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Chronic Lower Back Pain (undiagnosed)

RyukaizanRRyukaizan Posts: 1
edited 12/27/2017 - 5:38 PM in Lower Back Pain

Hello everyone,

Before starting off, I would like to acknowledge that my decisions I made during and in the process of the activity that triggered this injury were very poor. I have learned my lesson, the hard way

Anyways, starting off, I’m not sure if this contributed to my lower back pain but I had lower back pain when running one day in which it made me stiffen up and hurt to run. I stretched and warmed up like usual and out of nowhere it hurt so it was odd to me. I ran track since 4th grade until senior year of high school, and I never had any injuries pertaining to running except for shin splints.

I took a year off running and my first day back, this happened while running my usual warm up mile and had to stop my workout. I thought it was odd and thought I was just rusty so I ran again the day after, thinking it would be better, but no luck. It happened every time I ran, every single time. But when I would play basketball, everything was fine. No lowerback pain, unless I run on the track for a longer amount of time. So I just decided to stop running because i didn’t know what the issue was.

Fast forward one year after that incident and I start to lift weights. And after a few months of weight lifting, I have gotten the hang of it. However, my friend and I were deadlifting one day and he made me deadlift 2 45s on each side more than I ever had, telling me that I would be fine, and I did one rep (the poorest decision I ever made) and stopped. That whole day, my lower back hurt but I dismissed it as being sore. It still felt “sore” after a couple days, and I kept dismissing it and played basketball almost everyday on it. After weeks, the pain was still there, but I kept dismissing it because I wanted to play and I didn’t think it was that serious (again, poor) and it would heal eventually, but I did stop doing lower back lifting.

Flash forward 4 months, I kept this routine but decided to stop any type of activity for around 3 weeks to let my back heal. I would stretch my lower back twice a day still though. After those 3 weeks, I played one game of basketball, felt the pain again, and stopped. And I have stopped since then and it has been another month of no activity, no stretching (seeing if it would heal but I think I need to, not sure) trying to let it heal but no luck.

The pain only comes at certain positions I make. For example, it doesn’t hurt if it walk, but if I bend when sitting a certain way, i can feel it. Certain movements I make makes me feel it. The pain isn’t bad enough to restrict me in doing whatever type of movement I want, but I do feel discomfort when I do, so I only get discouraged to move certain ways, but I can still do it if needed and if I wanted to.

The pain feels like it’s at my lower, right back, and sometimes in the middle. When I put pressure on the bone in the lower back, not the very lowest bone I could touch, but somewhere a bit above it, it hurts. But when I put pressure on the right or left lower back bones, it doesn’t.

When I did stretch it, the pain would not be as bad as it was, and it felt good when stretching. But I haven’t stretched in a long time, just seeing if it heals by itself. But I’m not really sure what to do, as I have kept researching about this for a long time now. I have been busy so I haven’t been able to properly attend to it.

So, what seems to be the problem or injury I’m facing here? I’m not sure if it’s a herniated disc because I did the test you can do to check, the raising the leg up and straight, but no pain or anything. I am trying not to go to the doctors as much as possible as my family is in a very tight financial situation, I do not work and go to college using financial aid, and don’t want to use as much money as possible if I can. Should I just keep stretching and lay off from physical activities until the pain goes away? My friend insists it’s a muscle strain and to just lay off it.

Thank you for any feedback, and I appreciate it.



  • I would suggest seeing a doctor. The pain has been bothering you for so long it can’t hurt to go get it checked out. I’m so sorry you’re in a tight financial situation. I know what that’s like. I’ve spent the last year and a half in chronic pain and unable to work, without my parents support (letting me live with them) I don’t know what I would have done. But I can’t express enough how waiting and sitting on back pain can severely alter your life. If it does end up being a simple muscle strain then that’s great. Maybe the doctor can give you some tips on how best to deal with it but if it’s something more, it’s really best to find out sooner rather than later. Back issues can get very bad very fast. In eleventh grade I took a charge in basketball and felt a lot back pain afterward. I kept playing in all the following games even though the pain was pretty bad, I even had pain down my leg and finally it got to a point where I was running on the court and couldn’t feel my leg touching the ground. I finally went to a doctor and I had what he referred to as ‘floppy foot’. A disc had ruptured and damaged my nerve. They performed surgery on my pretty quickly but I still have nerve damage in my left leg. I was just as stupid my sophomore year in college when I decided to join an intramural volleyball team. My back would be sore after practices and games but I didn’t think much of it. After the previous surgeries I had had my back was always a little sore after activity. Then one day I dove for the ball and the started feeling some nerve pain down my leg. I knew then what it was so I went to the doctor as soon as I got home from school and sure enough I needed another two surgeries to fix that. It took a year of recovery, I missed a year of school and lost a ton of credits. Then two years ago I was coaching volleyball and couldn’t stop myself from joining in because it was so much fun. It was sore as it always was but I thought it was because I wasn’t keeping up with my stretches. Then one day I was vacuuming my room and something happened to my back. I couldn’t drive, walk, I could barely even talk without it hurting more. I spent three months on my back waiting to figure out what was wrong this time. Then they finally figured it out and I needed another surgery. A year and a half later I still couldn’t drive or work. My life had completely halted because the pain never really went away. Finally this month I had another surgery where they installed a spinal cord stimulator that is supposed to block my pain pathway. Anyway I can tell your not as bad off as I was but I just wanted to share my story because even though I grew up in a not well off household and my family and I are still paying off medical bills, I’d still make the decision to go to the doctor. Every time. Because I know how life altering it can get when it gets bad enough and I know how fast it can go from bad to worse. And as much as I hope it’s just a muscle strain for you, I hope you make the decision to get it checked it out.

    I wish you all the best @Ryukaizan

  • The straight leg test only says so much. If you have a herniation in an upper lumbar disc as opposed to a lower one, that test is meaningless.

    You owe it to yourself to get a lumbar MRI. Especially due to how long you’ve been struggling with this.

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  • I would definitely be very careful and see doctor ! but its very important to find the right doctor as most of them are not taking things seriously as in my case... I would suggest stop any serious sport activities as this will most definitely make it worst ! I was similar with underestimating the situation and now got back pain for a year and cant get rid of it..

    Make sure you push doctors until find out exactly what is wrong ( I know how hard that can be, I still don't have proper diagnose..I even did MRI privately and did not show anything but I'm sure there is something wrong as pain persist)

    SO my advice is take situation very serious and listen tour body and not what others are telling you...

  • Given that you’ve had pain for a year, I’d get a new MRI at a different place. Your doctor shouldn’t give you trouble for asking for a new MRI, if an entire year has passed and you’re still in pain.

    Sometimes you need a discogram if your MRI shows something off but it’s unclear if you are experiencing discogenic pain versus muscular pain (I find it hard to believe that your pain is muscular in nature 12 months out). It’s certainly possible but unlikely IMO.

  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 428

    Muscles do so based on the information we give them. If we give them information that we need to rest most of the time, that is what they will expect you to do. If we tell them to sit most of the time that is what they will expect you to do. If we then all of a sudden throw in an activity they are not used to doing, they will not respond well. They will go into defensive mode and protect themselves. A good point to keep in mind is that our bodies and muscles respond to what we tell them to do the majority of the time, and not what we do for the hour or so a day when we decide to become active.

    Just as important is that if we do only give our muscles limited information and movement patterns, we then cause some muscles to be come dominant and others dormant. This makes our bones move in different patters than they are designed to. At least that was the case with me and my low back pain and sciatica. In my job, I transitioned from a lab tech to a desk jockey. It was then when I started doing much more sitting that I was stricken with the sciatica.

    Truth be told, muscles need movement to grow and survive. Ever heard of atrophy? By definition this occurs due to lack of physical activity (motion). I guess that's why they now want you up and moving and in PT almost immediately after surgery. This is what is so confusing to me that many doctors still prescribe rest for muscle injuries. They probably should be saying "don't do this specific activity but do get up and walk around". I do think maybe we can rest for maybe 24-48 hours, but after that it is best to get moving again.

    Probably what you are experiencing now are the initial trigger signs that something is wrong. Change your ways. Do something about the pain now, so it does not debilitate you later. What you are doing by coming to this forum is a great step in your recovery!

    In my opinion, it is not the activity (sport, lifting, running, etc) that is causing your pain, but rather the lack of variable activity when you are not doing these things. I had given up on all things competitive because each time I played I would sprain my ankle, twinge a knee, feet would hurt too much, etc. All that, and I also didn't have a full MCL in my right knee. Now that I have changed my ways, I am now at almost 50, playing sport again, lifting, officiating (still don't have the MCL).

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