• 1 month ago

    Back pain, please help

    My partner has a bad back and has been in pain since last may. It started as a spasm which we thought would go, we ended up in A&E and they sent him away with pain killers and advice to ice the area. He works at a hospital as an occupational therapist and has been seeing one of the physiotherapists in his department. He had an MRI which showed no bulging or slipped discs but has continued to be in a lot of pain. He had a few months off work while waiting for an MRI at their request because his pain was too intense to handle normal work and for their own health and safety policies. He has now been back in work for a few months but has found this very difficult. He has seen a number of GPs who have prescribed him different pain killers. He is relatively fit and used to go to the gym on a regular basis. He has not being going to the gym for a while but has followed every bit of advice from the Physio in regards to exercises and strengthening. He was told at one point that it was muscle pain (his psoas muscle needing strengthening) and has also been told that it could be scheuermanns disease (oddly shaped vertebrae) . He was referred to the pain team who have also tried to help with pain management and has been going to work based counselling (not for the pain, but for tools around how to efficiently use your time etc).

    He went to see a physiotherapist privately who suggested that while he still had joint tightness and significant pain, that he might be suffering with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. They suggested that he needs to break the pain loop and that he needs to do gentle enough exercise so as to not hurt the area and reaffirm the pain loop. We've now bought an exercise bike that he's been using gently. He went to his GP recently who sent away for a number of blood tests which we are waiting for the results of.
    He also suffers with depression and has miraculously held it together until this point, but the frustration of not knowing it taking its toll and he's finding it very difficult to remain focused and positive. He's trying to present himself as capable in work however the patience of the team seems to have run thin now that there is no diagnosis and only lingering pain. He feels like a burden in work and feels as though he will lose his job soon. He feels like a nuisance to the health professionals who mainly tell him to take paracetamol or ibuprofen and don't dig any deeper. He is going out of his mind and I don't know what to suggest or what to think it could be now.


  • 4 days ago

    RE: Back pain, please help

    Has he seen a specialist or just his PCP for the MRI ? Is he seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist for his depression ? If not, he needs to. Depression has a big impact on pain.
  • 3 days ago

    RE: Back pain, please help

    Ok, if the MRI shows no disc problem or arthritis there is possibly a nerve ascending from the portal in the spine which will cause back pain or leg pain. I would recommend stretching exercises and walking, especially if he is seated for long periods. If this helps then turn to doing planks and work up slowly to about 1 minute and then repeat for 1 minute. It will greatly strengthen the back.