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18y/o with unmanageable pain?

I am an 18 y/o girl who has been active and playing sports my whole life. This past summer I decided to take up weightlifting, and got in touch with a personal trainer. Sometime during the end of the summer I started having these dull and aching pains (occasional stabbing pain) and numbness/pins and needles in my lower back-- the numbness spreads to other parts of my back as well. These pains are not on either side, they are constantly right on my spine. I have no pain/numbness down my legs at all.

I have noticed it is worse when I am sitting or resting at all and it is hard to be comfortable so falling asleep is a challenge. Also if I stand for too long or do a lot of walking it hurts. I do have a 6th lumbar vertebrae and slight scoliosis which was discovered when I consulted 2 chiropractors about my pain and X-Rays were taken.

Nothing looked bad in my X-Rays and I was basically told that my lower spine has difficulty flexing, and I need to do some exercises with a workout ball and ice it. Recently the doctor suggested I try "rolfing", which I will be doing in the upcoming weeks. I've been doing the exercises for months now though and have not gotten any better.

I'm getting desperate because it doesn't appear that my symptoms match anything--I thought for a while I had a herniated disc but the lack of leg symptoms might rule that out. I just don't know what to do because it's hard to enjoy college when going out leads to pain, and all I want to do is lay in bed and be sad about hurting...but that only makes it worse.

Also: I went to urgent care where they gave me a steroid pill pack and an anti-inflammatory to take for a week. I felt no relief while taking these either.



  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 237
    edited 12/10/2017 - 10:03 AM

    Welcome to the forums, Erin. Have you tried acupuncture or acupressure?

    If the pain persists you may want to look into getting an MRI as an x-ray shows only so much.

    Not having numbness or pins and needles down your legs doesn’t mean you don’t have a disc issue.

    I had pain and tingling in my back after I was injured; then shortly after the pain in my back creeped around to my right flank, then went down into the right groin and right genitals. Then problems with pain in front of right leg (above the knee) and right hip.

    I ended up having a bulge/annular tear at L1-L2.

    Sounds like the degree to which this is a hindrance in your daily life is too large to only be a strain (however, without an MRI it’s hard to say).

    I would request a referral to a neurologist/neurosurgeon from your PCP.

    If your PCP is willing to write you a script for an MRI prior to seeing a specialist I would have the MRI study completed beforehand, if possible.

    That way you can simply take a copy of your MRI and MRI report on a CD to your appmt.

    Good luck. Please keep us posted.

  • I say get an MRI as soon as possible! Sometimes Back pain or disc issues wont shoot down the legs. When is your pain the worst sitting or standing or walking etc. How bad is your pain on a scale from 1 to 10. Good thing is you have age on your side.

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  • I agree. Your next step should definitely be to get an MRI because X-rays don’t show a lot. I was 17 and very active when I first had back issues. I was lucky in that my problem was very obvious but unlucky in that the problem was a disc rupture that had caused nerve damage and I needed surgery to fix it. I hope your problem improves without surgery but I would definitely get an MRI and don’t stop there. If you still have pain and the MRI didn’t show anything, don’t be discouraged. More recently I had another issue in which the MRI didn’t show anything serious but my doctors didn’t give up on me and we continued to try to find the source of my pain. I ended up getting something called a discogram which is shows even more than an MRI and we finally discovered the source. I needed another surgery unfortunately but I only share this to say that I understand how frustrating it can be when you’re so active and the pain stops you and you don’t know what’s causing it. It really sucks but you have to be your own advocate and find doctors who are persistent and don’t give up until you’re back to playing sports and working out.

    Best of luck! I hope you find the problem and it’s an easy fix!

  • Definately sounds like annular tear symptoms i have had for 8 months now.

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