Re: Back Pain-Christine

From: Christine M. Smith (
Sun Jun 13 18:20:37 1999

At Sun, 13 Jun 1999, Michele wrote: >
>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.

Hi Michelle: Thank you for the great information! I probably should respond to you personally, but can't figure out how to cut and paste from the forum to e-mail so I'm going to do it right here and hope others don't mind. If I don't cut and paste, I won't remember everything you mentioned. The incidents you feel led up to your disc herniation are most interesting. I would say that many of these things happen to people by the time they are 50 years old. I do know that back problems are common. I was in a car accident when I was 15 and flipped from front seat to back (no seatbelts in those days, I'd probably be dead), I felt a very sudden, very uncomfortable feeling in my lumbar spine once diving (normal dive, nothing fancy), when I started a step aerobics program this Spring my pain escalated, I love to garden. I slipped down the stairs when I was nine months pregnant with my first child. My second child's birth was kind of ackward. (no forceps though) There are probably dozens of other incidents I don't remember. I have hiked a lot, jogged for awhile. My tailbone hurts often, but nothing I ever thought to do anything about. There is no back problems in my family history. I found it really interesting when you said that Lupron may have effects other than what they know about. As you said, acting like steroids. The reason I say this is because my gyn told me that he had never seen a response like mine to Lupron. It had an effect on the feel of the entire pelvis. So I'm wondering if this is what made my leg pain better. If it wasn't endo that gave me leg pain, then the lupron had to have done something because there was a definite improvement and it wasnt *Placebo*. I'm wondering about the history of MRI. When I saw the neurologist, I'm sure it was out (1991) but maybe it wasn't perfected yet. Anyway, he said the EMG was normal. I think I read somewhere that it tests for loss of motor function and my problems were sensory. (burning pain in thighs, tingling in feet, some steady, some intermittent.)He said I definitely did NOT have disc disease, but this is all he did.(no xray, no MRI) He only did the EMG "just in case" (to cover his butt) because he was treating me for the after effects of a chronic virus. I definitely do not have loss of motor function. My reflexes are excellent and I do not have any problem like you are describing with your toe. I feel strongly my problem is not endo for a lot of reasons, won't go into them here. I haven't ruled out nerve entrapment though by adhesions. (although I'm not sure my adhesions are in an area where this would happen. I have to ask about this) There is just so much of a relationship to physical position and activity. I do have the hip pain you mentioned. up until very recently I had no back pain. Have had the abdominal pain for 2 years, with 3-4 months respite after each lap. (could be that steroid effect, but would it last so long) Well, we'll see. My track record for having tests explain my problem is not good. I have 2 5mg pills of valium to take but I'm wondering if I should take pain medicine instead. I'm not worried about claustrophobia, but having to lie on the hard table. It was torture when I had my sacroiliacs done a week ago (normal) . Thanks!

Chris S.

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