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burning sensation in lower back

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My lower back has had a burning sensation that resonates through my entire back. Also get sharp pains that feel like they shoot around my sides. Also my left leg has been going numb on me when ever off and on for several months now. Sometimes I can't even stand up. I am currently deployed to Iraq and carry a M249. I went and saw my PA and he told me that what I said is not medically possible. He prescribed me so pain relievers and muscle relaxers but has not helped me what so ever. It has been getting worse to where I can't sleep at night which endangers me but other soldiers around me on missions. Need Help
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replied May 10th, 2009
Experienced User
Burning pain and numbness sounds more neurological. Have you had any injuries to your back or neck? Any falls or head injuries? If it isn't an injury, you could have some condition that affects nerves, such as neuropathy (which can be caused by many things including diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, vitamin deficiency, exposure to toxins, the list goes on), or even something like MS.

If you have had any type of injury, go back to your PA and stress to him that all of this could be connected neurologically. Otherwise, do some research on some of these conditions and show them to your PA so he will see that there are things that are medically possible. Try doing searches for "burning back pain" and "(peripheral) neuropathy." Don't jump to any conclusions about what is causing it (unless it is an injury) because there are so many causes. Some of them are kind of scary, but others are not, so don't fear the worst at this point. The research is just to point out that there are various possibilities that could be causing your problem.

I really hope your PA takes you seriously and can find what is wrong or send you to someone who can.

Also, I want to thank you for your service to our country (even if you aren't from the U.S. military--you didn't say--I still thank you). Please feel free to write back with more questions or if you have any updates on your condition.

I wish you all the best. Stay safe.
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replied May 10th, 2009
Sounds like you could be having Sciatica, when a nerve gets pressed between two adjacent vertebral bones.

This is a very common condition and occurs when the space between two vertebrae gets diminished, often as a result of excess stress on them.

The pain can be excruciating, I know.
The nerve, having got compressed during some movement, gets inflammed and generally needs a few weeks' rest and treatment, to recover.
Try using a flat, fairly hard bed, in the meanwhile.

Pain-killers help to a varying extent, depending upon HOW MUCH length of the nerve has got affected and to WHAT extent.

Traction is something that can afford immediate relief, but I do not know if that would be possible under field conditions.

I too appreciate the work you are doing ...... it is helping not only your own country but the entire civilized world!
Take care and good luck!
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replied May 10th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Soldier,

First let me say that I too, appreciate all that you are doing.

As for your PA, your PA needs to go back to school and properly learn what he/she did not learn while in training to be a PA.

What you describe is nerve compression in your lumbar spine, and I can tell you this, it is not an uncommon problem that has been developing in many of our military from the weight of what they have to carry with them in Iraq.

I've personally known several members of the armed forces that have returned from Iraq with this problem.

What the diagnosis is, is nerve compression and to determine the cause requires testing with MRI's to start with and being properly diagnosed by a spinal specialist.

It could be from a disc problem in your lumbar spine that is causing compression on the nerves, which is the most common cause and most likely.

The meds that the PA are not going to help you with nerve pain, that burning, stinging, numbness going down your leg.
They do not help nerve pain.

What will help is a nerve pain medication, Neurontin or Lyrica and it takes some time for those to start working. You start on a low dose and slowly build up the dosage until you get pain relief.

Your leg and pain will not get any better without finding out what the cause is and getting treatment for it.

What will happen is it will get worse and worse, until the point that you will be walking or moving around and your leg will cave in from under you and you will land on the ground.

It truly is shocking and very, very scary that the PA you saw, believes that what you told him is not possible and has put you on medications that could very well cause you your reflexes and responses to be diminished, thereby putting both your life and your those of the soldiers with you in serious danger.
It is also shocking that you are being told what you are and not being properly treated. That can put your life in danger, not only in a war zone, but also your life period.

It is possible that continued nerve compression can cause permanent nerve damage. No one can tell you how long that will take to happen. All of us our individuals and sometimes it can happen quickly and other times it can take years and years to happen.

I happen to be one of those that the damage started to develop very quickly, over a period of 4 months, but was reversed with surgery.

If this PA will not listen to you, properly treat you, there has to be a way to go above this PA and see a doctor that really knows something about medicine and nerve compression.

Good luck, try to stay safe and I will be praying for you and all our military in harms way.

Fran
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replied May 11th, 2009
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My weapon pulls me over weighs about 25 pounds. I am left handed so my sling is across my right shoulder. I fell through a ceiling back in november. My left leg has already buckled from under me just trying to stand up and I fell back down. I love to cycle back in the states don't want this to stop me from riding when I get back. Several other soldiers are also experiencing some back pain that carry same weapon as I.
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replied November 18th, 2012
You had to of herniated a disk or 2 in lower lumbar region when you fell through the ceiling. I had 2 herniated disk L-4-L-5 region and my symptoms were exactly what yours are. Mine was pressing on my spinal cord causing the numbness as well as the weakness in the leg. When you return to the states you need to get a referral to a neurosurgeon. I ended up needing disc surgery to repair the disk and part of my tailbone was shaved off to give the disc's room to expand. I was out of work for about 3 weeks I'm in nursing not the military though. Get it checked out because the pain will not get better on its own it will only get worse.

Thanks for serving our country as well.
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replied May 11th, 2009
Also I have been sleeping on a spinal stabilization board that medics use for about two months it helps me some. I deeply appreciate all the input on the matter.
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replied April 19th, 2012
Carrying ur gun is only adding to ur existing problem. I bet it was from the fall,it sounds like that is what started it. But over life I was a contractor, always carrying things on my shoulders, pressing weight down on my shoulders and vertebrae, over time the disk end up closer together with mimanal space left, so now I to have the burning and have done tons of tests and nothing can b found. I had a fusion on my L 5 S 1 and the doctors tell me it scar tissue, I know it's something else. Good luck solider and come back home.
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replied July 7th, 2012
Hi soldier hats off to you for your dedication & commitment to the country. I can very well understand your problem as I have suffered back injury & had a surgery at level L5-S1. Now once again feeling the burning feeling at the same level. My suggestion is to consultant some good doctor. I did lot of research before going to surgery. Met so many doctors . Every doctor has different theory at last I decided to go with surgery based on doctor's reputation. But now I am kind of repenting. Don't know what to do. Seeing the doctor next week.
Good luck with you & wish your feeling better & cycle back.
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replied August 2nd, 2012
Soldier,
I am having an MRI myself this week. Wondering if the nerve compression could be the cause.

Thanks for all you do. You are the true heroes and what make this country great. Hang in there. Hope you get better soon.
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