Tag Archives: back pain

Pain, Pain, Go Away!- SOL #18



Today was a pretty good day. I was productive at work, and I experienced little to no back pain all day. This afternoon, I attended my fourth physical therapy session. Considering how well the first three went, I was optimistic and actually looking forward to it, hoping to have more strength and be able to do more of the exercises than last time.

At first, the therapy went just like it always does. There’s a little routine to what we do: heat therapy (a heat lamp on my lower back), electro-therapy (these sticky electrode things stuck to my lower back and buttocks that send shock waves through my skin), ultrasound, manual therapy (where my therapist, sometimes with the aid of the mechanical table, manipulates my legs and back into all sorts of positions), and then exercises. Everything up until the exercises was fine. In fact, the pain was less than last time.

The first exercise was rotations. Basically I sit on the side of the table, interlock my fingers in front of me, and rotate first to one side, then the other. This one’s always tough for me, so today my therapist wanted to try to manually move me a little further. First, I rotated to the left. It hurt, but the pain was manageable. Next, I rotated to the right. It hurt more than the left, but I was handling it. Then he used my shoulders to rotate me more to the right (only an inch or two). At that moment, the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced happened. My mid-back on my left side was screaming out in pain as I literally screamed and cried. The pain was worse than any broken bone I’ve ever had. I was told to lie down, which hurt so much, too, but I did it. He then put an ice pack on my back. I cried for about 5 minutes. After I’d calmed down a bit, we moved to another room to continue. He asked me to lie on the bed. The simple motion of trying to lie down sent shock waves of pain to my left side. I simply couldn’t do it. I continued to cry out in pain, trying, to no avail, to stop the tears. I took a pain killer, and tried to remain still. The only position even remotely comfortable was sitting and leaning over. At this point, he called and scheduled an x-ray and gave me a medical patch, which is applied directly to the skin. It ended up helping with the pain, but it took a couple of hours to work.

I was taken down to get an x-ray of my entire back. My MRI last week only focused on my lower back. My therapist wanted to see if the x-ray would reveal the severity of my scoliosis. The x-rays, shown below, showed that my case of scoliosis is quite severe. My spine is in an S-shape instead of straight. This, on top of the other issues, is only going to further complicate my back pain and treatment. Ugh…not what I wanted to hear tonight (or ever)! I hope the pain subsides soon. It already has a little bit, but it’s still difficult to move around or change positions.



Good News and Bad News- SOL #4


For the past two weeks, I’ve been in pain. It started in my back, but then about a week ago, it traveled to my foot. What’s weird is that it’s only on my left side. Yesterday and today were pretty unbearable, so I decided it was time to see the doctor to figure out what’s going on.

Now, I’m no stranger to back pain. For nearly 20 years, I’ve experienced lower back pain (and I’m only 32!), but for the most part, it’s been a manageable kind of pain. I don’t regularly take pain killers, and I don’t normally complain about it. Quite frankly, it’s just a part of my life. Sometimes I forget that not everyone deals with this. For some reason, however, the pain has become pretty severe since February 22nd. Ever since the pain traveled down to my foot, I’ve acquired a noticeable limp, and I have not able to get comfortable whenever sitting, standing, or lying down (which is pretty much all the time). After being brought to tears today, I decided it was time.

Dr. Kyoko, the eccentric doctor with the blue hair, was very thorough. I spent two hours at the doctor’s office today getting all manner of tests, discussing my medical history as it pertains to my back pain, and even getting a referral to a physiotherapist. Through our discussions and tests, I came to realize that when people (frequently, and for as long as I can remember) ask me if I’m OK because I appear to be limping, it’s not just the way I walk (as I always respond). It’s due to the fact that I’ve been dealing with nerve damage for so long, that I’ve overcompensated by putting my weight on my right leg. There’s actually a 1.5cm difference in circumference between my left and right legs, which apparently is uncommon. My left leg has some muscle atrophy due to this issue.

The good news is that I have a diagnosis and an initial treatment plan. My vertebrae in my lower back are pressing on my nerves, causing nerve damage, pain, and tenderness on my left side. The doctor ordered an MRI to assess how much damage is actually there, but we are waiting on the insurance to approve it. I’ve been approved to start physical therapy to help alleviate the pain and strengthen my left side, and I’m planning on starting this as soon as possible.

The bad news is that we don’t know yet how extensive the damage is to my nerves. Considering that I’ve had pain for so long, it’s likely that I’ve done some major damage. Surgery was mentioned, but only as a last resort. Some other not so great news is that no matter which course of treatment, from physical therapy to surgery, it is highly unlikely that the pain will ever completely go away. What we’re hoping for is to minimize the pain and reduce the pressure on the nerves, resulting in a more normal life. Sheesh…I sound like an old person!

I’m a little worried about what the MRI will show, but I’m more relieved because now I can start to treat it and alleviate some of this pain. Positive thoughts for promising results! 🙂