08/21/2009 - Questions and Answers

Persistent Low Back Pain

By: Mark Castleden



I was involved in a car wreck 5 years ago, a rear-ender. This was my 4th back injury in 10 years. (I worked as a nurse in labor and delivery).

My surgeon said it was " fasciitis" and I only needed physical therapy. I went for physio for 6 weeks, 6-8 hours a day. It worked for a while, but now I have no left patellar reflex, and weakness in that leg. Often, I have low back pain, only relieved by bed rest and Tylenol. Do you have any suggestions?


Your worsening symptoms appear to be coming from your back - possibly a degenerative arthritis, possibly from repeated injuries. You and your doctor need to know the real cause of your pain before it can be treated either with therapy, exercises or other modalities.

Because you are now having symptoms of nerve involvement I think that a CT scan (computerized tomography scan) of your back would be very beneficial to establish a diagnosis. This should give the exact etiology of your pain, including bony or soft tissue involvement.

For example, if you had a buildup of bony tissue at the exit of the nerve roots, or spinal stenosis, standing on your feet would cause the veins in those areas to engorge with blood putting pressure on the surrounding nerves. This would give rise to the symptoms in your leg. If the pain is relieved by sitting, leaning forward or bed rest, this might be the problem.

To recommend any exercises at this time without knowing the etiology of your pain could be detrimental to your recovery.

Created on: 12/28/2002
Reviewed on: 08/21/2009

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