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Undiagnosed Chronic Back Pain
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WaldoJ posted:
Hey, everyone,

I think I already posted here once, but I figured I might as well update since then because I'm still in somewhat the same spot. My parents (I'm 15) haven't taken me back to the doctor yet, because they're convinced it's either growing pains or related to my menstrual cycle. I'm pretty sure neither are true because I've had constant and increasing pain for about a year now.

We went to the doctor about three months ago, and he took an x-ray, but apparently found nothing. He suggested getting a roller backpack (which my parents haven't gotten around to) and getting physical therapy (which my parents can't afford). Since nothing has changed, things have just been getting worse. I'm really dreading when I'm going to have to take PE again... I'm really putting it off now because just standing up for long enough to clean the dishes (about 40 minutes) can hurt quite a lot. When I'm out and walking most of the day, my right hip starts hurting and I begin to limp. I'm assuming this is related because it's constant, and has been worsening alongside my back pain (before, people would tell me I'd been limping, but I'd never felt it/noticed).

My back pain doesn't seem to respond to painkillers; I've tried Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aspirin and Excedrin. As it worsens, it seems to become more focused on my lower back, with this weird pinching/aching feeling. What worries me most is that last night, when I looked in the mirror, I noticed that my right shoulder seems higher than my left. I'm pretty sure that's a good sign of scoliosis, but the doctor found nothing with the x-ray. Is it possible that it's simply worsened enough since then to be so prominent?

I'm trying my best to convince my parents we should go to the doctor again, but until then: suggestions?
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bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome back. probably what has happened is ur muscle is swollen trying to protect the part that is having the problem.

since u r so young and still under ur parents insurance is difficult as u need their approval for tests.

best thing is to research lower back problems and also exercises to belp.sleep with extra pillows between ur ur knees when sleeping on ur side or under ur knees sleeping on ur back. hopefully this will help. keep us posted
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
 
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darlyn05 responded:
I suggest that you write down a list of all the things that cause irritation, pain or discomfort, where the pain is or travels to and describe it in some way; like stabbing, dull, ache, sharp, electrical sense, streaming, itchy, creepy crawly, etc..... Also how frequent you feel the pain(you mentioned constant and your parents think menstral)

It would also be helpful knowing what the insurance covers as this may be a reason, and your young age, why some things may be over looked, either by your Dr or your parents. Not to mention the costs of health care.

It's not that terribly uncommon for a young person to have back or spine issues. How tall are you, what's your weight, and what's your body type? These may be relevant to some of the causes for your pain.

You can use the 'Symptom Checker' on WebMd's home page, or search through the tabs at the top of this page, to give you some ideas.

Hope this helps.
 
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WaldoJ replied to darlyn05's response:
The pain is pinching/stabbing in my lower spine, while around my hips it simply aches unless I'm walking - when I walk around a lot, my right hip hurts with a pain similar to my back, and I start to limp. I try to be more active than I tend to be with this, but it's difficult as I don't want to possibly aggravate whatever may be causing this.
It's been constant for a little longer than a year, and it's been an apparent issue for about two years. It's aggravated by both menstrual cramps and physical activity, but in lack of either it doesn't subside.
I'm 5'4", and weigh around 115 pounds. I've always tended to be kind of on the lean side, and since third grade I'd been a participant in martial arts. I was in a swim team, too, for three years in a row before I quit both activities last school year because I was busy with academics. Nowadays, I'm not so sure I want to resume them, as it gets worse each day.
 
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darlyn05 replied to WaldoJ's response:
You also mentioned pain while standing for 40 mins doing dishes, so I was under the impression that there were more activities which cause you pain. My thought was that once you have somewhat of a list, you can approach your parents and your Dr with the list as many times we forget to mention things during our Dr's appt. And they may think more about getting to the bottom of your pain.

If it were me, I would not resume the activies just yet, if at all until I knew something more for sure about my pain. Is it possible that these may have caused something to go out of place or even a smallest of injury?
 
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WaldoJ replied to darlyn05's response:
The thing is about my back pain is that even though some things tend to aggravate it, it's always present. It's there when sleeping, sitting, standing, etc. Some daily activities make it worse, but even without them it's pretty prominent. That makes it hard to pinpoint exactly what's influencing whatever might be causing this.

As mentioned, standing and walking tend to emphasize it, though this is only really significant when I'm doing either for a long period of time. I can't sleep in the position I'm used to (basically on my face) anymore, and instead have to keep myself directly on my back or on the side with pillows between my knees. I'm also part of an orchestra (I play the viola), and playing for a long period of time is difficult not only because I tend to practice while standing, but the posture requires that I sit up straight (as straight as I can, anyway). I admit that I haven't been practicing much lately not only because summer has started but also because of my back pain, and its tendency to make me kind of lethargic.

I say this because most of the activities that cause a significant increase in my regular pain are activities not only that I would normally get exercise from, but also activities that are necessary in my current lifestyle. As my pain has steadily increased over the past year, I have tended to do them less and less, although I don't feel it's the solution (as it's done nothing). I don't mean to be difficult by saying this (I truly appreciate your responses); I'm just saying that I have people relying on my participation in these activities that don't recognize this is as a legitimate issue.

There are a few things that I suppose could have caused it. As mentioned, I used to participate in karate, which resulted in minor injuries from time to time, as it involved a lot of physical contact, though upon recollection none seem directly related to my back. I feel like it would make sense for some obscure injury to have arisen from this, but I feel like the gradual nature of my back pain doesn't seem like that of an injury.
 
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darlyn05 replied to WaldoJ's response:
I can't think of anything else to suggest. Maybe if you slow down doing or stop doing some of these things people may take you more seriously about your pain level. Degenerative disc disease along with other spine conditions such as arthritis in the spine can happen at any age and from activities, daily or not. It doesn't need to be from an actual injury per se. And some are genetic, hereditary(sp).


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