Undiagnosed back pain?

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  1. PurpleOne profile image80
    PurpleOneposted 13 years ago

    I've had a sore back for the last 6 months and don't know what the cause of it is. I went to a chiropractor 3 times with no relief and I have been going to physical therapy now for a few weeks and it's actually feeling worse right now. I had an x-ray last week but haven't heard anything back yet so assume that it was probably fine or else I would've heard something.

    Apparently most people with back pain don't find out what the cause is? This is mind boggling to me.

    Has anyone else experienced back pain for at least a few months? Does it go away eventually? I'm only 28 and feel like I'm too young to be starting up with the back pain already!


    1. shanekruger profile image60
      shanekrugerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      You should take some strong action on this kind of disease and don't be easy. Check Up to some effective medical clinics near your house.

      1. elisabethkcmo profile image79
        elisabethkcmoposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        some people see great improvement with a good quality mattress or also try some really good shoes fitted professionally
        thats what helped me... the shoes

      2. caravalhophoto profile image59
        caravalhophotoposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Hey purpleone,

        agree with all that has been said...be very proactive and make those doctors give you the needed tests including an MRI...where is the pain, lower...center...upper. 
        Reasons why I ask and this is to freighten you, however a lot of organs can be causing your pain.
        Kidney's if in the lower area, heart and lungs center and upper back...all pains that resignate through the back. A slipped disk or a bone may have fractured during your fall and a fragment is lodged...so many things, don't let them throw pain pills at you...be your biggest advocate...I hope you feel better.

    2. profile image0
      Crazdwriterposted 13 years ago

      If I were you I would still call and make sure that that is the reason no one has called you. back pain is serious..I know I have it quite often because I in fact have kyphosis of the spine. But PurpleOne don't wait...CALL!
      Good luck!

    3. profile image0
      sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

      We can rule out your wife, right?

    4. profile image0
      Nelle Hoxieposted 13 years ago

      have you had a mri and other diagnostic tests?

      Did you injure yourself and then get backpain? Or is it just a dull ache that appeared?

      A back ache can be a symptom of a much more serious condition that isn't caused by your back. You need to see a real doctor and have appropriate tests done.

      Most of the time your back heals and then you feel better. Or you learn to manage a back condition. I have a couple of muscle spasms a year. But with yoga and other exercise I have minimized the episodes and then with muscle relaxants am back on my feet in a day or two.

    5. elayne001 profile image81
      elayne001posted 13 years ago

      I had a similar bad pain about 10 years ago. I went to several doctors, had tests done and they said nothing could be done. I was pretty frustrated. They sent me for physical therapy and gave me anti inflammatory pills. They taught me how to stand up properly, how to get out of bed and how to sit properly so I would not irritate it more. Eventually it went away. But first do all yu can to make sure it is not something else.

    6. PurpleOne profile image80
      PurpleOneposted 13 years ago

      Crazdwriter - my family doctor told me when he ordered the x-ray that no news back means good news! So far so good on that front. How were you diagnosed with kyphosis?

      Nelle - I fell on the ice a few years ago on my back fairly severly but I was all healed up within a few weeks and seemed fine again. Then about 6 months ago, I noticed that my posture wasn't quite right, like I could seem to get comfortable or get "straight" enough. I've had different opinions as to whether the fall I had several years ago could be the root cause of this as a delayed problem.

      There are some pretty awkward hunching positions that I have to get into at work (ex. hunching over a microscope in a non-ergonimic lab setup). All of a sudden one day back in the summer over the course of a few hours, I went from feeling like my posture had gone downhill to barely being able to move and feeling extremely stiff. I did get better since then but never all the way better which is why I tried the chriropractor and then just recently physio. Now all of a sudden again, my back pain is pretty bad again and I am really really stiff.

      Nelle, this is what my doctor suggested... the x-ray and the physical therapy. I haven't had an MRI. What does a muscle spasm feel like? I am wondering if this is my issue. Lately my back has felt so tight almost like the muscles must be clenched together for dear life - is this a muscle spasm?

      Elayneoo1 - Physio is trying to teach me how to stand and sit properly and they have given me some exercise to improve my core muscles as they feel my problem has to do with muscle imbalances. You say that your pain "eventually" went away. Do you remember how long it took?

      Thanks to all who responded. Sorry I got so long winded here.

      1. Marisa Wright profile image88
        Marisa Wrightposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I'll bet you anything that the fall was the cause.  If you damaged a disc, it won't show up on an x-ray. 

        When you damage a disc, it gets inflamed and presses on the nerves in your spinal column, which causes pain. When the inflammation goes down, the pain subsides - but the disc doesn't heal. If you do things that aggravate it, it will flare up again.  Sounds like bending over that microscope is doing it. 

        The horrible thing about an inflamed disc is that nothing makes the pain go away, because it's not muscular or skeletal.  You feel like someone is digging a knife in your back.  The muscles around it start tightening up in an effort to avoid the pain, which only makes it worse.

        Regular massages are good for easing the muscle spasm, but all that will do is remove the muscle pain - then you'll feel the original pain again, because your muscles are no longer spasming to protect it.  Anti-inflammatories will help, plus removing the cause of the problem.  Strengthening your core muscles will also help, because that will help hold your back in a "safe" position.

    7. profile image0
      pgrundyposted 13 years ago

      My sister-in-law was about your age when she started to experience steadily worsening back pain. By the time she was finally diagnosed she wasn't sleeping, she couldn't work--she went downhill really, really fast. At the end the only position she could stand was face down on a soft mattress and she was getting massive doses of opiates that didn't much help. She was shuffled from doc to doc with no help and kept getting worse.

      Finally she saw an orthopedic surgeon who did an MRI and it showed that a part of one of her disks was leaking out of her spine and affecting a certain nerve. She had to have surgery immediately but the minute she got out the pain was gone.

      She didn't fall, she never did find out whay caused the disk to do that.

      But Nelle is right--lots of things can cause back pain that have nothing to do with your back, so you should get a complete work up ASAP. I think family doctors sometimes minimize the complaints of female patients. You know your body and it sounds like you know this is not normal for you.

    8. profile image0
      Crazdwriterposted 13 years ago

      Like you I had an Xray taken when we noticed that I couldn't stand up straight and thought my back was off. So I got my back X-rayed and viola I was diagnosed with Kyphosis. smile it's not fun but hey I have it so I deal with it and make life work arond me not my back smile

    9. livelonger profile image91
      livelongerposted 13 years ago

      All I can offer in terms of advice is see a doctor. If your doctor isn't able to find anything, I'd try to find another. I'll be honest and say that you might want to try an MD, not just a chiropractor.

      I saw several "specialists" who treated (and charged) me for months until I went to a competent spine doctor (an MD) who correctly diagnosed a herniated disc. I tried various treatments recommended by the doctor and mandated by my insurance until I had surgery (discectomy), which completely solved the problem for me.

      pgrundy: My doctor said a majority of disc herniations are "idiopathic" (of indeterminate cause). I don't think anything in particular caused mine.

      1. profile image0
        pgrundyposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Good to know. It's weird how such a serious thing can happen for no known reason. My sister-in-law is in her 40s now and she never had another problem, just that one. Her experience sounds like it was very similar to yours--took the right doctor, one who treated spinal conditions specifically.

    10. Beth100 profile image69
      Beth100posted 13 years ago

      A fall can displace your joints, which in turn will cause you to have an imbalance in muscle tone and usage.  I have had back problems since falling down a flight of stairs four years ago.  I followed what the doctors recommended -- MRI, physio, chiro, therapeutic massage, anti-inflammatories and so on.  The relief never arrived.

      However, I went to an osteopath for a period of 6 months.  After the first session, I was pain free for a period of 6 hours.  The second session, I was pain free and walking with perfect posture for 24 hours.  With each session, my posture improved and the pain lessened.  What my osteopath taught me is that when one falls, it affects not only the joints and muscles, but even your internal organs from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.  The whole body requires re-alignment, not just your back. 

      I am now virtually pain free and able to walk and hike again.  I say "virtually" because I still have a tendancy to push myself beyond my own limits.  I know that if I listened to my body, I would not have another sore back or muscle spasm. 

      Be proactive and aggressive, also, there are alternatives to traditional remedies.  You might consider these.

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    11. lrohner profile image68
      lrohnerposted 13 years ago

      You really do need to follow Nelle's advice. It's good advice, and I am speaking from experience. They have to do an MRI to rule out anything serious. An x-ray or CAT scan just is incapable of diagnosing a multitude of issues.

      The doctors will balk at it, try to throw their weight around and will probably give you bad advice. But an MRI is really what you need. This is coming from someone who has had two discs replaced in their neck and almost became a quadriplegic because of 8 months of doctors telling me that the x-rays/CAT scans didn't show any problems.

    12. PurpleOne profile image80
      PurpleOneposted 13 years ago

      Thanks to everyone who shared different experiences with back pain and various treatments that have been tried. I have been to a regular doctor other than just the chiropractor and like I said, he suggested the x-ray but as people have suggested on here, an MRI might be the next step if things don't settle down soon. I also like the idea of trying out an osteopath if I can find one in my area.

      Thanks again.

    13. h.a.borcich profile image61
      h.a.borcichposted 13 years ago

      As many have said, other conditions can cause pain in the back area but not a back problem at all. I have kidney disease. The pain radiates in my back but is not "back pain". Sometimes a kidney infection does that. It can be checked with a urinalysis at the regular doctor. Hope you get it resolved soon and feel better, Holly

    14. earnestshub profile image82
      earnestshubposted 13 years ago

      Livelonger, mine was idiot-pathic I lifted too much weight! 30 years so far and no pain relief. smile

    15. Sue Adams profile image94
      Sue Adamsposted 13 years ago

      I had such a bad back years ago that I couldn't walk. I had to crawl to make it to the bathroom. My osteopath strapped up my entire upper body with wide tape and said I shouldn't move for two weeks. My condition was a typical case of chronic muscle spasm squeezing the sciatic nerve which goes from the lower back down the outside of your leg all the way to your toes. She also taught me a few preventive moves that I now always apply when I feel a twinge coming on. Then a few months later I discovered the Gravity Inversion Table which is a simple piece of equipment that allows you to tip upside down (to decompress the spine). It allows using gravity to your body's advantage rather than its detriment. I have a Gravity Inverter and use it at least 3x a week for about five minutes. I now use it for fun and relaxation as I have never had a bad back since I bought it. The key to keeping your back healthy is

      1.)    a good posture
      2.)    good movement habits
      3.)    knowing your own limits and not exerting yourself beyond them
      4.)     don't sit on chairs too much
      5.)     spend more time in the horizontal position

      I have written a hub about the many benefits of Gravity Inversion, it's called "Hanging Upside Down". You need to learn to prevent attacks and it can be done. I’m living proof.
      Hope your back gets better soon,


    16. Make  Money profile image65
      Make Moneyposted 13 years ago

      PurpleOne out of Sue's 5 points I think number 3 is the most important, "knowing your own limits and not exerting yourself beyond them".  Don't let physio push you, they can actually make it worse like they did with me and others that I have talked to.  Don't rush into an operation, it has made it worse for some people.  It sounds like your work is a factor in your problem.

    17. spiritactor profile image62
      spiritactorposted 13 years ago

      Back pain can be a physical, or "mechanical" if you will, condition; in which case, a medical professional is a wise choice. I submit: You may want to consider something else-- and it certainly couldn't hurt!

      My wife has had pain from rheumatoid arthritis in multiple joints for half of her life. After numerous doctor visits, her pain persisted. She tried acupuncture-- and that DID help, some. But what she ultimately discovered was the psychosomatic, the dis-EASE she had been harboring. She was holding onto many emotionally generated "pains." Through meditation, she identified what these emotional stresses were; then found release through dancing. She also strives to do everything she can throughout each day with Joy; and finds she is actually doing MORE than before.

      Look within you and see if you may be holding onto pains: someone hurt you, you lost someone, you feel under-appreciated-- whatever the situation may be. Then start a diary or journal, create something everyday, celebrate your healthy body, wrap any pain you may experience in the warm, loving Light that you were born with. Experience a sunset or sunrise, walk easily in nature, make promises to yourself that each day finds you whole and filled with joy. Breathe, meditate, seek quiet, open to Joy. Try envisioning your back muscles as "butter, gently melting under a beautiful sun." As you walk, think of a "magic thread" that runs from your pelvis up through the top of your head-- it lifts you, supports you, keeps you up as you walk or erect as you sit. Pay attention to tensions that may arise in your feet, your legs, your shoulders, your arms, or your neck; and allow them to unwind, release, open like a flower. Know that you don't have to have this message of pain.

      These are suggestions. I am not a physician-- but I do care.

    18. Lisa HW profile image62
      Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

      I agree with those who advise getting a real answer from a doctor.

      Having said that, though, you may be surprised at how much back pain a person can get from something like wearing shoes that make you walk "out of alignment", or from sitting in the wrong chair or sitting the wrong way.  You may want to try a shoe with a different kind of sole, or switching to a hard chair.

      Also, try "relaxing through the pain".  Sometimes if you have back pain you can tend to tense up and make it worse.  Focusing on the area where there's pain, and consciously "telling the muscles" to relax can at first feel like the pain gets worse, but very quickly it can feel better.  If you keep doing that it may help (if you have "some muscle thing", which is what causes a lot of back pain).

    19. ddsurfsca profile image72
      ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

      My husband had a sore neck, and he went to a chiropractor.  He took an exray, read it himself, and proceeded to do treatments.  After about the third one, the pain was worse and he noticed a tingle in his fingers and toes.
      He went to a real doctor, they took exrays and put him in the hospital immediately for emergency surgery. 
      The chiropractor had adjusted a herniated disc and almost paralyzed my husband for life.
      Be careful who you trust, go to a medical doctor immediately.  I had constant pain in my lower back to find out that it was due to tendans that were pulled, totally correctable.  Go to a doctor.

    20. mistywild profile image60
      mistywildposted 13 years ago

      I've had back pain since I fell down the stairs 10 years ago and I'm 30 now, but nothing appears to be wrong with my back to the doctors. I went to physical therapy but it sucked, like you said, it just made it worse. so hot baths and massages from a loved one are the keys.

    21. fishtiger58 profile image68
      fishtiger58posted 13 years ago

      I would advise some blood tests. Many times is could be an organ inside your body making your back hurt. 6 months is a long time.


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