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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Back Pain - Hip Level, on left side.


 Computerwork - Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:29 am

Male, age 41.

Location of my pain:
On my back, at the level of my hips. On the left side of my back about half way between my spine and my left hip. The diameter of the pain ranges from the size of a nickel to the size of a silver dollar, depending on how long I wait before work it out.

How long have I had this problem:
Since about May 2007.

Cause of the pain:
The pain builds over time while sitting. After sitting for about 20 minutes the pain builds to a level where I have to discontinue sitting and move to legs and back out of the L-shape. I have found that I can sit in a chair longer that 20 minutes with less sever pain if I do not use the back of the chair to rest my back on. (Sitting on the seat of the chair and not letting my back touch the back of the chair.)

How does the pain feel:
Like an internal soreness, not a sharp pain. Sometimes tingly and sometimes burning. If I sit too long it feels like a knot. It does not hurt to push on the area. I do not feel any bulges or indents. Nothing feels out of place. It does not hurt to move any part of my body in any normal direction.

What eases the pain:
Laying down, Standing up, Walking, Exercising, Stretching, Massaging the area of the pain…anything other than sitting.

What makes the pain go away completely and makes me feel normal:
Walking.

Questions:
1) What do you think is causing my pain?
2) Do you feel I would benefit from Physical Therapy?
3) What type of testing do you recommend I seek?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:30 pm

User avatar Hello -

The pain you describe sounds like muscle strain related at least in part to your seated posture. While your posture may not be defective in itself, if there is a misalignment of your spine then sitting in what seems at first to be comfortable may soon become painful and force you to move around. Of course you could have adopted a defective sitting habit as well -- it is difficult to recognize what we're doing subjectively such as sitting in relatively odd positions.

If I were you I'd either want to see an orthopedist or at the very least a board certified chiropractor. Either of these may be able to evaluate your posture and, if there is no problem there, then you could be evaluated for a lumbar or sacral disc bulge (a possibility here). Even with that diagnosis you might well be able to correct it with PT or chiropractic or simple floor and stretching exercises.

If there is an ergonomist on the staff where you're employed, this is often a good way to avoid future problems (by having the ergonomist make adjustments to your immediate working environment such as changing the height of your keyboard, chair, etc., things which seem simple but are widespread causes of aggravation of lower back problems among other things).

I hope you find this helpful. Good luck to you.

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