Re: Back Pain-Christine

From: Michele (
Sun Jun 13 14:08:02 1999

At Sat, 12 Jun 1999, Christine M. Smith wrote: >

Hi Christine- This is long but you asked some very interesting questions and I wanted to give you info before tomorrow's appt. Several factors contributed to the disc heriniation. 1. I was in a chase lounge and someone closed the top and bottom of it. I was curled up in a ball and the thing collapsed. I stood up and felt numbness in my tailbone. 2. I went for a hysterosalpingogram which wound up being an HOUR long because my cervix was so small. They had *no* stirrups. Just pegs. The tech lowered the X-ray machine over me and it hit my knees. My back was arched already. This didn't help. 3. I played tennis. It's high impact. My GP put in in phys. therapy because I actually complained of hip pain. It hurt when I drove. We played this for 3 mths and it was the physical terrorist (ha) who noticed that I adored traction Way too much. I ended up having a simple test. The guy asked me to lift all my toes as he applied resistence...The "Great toe" or big on was not working at all. No response. He told me that if the disc wasn't blown that he had no business being a doc.

I got a second opinion. This neurologist told me not to move at all for 3 weeks. There are 2 schools of thought on this area. I went batty not moving. Also, I just strained more muscles not moving and being sedintary. The idea was that it might help move some of the fluid back in. There was no change in my symptoms and MRI shows it beautifully. I'm fascinated with MRI. Ask to see your shots taken, Christine. It can be quite visible. Look for a droop or significant difference in pattern in the discs. The nerve usually looks slightly moved.

***Hereditary Factors*** My Mother, Brother and I have all had back surgery. All of us were in outstanding physical condition. My brother was a runner (high impact), my mother climbed Mt Hood (high impact)..but we all had some sort of accident. It doesn't take much. One was lifting incorrectly and the other took a tumble down some stairs.

The torso, if injured with adhesions, other problems, takes on all that to the back. That's why I struggle to keep weight down. Adhesion pain can go to the back and it makes it confusing.

EMG--You can have a change in EMG. EMG can register muscle issues but in reality its a pelvic adhesion issue or abdominal. EMG is not the best way of R/O a disc problem. MRI is the way to go. My opinion in all of this, of course. EMG/Neural Conduction Studies might very well show abnormalities if there is a disc/spinal issue, but much of that can be secondary response to the actual problem. I suppose EMG can be Normal too if there isn't too much referred pain. All of this can be dependent on where the disc is (cervical, lumbar) and where the bulge or herniation is (left, right or center). I think you need your results from the MRI.

Ah, the Lupron question...Endo and adhesion in the lower quadrant are frequently felt in the leg and groin. It's referred pain. I get it terribly and my last surgery gave me immediate relief. (hope that lasts???) Lupron can help with pain even if it's not endo, in other areas. In my opinion, many suppressive drugs act like they puff people up and pain decreases. Lupron won't make endo or adhesions disappear. It *may* suppress endometrial implants or chocolate cysts....*emphasis* on the word *suppress*. I'm pleased you had relief from pain though during that time. You could have endo that has returned, compiled with adhesional pain, the back can really hurt.

Whew. Let us know what the results of the MRI showed. Sounds like a tough time for you, but getting answers would be great!!

All of the above is just a non-medical person's opinion. I could be off on some of this, but not all of it.

---Michele >Hi Michelle:
>How did you do this to your disc? (L4-L5) Any specific incident or just
>general wear and tear? Is a diagnosis like this likely if you don't have
>neurological deficiencies such as loss of function in the parts
>innervated by that nerve? I've always had various leg discomforts-this
>is what I was treated for for FOUR years by a neurologist. He did an
>EMG which he said was normal.(except for a small amount of carpal tunnel
>which I knew about and didn't tell him) Could it (the EMG) have been
>normal then (1991) but maybe not normal now? Or can it still be normal
>and have disc or other spine problems causing pain? (I know this is
>getting a little out of adhesions and into neurology) By the way, my
>gynecologist treated me with Lupron (after the neurologist retired)
>because he said endo can cause leg pain. The pain was gone in 3 months
>and did not reoccur until my abdominal pain started 2 years ago. Even
>then it was nothing like it was when I was treated with the Lupron. Why
>would Lupron have a positive effect on the leg pain if it wasn't related
>to endo? I am really confused.
>When they did the last lap on me in Sept 98 there was almost no endo in
>the pelvis so I am convinced my problems are not endo related.
>I have an MRI on Monday and am hoping it shows *some* explanation.
>Chris S.

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