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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Excruciating Back pain in the morning

 dids - Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:37 am

Age: 43, female.

I have had surgery to L4&5 about 15 years ago, and since then have suffered chronic mild - severe back ache on and off.

Two weeks ago I was unstacking my dishwasher, got up and felt horrific pain in my lower back. By 10pm that night it was so bad that I could hardly move. I went to A&E and was given a suppository and sent home. I went to my GP a few days later and he prescribed me co-codamol 30mg, Naproxen 50mg, zydol 50mg and diazepam 5mg. He told me that there is nothing that can be done apart from pain relief.

I can tolerate the pain during the day, HOWEVER when I have been to sleep at night and wake up because I need the WC. I am in so much pain that it sometimes takes me more than an hour to be able to get up from lying down, to sitting, and eventually being able to make my way to the WC. The pain is burning, stabbing and it feels as tho my whole spine is "locked" The pain is so severe that my husband merely moving in the bed causes me to scream in pain.

I am really at my wits end and am in a situation where I am not wanting to go to sleep at night. I don't have any sciatic pain, but it does go into my hips / thigh and it hurts my hips when I walk.

My worry is that there has been no improvement in 2 weeks. I mentioned to my GP that perhaps I should have an MRI or CT scan and was told that it would take at least 3 months to get an appointment. I am in the UK and at the mercy of the NHS. I am absolutely terrified that this could be something serious and may result in me having to have surgery in the long term.

Any advice would be most appreciated.

Thank you

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:24 pm

User avatar Your symptoms sound as if you may have a slipped disk in your lower back. Generally these do get better with time, although it can take many weeks. A good test for this is to sit in a chair and straighten your leg at the knee (carefully). If there is some nerve compression from a slipped disk, one or both legs will cause significant pain with this motion. (This isn't 100% but is pretty good.)

Physical therapy can often be quite helpful in addition to anti-inflammatories and rest.

Best wishes. I hope you feel better soon.

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