Symptoms keep Changing!?!

I'll try and keep this short... I'm a 30 year old male in decent shape until I got a small herniation at l5 s1 with sciatica pain on left side (no back pain). It's been a year of routine stretching and exercises to try and help my case. I just recently was lifting something heavy and felt a pulling pain in my right side lower back a little over 2 weeks ago. It really scared me but did not have any bad pain afterward just a little soreness. Now my lower back feels tight and just feels weaker with soreness. I also now get pain in righr buttocks when sitting long periods but no sign of nerve impingement with the usual leg lift tests, still nerve impingement on left side which is usual for the last year. I guess I'm just scared I either herniated more at l5 s1 or I herniated at another level. Wouldn't I be in much more pain?  Wouldn't the change in syptoms start immediately and not 2 weeks later?   Any advice would help put my mind at ease. 


  • When last did you have an MRI? Another might be needed if you have new symptoms. From what I understand, sometimes a herniated disc can shift around, pressing on the opposite nerve root and causing pain in the opposite leg for example. Surgery is done to alleviate leg pain if nerve compression is found and there are neurological deficits. Herniated disc symptoms can come on suddenly or gradually over a period of time. The latter happened to me. It started off slowly until it culminated in extreme pain. 
  • I had my second mri a month ago with no change from 8 months prior so it would be tough to get another one. Most of my left side pain is near my SI joint and when a chiro adjusted my sacrum my symptoms went through the roof for a month. Should that tell me anything? 
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  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 654
    I would stay clear of the leg lift tests whereas you're putting pressure on the nerve to see if there's any impingement. Nerves are what signal to the brain something is wrong. Pain is that signal. That's why I'm hesitant to act upon further tests only to prove there's nerve impingement. 

    Since you've been doing stretching and exercises for over a year, would it be safe to say that maybe those exercises aren't the correct ones? Which ones have you been doing? Do you do them daily? Do you do the sames ones each time? 

    Just remember, when it comes to pain, your next position is your best position. So try not to stay in any one position for too long before changing that position. 
  • Your doctor can do some maneuvers in the office to see if your SI joint is involved. Maybe it could shed some light as to what is going on. With spinal problems, things often overlap. From what I've seen, someone can have several issues going on concurrently. 
  • RickallenRRickallen MichiganPosts: 85

    I was 38 to 40 When I went threw my frist small surgery on my l5 and s1 . went threw the same as you .I was lifting some hefy tool boxes in the garage and my back went out. went to dr . and did x ray and told I would be fine with pain meds . But things got worse over time so I did a MRI and other test and that's when I did surgery.IM now 55 and and after time the surgery I did gave out after time .Im now under recovery after a month of a bigger surgery it was now my L4 5 l5 and s1 and a cage put in.with like a 6 inch bar in my back.  some days are good and some days are bad, IM now at the point of weaning of pain meds. so now im on ups and downs on how I feel. I hope to go back to work..Ill find out next Tuesday. With the way I feel now is more time off would be nice .But funds are getting low.Yet at the same time I don't wana over do it. I have family and grand kids to be with and wana spend time with. I wish you luck with what ever you decide to do.... Don't let surgery scare you.  realy is not a bad thing.   

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  • catapamcatapam AustriaPosts: 189
    I am a bit amazed about those stories of back surgery than lifting heavy objects than again surgery that finally lead to fusion 
    Why doctors do not advise their patients not to lift heavy things or if advise why patients do not listen?
    I agree also with @MarWin regarding PT.
    On a problematic back is better not to do some stuff than doing. I would love to do stretching to bend like a ballerina but is this my goal?
  • Thank you everyone for your inputs. Over the last few days my back has been sore then at the end of the day Friday the pain in my right buttocks (not the original herniatiion side)  started going down the leg further. I tried thinking of things I could have done wrong and remembered that 3 days prior I did 2 sets of prone supermans which I was told were good for me by a PT but after research come to find out they are dangerous for the lower back. I'm hoping I didn't blow out another disc or blow my original herniatiion out more. Hoping that I aggravated the nerves and it will calm down over the next few weeks. Obviously will never do supermans again. 
  • ecareyableeecareyable PhiladelphiaPosts: 24
    My symptoms keep changing too !!!  I'm 59 years old and had a back injury at work.  I went through the whole gamit of PT, meds, inversion table, injections, lidocaine patches.  I went to a neuro and wanted to perform a discectomy, fusion and lamenatomy (I chickened out).  I have another appointment tomorrow with a spine specialist and of course, I'm having a good day today.  We will see what tomorrow brings.  
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