I have a few lipomas in other locations, no bigger than the size of dimes, and they cause me no pain. I have a lipoma (according to my PCP) in my back. This was after massage therapy wouldn't take the mass away and ruled out any muscle problems. It is the size of a golf ball, moves around when pressed on and is almost rubbery in texture. The area itself is constantly sore, but more concerning to me is the radiating pain down my back all the way to my right knee. Anyone else with this problem? What helps quiet the radiating pain?
The lipoma within the subcutaneous tissue is not the source of your radiating pain. It may press on local skin nerves, but they would only affect the local area. Radiating pain, down the back, buttocks and posterior leg is from compression of either a nerve root in the back or of the sciatic nerve in the posterior hip/thigh. If you have multiple lipomas through out the body, they can occur in areas other than under the skin. Lipomas have been known to form within the vertebral column and press on nerve roots. But, there are also other causes of nerve compression.
Discuss this with your physician. A thorough examination should be able to determine where the compression is coming from. The treatment will depend upon the cause.
Gaelic is correct in that you should contact your physician before you can be sure what is causing your pain.
That said: radiating pain CAN be caused by a subcutaneous lumbar "lipoma" (pseudolipoma) as it is not uncommon for these masses to turn out to be small thoracolumbar fascia hernias. The thoracolumbar fascia is innervated by the same nerve roots which are responsible for lumbago-sciatica, most predominantly the L5-S1 nerves; it is not unheard of to have pain mimicking a lumbar nerve radiculopathy (sciatica) if the aforementioned fascia is irritated (from hernia and/or spasm), or if the associated cluneal nerves are entrapped and inflamed, may both produce referred pain along the same dermatomes as T12-S1 nerve roots.
All of these problems are rare on their own, and having more than one at once drops the odds down further, but only a properly trained doctor with experience in diagnosing various types of back-pain-causing issues can determine what is going on in your particular case. Most likely, a diagnostic local anesthetic injection into the mass or an advanced imaging scan (usually for muscle MRI/MRA or ultrasound) is going to be any well prepared doctors first diagnostic tool. An MRI/MRA is going to give your doctor a wider look at the health of your spine and surrounding tissues, aiding he or she in ruling out the possibilities of spinal stenosis, bulging/herniated discs, tumors, and much, much more; meanwhile, giving you the best look at the surrounding muscle and fat tissues, as well as blood vessels (and some view of nerve root cavities). Ultrasound is useful because of its high resolution and ability to be used in real time, helpful if you are trying to image a mass that easily moves or seems to disappear with just the slightest change in posture or position.
See your primary care Doc again and if they aren't experienced with these problems ask for a referral (or if you have to, demand one!) to a doctor with an expertise in this area (Either an: orthopedic spine surgeon, neurosurgeon, and if it is just a simple subcutaneous lipoma and you still want it removed for peace of mind, a plastic surgeon or dermatologist). Good luck with your pain, hope it resolves quickly.
Possible right side lipoma, lower thoracic, upper lumbar area.
I have a similar lump on my lower thoracic, upper lumbar area. I originally thought it was my scoliosis progressing (I am 41), thinking my ribs were rotating. I went to a minor emergency center to address this lump (about the size of a golf ball), and was told it was possibly a lipoma. I have constant burning pain in the same (right) side. I work in surgery (a surgical technologist), and asked 2 neurosurgeons about it. Both said it was shingles. I have no rash. I also have developed a periodic wheezing cough. Usually occuring at bed time, either upon laying down or getting up. It disappears within a few hours. I have been told by a chiropractor (20 years ago) that I have scoliosis, a twisted/slipping vertebre, 2 pinched nerves (at the beginning and end of my curvature), and whiplash. Could this lump possibly be a herniated disk? Is it a lipoma? Do I see a pulmonologist? A neurosurgeon? A plastic surgeon?
I have six lipomas in my lower back ranging from golf ball size to the size of a baseball. The lipomas CAN cause pain. Mine are very deep and cause discomfort while sleeping all the time. If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, Chronic pain, or an autoimmune disease you can have pain!!! I have a problem with them putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. When palpated they hurt. I spoke to the head of my nursing school and she told me that its common for them not to cause pain, but that's not for everyone. Have an MRI or ultrasound on the areas you are most bothered, have them tested and removed. I have them throughout my body....at least 100! They will only remove the ones that are causing issues. It has taken 10 years to get a doctor to actually look beyond his training and realize not every single person has the same health experiences!! I can't wait to get them ripped out!!!!!
Back Lipoma, Painful and/or Pressure on Nerves: "Back Mouse
Lipoma - Article Links
If you have painful Lipomas in your lower back, don't be surprised if doctors, including your primary, spine specialist, pain specialists and ER doctors may tell you it is simple Sciatica: give you a prescription for 800 mgs ibuprofen to take three time a day and even some printouts of exercises for your supposed Sciatica.
However, the problem is, Sciatica is caused by pressure on a nerve usually from a pinched nerve from a slipped disc where anti-inflammatories are helpful, but painful back Lipomas are caused pain with the exercise you are told to do when you have Sciatica and the pain is not from a inflammation or pinched nerve, the pain comes from a Lipoma putting pressure on a nerve or nerves.
Yes, in one way, a sore Lipoma is inflamed, but anti-inflammatories do not relieve the pain because most Lipomas are made of fat and some have nerves. So you will get literally little to no relief.
I have suffered with Sciatica my whole life, and the pain one gets from lower back Lipomas is much worse, though it does effect the same areas: from lower back down past your back-end and to the bottom of your feet and toes, but the pain is much, much worse and literally debilitating with the back Lipoma I am speaking of.
Which is the reason why I am sharing all informative I can find with as many who may be dealing with this or know someone who is.
I am NOT a medical professional or sales person, the articles I mention below we're not written by me or a company I work for, all the information and authors are presented at the public websites the links below take you to.
A GREAT article to read if you have "back mouse", but first here are a few names that have been used to describe them and year they were documented from the following articles:
* Low Back Pain (LBP)
Summary by Philip Meinhardt
Causes of low back pain
Pathoanatomic Diagnoses in Mechanical LBP
"Back Mouse- Discrete subcutaneous nodules that feel like sebaceous cysts in the sciatic notch area. Actually herniations of deep fat into the superficial area that cause acute LBP or symptoms radiating into leg like sciatica. Needling to express contents or excision is said to alleviate pain"
* In Search Of The Back Mouse
Abstract: "The "back mouse" is a tender, fibrous, fatty subcutaneous nodule found in the lumbosacral area in up to 16% of people. It can be a treatable cause of low back pain that may be unrecognized by both specialists and generalists."
Thank you for posting this, it addresses my issue perfectly. I am not obese but have been suffering for years now. I think maybe it was from trauma to my sacrum when I was younger, gardening! I don't do surgery but at least can try to figure out a way to alleviate the pain now that I know the lipoma is causing it.
Thank you corypaul for all of the info and references you posted. I've been dealing with severe low back pain for 18 months and have had numerous treatments, been on different meds, seen different doctors, pt's's, acupuncture etc. with no relief.
Thanks again, Kassy