So now you know …

I was at the doctor’s (again) this morning for the results of my recent back x-ray.

Remember all that back pain I suffer from at times? Well, it turns out that the reason for it …

… is still pretty much unknown.

The x-rays didn’t show a whole lot. Basically, my spine is aging – now there’s a news bulletin! I have some “mild multilevel degenerative change”, as evidenced by some disc space narrowing, a touch of arthritis, and the beginnings of some bony spurs where that wee bit of arthritis is. Nothing earth-shattering, and certainly nothing to explain the excruciating pain I had at the end of July.

So I guess that’s good news, that there are no serious skeletal issues with my back. But the question now becomes, so what DOES cause that intense pain?

The doctor was little to no help there. It wasn’t even my regular doctor, who is away till sometime next week. This guy doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall, and he was pretty vague. He mused that perhaps the pain was a muscular issue rather than skeletal – which would explain why, this last time, visiting my chiropractor didn’t actually relieve the pain very much. He suggested that I consider replacing the mattress on my bed and that I avoid sleeping on my stomach (which I haven’t done since I was a baby, but nice try, Doc). About the only useful piece of advice he had for me was to try to strengthen my core – which is something I had already planned to do, having signed up (I finally remembered!) for Pilates classes to add to my usual regime of workouts at the gym and power walking.

Okay. So I left the office, armed with a copy of the radiologist’s report. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I guess I’ll just keep it until my next bout of back pain. Then I can look at it again and tell myself, “Well, self, there is no real reason for this back pain. Obviously, this back pain has no right to exist.”

And then hopefully, the pain will disappear.

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9 responses to “So now you know …

  1. Why, yes, I do!
    And I could get the whole trip written off …. (except I am not licensed in BC so my receipt would not help you re insurance.)

  2. Second opinion, a good massage therapist and strengthen your muscles. I had excruciating back spasms for years until I started working those abdominals – once everything was all toned (albeit still wrapped in a goodly layer of “pillowing” – my back never really bothered me again.

    Of course, it might not work for you. As for the massage therapist – that always does good, no matter what the problem.

    • Jazz – I hope the Pilates classes that I’ll be starting in September will help with the muscle strengthening. I would have thought that the machines at my gym would have helped with that, but maybe not enough for my core, which is more specifically what needs to get stronger. *sigh* It’s always something …

  3. Have you tried a massage therapist?

    • VioletSky – Do you do roadtrips??? But seriously, I do have a massage booked for Thursday, and I will be mentioning my lower back issues. Not that I’m currently in pain, but maybe the therapist will able to spot something that can be dealt with through regular massage.

  4. I would also suggest you get a second opinion. There has to be something more than “X-ray’s clean, there’s no reason for your pain, go home”! My girlfriend went to see an orthopedic guy who discovered that her pelvis was actually tilted and that was what was causing her back pains. He fitted her with a special orthopedic insert for her left shoe and she’s been fine ever since.

    • Nicky – I’m also now wondering if it might not be a good idea to take the radiologist’s report over to my chiropractor and see what she thinks. She knows me and my back way better than this substitute physician does, so she may be able to point me in another direction, which may very well be an orthopedic specialist. This is not over yet …

  5. Y-rays don’t show everything you know. You could have a number of things wrong with your back that are not going to show up on an X-ray. You might need an MRI scan or something along those lines. Doctors can be so unhelpful. Go to an orthopedic guy.

    • Nora – You’re right. All the x-rays proved is that my recurring pain is probably not due to a problem with the bones in my back. When (if?) I have another bout of pain, I will be heading back to my doctor and demanding more tests. I mean, there has to be a reason, a cause for this pain – doesn’t there?