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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Help...UNKNOWN ILLNESS!!!!

 seven0h7 - Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:20 am

Hi All,
Its a longshot by coming here and asking but I figure it cant hurt, considering I have 5 doctors and 2 neurologists working on it and no one can figure it out yet. So here I am,, Hoping one of you have heard, dealt with or read about anything similar..
9 days ago I was riding passanger in our car doing about 5 mph cause we were going over speed bumps. We went over one bump and I got a piercing pain in my lower back. It took my breath away. through out the rest of the day I kept having pain in the same spot. The next day it was worse, I could hardly stand up straight.
On the third morning I woke up and my back and buttox was numb, by the end of that 3rd day my left thigh was also numb. I called and got a doctor appt for the 4th day, it was tuesday of last week. Dr sent me for back xrays, they were negative. The Dr. made another appt for me for the following thursday.
By thursday my whole back was numb all the way to my armpits, both legs were numb (the left being more numb and also weak), and my scalp was numb.
When I say numb, I mean like after you get a filling at the dentist and the shot they gave starts to wear off, that falling off your face itchy feeling is what my whole body felt like.
The Dr. Sent me for a CT scan, again it was negative. I went to see him friday and the olny change in my condition was the numbness in my legs had moved to my ankles and the left foot. Plus left leg still very weak. Dr. sent me to hospital to get spinal tap, test came out with white blood cells in the fluid, telling the drs that something was there, but was not giving a clue as to what. Dr. then Sent me to the closest MRI unit, a 2 hr. drive, and that came up with nothing in my lower back where my pain is, but they did find a bulging disk touching my spinal cord. The neurologists didnt seem to think it had anything to do with the pain in my lower back.
I seen the Dr. again on saturday, they only gave me more pain killers and talked about giving me a neck brace. I told them no brace, my neck has NEVER bothered me.
I spent all day sunday in bed.
So I see the Dr again today, Monday, My condition has not changed, I have not gotten any number, but the numbness has not gone away. My left leg is so weak, I don't trust it to keep me secure. And my back still screams with pain almost every time I move.
The doctors have said it is possible that I have an autoimmume disease or a neurological disorder.. They also said I could have MS but the spinal proved that wrong.
Any ideas out there anyone?

Thanks All.
 Carolyn Merritt, LPN - Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:28 pm

User avatar Have you ever heard the saying "The straw that broke the camel's back"? Sometimes we go along in life abusing our spines by twisting, turning, lifting and carrying things that are too heavy but since we don't experience any pain we think we are fine. Then one day something minor happens to us and all of a sudden we have back pain as if we had been lifting a ton. The reason for this is because we through years of abuse to our backs have caused damage to our disks and the vertebrae surrounding them, but we don't feel the damage. When we finally do the last thing our backs can handle, then a disk collapses or bulges, fractures of the vertebrae develop etc. It seems that may be what happened to you. The spinal cord is made up of nervous tissue with many large and small nerves coming off it to ennervate every part of our body. We do not necessarily have to have a disk bulge against a nerve to have pain or numbness. The opening from which the nerves come out from the spine is the exact size we need due to the fact that the disk works as a spacer between the vertebrae. Through years of overuse or misuse of our backs these disks can thin out or rupture and cause the space, for the nerves to exit from the spinal cord to the body, to become smaller and then the vertebrae themselves start squeezing the exiting nerve. When that happens we feel severe pain and/or numbness. If the pressure on the nerve is severe we can even develop paralysis. If the location of the nerves is in the low back are we may develop incontinence of the bowel or bladder. Another possibility for the cause of pain is that our muscles can go into spasm when we have an injury and the spasm itself can cause an irritation to the surrounding areas including the nerves. There are as manydifferent types of therapy as there are reasons for the pain. Some of the more common ones are physical therapy, botox injections into muscles that are spasming, surgical decompression of the disks to reduce the pressure on the nerves, epidural injections into the spinal canal to reduce the inflammation of the nervous tissue, etc. What would be the most beneficial in your case, would have to be determined by your physician who has all your information. I would recommend you suggest to your physician that he refer you to a Chronic Pain Management doctor who will work with your physician to find the best combination of therapy and pain relievers to help relieve your pain. I wish you the best.
 AB Leever - Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:34 pm

See a neurologist in conjunction with an internist. White cells in spinal fluid indicates a problem. Was that fluid cultured? (results are usually out in 3 days)

I'd not blow this off...and seek a diagnosis that explains why you have those symptoms. You don't seem to have anything yet...and the symptoms persist. You deserve to know why.

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