I am a 28 year old female with no history of injury. I was a competitive cheerleader for four years but only suffered occasional leg pain during that time.
I began to notice pain in my low back, tailbone area and buttocks that radiated down my hips and continued down the side of my outer leg into my foot. I also had pain at the uppermost part of my thigh and groin area which seemed to begin about 6 years ago.
My mother is a ARNP specializing in pain management. She has always thought it was piriformis syndrome but sent me to a friend who was a neurologist. He ran MRI's of my lumbar and there was nothing abnormal. I think he would have dismissed me if not for being a family friend.
We came around to the idea of a left facet problem with SI joint involvement. I had trigger point injections and radiofrequency. This alleviated the low ache and the stabbing pain deep in what felt like my tailbone. I was put on Ultram (tramadol).
I went to physical therapy for possible piriformis syndrome, mostly because my mother insisted but I received no relief.
What I tried to explain (and often stopped because of my doctor’s raised eyebrows) was that the pain alternated from side to side. Almost like a mirror. Some days my left side was on fire and some days no pain at all on left side but was now in exactly the same places on the other side.
Unfortunately, my doctor fell ill and I am now seeing someone else. She is very kind and has done SI injections with some relief. When I tried to explain the pain jumping from one side to the other she said, "Ok, now you're telling me stuff that doesn't make any sense."
I showed her the muscle that aches so bad just above what I now know to be my iliac crest. I have told her many times. It is the muscle pain that brings me to my knees. I can take the other stuff. She asked me what makes it worse? Sitting, that will do me in every time.
Also, I have a permanent knot almost in the center of my back to the right and left of my spine below my rib cage. Exactly where the diagram shows. I have never seen all my pain in one chart before! If my husband massages that knot it seems to release the tension all the way down my leg. Always seemed weird to me until now.
Also I have had injections for severe bursitis in my hip. When she did the ultrasound my doctor remarked she could not find a cause for it, it was "just there" and it was an odd shape as if it was being pulled up towards my pelvis.
The pain seems to be getting worse as the years go by. I am desperate for answers. I have three kids and some days I can't get off the couch. I should also add I am very active (5"2, 115 lbs), we eat no gluten or processed foods and I limit caffeine and sugars.
A side note: I had ZERO pain starting halfway into my second trimester while pregnant. It did not return until about three months post-partum. I want to move past this. I want my life back. I want to go back to my dance lessons and cheer coaching. Any advice or insight would be deeply appreciated!!
Thank you for posting all this. At least I know now I'm not imagining things!
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Neuromuscular Therapist & Pain Relief Researcher
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