I know this will be a rare thing but if I can help one other person with my story, it's worth taking the time to post it.
4 years ago, I started getting severe left lower quadrant back pain. It was like someone was jabbing me with an ice pick. Shortly after it started, I started getting numbness in my left thigh, which resolved after a couple of weeks. The only time the pain went away was when I lay flat on my back.
Over the course of two years, I saw my PCP, went to physical therapy, had an IVP in case it was a kidney stone, had 2 MRIs (which showed disk bulges and degenerative disk disease of the LS spine), saw pain management doctor #1 who did so many injections, I lost count (the injections were to my sacroiliac joint. When the pain failed to resolve, he referred me to an anesthesiologist who destroyed some nerves in my lower back with a procedure called nerve ablation. I also had a TENS unit. Since I was considered young (This went on from ages 38-40), no doctor wanted to prescribe narcotics even though I was in agony. Of course, nothing over the counter helped. All procedures were failures. I went back to my PCP who sent me to pain management doctor #2 who wanted to repeat everything pain management doctor #1 did. I was in tears. I had already paid over $2,000 in copays with no results and he wanted to put me through procedures that were proven not to work. Being in the medical field, I began to worry about internal issues and my chiropractor remarked about same (I think he's the best chiropractor in Ohio).
At almost the 2 year mark since this all started, my uterus prolapsed (meaning it fell) and I was given the choice of having it "tacked up" with a pessary or to have a hysterectomy. Well, we tried for years for children (14 years) with no luck. I didn't think it was going to happen and I was 40 years old. I told the doc just to do the hysterectomy. The day after my surgery, the doctor walked in and asked me if I had any back troubles. I gave him a brief synopsis of what had been going on. I knew my uterus was retroverted (normally the uterus stands up, whereas mine was leaning toward my back) and that's the reason I'd get backaches when I stood for long periods of time but this pain was way different. He told me I had a fibroid tumor the size of a softball attached to the back of my uterus that was pressing directly on my spine. It did take several months for the nerves to calm down after having that mass pressing on them for so long but eventually, the every day pain went away. I still get it now and again but it doesn't last long and doesn't happen often.
So, at least for the women, if you're not finding a definitive diagnosis to back pain, it might not be a bad idea to look "inside" to see if something is going on there. If someone would have sent me for a CAT scan or maybe an ultrasound, this might have been caught earlier. But I don't hold any grudges about it. The pain is gone almost all of the time now and as anyone who has suffered chronic pain for an extended period of time will tell you, that's really what matters.
I can now enjoy my husband, dogs, rooting for my Minnesota Vikings (no, I'm not from Minnesota and yes, that stupid team drives me nuts, but I keep coming back every year, 35 of them, in fact) doing things outdoors again, all pain free. As a side note, I ended up needing revision surgery after the hysterectomy because where the doctor sewed the vaginal cuff (where my cervix used to be) with mesh, the mesh came through and it was very painful. That was 7 months ago and things are back to normal.
This is my first post here. This looks like an excellent forum. I have another issue with my health going on right now that I'll put in another post. I've worked in medicine for 21 years, as an assistant, transcriptionist, billing and reception so I can make suggestions based on my experiences with patients and what I've typed over the years. I still hope to go to nursing school. :)
From someone who had 16 hour a day chronic pain, it is my wish to all the chronic pain sufferers that you get the relief you deserve.