Constant back pain - need help

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hello there, I am new to this place as I feel it is my last resort to ask for some advice.

A little back story, My name is Suzie and I am 27. From the age of 19 I have suffered with back problems it took a while to been taken seriously with my Drs but they sent me to a consultant after around 8 months of hassling them to. I got sent for MRI scans and was told I had disc degeneration along with a bulging disc in my lower spine. Cut a long story short I tried everything before resorting to diac replacement surgery in 2008. My surgery was a success and I was pain free first time in a long time.

 Until october 2013 everything was good and fine until I started having more and more back pain until it got to the point in November last year where it was constant pain and thats the way I have been and still am to this day. I am back under the consultant who dealt with me the first time round. He has done a CT scan which he said he could see something wasnt right and sent me for an MRI scan. I had the MRI scan and they are saying that has come back as normal. I have tried physio to try and get moving and it hurts so much i can barely do anything. I have had an cadual epidural and a manipulation under general anaesthetic that made me worse for a good few weeks and didnt help at all, and just yesterday (06/08/14) I had a lumbar epidural which made me scream out in pain as they was doing it (I  think he hit a nerve, as I have never felt pain like it) so far it has made the pain worse and I can barely move without whelping out in pain.

I at my witts end and I can not deal with this pain any longer. I am on Co-codamol as that is the strongest drug my body will allow me to take and it really doesn't do anything for me. I am 27 years old and my life is just whizzing past and im not living it. I can barely walk for 5 mins without being doubled over in agony. Should I be seeking second opinions? Has anyone been told their scans were clear when it turns out something was up the whole time? 

Thank you for reading and sorry for the essay I really dont have anyone else to talk to 


3 likes, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Your problem sounds so familiar and so heartbreaking.  My husband injured his back 6 months ago doing a forward roll in gymnastics.  Since then his pain has deteriorated until he also is suffering from constant upper back pain (thoracic).  he has attended physio and also chiropracter to no avail.  The pain is now affecting his job as he is a lorry driver and finds it difficult now to lie back in the seat.  He also suffers from symptoms like tired heavy legs and pins and needles in his hands and face.  He went privately for an MRI which came up clear (just normal wear and tear for his age).  While thankful nothing sinister showed up the not knowing what is wrong is difficult to live with.  At present he has had no improvement so we are waiting to see orthopaedics towards the end Aug.  Like urself his life has dramatically altered - he was always very active, especially cycling, and loved to spend time with the children walking or on the trampoline.  Also he loved pottering around in the garage.  Now he is really just existing which is depressing for both me and him... so in answer to your question he has been told his scan is clear but as yet nothing further has been found.  His chiropracter confirmed that muscle and nerve damage should also show up on MRI.  Sorry I cant be of more help. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply.I am sorry to hear about your husband, I can fully understand how he must feel. sad. I know exactly how you feel I am very happy nothing awful has showed up on the scan results, but also on the other hand I need an answer as why I am in agony 24/7. As you said im just existing and that is no way to live sad.

      I am waiting to see my consultant again next month he is hoping this epidural helps. I guess its just a waiting game now and ticking things off. Feel like no one really knows what to do with me so they pass you from dr to dr!

      Have to try and keep my chin up and hope somewhere someone has an answer.

      I wish your husband and you all the best for his recovery smile 

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  • Posted

    The only thing that I can suggest is if possible and see another doctor at your medical practice for a second opinion and lay it on heavy. Apart from that if you wake up in the morning and unable to move at all call. 111 and if they would recommend hospital treatment, tell them that you are unable to move and then they may supply transport.

    I know that it is under handed, but it may be the only way to get something done.

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  • Posted

    after suffering for a year and a half I was given diazepam and co-codamol which only make me go to sleep.

    I was sent for an xray and the results are but I have to wait until the 20th before the doctor will see me to discuss it which just leaves me worrying until then.

    I did phone the nurse and got a load of rubbish about how he may want to put me on calcium tablets as it may be the start of the menopause.  i fell whats that got to do with the menopause. 

    I had also injured my wrist and the doctor never looked at it, never mind having it xrayed.

    I went to an Osteopath on Tuesday and thought it helped, although i am still a bit sore its not anywhere as bad as it was.

    According to him my pelvis was old on both sides. Also i had my wrist looked at as the doctor hadn't even looked at it. Again he popped something and said a bone was out of place.


    At least i am upright again and i may have to go back once more to see him.

    Has anyone else used an Osteopath ? Really afraid i will never get better

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  • Posted

    Hi Suzie, 

    I am sorry to hear about your back pain. I have heard stories similar to this one all too often in clinic. It can be very frustrating when scans come back normal and no one can put give an accurate diagnosis.

    Without discussing your case further it is difficult to give detailed and specific advice but what I will say is that pain can be a very complex thing and it is worth knowing that just because you are experiencing pain, it does not necescarily mean that you have an injury/tissue damage.

    Those of us who follow the latest research in pain now understand that pain is multifactorial and rarely linked to just a single "damaged tissue".  The body’s warning system (pain) can become more sensitive and produce an increased feeling of pain even though there may no longer be any continuing damage to the body. A good place to start would be to understand how pain works. This article may help with that. ;

    As a physiotherapist myself, I am going to be a little bias but I would suggest it is worth seeing a physiotherapist. I would advise that you look for one who is experienced in managing patients with persistent pain. 

    I hope that may be of some help in your journey to recovery.

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  • Posted

    Hi there Suzie. I can relate to your pain and treatment, as yours had been almost identical to my treatment. I too had a knackered disc which slipped and prolapsed. This resulted in a bone fusion using the Hartshill Horseshoe process.


      The operation, like yours was a success, and only needed a few sessions of physiotherapy before I was fit and ready for a return to work. Alas, a few weeks later I started to suffer from immense, intolerable pain in the back. MRI scans and CT’s revealed no problem with the operation or trapped nerves.


    I was at a loss and so was my GP. Then out of the blue my Mum was talking to a long lost friend whose husband had been suffering the same pain as I.  After several months he was diagnosed with an awful, utterly awful disease called ‘Arachnoiditis’. I went to my GP, and he agreed (after looking through my past medical history) that I was 99.9% certain to be suffering from Arachnoiditis.


      It is caused by an inflammation of the Arachnoid tissue that surrounds the spine and brain. When, after operations, injections, lumber punctures etc, the Arachnoid layer becomes scarred. When Arachnoiditis sets in, the scarred tissue inflames causing terrible pain. Unfortunately, there is no cure and ALL painkillers are useless in fighting this pain.

    If I were you, I would approach your GP and inquire if you are a sufferer. I hope to God that you are not, as I myself can testify that Arachnoiditis is one of the most hideously painful diseases that one can get.

      This is just something that you could look into Suzie, and good luck in the future. Steve.

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  • Posted

    Your consultant needs to do more, you say here that they saw something was wrong on the CT scan , have they ever elaborated on that? Also there is a standing up X-ray u can have. My consultant insisted I have that before my op. Apparently she does that for all patients before their op's so there must b good info to be gleaned from one of these?? Hope u get sorted soon, I'm coming up 2 yrs not working and 2 ops! 
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    • Posted

      no they never elaborated on what they saw they just told me it didnt look right, but then they said all is well woth the MRI scan. I have just today been to see an Osteopath to hopefully try and get some relief, he wants me to try and get hold of my MRI results so he can see for himself, as he said all my symptoms sound like a disc problem. I will now be seeing this guy for a while until I go back to see my consultant. 
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  • Posted


    I bet you are in tears as I am the same. I poped something in my back on Monday and couldn't straighten up. After a fight to get to see a doctor I was told to come at 3.30.

    These are the doctors who had my x-ray results from 6th but i couldn't get them until 20th (the date they gave me)

    The doctor was unhappy to see me and said I had osteoporosis in my spine and tninning bones, he didn't say how to treat it , what i could do to help, nothing.All i was told i may have a slipped disc and there was nothing he could do. How do I get a scan?

    He gave me Neurontin and naproxen and i left in tears.

    I am going to see an Osteopath (private) on Saturday, 

    Is my life going to be just pain and don't bend , stretch or lift

    THE NHS just do nothing

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  • Posted

    So sorry to hear about all your stories.

    I just wanted to comment to say don't give up. I had severe back pain when I was much younger and it lasted for years and was a nightmare. I thought I would have it my whole life and that I wouldnt be able to work or have a normal life, but it slowly got better and now I have had no back pain for about 10 years. I would never had thought that was possible before but it can don't give up and have hope.

    And if there is one thing I would recommend it would be Egoscue which is a treatment I tried which changed my life. See if you have a local therapist nearby.

    Take care and good luck!


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  • Posted

    Hi. I'm not sure if its relative to you, but I posted a discussion recently about my back pain and have been looking through other postings. `What's really interesting is that their seem to be quite a few postings that say, as you have, that the pain has been going on for six or seven years. In my case I diagnosed Mycotic (fungal) arthiritis which is caused by a fungal infection in the joints and bones.  I have wandered how I got the infection in the first place and with the prevalance of cases with a similar time line, then maybe the infection was originally caused by something like a batch of infected holiday vaccination serum or tetnus or similar.  I'm very curious about the hows and whys. maybe you could help.
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