Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Low back pain

A 40 year old female awoke one morning finding she could not get out of bed - sudden incapacitating back pain - and other symptoms: severe muscle weakness and pain, numbness and tingling. Called 911. ER docs diagnosed acute back pain and sent her home - but also pulled some blood.

The phone rang a few days later. Lyme. Two tier CDC positive She had more symptoms: increasing joint pain, headaches, neck pain, sweats, and others. No brain fog to write home about. Pre-existing migraines became more frequent and severe. Back pain was exquisite.

An MRI showed a bulging lumbar disc. An orthopedist and chiropractor were satisfied.

Physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation did not help.
Oddly enough, the back pain improved with antibiotics. And nearly went away.

After one year of treatment for Lyme and co-infections, she stopped antibiotics - on her own, feeling better.

Now, a year later, she returns. Back pain has increased. Tingling, numbness, joint pains, jaw pain and low grade fevers are back. Migraines bad again.

She is worried Lyme is back. So am I.

A zillion people have bulging discs. Studies have shown that many asymptomatic people have herniated discs per MRI. (including me - I had sciatica years ago)

When the chief complaint is back pain Lyme is low on the list of differential diagnoses. It is the constellation of symptoms, taken as a whole, that changes the list Unfortunately, most doctors stop with the chief complaint and do not go any further. Other symptoms are for another day. If there are too many symptoms patient may be labeled "a crock." "High serum porcelain level" I heard in medical training. And God forbid the patient utter the word Lyme.

Bulging discs don't generally hurt. There are tons of causes of low back pain. Frequently, the cause is never known. Not in this case.

Kudos to the ER docs.

12 comments:

sick and tired said...

How do I get an appointment or at least send you my info to review? luther22@cox.net - I need help! Thank you!

Mac said...

A similar situation happened with me. Overnight I was unable to turn over in bed. Once I got out and got moving with ibuprofen, the coincident tooth pain was finally addressed by an oral surgeon who gave me augmentin. I was surprised when the back pain started to subside. No evidence upon exams of any back injuries. My teeth, however, were all infected and I had two years of extractions and am saving money for replacement crowns that fell apart. Stretching helps a lot with the back pain. I have had every type of antibiotic and herbals. I have chronic Lyme and know what I have to do to keep it under control. Thanks for your comments and support.

Donk said...

I developed upper thigh, lower back pain, but it didn't fit my usual chronic lyme symptoms. I had a few visits with a physical therapist and kept diligently doing the daily exercises she suggested. After about 6 months of the exercises the pain is totally gone. I never gave up. Like I've seen you mention in a couple of your past blogs... "not everything is lyme."

ff7080e4-ad21-11e1-a8bf-000bcdcb8a73 said...

I saw this post on lower back pain and was hoping i could get some advice. I went to my gp 3 wks ago because i'd had constant lower back/hip pain for severl weeks. I also told him that i was feeling fluish and was very tired all the time. I also have had severe sinus pressure for several years. While there i also described how i have been woken up with pain/tingling/numbness in my right arm, with pins and needles in extremities most of the time. It was then he said i sould have a lyme test.

The first test (titer or elisa?) sshowed pos for lyme. He called in a px for doxy. I took one day of the doxy and the nurse called me and said the WB only had two pos markers for lyme, so i don't have it and can stop the doxy. I was given a px for antiinflammatory for the back pain.

While on the AI, within a week i had two very severe spasms in my back, with continuing pain in hip and now knee. I called my gp and have now been tested for systemic problems (i'm assuming things like lupus, ra, ms, fibro). No results yet.

I guess i'm writing to ask whether i should insist on further lyme testing. Will a gp be able to send specimen to Igenex or do i have to request that (i was only tested for the CDC's 10 markers)? Will insurance pay for Igenex?

takeshi007 said...

Most of the people especially adults suffer from back pain that's why it is important for them to consider Chiropractic care.

Teresa McGee

Shaunna Schumacher said...

Taking medications only lessens back pain for some time. If you want to get rid of back pain completely, you should try to undergo therapies, such as inversion therapy. Although it may take time to see improvements with this kind of treatment, you're sure that, once the pain goes away, it will be for good.

Shaunna Schumacher

Gracie Dew said...

"Medications and treatments are sometimes not enough to alleviate or treat back pain. In such cases, doctors advise patients to opt for therapy. This is best coupled with medications and treatments to ensure that back pain will be relieved and cured permanently. For cases of back where there is no known cause, just continue to do some simple therapeutic activities to at least lessen the pain.”

Gracie Dew

Rachel Velazquez said...

I'm really sad about what had happened to that old lady. We should be care with massage and chiropractor so that we can never experience such extreme back pain.

Best regards,
Rachel
seattle chiropractic

Browne thomas said...

There are different diagnostic methods that their skilled chiropractors use. It includes x-rays in order to determine your condition with special focus on your bone and spinal structure. Then using their spinal manipulation techniques, coupled with scientifically developed manual adjustments, they help relieve your pain and help your body heal itself naturally. perimeter spine and rehabilitation center reviews

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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...


The information here is well and good. I am suffering from acute lower back pain from past years. How can i get rid fom these Lower back pain. Please help me.