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New and in pain

Started by Mystic on 07/20/2010 12:30am


I am so thankful that I found this site. I've been reading some of the posts and it looks like the place I need to be.

About 2 years ago (at age 40), I was getting out of the shower and got a horrible pain in my low back. I thought I just pulled a muscle so I went out shopping. Throughout the day the pain got progressively worse, so I went to the ER thinking it might be a kindey infection or a kidney stone (even though I've never had either). The triage nurse had me give a urine sample and she said there was a small amout of blood in my urine which would be consistent with a kidney stone. They did an abdominal CT scan but it came back negative for anything kidney related. The doctor told me that I had a bilateral pars defect in L5 and it was probably a muscle spasm related to that. He asked me if I was ever in gymnastics and I told him yes since I was 3. He said that the pars defect might have happened when I was a teenager but is just now causing problems. He sent me home with some pain medication. The muscle spasm went away and that was the end of that.

So last year, I started getting some pain and stiffness in my neck. I went back to the same ortho doctor and he ordered an MRI (C spine and T spine). He said that he thinks I have Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He started me in physical therapy and I have been doing that for the past 4 months.

Last week, I was sitting at my computer and my lower legs started feeling tingly. I got up and walked around and it went away. The next day it happened again but was worse. I got really scared and got back in to see the doctor on Friday.

He did some range of motion tests and had me walk on my toes and heels. He then had me lay on my back and he moved my legs around. I then layed on my stomach and he pushed the sides of my butt and omg the pain. He had me do hip xrays right in the office and said that he thinks this is "mild bilateral hip impingment with piroformis myofascial pain". He then sent me down for another set of xrays to check on the pars defect. He said he will call me if there is anything significant.

So now I have 3 very weird things that are causing alot of pain:
1) Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
2) Hip Impingement and
3) Bi-lateral pars defect

I wonder what the heck is going on. There has got to be a connection between these things. I am going to see my regular doctor on Wednesday to see if she will prescribe some pain medication.

I'm just at a loss as to why all of these things are happening.

I'm a bit scared but more frusterated than anything.

Thanks for listening,

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2 Responses


Wow... I am sorry to hear about what you are going through.

Unfortunately, the likely answer is they may not be related. I would guess the neck pain is separate from the low back pain. Some basics for the neck pain - make sure you have a proper ergonomic set-up at the office - computer at eye height, good chair, etc... see - Ergonomic Guidelines for Computer Workstations - 10 Steps for Users - you will also find several related articles on the topic linked to this one. Definitely continue with the physical therapy and concentrate on improving posture.

With respect to the low back pain, it may or may not be related. Exactly what you wanted to hear right!

The pars defect can lead to your vertebrae slipping forward, impinging on nerves. This could create the pain you are having. Its called spondylolisthesis - see - Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis.

Its generally good practice to get a second (or third) opinion from another orthopedist/ neurosurgeon that specializes in spine - meaning that is all they do - or a physiatrist as part of your non-surgical treatment plan.

Good luck and keep us posted.


After 11 yrs I have finally stopped getting a new "symptom" every month. Find a diagnostic specialist and see if they can put the pieces together. You have to realize that if you are moving different from one disease you are using other parts of your body differently...it may be other parts of your body to "act up". Just like if you break a leg and walk on crutches your arms get sore and your other leg gets sore from more use, back can get sore, ect. I know that sounds simplistic but I have found my back problems were worsened by my initial abdominal pain because I was walking hunched over because I couldn't walk with ANY posture because my abdominal pain wouldn't let me. One thing led to another...
Get a second opinion after the first and then a third. Just try to get fixed and don't let them just fix a symptom at a time. Bandaids I call them...get a fix and keep on the drs. God bless u and good luck.