Persistent pain from mid back to the toes
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I am struggling with chronic lumbar ischialgia, as German doctors call it with no pathological cause. There has been no real diagnosis and no real medical help for me so far.
1. One year ago I lifted about 35 kilos in a forward bended position. Next morning I could not move my legs. I was hardly walking, but just sliding my both feet. The back was feeling like broken in mid area and I could not feel my legs whatsoever. I was prescribed ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, strong painkillers, had dexametazon injections and underwent physiotherapy sessions, a lot of them.
2. This lasted about 3 months with unbearable pain with not much success. And here I stopped taking medications, started mild exercise routine and swimming. I had an Xray and nerve conduction test, usual blood test, all three were fine. MRI revealed a small protrusion between L4/L5 with no impact on the nerve.
3. At around month 4 was able to go to the gym, with significant amount of constant pain though. Started doing yoga at the same time with great pleasure and almost no pain during or after the class. I was also subscribed a TENs device, which did not help at all.
4. Around month 6 I received acupuncture treatment, which after the 4th treatment let the left side of my body go. The pain disappeared and did not return so far. After this, the doctors started to focus on the disk, because earlier, it was on both sides and not typical for a disk. But now, all they can see is one side affected and a bulged disk and do not look any further.
5. Other treatments received after this point included chiropractic, fascia treatment, ultrasound, manual therapy, muscle relaxation. And another follow up MRI, which showed no change to the disks and one more for muscles, again all OK. I also had injections of muscle relaxants directly into my back, 32 needles at a time.
6. Somewhere after month 7 the situation is more or less stable with very slight improvement in symptoms month on month, but no full relief. The pain is there, always.
Usually, the entire right side from mid back until the toes hurts, including groin area and side of the waist. Mornings are relatively OK, a bit sore, but throughout the day the pain increases gradually. It fluctuates, say one day the calf hurts more, the other day the knee, or the groin, literally the entire leg hurts. But the areas I highlighted with red are the ones that are always in pain no matter what. The pain feels like dull and pulling force, sometimes like short bites here and there.
I am 34, 174cm tall, with 58kg weight, regularly doing yoga and going to a gym. I work at a standing desk mostly, sit only at most 30 minutes at a time and only about 4/5 times a day. Do not have any health issues other than a stubborn pain. Please see if you can shed some light on my condition.
Thank you very much in advance.
Hello Ruzanna, and thank you for a very comprehensive account. First lesson to be learnt is that a 58kg lady shouldn't be lifting 35 kilos, but that I'm sure I don't need to emphasise.
The second lesson is the virtue of two minutes of lower back exercises EVERY morning before arising from bed; better still at night also. You can find them in the navigation bar at Chiropractic Help; start slowly and gently, listening to your body; you're not preparing for the Olympics!
The waist and groin pain is what sticks out for me; using the search function at Chiropractic Help, look up Maigne's syndrome. Ask someone to prod at the thoraco lumbar junction. Is it very tender?
The other common cause of groin pain is a hip condition; lying on your back, pull your knee to the chest and then towards the opposite shoulder. Now make a circle of the hip, using then knee as a lever, and then drop it into the lotus position. Any pain or stiffness compared to the other hip?
Sitting in a kitchen chair, flex your head onto your chest, and then straighten the good leg parallel to the ground; repeat with the naughty right leg. Is there any difference?
If you bend slowly forwards, then backwards and to the side; do you have pain? Where?
I wish I could be of more help, but this may help.
Dr Barrie Lewis