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This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

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New Member in pain!

i just signed up . i am a 62 yr old female, i retired as a school principal last june. for the last year, i have been working on getting into shape. i have lost 35 lbs and gone down 4 pants sizes and 3 dress sizes. that is the good news. the bad news is i believe i hurt my back by lifting 15 lb weights at the gym. ( no good deed goes unpunished!) for the past two weeks, i have been dealing with severe pain in my lower back , rt buttock and rt leg.
my doctor put me on a 6 day predisone treatment . nothing changed . then he gave me a cortisone/nerve block 4 days ago. not much improvement yet. as of last sunday, i have constant numbing and tingling in my right thigh. i think i should fight for an mri. any thoughts?
he says it is sciatica, but without an mri , how can he rule out a herniated disc?

thanks and best of luck for all you guys in pain.


welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

i also strongly suggest that you take a look at our faq (frequently asked questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to faq there you will find much information that will
  • - help you better utilize the spine-health system- provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts- tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc- general pieces of valuable information

please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
as such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie mri, ctscan, xray, etc)- medical advice of any kind- recommendations in terms of medications, treatments, exercises, etc

what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 09/25/15 10:57 est



  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 645
    Started posting a response days ago, but when using my phone to do so, if I get a call...all is lost! Nobody will be calling me at this time!

    Congrats in your weight loss, hoping you're feeling the increase in energy, and you must be enjoying the new clothes!

    Sorry to hear about the sciatic pain though, nothing I want to have again. I had an MRI before I was sent to neurosurgeon, but my general Dr had me try the antiinflammatory meds first, more harm than help.
    My "just" sciatica didn't improve, but I continued working, aggravating the nerve, so I never gave it the time or chance to heal. I had herniated disc with spondylolisthesis L4-5, and kept getting worse over couple years. Had fusion last March, much better now, but still not back to work....thinking I better find another line of work, had enough of the back breaking work.

    I was a custodian at a high school for 17 years...hard on the body.....but I loved working there....I even love the smell of schools! Well, you must know, being a principal, there's just something about being a part of it....the stafff, the growth of students, year after year.....I will miss that too. But life goes on, time to start another chapter in my life story.

    I wouldn't think you'd have to fight for an MRI, I don't know all the protocol's, but an injury is an injury. Hope you keep us posted, and you find some pain relief soon.
  • I would say that at this point, an MRI is pretty much mandatory. I'd recommend looking up "dermatome map" and seeing if the pain you feel in your back and down your leg corresponds to any of the dermatomes in the map/image.
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