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Severe pain following Lumbar MRI without contrast
cowgrl57 posted:
I am hoping someone can help me with this. I had an MRI about three weeks ago because I have a severe burst fracture of L2 with a large piece tipping into the anterior spinal canal. Over the past month, my injury was 5/6/12, the compression of the disc has gone from 30% at initial injury with a 15% angle to a successive 49% and a 19% angle followed by an assessment MRI on 5/26 which is static and another standing xray that shows a 59h compression and a 22% angle. Initially I had no nerve involvement, but as I Have laid flat in bed the past seven weeks, the compression increases, te angle increases and last week there began symptoms of sciatic burning both legs, more right than left and a going to sleep numbing feeling from my waist to the mid thigh on the right and top 1/3 of thigh on the left. So about 5 hours ago, today 6/19 I had another MRI to check nerve involvement or spinal cord damage. By the time the second series of transitions were happening I had an incredible increase in pain in the area of the fracture all the way to the tailbone. For the entire 30 minutes this continued, I felt as if my back had just been pummeled or beaten so hard. I am hurting so bad with pain levels through the roof. Take a pain pill you might say....easier said than done..I am allergic to almost all pain medication so I am practicing breathing and counting forward and backward to try to bring the levels down. On xray, there has been absolutely no healing over the last 7 weeks, just more settling of fragments. I have never had an MRI hurt me, but this one did greatly and I am told they don't Can anyone help me with this?????? At least some type of explanation?????
shadowsmom42 responded:
(This is a second post as I don't think my first one went through because I hit a wrong key. Please forgive if this is already posted....)
Hi there. First, let me say how sorry I am to hear that you're in chronic pain now. Without going into too much of MY history, I can totally relate to your pain and how you're feeling. After getting rear-ended on the freeway at 70 MPH, which was at a dead stop due to traffic, I have dealt with chronic, severe pain for almost 20 years now.......from the L5 all the way down.......

Anyhow, NO....MRI's do NOT cause pain. But, I can understand someone thinking that they do, especially when they're already dealing with chronic pain......let me explain and see if this makes any sense to you:

First, we're already in pain, right? Next, we're asked to lay down on a cold, rock-hard surface ON OUR BACK. Then, just in case that's not enough for those of us already in severe pain, we're shoved into what I like to refer to as an empty Tylenol/gel capsule.....this capsule isn't even big enough to shove a worm into let alone a human being! LOL. Next, we're told to 'relax'.....uh, yeah....right. Relax. Not a problem. LOL. And if all of that STILL isn't enough, we're then told that the MRI will take a minimum of 30 minutes! (Let me get this right: you want me to lay down on hard surface in a practically air-tight gel capsule, relax AND hold still for a minimum of 30 minutes??? ARE YOU CRAZY??)

LOL. Anyways, for me this all causes more pain because we're laying on not only the hard surface for an extended period of time, but we're laying on areas of our body that are already in pain. We're on a hard surface, holding still, and all that does is causes me, at least, to stiffen up which in turn causes more pain. As we're laying there on painful areas of our body, I have no doubt that nerves are getting 'pinched' so-to-speak, so then we try to get up after the MRI and find that we're in even more pain. This pain carries on, for me, for hours, if not days. Laying there like that, too, 'shifts' my low back (for lack of better words) so then I start with the knife-stabbing pain throughout the low back. (On the other hand, I LOVE MRI's only because when I'm in one, I get this surge of energy that I can not describe. It's a low 'buzz' feeling that makes me feel good. Now if I could just get rid of the physical pain.......)

I suggest you try to find a really, really good neurologist if you don't already have one. You may already have a doctor you're happy with, though. (I only suggest a neurologist as this is what helped me when my nerves were completely pinched in my neck and I needed surgery. Neurologists also handle back surgeries, etc.....Is your doctor a neurologist?)

I try to make light of all of this as laughing helps me with pain. But I also know how serious chronic pain is. I hope this helped you at least a little bit. If it didn't, maybe you were able to laugh a little.......?? LOL. Take care of yourself and keep us posted, ok?

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