Originally Posted by strange_wings
I'm willing to bet it's bulging or torn discs, too.
Do you know if you might have a small tear in any of those discs? It would be something that a doctor would have to have a very keen eye to catch. The radiologist that looked over my MRIs never saw the annular tear, but another doctor did. After she pointed it out I wondered how anyone could have missed it on the scans.
The good news is that it's not a complete rupture, but the bad news is that disc fluid can still leak out of that little tear and onto a nerve. When I get a bad spike of pain it will cause the leg on whatever side the pain is to give out - though I do not have sciatica type pain.
I went to a back specialist who took one look at my CT scan, said I wasn't a canidate for surgery, and handed me a list of back exercises and told me not to bend over.
Well, he was a neurosurgeon, so I guess he's just waiting for me to need surgery before he would do anything. I got PT orders from my primary care doctor. Luckily the therapy is helping so hopefully I don't have anything leaking. (lord, that just sounds so gross!)
Abbycats, when mine went out it felt worse than just a pinched nerve or muscle strain. I actually felt like my lower back was on fire. I couldn't breath for probably 30 seconds...I was afraid to move at all, and I felt it all the way down my legs. It was something I had never felt before. I've twisted muscles, pinched nerves, etc...but this was something complete different. I first thought I tore something it hurt that bad. I spent the rest of the day hunched over, walking around like a 92 yr old grandmother. My back usually feels better in the morning but as the day goes on, it sometimes gets to the point when I'm almost in tears. For me, it's actually less painful to stand up than to sit or lay down.
I don't want to give you any advice on exercises that might help until you find out what is wrong, but laying with a pillow under your knees takes pressure off the spine (this works for me for pulled muscles, pinched nerves or any back problem). Also, you can try laying on your back and pull your knee up to your chin (or as far as you can get it...don't push it!). That helps stretch the back muscles out and it shouldn't make anything worse and give you a little bit of relief from the pain. But, like I said...don't push it. Just bring it up as far as you can.