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  • I had my first visit to the osteopath today and I ended up coming out feeling a real mixture of emotions. After having a good talk through all my symptoms and telling him of the way it comes and goes his conclusion is that it is muscle spasms in the lower back/pelvic region and not a herniated disc. He did agree to put me through for an MRI scan though, with no prompting from me. He tested my movement and made notes of where the pains are and seemed very pleasant and thorough.

    I must admit I was not expecting him to say it was muscle spasms and he could tell I was struggling to accept it – only because he was vague on my questions regarding the pinching sensations in my calf and foot and pain in the hip when it is bad. He did say that if it was a herniated disc the pain would be there 24/7 with no let up at all and I do not experience numbness or pins and needles anywhere. I have only experienced pins and needles for a few days back in New Year and then that disappeared while everything else continued.

    So there we are. I have about a month to wait for the scan and a week after that before I will see him again for the results and see quite where this is heading. In the meantime I feel I should help get my head around this and find out what I can do to help prevent them – if that is possible. I am very nervous at exercises targeting that area in case I kick it off again but realise that doing nothing is equally not going to help.

    my best wishes


  • Dear Gwennie,

    Thank you very much in what you have put here Gwennie x I have to say I am in agreement with you on this and how it just does not quite tie in with the pinching and pains in the hip and leg. I stopped short of saying so but my goodness he could tell my exasperation by that time and was very pleasant and very understanding. He really did come across with the attitude that the scan would be no trouble to organise. I have a feeling he did not wish to commit himself to a disc diagnosis without seeing what a scan will reveal. He did say though that the scans are not always accurate and around 25% come back with nothing showing, even those with a herniated or bulging disc and this I do take on-board and accept.

    I felt rather low last night I have to say but will keep it in perspective and as of this morning an open mind. I am happy that something is being done now and it is a step forwards.

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  • I share your frustration lolly. I have similar symptoms and even after an MRI and EMG test still don't really know what the source of my flareups are although apparently these types of pain patterns suggest an l5/s1 issue. Doctors seem pretty clueless about these back issues to my own shock and dismay, especially if the tests don't clearly point to a problem. I actually only recently found a doctor that even thought it necessary for me to have an MRI after being told by many that MRIs often show problems that arent' even really a problem. 2 1/2 years later after aggressively trying to stop these flareups from happening every 6 months to a year I have found that walking alot and trying to stay active to varying degrees ultimately pulls me out and back to feeling normal again. I am in the midst of one of these flareups right now and just trying to stay optimistic that sometime soon I will be back to normal again. I am finally figuring out that carrying heavy items arms out and at an awkward angle is a sure way to set me up for a 4-8 weeks of sciatic and back pain. Anyway I am kind of rambling, I hope you feel better and get some answers!
  • It has been a while since I have posted but I have been patiently waiting for the MRI scan (which I had about three weeks ago) and my consultant phoned me with the results a few days ago. He said the scan showed I have a bulge in one of the discs and it is probably due to natural wear and tear. He is happy to refer me onto the pain management clinic to see how they can help me further. The discomfort continues day in and day out but has been at a much more manageable level this past week I am pleased to say. The last time I was pain free was the begining of August. Staying on co-codamol however is not a situation I wish to continue and my consultant feels confident that the clinic will be able to assist me better if and when it is needed. I now have a six week wait!

    This morning I received a copy of the letter he has sent off to the pain management clinic and I have to say I am baffled with the terminology and would be really grateful if anyone can translate into terms I can relate to and what it means! It is as follows:

    Following her initial assessment I requested an MRI scan of her lumber spine which showed abutment and mild displacement of descending roots bilaterally at L4/L5 and L5/S1 but no evidence of impingement of the descending roots.

    No mention of the bulge he spoke to me about on the phone - or is it?! I cannot help but feel that the words 'mild' and 'no evidence of' do not do the pain I feel justice!! *smiles*

    I was tempted to post this on a new thread but felt it should stay with my original post so it shows a more complete picture.

    with my best wishes

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