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Left-sided back pain: Sciatica or something else?

I am a 36 yo female w/ left-sided mid-back pain (mainly from the top of the hip about where your thumb would be if you put your left hand on your hip talmost over to the spine) for the past two months. From April to May it became pretty unbearable, for instance, sore to the touch when I was driving or riding in the car. It is worse upon sitting and at the end of the day but not worsened by light exercise or while lying down. This didn't seem to be the result of any injury or fall -- but I do ride a bike often to work with a 10 lb. backback, so that could have contributed. In mid-May, I went to see my family doctor who ran a bunch of blood tests and had me go get kidney and bladder ultrasounds. All the tests came back clear, no problems. I've now been seeing a chiropractor for the past week with some relief. She said I had two ribs out of place and x-rays showed significant L4/5 degeneration, but she said that wouldn't cause my current pain? It's all confusing to me ... At this point I see to have some good days with less pain and some where the spasms come much more often. A last curious symptom is that my left foot (middle of my foot, both on the top and bottom of the foot) is sore each morning when I step out of bed, gradually lessening and going away by mid-morning. I'm just wondering if I'm doing the right thing with my current course of action and what the heck this is!
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replied June 20th, 2009
I'm not sure if this is sciatica since there is no pain or tingling down the back of one of your legs. That is usually a major symptom. I'd say keep seeing the Dr. and ruling out other things as well.

KL
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replied June 20th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Re: Left-sided back pain: Sciatica or something else?
allent wrote:
I am a 36 yo female w/ left-sided mid-back pain (mainly from the top of the hip about where your thumb would be if you put your left hand on your hip talmost over to the spine) for the past two months. From April to May it became pretty unbearable, for instance, sore to the touch when I was driving or riding in the car. It is worse upon sitting and at the end of the day but not worsened by light exercise or while lying down. This didn't seem to be the result of any injury or fall -- but I do ride a bike often to work with a 10 lb. backback, so that could have contributed. In mid-May, I went to see my family doctor who ran a bunch of blood tests and had me go get kidney and bladder ultrasounds. All the tests came back clear, no problems. I've now been seeing a chiropractor for the past week with some relief. She said I had two ribs out of place and x-rays showed significant L4/5 degeneration, but she said that wouldn't cause my current pain? It's all confusing to me ... At this point I see to have some good days with less pain and some where the spasms come much more often. A last curious symptom is that my left foot (middle of my foot, both on the top and bottom of the foot) is sore each morning when I step out of bed, gradually lessening and going away by mid-morning. I'm just wondering if I'm doing the right thing with my current course of action and what the heck this is!



"I've now been seeing a chiropractor for the past week with some relief. She said I had two ribs out of place and x-rays showed significant L4/5 degeneration, but she said that wouldn't cause my current pain? "

Here is a key to your problem. You are seeing a chiropractor that is telling you that you have "significant L4/L5 degeneration and it "wouldn't cause your current pain"

Good for you to be questioning that statement, because it is crazy to say the least.

That very well is the cause of your pain and your discs are degenerating. Something that happens as we age. Some people have this and have no symptoms and others do.

To say it is not causing your pain is absurd.

You need to get yourself to a spine specialist for a full evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan. You need to see either an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spines or a neurosurgeon that specializes in spines only.

Take the MRI that you had done with the chiropractor with you and see if it will be adequate to aid in diagnosis or if you need a new MRI done, ordered by the spine specialist and done at the locations and they way it should be done.

In the mean time stop seeing the chiropractor now.

The pain in your feet may very well be coming from plantar fasciitis, very common to occur with those of us with untreated spine problems and not walking correctly. The feet get inflamed from walking incorrectly.

Get to a spine specialist as soon as you can.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

Fran
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replied June 21st, 2009
I agree, Fran. My chiropractor wasn't doing anything to help this for me either, so I've stopped going. I figured by him adjusting me in 3 seconds when I go there, it's probably not doing my back any good right now since I have other issues going on with it.
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replied June 21st, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
backpaingrrrl wrote:
I agree, Fran. My chiropractor wasn't doing anything to help this for me either, so I've stopped going. I figured by him adjusting me in 3 seconds when I go there, it's probably not doing my back any good right now since I have other issues going on with it.


Never known anyone that was helped by a chiropractor for spine problems or anything else, but do know lots of people that where made far worse with chiropractic care, especially those with spine problems.

Fran
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replied June 21st, 2009
Thank you for your ideas and input, everyone! I plan to heed the advise to seek a full diagnosis elsewhere!
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