"Travelling" back pain and nerve tingling. Injury or disease?

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New user here. Curious to see the replies. 

Me: 31 M, 6 ft 3, 185 lbs. Fit/in-shape

About two months ago I had a kind of "cold" nerve pain in the middle back area, just to the left of the spine. Chiropractors didn't seem to help. I made the mistake of going to a "new one" two days before St Patrick's Day. On St Pat's day, I started noticing that the pain seem to be spreading. I started getting nerve tingling all down the left side of my body. Some in the arm, but mainly in the leg/abdomen. My Doctor has sent me to PT for the month and I'm taking Meloxicam in the AM and a muscle relaxer at night. 

The back issues seem to be constantly changing. Last week into this week it's like most of my back has nerve tingles, and some tingles in the back of my head now too. I also get nerve tingles in my chest and ribs area. I went to the ER a few times, thinking I was having a heart problem, but they didn't find any indication of heart trouble.

My Doctor ordered nine blood tests, and found no HIV or blood sugar issues etc. To my dismay, she refuses to x-ray or image it until I complete PT and am still experiencing issues. I have an EMG scheduled for later this month. 

I'm very worried. I have health anxiety anyway, so this has been very difficult. 

I've been having far fewer leg tingles as of late, but the back of head tingling and left chest/rib/abdomen tingling freaks me out. From the middle back down to my waist there is some tingling if I get up from a chair. It seems I have some pain in the low left kind of top of butt area too.

I am usually in the gym five days a week, now I can barely do one arm workout a week. 

I haven't been throwing up or having any bathroom, vision, or sexual problems. I do occasionally feel a bit warm when I lay down, but I actually don't own anything to take my temperature with.

I'm so worried we aren't really treating the root cause of what's going on. 

I'm having an initial consult with a new chiro today. They do x-rays, but I don't know what we will find.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? What was it and what was the treatment?



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  • Posted

    HI.  i haven't been experiencing all of the same symptoms as you, but some.  I was jogging when I tripped.  Although I didn't fall, in trying to catch my balance, I felt a tweak in my back.  For the rest of the day, I was fine.  The next day, however, was a different story.  I discovered that when bending over I felt an intense tightness in my back, toward the lower end, and to the right of my spine.  When I stood up, oh boy, did it hurt.  It went on like this for months.  Eventually, as standing back up from a seated position or any hip flexion position became easier, the trouble traveled south.  It seemed to have move into my right glute, giving me a pins and needles sensation down the back of my right leg.  It ached constantly, for months more.  It interfered with working out, jogging, and every day activities.  I finally saw a my doctor, who also wanted me to go through PT before imaging.  It has helped somewhat, but when I perform any kind of hip extension, it triggers the symptoms all over again.  I had a massage and the masseuse noticed that my hips were out of alignment (the right side was higher that the left).  Ice and Aleve help, but once they've worn off the discomfort is back.  I noticed that in the area I first felt the original injury, to the right of my spine, I can press my thumb deep into the muscles and find a very tender spot that I believe is the  culprit to all of my problems.  When I press on it hard, I can perform hip flexion with no discomfort.  In fact, when my PT would apply pressure to the general area, my symptoms would disappear, only while pressure is being applied.  It's been suggested that my L2 has shifted.  That's my round about way of saying that I think my sciatic nerve is being compressed by the shift of my vertebrae.  I believe PT may be the only way to fix it - and it won't be overnight.  Perhaps you can bring up with your chiropractor some of what I've learned and ask if any of it might apply to you.  Good luck to you.  

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  • Posted

    I want you to high tail it to a neurosurgeon! I cannot believe that your doctor does not want to check things in your back to see what's going on before you go through physical therapy. The therapist is going to want to know what's wrong for crying out loud. The neurosurgeon is the kind of doctor that does surgery on backs and more as long as it relates to the back. He will order an MRI and he will be able to help you so much more than your GP is.

    BTW you mentioned that you are fit and in shape which makes me believe you probably work out at the gym. Have you stopped working out since you're back pain? If you continue to workout make sure that you stretch your back well afterwards and if you lift weights try lighter weights for now.

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    • Posted


      They did a static emg and found my neck is pretty screwy at the new chiro. It sucks though, because chiros seem scammy etc.. One of my friends is talking about how it could be scammy and all that.

      I don't know who to believe, I just wanted to get some imaging and stuff done. 

      I was in a car accident four months ago. Hard to believe issues could be coming up from that in the last month, but I do basically feel like I've been hit. 

      I went home from work after the new chiro. I'm going to have to go on FMLA if somebody doesn't figure something out. 

      I don't even know what to say to people. Last week in PT we worked on my middle back, now I'm getting pain and tingling in my whole neck and back of my head. It's starting to affect day to day life.

      My doctor seems to think it's all anxiety and potentially me seeking drugs, but I hate taking anything and they don't seem to help anyway.

      Then thing that has helped most is ice.

      I left another message with my doc earlier. She will hate me even more now.

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  • Posted

    Having back pain in the thoracic is not very common so I suspect it was the accident that's causing it. all the more reason to go see a neurologist. You seriously need to get some imaging at least to rule out serious problems. Please for the sake of your back deal with it now.

    ?You must live in the US because it has come to the point here where most doctors including ER doctors think everyone is an addict, especially if they ask for some kind of pain relief. the "opiate crisis" has totally hurt the chronic pain patient by forcing doctors to abandon their patients for fear of losing their license or worst, go to jail. I could go on but I'll save you from my soap box speech.  LOL

    ?I hope that you haven't screwed up your back so much that it will hurt for the rest of your life. I've been a chronic pain patient for 13 years. I've had every treatment available for lower back pain except surgery. So now my back pain is so bad that I have to take opiates or else I would be writhing in pain and that's no way to live.

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    • Posted

      The bad part is I need a referral to a specialist or neurosurgeon. Lately it's been up on the left side of my neck. I have PT again today. I guess we h ave to work my whole neck and back. I don't know what else to tell them.

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