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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Sacral pain & other


 meridianblack - Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:22 pm

I'm 24, F, no dx as yet due to lack of insurance, arthroscopic knee surgery 10 yrs ago, family history of cancer, diabetes, etc. I take hydrocodone, elavil, and motrin for pain; albuterol for asthma; a multivitamin.

Progressing over the last ten years but drastically increasing to a debilitating degree 2 years ago till now, I have had excruciating pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion (when applicable) in my spine (from mid-thoracic down), sacrum, hips, and knees (esp. R). I also have muscle pain, weakness, and spasms in my legs. It's unrelenting, even with medication. Not to mention that the drugs completely kill my brain and make me even more low-energy than without them.

I do PT every day (stretch, strengthen, and light cardio when able), I eat well, I push myself like everyone says to, but most days it's difficult to leave my bed. I've been prescribed crutches, but I don't use them much b/c my family (who I recently moved back with) has a negative view. W/o assistance, I can't walk more than 100 ft without stopping to rest.

If I am able to get the resources to see a real doctor (as opposed to free clinic), how can I expedite the process to figuring out what is wrong with me so I can get my life back? What tests, if any, should I request?

Any idea what could be the problem? What can I do to increase my mobility, decrease my pain, and start participating in the world again?

I hate to say that, the way my legs are right now (severe pain and weakness), using a wheelchair seems like the only way I will be able to have a semi-active lifestyle again. When I was in a manual wheelchair a few years ago, it was the most liberated I had ever felt--I could go and go without getting tired and I was happy and energized and could cope with the (reduced) pain. Is this an avenue to pursue as a viable option or is there hope down another path?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:29 am

User avatar Hi Meridianblack,

It sounds like you are in quite severe pain. Seeing a doctor will be very important. I would recommend that you see either a primary care doctor or an orthopedic surgeon (bone/muscle specialist) first. This way you can get a thorough evaluation that can help guide the work-up.

You may be developing some osteoarthritis although you're a bit young for this typically. There are several rheumatologic diseases that can do this as well.

Using a wheelchair may be a necessary step for you, although it may not necessarily be permanent. If it helps you to be able to move around and function then this may be something to explore even if for the short term.

Best wishes.

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