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Muscle strain?

Twelve days ago my 47-year old husband was cutting down some large bushes and came in complaining of abdominal pain.  Next day we went to the e.r.  The doctor examined him and told him it was muscle strain, gave 3 injections and 2 prescriptions.  Well, none of it seemed to help, so we went to our regular doctor 9 days later.  My husband had pain on both sides mid-way down the back radiating around to the front abdomen on both sides.  He also has pain where his left leg meets the pelvis and sometimes his left testicle hurts, altho there are no lumps in the testicles or scrotum. He also has a nodule underneath the skin on his back that is painful and seems to be the point where the pain starts radiating.  He only has these pains when he bends over, squats, pulls something or lifts his left leg.  Our doctor examined this nodule and my husbands abdomen (altho I don't think he told him about the testicle) and said it was indeed muscle strain.  He said it wasn't a hernia (the nodule).  He prescribed muscle relaxers and a NSAID.  The NSAID seems to help, the pain in his right side and most of the left side is gone, altho the nodule is still there.  This soft nodule shrinks some with ice massage.  He still has pain in the groin area and some in the left testicle.   Ice massage also help the groin area.  My husband has high pain tolerance, so if he's in pain it must be really bad.  My questions are, how long does muscle strain last?  It seems like two weeks is too long to be in pain from muscle strain. Should this soft nodule be a concern and also the testicle pain? Will it all come back when he stops the NSAID?  Also, my husband looks pale.  Thanks for your advice.
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Muscle strains, depending on the cause, can last weeks.  If the pain is coming from something like a herniated disk, then the pain can last months.  Pain when lifting the leg can be suggestive of a disk problem, and I would certainly evaluate this if the discomfort continues.  The best test would be an MRI of the lumbar spine area.  

If there is concern about a hernia, tests like a CT scan of the pelvis can be considered.  

Another option to treat a muscle strain would be physical therapy - this can be discussed with your personal physician.

Regarding the nodule - tough for me to say without seeing it.  If there is continuing concern a surgical referral can be considered to better evaluate it.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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