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Lower back pain, X-ray and MRI normal. Any ideas?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 325 Questions
I have had chronic low back pain for the last year. Just when I think it is gone, it is back again.

I've had X-rays & MRIs. There is nothing wrong. Still even after PT it continues to hurt. I am sick of smelling like Ben-Gay.

Any other ideas?
Posted Wed, 26 Sep 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Rajeev Chavda 3 days later
Thanks for posting your query. I am happy to address your questions, the lower back is an intricate structure of interconnected and overlapping elements like tendons and muscles and other soft tissues, highly sensitive nerves and nerve roots that travel from the lower back down into the legs and feet and spinal discs with their gelatinous inner cores. An irritation or problem with any of these structures can cause lower back pain and/or pain that radiates or is referred to other parts of the body. Pain from resultant lower back muscle spasms can be severe, and pain from a number of syndromes can become chronic. While lower back pain is extremely common, the symptoms and severity of lower back pain vary greatly. Identifying the symptoms, along with an accurate diagnosis of the underlying cause of the pain, is the first step in obtaining effective pain relief. Young adults (e.g. 30 to 60 year olds, like yourself) are more likely to experience back pain from the disc space itself (e.g.lumbar disc herniation or degenerative disc disease) or from a back muscle or other soft tissue strain. A back muscle strain or ligament strain is one of the most common causes of lower back pain (not visible on MRIs). Lifting a heavy object, twisting, or a sudden movement can cause muscles or ligaments stretch or develop microscopic tears. Back strains often heal on their own with the help of some combination or rest, ice and/or heat application, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or gradual and gentle stretching and lower back exercises. Hence, will recommend continue above with PT but with gradual stretching and it takes time to relieve. Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be happy to help. Thanks
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