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18 & lower back pain
An_252830 posted:
I'm 18 years old and four years ago I began having lower back pains about every other month. However, with time, it just seems to happen more often. I'm now having these days of pain once or twice a month. This is how it generally starts (for example) I was on my floor sitting down attempting to pull a Tupperware (that was stuck) out from under my bed and I felt a "shift" and heard a popping from my lower back region. But not like a bone popping. I don't know how to describe it but immediately after that I get very intense stabbing lower back pain that makes it uncomfortable and painful to walk, sit or even lay down. Soon after my thighs often go numb. I've been to doctors but no one has had answers so far. I can't be the only one this happens to, right? Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you!
trs1960 responded:
I'm not recommending what to do, but posing a question. Have you heard of an orthopedic specialist called a physiatrist? They are orthopedic doctors trained in the physical aspects of your body. They take a whole body approach and are trained in spine and other body problems. If I were starting with back problems that were not caused by a traumatic injury and were just nagging at me I would start with such a doctor as they are extremely knowledgeable and don't use a scalpel as a solution. If they can't help they will know where you need to go.

Just my opinion. I've thought about how I would do it over again and my i jury was a traumatic accident so my choices came down to live or die...not sure if I got that right, but I'm always up for a good fight and now have one 24/7

davedsel responded:

Tim had an excellent suggestion about a physiatrist. You can also read through the Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community to see the recommended steps for getting back pain diagnosed and treated. In that thread are links to good websites having information on spinal problems which you should go to for research.

If this persists, you will need to continue to urge your doctor for an MRI or CT scan of your back. You may then need to see a spinal orthopedic specialist/surgeon or a spinal neurosurgeon. Be persistent with your doctor. If he/she won't help, then maybe it is time to change to a primary doctor that will.

I started having similar symptoms when I was your age. Do not ignore this, but continue to pursue answers.

I pray you get treatment and relief soon.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


An_250887 responded:
Not trying to confuse the situation, but want to add another suggestion to your question.

A Neurologist can order an MRI for you and give a good reading of the results. While an MRI is not always a gold card standard, it will give you a starting point. Having medical problems diagnosed is the same as having your car fixed. A physician will start and rule out problems from the most obvious to the more obscure medical diagnosis.

In the meantime, try to be careful with your back, i.e. bending, lifting, twisting and especially lifting and twisting at the same time.

Request your physician give you a consult to the largest teaching hospital in your area for further diagnosis and treatment. Do some online reasearch to see which hospital and physician in your area has the highest ratings for spinal care. When you meet the physician for the first time come with a concise list of questions concerning your back. If you don't feel a good rapport or feel your questions are not being answered, then move on to another physician.

At a young age, it is especially important to make very good decisions concerning your care. I have tried to point out to others, making a decision which cannot be undone is one to be carefully considered, and have received some less than gracious responses. So, I am going out on a limb and saying this once more to you. While surgery can help many people and is the right choice for them, it is not always the right choice. Remember, surgery can alter your anatomy, cuts through nerves which do not miraculously grow back together and can develop scar tissue which can lead to chronic pain. There is anatomical and physiological changes which will occur and you need to keep this in mind as you move forward with trying to find out if you have a very small issue or if this is something significant.

These are words trying to help you, but not scare you. Knowledge is power and some approaches to care are permanent and cannot be undone once you make a choice.

I hope the best for you and hope you get an answer soon. good luck.
trs1960 replied to An_250887's response:
A physiatrist can order MRIs too. They are educated in great detail about the entire body. Orthopedic and neurological, about the only thing they are not trained on is a scalpel. They look at all possible solutions before referring you to a surgeon and if they do,they will know whether or not to send you to a neurologist, orthopedic surgeon or rehab. Think of a cross between an MD, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist all with an orthopedic MD license. T

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