Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Excruciating lower (right) back pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 21 Replies
  • Posted By: whixson
  • November 28, 2006
  • 06:36 PM

It’s been a year to the day that I have had this back problem. It started when I went for a hike (nothing out of the ordinary, something I do all of the time) and woke up with excruciating lower back pain.

Location: Lower right back. Starts at back “dimple” and continues a little above the dimple, and over to the spine. Never moves, it’s just in that one spot.

Symptoms: Constant pinching pain, like something is stuck. Severe muscle spasms in that area; so bad that once I blew a blood vessel in my eye. Feels like my top is too heavy for my bottom, like my spine is compressing on something. Nothing helps – it hurts just as bad to sit, as it does to stand, as it does to lay down. In addition, the pain is exactly in the same area and same feeling as to when I get my period, except for the fact that it doesn’t go away every month and it hurts a great deal more.

Diagnosis (if that’s what you want to call them):
Chiropractor (1): Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. Manipulation for 6 weeks – no relief at all. X-Rays and MRI normal. Show a little arthritis, but nothing to write home about. Suggested to ride a recumbent bike and work with ball exercises – no relief at all (3 months, 5x/week).
Chinese Acupressure: Pinched sciatic nerve. Manipulation for 3 months, 2x/week – no relief.
Podiatrist: Leg length discrepancy. Fitted for inserts. Very little relief.
D.O. (1): Nothing is wrong. Ordered Physical therapy for 4-6 weeks, didn’t go since I was already doing physical therapy.
OB/Gyn: Possibly pre-menopausal. Pelvic ultrasound normal.
Pain Management M.D.: Robaxin (muscle relaxant), (3) Epidural spine injections, (1) Sacroiliac injection, (1) nerve block. No relief at all, but the injections triggered my menstrual cycle every 2 weeks for 8 weeks and caused me to gain 10 pounds.
Chiropractor (2): X-Rays showed 23 degree lumbar curve (scoliosis). Manipulation 3x/week for 6 weeks. No relief.
D.O. (2): X-Rays showed 30 degree lumbar, 13 thoracic curves, other than scoliosis, nothing is wrong mechanically. Blood: CBC, diff, ESR, ANA, RF, Lyme titer. Results: MCH high, ANA screen positive, anti nuclear antibodies high. Bone scan negative (no broken bones) and leg length test normal (differs from Podiatrist results?). More blood work to test for inflammatory joint diseases came back normal. Abdominal/pelvic CT scan showed “Appendicolith. Early appendicitis cannot be excluded. Width of appendix is somewhat prominent measuring about 8mm.” Just received these results yesterday, 11.27.06.

About Me: Former mogul and freestyle skiing competitor, very athletic, 38 years old, never have been sick a day in my life, extremely high tolerance for pain (but this has absolutely floored me). I am very into nutrition and exercise. This past year has been very strange for me going from doctor to doctor, each telling me that there is essentially nothing wrong. When I can’t walk to the bathroom without crawling and don’t feel like skiing, I know there is something wrong with me.

Next step: Surgeon appointment on Friday, 12.1.06 to schedule laparoscopy to check out appendix. Possible endometriosis along with early appendicitis?????

Can appendicitis affect your back and be the cause of all this pain? Should this have exploded already? If anyone has any suggestions, comments, ideas, anything I would love to hear from you. I hope that I also can be of help to others.

Thanks in advance,

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21 Replies:

  • Hello there,I read your story and though I was reading my own. I am 60 yers old and have been through the same thing. The pain in my right hip area is crippling me. I have begun to drag my leg when I walk. I will see a neurologist on the 14th. I am really afraid simply because doctors don't know what is causing this pain. Doctors are saying it is coming from herniated disk in my lower back. I don't know what to do anymore. The pain is scary and it hurts more everyday. If you should find out something, please let me know and I'll do the same.Hazel
    hllynch46 1 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 08:43 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi Hazel – I’m sorry that you are also going through this never-ending drama. I did see the surgeon for my appendix and all is well on that front; just another “red herring”. I finally found a new family doctor (I just moved and it’s like pulling teeth to be a “new patient” and to see a doctor!) and the first thing he said was Endometriosis. He also referred me to a Rheumatologist to assess the positive ANA blood test and to go further into perhaps arthritis and any joint diseases. Also, I made an appointment with a reputable OB/GYN in the area that specializes in laparoscopic surgery to assess the Endometriosis. Over the last year in trying to get out of pain, I stumbled across a couple of websites that stated muscles imbalances are a big problem and are the cause of a lot of pain in people with herniated discs. You may want to google "muscles imbalances" and how they relate to you. I hope that you find some relief and please let me know how the appointment goes with the neurologist. Wendy
    whixson 1 Replies
    • December 12, 2006
    • 06:53 PM
    • 0
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  • Hi, I'm not sure if I can help you. Last September I was laying in bed and rolled over on my side and my back spasmed. By that Sunday I was unable to stand, sit, roll over, much of anything. I went to the Med-Center here in town and was treated like I was a fool. Send to a doctor, did x-rays and they tell me there is nothing wrong with my back. I do find some relief with heating pads and ice packs. My doctor gives me some pain meds and that will knock it off enough I can function. But I still do not know what is going on with my back. I take hot baths and that helps a little. Wish you luck in finding out what is happening. Wanda Sue
    WandaSue 1 Replies
    • December 13, 2006
    • 01:14 AM
    • 0
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  • Read an article in Prevention about this. This is good for sciatica and S.I. joint problems. Lie on the floor, bend both knees and place soles of feet together. Called a frog-leg position. You may put pillows on either side if you can't touch the floor with the outside of your knees. Wiggle around until you feel like your pelvic bone is really in contact with the floor. The sciatic nerve goes through a notch in the pelvic bone and can become irritated. This position can slightly readjust the muscles surrounding the nerve so it doesn't catch. This really works. There is also a twister position for the fairly flexible. Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front. Bend the right leg and place foot on the left side of left knee. Sit up as straight as you can and make sure both sides of your sit-bones are in contact with the floor. Reverse legs. Don't strain. You can feel your gluteus muscles mildly stretching over your rump. Advil, ice when it happens and intermittent heat will relax your muscles. mild exercise like walking is better than bed-rest in my opinion.
    rad-skw 1605 Replies Flag this Response
  • Okay, so here I am once again surfing the web to try to find out what is wrong with me! It has been 8 months, and almost one dozen doctors, and still no answers.. I have extreme severe lower right back pain.. It is at about the L1-L2 level about 2.5 inches out to the right of my spine.. The pain is constant and rates on the pain scale at around an 8 at any given time.. any movement at all of that muscle in the area causes blinding pain! I have been seen by 2 neurosurgeons, 2 ortho's, a nephrologist, internal medicine doc, physiologist, and been through weeks of physical therapy. All to NO avail.. nothing has changed and I am still in very much pain. This all started one day last October at around 3 in the morning, I woke up lying on my stomach and paniced as I could not feel anything below my waiste! Both legs were numb as though they were "asleep" I managed to roll myself over, woke my husband, and freaked out for almost 10 minutes untill the pins and needles started and the feeling came back. I went back to sleep and when I awoke several hours later, I went to get out of bed and was stuck by what felt like a bolt of lightning.. the pain was intense and overwhelming, and has not eased up even the slightest since that morning. At first I thought I must have pulled something or moved wrong, slept wrong or something, so I tried to ignore it figuring it would go away in a day or two, After 3 weeks nothing had changed, so I ended up in the emergency room. There, I was given instructions on how to manage a pulled muscle, given flexerol and percocet and sent home. Four days passed with no relief, so I went to my priomary care doctor, she ordered x-rays and a battery of blood work.. all came back normal.. Next I was sent for an MRI of my lower back, which showed mild disc degeneration and bulging at the L4 L5 level with nerve migration. and an incidental cyst on my right kidney. The L4 L5 level is not where I am feeling the pain, and when someone presses that area it is not painful. I also had an EMG (barbaric midevil test that one is) which showed some mild nerve damage, and a few nerves that have branched off into little dead ends into the muscle on the right side of my back.. but not anything to explain the pain that I am having. I have been put on so many meds.. including a med for relieving nerve pain which caused me to lose vision within 5 days so I was taken off of it. I still awake nightly with the numbness, I have developed high blood pressure averaging around 144 over 100.. my doctor tells me it is due to my pain levels, and the stress of it all. I have been taking dilauded for pain for 4 months now.. which I am scared of becoming addicted to so I limit myself on when and how much I take, and I take days off from taking it by remaining in bed for the majority of the day so that I dont move around and aggrevate the pain. I had an MRI of my brain last week, no results yet.. I guess to rule out MS or a tumor. If ANYONE has ANY suggestions or clues for me PLEASE!!! feel free to write!! I am so desperate for an answer!! I am a 38 year old mother of 3 who cant even walk my son to the bus in the morning without crying all the way back half blacking out from the pain! I WANT my LIFE back!!! Someone Please HELP!!It was suggested to me that I may possibly also have a virus in the muscle -- I dont even know how to begin to find out more about that, I am going to mention it to my doctor at my next appointment.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Please let me know if you have had an update on your condition as I believe we may be in the same boat!!
    MK1987 35 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same problem and it is happening right now that's how I found your story. I'm not sure what it is but it's the same place as your story and the symptoms as well. It hurts to sit, stand, lay, and I find myself crawling and holding on to things to walk. I haven't seen the doctor yet because everybody thinks it's because I never do anything. The real truth is when I clean something and after I'm done I get the lower back pains on my right side and it hurts bad. If this was to be rated I'd have to say a 10 because it's a pain that is unimaginable if somebody has never felt it before. It started hurting yesterday evening and last night when I went to lay down on my back my leg started throbbing it was me doing it but that's how bad the pain was. It's even hard for me to step over stuff or walk up and down the steps here. Here is my story and a little about me: I am a mother of 3 children two boys and one girl. After my last child was born in June 2003 is when the lower back pains started where the dimple is and alittle above it. I'm not sure if it has something to do with after having him but he was really small he weighted 6 lbs. but I could feel some of my labor pains with him. I'm not sure what caused this but it's time to try atleast. I'm only 26 years old soon to be 27 in August. I'm not old at all and my weight is only 135 and I'm 5'0. I started thinking it could be my weight like my top part is to heavy for my lower but after I have my youngest I wasnt this big and still did this. After having Aaron I went to my six week check up and I weighted 100lbs and 5'0 and alittle before that is when it all started. Our symptoms sound the same almost just alike except I've tried everything and nothing works for me a heat pad feels good but it still hurts about a 9 even though I'm using one.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello Amanda, You should at the least get to a doctor.. They likely are not going to be able to tell you anything, and are going to put you through a battery of tests.. but.. it should be done! You seem to make 3 of us, that all have the same symptoms, and still no doctors can tell us why!! Perhaps the set of doctors that see you may have fresh eyes and come up with something!! If they do, please let us know!! we would love to be able to find our way out of all of this pain, and find ourselves back in our normal lives!!Best of luck to you!! Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have... I have been to many doctors and have had many tests, I will share as much info with you as you need!! MK1987Michelle
    MK1987 35 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi I had about 4 mri's and seen about 7 specialists before finally 1 specialist told me an mri will not show your spine to look out of place, the bone structure will look normal as all my mri's did but when he did a blue dye test where he shot coloured ink into my L4 and L5 disc there was nothing behind the disc whatsoever but the mri looked perfect. All of these other specialists blew looking at the mri because they should have known a spine will look normal but be nothing but. I have my disc replacement surgery coming up, I was being told the same thing as all you other people. Just tell them you want a dye test done to see if the sacks in your spine can hold fluid like they are supposed to, you are awake for the surgery and can watch on the monitor, when they squirted the fluid into L4 it went all over and the same in L5 it isn't supposed to go anywhere, every disc has it's own sack of fluid and should not leak, this test will show for sure if you have a problem and you will be able to see for yourself. The MRI will not show at all as it will seem normal and these guys don't know that.Good luck.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • RGH6859 Thank you for your input, however; I am highly allergic to crustacean, and iodine, therefor; I cannot have the contrast dye for the MRI. It would likely kill me! It had been suggested I could be admitted to the hospital, given massive doses of steroids, and then try to receive the dye, but I am not willing to take the chance on losing my life for a little dye.. nor am I willing to go into renal failure. Besides, my pain is not on my spine, it is about 2 inches to the right of it, and when my spine is palpated, there is no pain, but get anywhere near the muscle on the right, even the lightest touch is horribly painful! I have develiped hypersensetivity to touch of any sort in that location. Even my clothing brushing against my skin feels like razor blades. Putting any pressure on the pain area has caused my blood pressure to spike to 160 over 110 and has also caused me to "faint" and folowing the pressure, the skin in the area turns bright red, and hot to the touch. My blood pressure has been running a bit high lately, likely due to the pain, it has been about 144 over 90-95, so my doctor put me on 10mg daily of lisinopril to see if we can get it under control before it gets any worse. I have also had episodes of violent shaking of both my legs follwing more than 10 minutes of lying flat on my back, which seems to last anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, or until I take a valium to get the muscles to relax. Please let me know how things go for you!! I wish you all the best in your surgery!! and there after!! MK1987Michelle
    MK1987 35 Replies Flag this Response
  • I hope you will keep us informed on how things go for you!! Best wishes and good luck!! Unfortunate for me.. I am highly allergic to iodine and crustacean.. so no contrast dye for me! I fear I will go undeagnosed for ever.. I am beginning to feel defeated!
    MK1987 35 Replies Flag this Response
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  • hi there ive been having a pain in the same place as you describe my lower back i would describe it as my right dimple. Its nt as painful as you describe it, it feels as if i have to click a bone or something. i had it about 2 months ago then it went away and came back again when i was having a pre xmas clear owt today. does any one know of any way to maby click this bone ive searched online but had no joy :(have a nice xmas and hope that you all get a solution soonsamantha x
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 22, 2009
    • 02:12 AM
    • 0
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  • sounds similar to my own experience. im 24 but feel 60 some days. lower right back pain, exactly on the bone bulge beside my back dimple. very painful, slow throb. also it is sometimes paired with a feeling like i slept with a broom stick under my back, sort of a rib problem.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 31, 2009
    • 08:31 AM
    • 0
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  • I am not sure if you are open to this idea. I gave this book to my husband who has had multiple bouts of backpain and two sugeries and he at first did not appreciate it, but interesting enough has not had much back pain at all since. I personally know the author and it is astounding how healthy and vibrant he is today, really active and pain free. Four years ago I was so sad for him, he sounded just like you. The book is "Release the pain, heal yourself" by Mark A. Ribkoff.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I'm suffering from the same type of pain (but on the left side) but I havn't gone to see a doctor yet. My father-in-law was also suffering the pain, and when he got x-rays taken, they told him it was a torn ligament in his back. They gave him anti-inflammatories and told him it will heal on its own. Don't know if that info will help some of you...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I'm suffering from the same type of pain (but on the left side) but I havn't gone to see a doctor yet. My father-in-law was also suffering the pain, and when he got x-rays taken, they told him it was a torn ligament in his back. They gave him anti-inflammatories and told him it will heal on its own. Don't know if that info will help some of you...I was experiencing almost the same pain as MK1987. After 3 X-ray and 3 Ultra sound test, all my battery of blood, bones and abdament looks normal. Until recently, they told me my Free-light-Chain test shows value higher than normal=1.50, followed by a CT scan on my lumbar spine shows "Workup regarding metastatic disease or byeloma is indicated" and my Bone Marrow Biopsy Diagnosis says: "Bone marrow needle core biopsy - Consistent with multiple myeloma". But my Hematologist hide away from giving me a written statement of definite diagnosis on Multiple Myeloma. Currently, I am doing fine with Chinese Medicine prescribed by a immigrant experienced Doctor from China with zero Tylenol at night, some times one 300 mg plate Tylenol at day time. I almost have no back pain on the bed when I wake up in the morning and my chest and arm lifting are not cramping by pain any more. The only problem for me is the Herbal Medicine is not covered by the Government Health Plan in Ontario today.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 23, 2010
    • 02:06 PM
    • 0
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  • My daughter had pain like you all describe...she suffered with it for months and it got so bad she couldn't walk. Her pain was in her lower right back. She had constant muscle spasms. FINALLY found a Dr, who did a Sacroiliac Joint block and determined she had Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction. After surgery to fuse the joint, and a long recovery period. she is now fine..And just FYI, several of you have said the pain is where your dimple is...that is exactly where her incision is.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Whoaaahooowuuu!!! Wow man, this works for me instantly! I am so desperate for 1week I cant stand because of this silly back pain.. I tied the froggy style laughing because of my posture.. And whala! What a majic! Thank you thank you very much!!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi. I know this is a very old post, but I was wondering if u ever found relief for your problem. I have the exact same symptoms and I am desperate for relief not to mention going broke with all these doctors, tests, therapy and shots. (With no relief) I need my life back. Thanks for your time, Teresa
    Irish Tre 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am reading a lot of these comments and I can relate. I have had two major back surgeries, this last was a fusion. Several months after fusion I was laying down moved and thought my implants and screws broke loose. That's how intense the pain was. I couldn't even roll over or move. The spasms were so bad, plus charley horses in my left calf. Finally found out what caused it after several weeks of intense pain. My pariphormis muscle was pinching on my sciatic nerve. It's pariphormis syndrome.
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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