MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
Avatar universal

MRI is fine, where do I turn?

My pain began in the S1/L5 area.  Walking too much, standing or sitting for long periods of time would aggravate the pain.  The pain would leave me walking at an angle for days and were accompanied by spasms.  Sometimes the spasms were strong enough to bring me to the floor.  To begin with, chiropractic care helped, but I felt like I was going more and more and getting less and less relief for fewer days.  Chiropractors even did X-rays and said that they may have to refer me to a neuro-surgeon.  

After a few months of giving up on chiropractors, feeling like I was wasting my time and money, my primary care doctor referred me to a pain management specialist.  

On the first visit, the pain management specialist, who spent 5 minutes with me, had no X-rays, and did not even look at my back, gave me a lumbar steroid epidural injection.  I was so excited to have something actually being done, I let him do it.  I wish I hadn't now.  I don't have much information about the injection.  I think it was put in around the L1.  The pain of the injection itself wasn't too bad, but I know I did flinch once.

Thank goodness that I didn't go to the appointment alone, and that my mother was driving, because 30 minutes into the ride home, my neck, between my should blades, and down both arms were on fire.  It was horrible.  The only relief I could get was lying flat on my back with a heating pad, and applying Icy Hot.

Day 2 and 3 were better, just a little sore at the injection site.  Still achy in the neck and shoulders area, but it was bearable. However, if I stand for more than 5 minutes in the same place, my lumbar area has a pulling sensation that I've never experienced.  That is very painful and I have to sit down and take a break.

Day 4 the neck and shoulder, and arm pain was back with a vengeance. I called the pain management doctor, and he said it was unrelated to the injection, and that I probably need another injection in my neck.  Well, no thank you.

On Day 7, I went to the ER, hoping they could give me some relief or some answers.  My BP was through the roof.  They did give me a muscle relaxer, which I took for three days, and that helped with the "on fire" feeling in my neck, shoulders and arms.  

Where I'm at now, a month later:

An MRI was done, pain management doctor said that there is one bulging disc (L5), some degenerating disc, some lack of curvature due to that, and some arthritis, but none of that should be causing any pain and there's nothing he can do for me.  He did kindly say that he could refer me to a physical therapist.  My neck, shoulders and arms (mostly right arm now) are still VERY uncomfortable and my right arm and hand will get tingly and my right hand will get very cold. Repetitive movements with my arms or hands make this worse. I still can't stand in the same place for more than 5 minutes.

I feel like I'm falling apart and I'm getting very depressed.  I really don't even want to talk to another doctor about this because I feel like it doesn't even make sense.  Does it? Will physical therapy help? Do I get a second opinion? Any ideas of what is happening to my back?

1 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
1679858 tn?1346765181
Hi, so sorry to hear what you're going through!
I have a milder version of that.  I'm sure that joints in my neck are referring pain to my shoulders, upper back and neck.
I started seeing a physio therapist.  I think it's a great idea to do so. They know the exact pain and nerve pathways and will understand your pain.
He/she will become your best advocate and can send info to your doctors.
With years of doctors blowing me off, I understand your frustration!
A physiotherapist will hopefully be able to find the root of your pain!
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Back & Neck Community

Top Pain Answerers
Avatar universal
st. louis, MO
Learn About Top Answerers
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
Could it be something you ate? Lack of sleep? Here are 11 migraine triggers to look out for.
Find out if PRP therapy right for you.
Tips for preventing one of the most common types of knee injury.
Here are 10 ways to stop headaches before they start.
Tips and moves to ease backaches