Back Pain Questions and Answers
Archive 2009 Part 9

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. The Q&A is now closed for new submissions.

Q: I am 46 yrs old now with serious back pain between my shoulders & the mid to lower back pain. I was in a school bus accident and was hit head on by a Suburban. I compressed 2 discs between the shoulders (no surgery as of yet) and the last 6 discs in the lower back were compressed (I have had 2 surgeries on it). I am in chronic pain 80% of the time but never without pain. Now I am gaining weight which I am sure is making things worse. My medication doesn't help the weight either. I stay on the go because I hurt worse to sit or lay for very long periods. No more than 3 hours of sleep at a time. Is there anything I can do to lose weight that won't hurt me worse. I have tried cycling, walking, curves, & water aerobics. What's left. Dana

Q: I am 16 years old and suffer from severe back pain. I am in cadets and I am a really sporty person. The pain doesn't help. At one point the pain got so bad that I couldn't move and was lying on the floor in agony. I had to get "stretchered off" (carried by two men) to a vehicle in order to get checked over. I have been reading on different types of back pain and the one that the symptoms matched was Fibromyalgia. What should I do, seek medical help or seek a remedy myself? Thanks. And great site by the way. Sarah

Q: Awesome site! Nice work! Teddi

Q: Hello, I have been seeing a doctor for an injury. I am 50 years old and I opened the back door of my car and a case of heavy binders came tumbling out. I tried to keep them from falling on to the ground and was not successful. However, I did injure my back in the process. I wasn't in immediate pain until a few hours after. I could not move my neck and now I have numbing pain on upper back below my neck, sometimes numbness on my fingers and left side. I was feeling cramping on my heart so I went and had a cardio work up, that came back good. Some times I get bad back spasms and I can't breathe. My doctor released my to go back to work so now that I am not taking the muscles relaxants I feel I back to were I started in April 2009. I have had psyios and getting acupuncture. Can you please tell me what this means. My doctor said this in related to age and poor poster.

Loss of the intevertebral disc heights and disc desiccation changes noted af the c4-c5, c5 c6 levels with straightening of the normal cervical spine lordosis. No pervetrebral soft tissue abnormalities are present. C4 C5 Lever- Left paracentral, measuring 3.5 mm, focal disc protrusion is seen that extends to the left lateral recess producing moderate left lateral spinal stenosis with impression upon the anterior portion of the thecal sac and slight left-sided cord compression. No cord edema. Mild left more than right neural foraminal stenosis. C5-C6- Right paracentral annular 2.5 mm broad-based disc bulge is seen flattening and impressing upon the anterior portion of the thecal sac with mild right more than left neural foraminal stenosis. Ne extrusion or sequestration of the disc material is seen.

I have never been in pain like this since my injury so I find it hard to believe that this is not injury related. Please help! Gloria

Q: I wrote to you a couple of years ago after finding your site and I began to use forms of knowledge therapy. I have had much less frequent muscle spasms in the past couple of years than I have in my entire life. I have been very successful in curing my own back pain without the use of Ibuprofren by digging deeper whenever a pain comes out of no where.. On 2 occasions I experienced stabbing muscle spasms in the middle of an argument. I immediately walked away from the situations stopped and thought about what was upsetting me.. and the spasms went away. My question is that I have on two separate occasions began a fast/health cleanse.. each time about 5 or 6 days into the process, I experienced relentless muscle spasms... had to stop and had to take pain pills to manage the pain. I recently read that certain emotional traumas are held in certain parts of the body.. and I wonder if perhaps that is why my back is always affected.. and or are there toxins trying to escape during the cleanse process... Any thoughts.. I am in the midst of a cleanse now.. and I am mentally telling myself there will be no pain that I can not overcome. I KNOW YOU WILL AGREE, BUT CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE TOXINS OR THE FACT THAT MY BACK ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE AFFECTED? Kimberlee

Q: While carrying my nephew, I felt a sharp pain on my back it lasted 2 days. I had this experience since my second kid years ago. I hardly could carry them not even for 5 minute. Do I have a spinal problem? Can it be cured, I am 51 this year. NG

Q: hi! im a sixteen year old girl,and i am suffering from serious,painful lower back pain,which i dread everyday!the thing is,i have gone to the doctors,and so far nothing has really been diagnosed,they just said i have to go for physiotherapy,and i have nothing against that. my question to you is that does physiotherapy really help with the pain relief? also,how do u deal with the days when the pain is seriously unbearable,this happens to me mostly at school! i hope you get back to me,thank you! shathani

Q: I was searching to know about the cure for slip disc problems. I am suffering from slip disc(prolapse in L4and L5) I visited several doctors and therapy session but not got any desired result yet. I am in very panic situation where i need right help to save my life. Waiting for your reply... Damodaran

Q: Hi - My father has dealt with chronic, debilitating lower back spasms for nearly 20 years. He has bulging disks, but no visit to neurologists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, etc., has given him any relief. Nothing shows up on either MRI or CatScans, and he's basically dosed up on Lor-tab 24/7. The humor that has defined his personality is all but gone. I read your post on psychosomatic ischemia, and want to know more - what can be done? Thanks so much. We're desperate to get Dad back. Nicole

Q: I have surgery in my back 7 weeks ago Discectomy and now i have my foot left side big and pain in the joints and i can't stand? your help information, Thank you in advance, Carlos

Q: pain is heavy i can't sit long time while doing the writing work and in sometimes breast is also is paining. Then pain is continuous in back bone. I can't sleep while at night. plz.. send the any physical exercise to cure my problem. priyadharshni

Q: i had lower back surgery, l3/4, l4/5 and l5s1. why is walking so important after the surgery. thanks, Martha

Q: hello i am prabu. my work is very hard so every day. i am going to sleeping time night 11pm, so i have coming in back pain. so pl how can relief this pain?

Q: I saw this thing on TV that you lay on that helps realign your back. It was humped and you lay back on it and it is supposed to realign/decompress your back but I can not remember what it is. Do you know? David

Q: Hello, Just a simple thanks for all your work. The site is very helpful and I am appreciative. Ratti

Q: Since 1994 I have had some kind of back pain, starting with just muscle tension. At the time, I worked as a Dental Assistant, so leaning over the patients would bring it on. As I began to work at the front desk, sitting, computer, answering phones, I began to have headaches too. During that time, I was successful with Massage Therapy and tried, but didn't continue with Acupuncture. When I quit working in 1999, most of my headaches, shoulder tension, chest and upper back pain diminished, I continued with Massage Therapy and exercise. In 2007, I started seeing a chiropractor, I presented with sciatic pain in my right leg and lower back pain. I was not immobile, but all my actions were limited to time and how heavy something was. I improved greatly after being treated with his care of massage and adjustments (initially 3 x a week for about 12 weeks down to 1 x every 3 weeks) An MRI, showed disc herniation and bulging in the lumbar area and spurs in cervical area. Du e to an insurance change, I have had to change Dr's. I continued to do massage therapy, but haven't found a new Chiro yet.

My question? I have interviewed 2 Chiropractors with all my history and MRI's and they both have wanted to do the same 3 x a week for 12 weeks. I question why and they say "it's how we learn about how you respond to treatment and how to continue to treat you" Why does it have to be that initial aggressive course of tx? What they say doesn't make any sense to me, it feels like a scam. Trisha

Q: I have been having chronic sciatic pain (which is what I believe it is) for the past year or a little more. My lower back constantly is tender and hurts and the pain runs down my backside and into my upper thighs (sometimes both at the same time). I can hardly walk when this occurs and take alot of advil to alleviate the pain. What has caused this to happen, especially so very frequently. It is upsetting my life. What do you suggest or recommend? Thanks for your time. Brenda

Q: I have been suffering from back pain since the summer of 2007, actually before that but this was caused by a car accident. I've been to see spinal specialists and regular doctors who have told me I may have osteoarthritis. My question is with all my attempts to get my pain under control I still find I am in significant pain day in and day out. The doctors were treating me with narcotic medications which seemed to help the pain and let me do my job, then changed me to otc motrins and muscle relaxers. The motrin doesn't seem to relieve my pain and the muscle relaxers I can only take at bedtime. What do you suggest I speak to my physician about to maybe come to a treatment plan that will work. The pain does not seem to go away and I suffer from pain jolts running down to my elbow on the right side of my body. I sit for most of the day and have to lift heavy filing boxes at my work. I am frustrated and just want to find a treatment that will work. sincerely frustrated, Melaina

Q: Hello Sensei, I'm 54 years old and was diagnosed with the following in my X-ray. During the first 3 or 4 months I'm really suffering from the symptoms: Giddiness, Difficulty in Walking, Spasms, neck pain, tingling, pin, needeles.. I consulted my Neurologist and gave me conventional medicines. Right now after several months I improved a lot but still have some flashes of these symptoms from time to time but the intensity is much less.Neck pain is not as bad as before. I can still do my usual daily activities but not as normal as usual. I'm still going to my Therapist and complimented my medication with Herbal meds. Here are my X-Ray Result: Cervical Spine: There are osteophytes at the anterior aspects of C4 and C5 vertebral Bodies. Facet joint hypertphy is seen on C3 and C4 bilaterally. There are no Compression deformities of the cervical vertebral bodies. Vertebral alignment is well maintained The intervertebral disc spaces are not narrowed. Impression: Minimal Degenerative Changes, C4 and C5 Cervical Spondylosis, C3 and C4.

I want to fully recover to this asymptomatic disease so I need your expert advice. By the way I'm from the Philippines......Roger

Q: Hi, about five years ago I was in two car accidents. The second I ended up in hospital with suspected spine trauma as my head went through the windscreen. Ever since that accident I have had major back pain, mainly in the middle of my back. The pain is always there it just depends how severe it gets on a daily scale. I have had several xrays, ct scans but nothing has come up. But just recently I had another xray and they said that they could see an old undisplaced fracture in the t12. I go to a chiro and massage therapist several times a month. I am also taking neroufen plus nearly every day. My doctor has no idea what to do about the pain but we both know that I have to stop taking the neurofen. Can you suggest anything? Katrina

Q: I suffered a neck injury in work carrying a heavy object which resulted in severe neck sprain. A few weeks later the neck felt better but the lhs of my upper back went into spasm which is very painful. I am now receiving physio and hydrotherapy. This is helping but now i have developed a burning constant ache in the rhs of my back on and around the shoulder blade please can you advise me thank you. Liane

Q: Hello, I have recurrent episodes of sciatica with back pain. The MRI shows lumbar disk bulges (protrusions). In your opinion is there any sense of using lumbar traction devices intended for home use, or they are completely useless? Adomas


Comment: Thank you for all you do. I found so much good info here, much better than on many other confusing and generic sites. It seems like so many sites have a lot of info which says nothing at all and teaches nothing I did not already know. Your site is great and I appreciate it lots! Thanks, Allen

Q: I have had a chronic back problem with 6 surgery's over 8 years. I have recently been approved for a pain stimulator which I found helped in the trial. I am hoping this will not change my chances of having this done.Recently I had a major back spasm which has created chronic pain and constant spasms. My question is how long will this pain last. I have been having endone every 2 to 3 hours, 2 Valium and 2 baclfon. I recently had some morphine injections which have helped with the pain and spasms. Is there any advice you can give me. Regards, Sandy

Q: in a major motor vehicle accident on 11/3/07. I had an L4 burst fracture and i'm in so much pain i don't know what to do. I cant barely sit down. what should i do? Jeff

Q: ok so i did something to my neck 2 months ago and it is not getting any better whats so ever i've gone to the chiropractor for a month and done the exercises and ultra sounds. a week ago the chiropractor told me he didn't know what to do with me because i am 16 and not responding to the treatment. and we don't know where to go from here i've been trying everything and the pain just seems to get worse. and it is so frustrating because i want it to stop hurting 24/7 but nobody knows what to do. Jessica

Q: Dear Adam, I just wanted to write and thank-you from the bottom of my heart for creating a web-site that discusses back issues in a balanced way and without treating me to a catalog of horror stories! I have completed your survey but wanted to tell you how much it has helped to read something that addresses the mental and emotional aspects of my condition as well as the physical (spondylolistheses at L5 with associated radiculopathy, disc herniation and sciatic compression).

I don't have back pain but the buttock pain and knock-on effect on my mobility drive me nuts. Not to mention the total lack of understanding from some at the local Job Centre regarding what I can do and at what distance from my home (I was made redundant at the end of March, the same week as suffering the disc herniation!). My consultant is an orthopaedic one who specializes in spinal surgery and one I have confidence in as he explained his decision making process, including statistics and the reliability/clarity of the research.

Your site has added a couple of questions to my growing list, particularly concerning ensuring my spinal defect IS the cause of radiculopathy and not piriformis syndrome (my osteopath believes not) or that SI issues on the left side are straining the right side. I have been freaking over the impact of a looming MAST PLIF surgery will have on my life post-surgery as I live alone. I live in the UK but it is a relief to note that home help or half-way care between hospital and home is recognized as being a need with some back surgery patients. At least I now know what to demand! So, thank-you again. Fiona

Q: what kind of exercise or activities should i do to help with pain? what are some tips u can give me about degenerative disc disease that i should know? Jose

Q: I am having full time middle back pain. kindly advise for relief from back pain. shyamalatha

Q: I've had my back pain for almost six months now. I'm not sure when it started but it became much more noticeable after i had to carry a keg of beer from a cooler across a restaurant to the back of the bar where i used to work. From then (July) it was barely tolerable until I was in a car accident in October. Since then it has been excruciating unless I find any sort of powerful pain killer. I don't like to rely on medication for any reason and never have, and i definitely do not have the money to see doctors or chiropractors. I really do not want to live like this for the rest of my life as I am sure it will continue to grow worse and I am only twenty years old. Matt

Q: My father has a back pain since 10 Yrs. He has a feeling that his muscle on left part near waist is displaced and is fact he undergone an operation 3.5 years ago on the same.....but now he is constantly feeling that there is muscle which is moving upside down and pulled by some thread...which causing friction, pain and he is totally disturbed by the same.........we have vistied many times specialist doctors but nothing is appearing in MRI Scans or any x-rays..hence there is no proper diagnosis. Please suggest, Niketan

Q: my name is mark and I have had chronic neck and back pain for the last 6 months. I had a CT scan and it said I had three disc bulges from l2 to L5. It also revealed I had scheuermans degenerated discs T7 to T11. I have experienced pain all around my pack. Head and neck pain, numbness in my hands and feet, tightness in my gluts and groin and hamstrings. I have had treatment with my chiro but it still seems to flare up. The pain is continuing and I was wondering what treatment you recommend

Q: Hi,I was hoping to get your input. Last year I stared getting abdominal/back pain that would radiate to my testicles. I went to see my GP and he suggested I had a infection (although my urine/blood work was fine. The pain never really went away and I stressed on this for a couple of months until I thought I was dying. My stomach was churning all the time and I started having numbness in my foot, I finally went to emergency and had more blood/urine tests along with a ct scan of my abdomen and ultra sound of my scrotum. Everything came back good. Shortly after that my symptoms subsided and I had about 5 months of very little discomfort. Everything was great until a couple of months ago ny 7 year old nephew was diagnosed with a very bad type of cancer, since then my symptoms are back 10x I sleep with a heating pad I get back and stomach spasms along with tingling in my buttocks. I feel like i'm dying and am going crazy in my head. I know if I go back to my doctor it will be the same old. My thinking is a month before the symptoms ever started I was trying to max out on squats and really felt like I compressed my spine. I am not sure I could have a delay like this. Please let me know if you can point me in the right direction.,Regards, Kevin

Q: I have no idea what I have that is causing my back pain. Maybe you can help. First of all let me tell you that I am a bus driver who drives for usually 3 hours straight, then after a 10 min. break drive for another 2 hours. My back pain usually intensifies after about an hour of driving, but only to the very uncomfortable level (not so painful, but sort of like a bad headache in my back. When I get out of the bus it almost immediately gets better, but still persists to a lesser degree. My pain is hard to explain. It is definitely on my left side near my dimple area of the buttocks close to my spine, but on the elongated lower back muscle. It is feels very stiff all the time except after I workout or take a very warm shower. I always feel like someone is digging their knuckle in that spot. Sometimes when I turn to certain angle, I get a "zinger", like a stungun has shot me and I have to stay motionless for a second or two, but then slowly straighten out my back ag ain. This leaves my back in a weakened state and usually gets better within about 3 days. I also have slight pain in my lower left rib cage area. Sometimes when I am just lying down I get slight muscle spasms along the left side of middle left back muscle. Sometimes the pain switches to my right side of my back, lower and middle along the right side back muscle, but doesn't stay there more than a day. It even starts getting very tight while walking for more than 20 minutes. I can lift weights without pain except for the standing barbell curls, which gives me a "zinger once in a while".Also after about an hour of either sitting, walking,driving, or anything I get an overall pins and needles feeling mainly in the left side of my back. I got an x-ray on it and the dr. said he thinks I have a slight fractured vertebrae, but wasn't sure, so he sent me to get an MRI. That dr. said he sees nothing, accept a nerve which is close to something, but in his opinion shouldn't be causing me any problems. I said to him,"By any chance is this near my lower left dimple area of the buttocks?" He said yes, but still shouldn't be causing any problems. But it IS!! I have tried everything from total rest, which seems to make it worse to lifting weights (bench press,shoulder press, etc. Nothing is curing it. What the heck is my problem? Any suggestions? Thx, Alan

Q: I know this is emotional, but I can't seem to find out why! Please help! Tina

Q: I am having trouble walking. My specialist says could be disc in my neck causing these problems. I have not had any pain until recently. I now have pain in my neck and across my shoulders. Is there any thing that I can do for this except surgery? Janice

Q: Hello, I don't even know what your name is, but you are offering a chance to ask someone who seems to know something a question, which is more than I can say for most websites dealing with back pain. Thanks for the opportunity. I'm having some unusual symptoms that are persisting, and, as you know, the mind can create all sorts of scenarios when it doesn't understand what's going on. I had a back injury due to a lift while performing that really took a tole on my lower back. I had chills, fever, pain, and a pulling sensation all throughout my body. I've been resting and doing physical therapy while taking anti-inflammatory medicine and muscle relaxers for three weeks now. I no longer have the severe pain you've mentioned for the most part, and the pains and pressures down my legs has subsided. What remains is strange though, and I can't find it anywhere when researching back injuries. At a specific location in my lower back there will be a crack/pop sensation and something in my body (I'm guessing muscles or some kind of tissue) will then feel like it's moving down and to the right. The injury was primarily to the right side. I will then feel pulling all over my upper body down to the area, including from my hips, mid and upper back, neck, and into my head. The lower right buttock area will then feel swollen and sensitive while the muscles in my legs spasm. It is scary because the muscles in my head and neck feel pulled, and sometimes pop painfully when they are stretched. If I breath in my lower body feels restricted. Then, if it releases, the muscles/tissues feel like they travel back up to where they should go sowly until the popping happens again in my lower back and everything shifts again. Does this sound like anything you've encountered? Any information you have to offer is appreciated. Sorry for the huge length of the question. -Nathan

Q: I have back pain everyday. i to feel its from stress, but do not know how to over come it. i feel it is my subconscious. please if you have any recommendations for me i would truly be grateful. thank you, Norman

Q: Hi, I wanted to write to you to get advice. I am 23 and have been diagnosed with a herniated disc in my L4-L5. I have tried therapy, acupuncture, cortisone shots for nearly two years now, and the pain doesn't seem to subside. I cannot sit or stand, really, for longer than one hour. Sometimes there are periods of time when I feel much better, but lately it has been much worse. I often feel very hopeless and, while I am looking into surgery, I have heard that it often doesn't solve the problem either. For me this may be a structural issue, but I am very young and have had to put my life on hold to deal with this. It is very hard to keep going sometimes. Do you have advice on how to fuel myself and have the "right" attitude? Will things get better? Thanks... Olga

Q: my husband has a back surgery 6 year ago; thanks god everything is ok, but when he has sex,it is dry sex. i mean he don't have any sperm and i want to know why? and what we can do, because we want to have one more baby. thanks on any help you can give me, Heidi