Pain for 2 years from lower back until my neck

Hey my name is Zino i am 19, it's been almost 2 years i have chronic pain from my lower back until my neck. The pain started 2 years ago when i joined the army, i started feeling lower back pain, i started feeling numbness, pain and burning on my left leg. I still had feeling but the pain and the burning on my leg was too much, after 1 week i was not able to walk properly and my leg felt stuck. After doing several MRI's and tests from the doctors they found nothing they said they didn't know what was going on, all my blood/mri tests were clear. The pain started in late July and in August my neck started to hurt and i noticed that my bone on the lower of my neck started to stick out more than it used to be. In the morning when i was waking up the pain was more than through the the day and i always felt stuck when i was waking up. The doctors started to give me vitamins B12 and some cortisone pills but after a while i stopped them because they did not have any effect on me. On October i woke up one day and both of my muscle traps and muscle shoulders were so sore, they were so tight they felt like a rock especially my left side, my muscles on my upper back started to get into huge muscle knots. I went to several physio sessions but i was not getting any better, all the doctors said they had no idea what was going on. I stopped all medicines because i saw no effect on me, then i went into a chiropractor and said that my 2 lower back discs were dislocated and i had 2 disc bulges. After his adjustment i felt better, before my whole lower, upper back and neck was burning, but my shoulder and traps got worse. I came to LA for university and i have seek help from doctors here too but the MRI's and exams here were clear too. I had around 4 steroid injections on my back but they did nothing. After some time i started having headaches and my neck started to getting more sore. After some time i a bit of my movement on my neck and i can't move my neck so well like i used too, i still have a lower back pain but not that much like i used too, my left leg feels kind of weird and i lost most of the feeling on my toes on both legs especially the big ones, my traps and shoulders are getting worse and even more sore, i have a lot of pain i can't do anything about it, my neck is getting worse, i started having pain on my upper chests lately and when i breath or sleep my chest feels heavy, all my back is stuck, sore and tight, i have lost hearing in both my ears, i can't hear well as i used too and i have a lot of pain in my ears, the headaches are getting worse and last week i started having muscle spams and a lot of pain on my upper back, left trap, shoulder, left hand and on my two last small fingers on left side, also i had a lot of pain in my left ear (my ear started ringing) and left side on my brain and behind the eye. I can't sit on the chair for a long time or do anything for long periods of time the only thing i can do without a lot of pain is laying on the bed, i always sleep, wake up tired. I only have some pain relief when i exercise but nothing more. Can anyone help me the pain starts to get unbearable especially the headaches i wake up with a headache and i sleep with a headache. 



  • challengercchallenger Posts: 1,675
    edited 07/18/2019 - 3:11 PM
  • I’m 32, and I’m in the same boat man. I’ve been in chronic pain for a year. Couldn’t sit down at all in the beginning. Went to PT, condition improved but never resolved. After I finished PT, would get deep tissue massage, chiropractor and acupuncture. Improved a little more, was able to start sitting in hard chairs but never couches or anything like that. 

    Then in March, one night at work, boom, all went back out again, back to square one. Tried a personal trainer who “specialized” in back injuries, came very highly recommended, left me with a month of straight, severe back spasms. I tried PT again, someone different because I moved, but they aren’t doing anything for me. I’m becoming desperate. 

    This isn’t helping you but pain shared is pain lessoned. You’re not alone out there. You’re not the only one going through it. Hopefully someone else can help you. My MRI didn’t come back clear but it was all minor stuff, and every doctor told me I shouldn’t be in much pain at all. It is extremely frustrating. 

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  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,189
    edited 06/30/2019 - 5:18 AM

    @dontwanttogiveup sorry to hear of your ongoing struggles. They don’t see much on my MRI either. 

    Can you expand on what your MRI results were? No mention of any annular tears, herniated discs or stenosis? 

    Have you taken your MRI to a spinal expert such as a neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon for interpretation?

    In my experience, family doctors are not the best physicians for interpreting the MRI. All they generally do is tell you the results and if you inquire further will simply say they’re not spine experts and to give the pain more time to heal. 

    Anyway I’m sorry about your lack of luck finding help. I’m seeing a new neurosurgeon in a couple weeks since it’s been over three years for me and no relief from back, groin, flank/hip and leg pain yet. 

  • @L4_L5 I’m about to set up an appt for a second opinion. I only received the readout of the MRI, I gotta pick up the CD with the visual. 


    1. L3-L4: small protrusion and annular fissure indent the midline thecal sac. Mild central stenosis. Mild L3 foraminal narrowing. 

    2: L4-L5: central protrusion with mild central stenosis. Mild L4 foraminal narrowing. 

  • @dontwanttogiveup if no luck with the neurosurgeon I probably will pursue an upright MRI. A couple doctors have recommended one, especially in situations where a recumbent (laying on your back) MRI has only yielded minor issues, despite life-changing pain.

    With an upright MRI they can do weight bearing imaging when in flexion/extension position, which will show how the discs appear when under load/pressure.

    The closest location to me is 3-5 hours away and they don’t take my insurance but I may have to bite the bullet and have one done. 

    Just mentioning this in case you’re continually stuck and running out of options.

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  • @L4_L5 wow I didn’t know there was a difference. Yea I paid out of pocket for my MRI due to not wanting my job to find out about it, but might have to take the chance. 

    And that’s wild, that far away. I’m lucky enough to live in a city where basically everything is readily available. Thank goodness for small blessings. Good luck with that man. 

  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,189
    edited 07/01/2019 - 11:09 AM

    @dontwanttogiveup One final thing I wonder about when it comes to people who have nasty chronic pain due to a back injury but who have relatively normal MRI’s:

    Since I joined the forum 2 1/2 years ago I can’t tell you how many members have posted on this forum stating something like the following:

    ‘After my operation my surgeon said my issue/problem was much worse (in actuality) than it appeared on my MRI.’

    This is why I ponder the fallibility of imaging. MRI’s are great; however, if the magnitude of what’s going on internally isn’t adequately captured on our imaging then we wind up chasing our tails, with all doctors telling us that we shouldn’t be in such pain.

    Just food for thought. 

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