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Thread: Teenage son 6th lumbar in constant pain

  1. #1

    Unhappy Teenage son 6th lumbar in constant pain

    My son is 15 and has had back and neck pain since 5th grade. He has the 6th lumbar, but MRI results show everything else being normal. No fusion to the sacrum has been shown. I don't know what to do for him. He takes 800 mg ibuprofin that doesn't seem to help at all with the pain in his lower back. Does anyone know of anything else we can try? Maybe chiropractic care or pain management? I don't want my 15 year old to be taking narcotic pain killers. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    I was there before my cervical sci, but at L4/5 & S1. I had no sci then, just buldging discs, sciatica & compression on a nerve. It sounds like that's his problem now, no spinal damage just pain. You say there's no sacral fusion, you must be a bit confused(it all is) because a fusion is a repair; titanium bracing to the area.

    Anyways, I suffered for years & always triggered horrible spasms in that area. I finally got on Baclofen which helped those some & took Ultram for pain(it isn't narcotic but acts like one). Still though I needed nerve blocks done by pain management to get through a bad period. They say exercise helps & I would think "yea right", but it does! I felt my best once I got pain & spasm free due to walking & using an exercise ball for stretches & crunches. He may have some arthritis too & just lately I've found Voltaren to work great. Make an appt w/ a neurosurgeon & he can make the best judgements on that & make referrals. Stay away from surgical interventions just yet.

  3. #3
    This is what the OP is talking about I believe - what "fusion" in this case refers to is the extra "sixth lumbar" vertebrea fusing to the sacrum.

    Here's a write-up on the condition:

    "In other words, it would be very rare for an abnormality such as a sixth lumbar vertebra or extra bone in the sacrum to cause back problems.
    The one exception to this general guideline is in cases where the last transverse process (a bony protrusion near the vertebra) is partially attached to the sacrum, or “sacralized”. If this bony protrusion is attached to the sacrum, it can create a rudimentary joint (pseudoarticulation) where there shouldn’t be one. The resulting motion in this section of the spine can sometimes be a cause of localized low back pain "

    It sounds like they don't know what is causing the pain - as it is in the neck and lower back, and I believe she is saying there is no fusion to the sacrum.

    Personally, I would suggest evaluation by a pain management physician. Two types of docs (in general) do this - neurologists and anesthesiologists - who have extra training in pain management. Neuro tends to use more medications, anesthesiologists tend to use more blocks, although imo the good ones do both.

    I would seek out a pain management physician who does medication management and procedures, and get an evaluation.

    There are various possibilities for medications besides opiates, as well as other therapies - for example physical therapy.

    I personally would not let a chiropractor work on anyone who does not have their problem diagnosed. I would be afraid it might make things worse.

  4. #4
    How athletic is your son? Is he active in sports?
    Have you seen a spine specialist, whether it be an orthopedist or neurosurgeon?
    Does the town/city/hamlet you live in have 'manual therapists' - a subset of physical therapists?
    Are there athletic trainers in your area who deal with young clients?
    These are some questions that I would look at initially.
    Hope to hear more....

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