Welcome to MedHelp's Pain Management Forum. I am sorry to hear about your undiagnosed pain. We know how frustrating it is when a concrete reason cannot be found for your pain. My heart goes out to you.
I am far from an expert. In my personal opinion I would think an infection would have accompanying symptoms such as fever, nausea or similar somatic symptoms.
An x-ray is not a very good diagnostic tool for vertebra, disc or other spinal structure conditions. I don't think it can completely rule out or even rule in disruptions of the spine or surrounding structures. I am however glad to hear that Tramadol is managing your pain.
I think you are talking about the low lumbar area of your spine/back. This area is also referred to as your "flank." Flank pain refers to pain in one side of the body between the upper abdomen and the back. The iliac crest is just below your flank...but these terms are often used interchangeable...even though they are not the same exact location.
In the low lumbar area, bilaterally and immediately above the posterior iliac crest, lie your kidneys. However I think you would not be able to notice "swelling" due to a kidney infection. You may be feeling your muscle's response to pain and/or inflammation, they may be spasming.....which can, to some degree feel like swelling.
However flank pain can be caused from kidney stones, kidney infections, a kidney abscess or disease, arthritis of the spine, disc problems and as said earlier, muscle spasms. There are also other causes of flank pain...often other conditions can produce referred pain to the flank. Meaning the pain is actually being produced in one location but felt in another.
I would return to your PCP and investigate possible kidney issues....though if they have done some blood testing I assume they may have ruled out this possibility. And as suggested earlier you may be feeling your muscles spasming.
Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. I will be very interesting in hearing from you again. I wish you the very best.
I'm not a doctor, but I have a TON of experience with the urinary system and the pain related to urinary function.
It SOUNDS like a kidney issue, if indeed your pain is in your flank. Kidney stone, or perhaps a bladder infection?
Talk to your PCP, as Tuck advised, and have them perform an abdominal CT (without contrast), and also do a urine test. Those 2 tests should at the very least, either point to your kidneys as the culprit, or eliminate them from the running (so to speak).
Good luck to you!
thanks for the info. i think my next stept is a blood test. i think it isan infection. i told my doctor i hopeit is an infection in a joint instead of something that i need sugery for with no insurance. she told me i better hope it is not an infection in a joint. infection in a joint isn't nothing nise. thank you.