18 answers

Severe Lower Back Pain

OK so about a week ago i filled up my 11 month old baby girls bath so i reached down to pick it up and i felt this horrible sharp pain right in my lower back it hurt so bad i dropped the tub. well i ignored the pain and went on with life it still hurt but not all that much. well just yesterday i was on the floor with my baby playing and the pain came back when i got up.well i just took a couple Advil and sat down on the couch. when i went to get up that horrible sharp pain came back so much worse that i couldn't even move. my baby was playing on the floor and started crying cause it was her lunch time but i tried to get up and just fell right back down any movement put sharp stabbing pains in my lower back i was so worried i was the only one home with my baby and shes sitting on the floor crying and i cant even get her luckily i had my phone and called some one if they could give me a ride the the ER and someone came. well i got there they did x-rays and things but i don't understand whats wrong with my back they told me to put ice on it and do certain exercises but the pain is still there. has anyone had this happen? i'm worried and its much harder to take care of my baby every time i move it hurts some times extremely bad. i have another doctors appointment tomorrow but i just want to know if anyone has had this problem and what it could be?

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I've had some severe lower back pain in the past and some recently. And I've seen a chiropractor, but he pushed on coming in for several visits and seemed to aggravate my body more than help. The best results were from a naprapath that I see occaisionly. He is in the Milwaukee/Bryn Mawr area.

Ditto what others said... probably a pinch nerve. I would go to a chiropractor and get adjusted a couple of times. I just did something similar to myself. Went to the chiro and was better in 2 days. I have someone in River City if you live or work near the Loop. Just send me a note if you need the name. She also has a PT there who can recommend exercises for Core strength. Bring the xrays when you go.

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I would get some information about a good chiroprctor or DO that does manipulation near by. I'm a physical therapist and it sound like you twisted your sacrum pretty badly. Ask around do a top doc search in your area. Ice until you are numb will stop the over reactive nerves and an antiinflammatory well help too. Eventually try to get to a pilates class to strengthen your core.
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

i had a very similar thing happen to me when my daughter was 6 mos. I had been having pain in my lower back for about a month, and when i went to my daughter's 6 mos check up, i mentioned it to our doctor. He said that my ab/back muscles were probably weak from childbirth and i should do physical therapy. So I got scheduled for that, well the next day I went to put my little one in her excersaucer and fell back on the couch in horrible pain. luckily my husband was home and was able to help our little one and then get me to the ER. The ER docs did an xray and then gave me pain meds and were going to send me home, but I passed out from the pain, and so they admitted me and I spent 5 days in the hospital, did an MRI and found I had 3 mildly buldging discs. From there did lots of therapy, and ended up having to have surgery, but my surgeon said i was like 1 in 1000 that should have had to have surgery for this. I would recommend finding a doctor and physical therapist that work very slowly to get your back into working condition, no excerises that involve bending or twisting. Good luck

A very good friend of mine had exactly what you're describing when she bent to pick up a gallon of milk at the store. She ended up with a blown disc plus bone fragments chipping off her spine because of the disc that required surgery--and because she waited a couple weeks to be checked out (and therefore made the problem worse by walking around, bending over, etc.), the surgery was much more invasive than it would have been had she been checked right away. I watched her hobble around because she didn't want to go the doctor and she thought it would just go away with some exercises. A chiropractor visit will likely make that situation worse. Like others have said, I highly recommend an orthopeadic doctor and/or neurologist ordering an MRI for you. THat's the only way to see the discs.

Good luck!

I've had some severe lower back pain in the past and some recently. And I've seen a chiropractor, but he pushed on coming in for several visits and seemed to aggravate my body more than help. The best results were from a naprapath that I see occaisionly. He is in the Milwaukee/Bryn Mawr area.

Like others have suggested, it could be a couple of things. And an x-ray will not show if you have a herniated or slipped disc. A good chiropractor will order an MRI--this coming form a very good one that my husband went to. He even admitted that in my husband's case, he would need surgery to fix a broken and 2 herniated discs. He did try to help him but after a few visits my huband was still in tremendous pain and told him to go forward with a neurologist.
In my case, I have suffered from sciatica in the past. It came on for the first time when I was in the shower and bent to pick up the soap. It took a nurse to tell me about it instead of the ER doc who told me I pulled a muscle. The pain from sciatica can run down your leg as well. It is from the sciatic nerve being pinched by a muscle in your lower back or along your hip. The pain from it can be mild to OMG!, can't do anything. For my problem, I went to physical therapy years ago and exercises I was taught stretch the muscles to prevent any pinching. I stretch my hamstricngs and I have not had problems for many years now. Occasionally I feel it in my knee and adding a couple extra stretches helps stop it.

My husband and I both suffered from herniated discs over the past year and they presented the exact same way as how you described in your post. The pain is from the disc basically "pinching" the nerve. You need an MRI, not an X-Ray. I would recommend you see an orthopedic surgeon (not a chiropractor) who can review the MRI and recommend a course of treatment. In my case, it was initially pain meds (including steroid treatment which brought almost immediate relief) and then physical therapy. For my husband, the PT wasn't enough (because he also had stenosis of the spine). He ended up having surgery and is in the process of healing and undergoing PT again.

Hello.....I agree xray's wont show really anything. They just show they bones, not the tissues. U need a MRI. I have had back problems for years. I have curviture of the spine along with bone spurs and need surgery. I see a chiropractor and pain management dr. I can no longer be adjusted because of this! But what it sound like is that you need to have an adjustment because you have twisted your muscles when you where running the bath for your daughter. There is no use living in pain and takeing to much advil will tear up your stomach! And not being able to play with your daughter much be killing you. I would find a chiro that is in your insurance plan that is close to you and schedule an appt ASAP and stuff living in pain. FIrst they will hook u up to a tens unit which is a machine that gives your muscles a electric shock and while that is going on they will also put heat on you to losen everything up before the Dr adjust u. But this is something u need....Believe me, I go 3 times a week...Good Luck Hun...Don't wait any longer hun..pick up the phone and go!!

First off, to the below comment; Vicoden is a narcotic; it is used a pain reliever. It does nothing to reset a nerve/muscle.

You more than likely pulled/twisted the muscles in your back. You might have even have bulged (herniated) a disk.

Take Motrin/Advil, those are anti-inflammatory medications and will help a lot! Ice it for the first 48 hours 20 min on, 20 min off. Then heat after that. The exercises they are giving you are to #1 to loosen the muscles and/or #2 strengthens your core muscles.

A chiropractor would probably do you a lot of good!! A good adjustment will align the spine and relieve muscle strain. If you have a bulged disk, most of the time it will even take the pressure off the nerve...

If you do have a pinched nerve you might have pain in either or both of your hips, shooting down the legs. I might ask the doctor for a muscle relaxer. Most common ones are Soma, Flexeril, or Skelaxin. (They can make you sleepy, if you have never used a muscle relaxer before I would recommend the Skelaxin; typically it does not make people sleepy)

I have suffered with chronic back pain for many years, (I have many different issues with my lumbar spine.) so I am very familiar with the treatments for back pain. With what you are experiencing I would assume the pain would be gone within 2 weeks or so.

When you get to the stage of chronic pain, you will be sent to see a neurologist. They will usually, send you for MRI's, CT Scans, x-rays, sometimes an ultrasound of the spine, then do a nerve test to see how badly affected the nerves are. They will usually start with Physical Therapy and medication. There are medications to treat nerve pain such as, Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Neurontin and so on. If that does not work then you will see a pain specialist who typically starts off with cortisone injections, then moves down the list... interlaminar epidurals, Translaminar Epidural, and so on. (All of which I have had and none of which have relieved my pain,)

The last resort is surgery. I am trying to avoid the surgery my doctors recommend. All surgeries can have serious complications. I have had several surgeries throughout my life. 4 on my knees alone. I never really considered the complications that could occur. Last year after my hysterectomy I had very severe complications. 4 days after coming home from the hospital I suffered Massive Bi-Lateral Pulmonary Embolisms. (Lots of blood clots in my lungs, they stopped counting at 8) By every medical standard I should have died that night; April 20th 2009. I was 28 years old! I am a mother to 4 beautiful children, ages 8, two 6 year olds and a 2 year old. So as you can imagine I am very afraid to ever have surgery again.

I currently take a variety of medications to get me through the day. 40 mg flexeril a day (20 morning and 20 night) two 5/500mg vicoden 3x's a day or two 5/325 percocet for pain depending on my pain level during the day. The first number refers to the amount of narcotic; the second number refers to the amount of Tylenol. So if you ever are prescribed one of these pain medications do not take any additional Tylenol products. Then I take 7mg of Valium nightly. Valium can be used for many different reasons, in my case it is used as an additional pain reliever and muscle relaxer, for me it has a sedating affect to help me sleep, pain free. On the nights that I am in too much pain to move/walk or function normally I also have Oxycodone to add to the mix. This is an opioid analgesic medication that is time released; it is also used for pain relief. This is my last resort of the really bad days. For an anti-inflammatory I take 800mg Motrin 2x's a day. Sometimes doctors will prescribe naproxen, it is also an anti-inflammatory, but does have the affect of pain relief.

Here is a website to help you understand more about back pain and the causes:

I hope your recovery is quick and the information I have provided helps you to understand the process of what can happen with chronic back pain.

I have had problems with my back in the past. It was a combination of sciatic nerve inflammation and my hips and spine being out of alignment. The best relief I had was when I went to the chiropractor. She re-aligned me and then I had electrical stimulation and ultrasonic heat treatments, it was marvelous... Check it out. As a nurse I have always been a little skeptical about chiropractors. Not anymore!!!
Good luck

It may be a pinched nerve--which wouldn't show up on an x-ray. Our bones, nerves and muscles all shift and change when we have kids, then shift back, and can shift yet again with future pregnancies. I used to have problems with my neck, which my doc either didn't know what was wrong or would just recommend physical therapy for a pulled muscle. After my son was born and I would get similar pains, I started seeing a chiropractor, regularly for awhile, but now just whenever I am in pain. The chiro can help adjust your bones so that it will take the pressure off of your nerves--proper spinal alignment makes the nerves function properly, and if something is pinched it will take that tension away. Your nerves send pain waves to your brain, so if one of them is pinched you can bet your butt its gonna cause severe pain. Now that I know what causes the pain, it doesn't happen often but when I do feel it I know right away whats causing it--go to the chiro and its all better. I would give it a shot--alot of people don't believe in chiropractic, but when you are in severe pain it really works wonders when nothing else will. I say give it a shot, it can only help. Good luck!


I am the queen of low back pain! What I would recommend is to get a referral from your doctor to see a Physical Therapist. I can't even tell you how valuable they are in helping you to understand your back pain, how to calm it down and what exercises you can do to strengthen your "Core". They will explain all this to you at your visit.

I highly recommend you consider this. Ask them also to show you exercises that include your baby. It will be more fun for both.

Best of luck! S. H

Hi, my name is M. and stay in Cape Town, South Africa,
What you discribe sounds like a slipped disc in your lower back, I had the same problem 24 years ago. I also went to various doctors and were told it was a pulled muscle. I finally after 3 weeks of pain landed in hospital and had a back operation for a slipped disc. You must insist they do a catscan . If you cannot sit on soft chairs and experience pain when you make a sudden movement it can only be what I discribed. good luck and I only know to well what it feels like and know one can find out what is wrong.
Hope I could be of some help.
Kind regards
M. B.

Ditto what others said... probably a pinch nerve. I would go to a chiropractor and get adjusted a couple of times. I just did something similar to myself. Went to the chiro and was better in 2 days. I have someone in River City if you live or work near the Loop. Just send me a note if you need the name. She also has a PT there who can recommend exercises for Core strength. Bring the xrays when you go.

I have experience this, and there are two solutions. one is a chiropractic treatment, from a McTimoney Chiropractor, only. The other is a Bowen treatment!
regular health care practitioners will treat your pain symptoms, only, where as these health care professionals will gently treat and fix the underlying problems.
we often care small children on our hips, and adjust our spines to compensate for the tilt in our pelvis. Over time, this compensation can lead to our whole Skeletal system being out of sync.
Also our spine our very vulnerable, and when we lift and twist at the same time, this is when our backs "go"
The pain is caused by muscle spasms, trying to hold the bones straight so that you do not damage you self again.
It is very common to lift and twist, putting baby in and out of the buggy, car, bath, etc, but you must just take a moment to think first!
Strong pain killers before bed, will help the muscles relax and the pain subside.
It is the most terrible injury and impinges on all other activity, and I really really feel for you .... but it will get better.
See those health care practitioners that i previously mentioned and take good care when lifting.

yes i did but i was actually bed ridden for over month the doctor ad to cum out to me as i cudnt move i was in that much pain i had to av an injection to ease the pain i suffered ..i had a slipped disc..i eventually went to see aspecialist n had an mmr scan which came up with two damaged discs i was offered an op but refused it as their was a 50% chance of leaving me paralysed...ill wait for it to get where i cant walk n then ill decide..instead i was offered injection i ad that n eased the pain ...istill suffer now with pain but i can bare it .

why not see a good chiropractor? most likely the pregnancy took your body out of line and the chiro will guide you back to place

Sound like what in my native is called a "witches shot" or acute lumbalgia. It can have a variety of reasons, but is often cause by an irritation of the nerve roots of the lower spine. Your doctor will want to exclude any serious issues, such as a blown disk, but in most cases it is merely an irritation.

It is quite common for people who do a lot of lifting and bending (having toddlers...) especially if you don't know how or don't make sure that you bend and lift ergonomically.

My mother is a geriatric nurse and in spite of all her best efforts if happens to her occasionally and is usually treated with steroid shots and pain relievers. Your physician or a physical therapist can show you how to bend and lift properly and the exercises should strengthen your muscles, so there will be less strain.
I am not a big believer in chiropractics for everything, but I do have to admit it does wonders for back pain, so you could give that a try as well.
For my mom it usually takes a few weeks before she is completely back to normal.
Good luck!

There is something about Vicoden that seems to reset the nerve/muscle on a very bad back pull. Take 2 Vicoden before bed, and by morning it is better.(with us, the pain is GONE by the next morning). This works with a decent prescription, not a low dose vicoden. Ask your doctor for a small prescription so that you can try it, or find someone who has a couple left over from a tooth pull.

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