was broken and repaired with pins. In between those episodes, the pain goes back to a sharp, very localized stabbing or poking. My ortho is convinced it's not sciatica, and that it's in the sacroiliac joint, but that's all he can determine. Nothing shows up on x-rays. Meanwhile, the pain is very real, and although not unbearable, very nagging and annoying. It definitely interferes with my quality of life. The only thing that seems to make it ANY easier to manage is topical salves, heat, or TENS unit. Taking an NSAID or other non-narcotic pain reliever does no more than eating a piece of candy...doesn't have the slightest effect. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Kim