Oh My Achy Breaky Back & Butt


Wow, I had no idea how many people had a similar problem. This web site makes me feel like I'm not alone and that there is hope. What I'd like to do is describe my condition and symptoms, explain the history and what I've done to date, and what I'm currently doing. If anyone has any advice I'm willing to listen.

I'm a 39 year-old male who spends most of the work day in an office environment. My daily pain is not nearly as intense as some described by others. I choose to use the following adjectives: discomforting, throbbing, aching, strained, tired, tingling, and nervous. I would not characterize my pain as piercing, sharp, or debilitating. The areas affected are my lower back, buttocks, hamstrings, and occasionally the quadriceps. The pain is greatest when I sit for extended periods of time; the act of standing up or sitting down isn't painful. Standing and walking are not painful. Lying can sometimes be discomforting (more of a nervous, strained feeling) but not always.

My history has left my medical records full of lower back entries - but no solutions! I've had lower back pain since my teens. The buttocks discomfort started around 1999. In 2000 I suffered a hematoma in the left, upper buttocks that I attribute to riding a recumbent exercise bike the previous day. (There's nothing else I could have done to cause it, and the position of the recumbent bike leaves the tailbone exposed to the seat of the bike). The hematoma dissipated over time but left some sort of palpable fibrous scar tissue. My pain has worsened since then and is part of my daily life as it practically rules me in one way or another from the time I get up till the time I go to bed. Docs I've seen continue to insist that there's no correlation between the remnants of the hematoma and the pain.

In the past 3 years I've seen a variety of doctors and specialists: Rheumatologist, Neurologist, Orthopedic Surgeon, Physical Therapist, Acupuncturist, and Chiropractor. I've never once got what I consider to be a sensible diagnosis that would lead to proper treatment. I've taken a pain killer (Tramadol) off and on, and on an as-needed basis for the past three years but I'm committed to giving it up for good (been off it now for the past three weeks) because all that's doing is masking the cause and it leaves my woozy.

I recently went to a masseuse who is trained in soft tissue release. I saw her for the third time yesterday. Although I experienced no appreciable pain reduction, the pain during certain portions of the routine diminished almost altogether on the third visit. We zeroed in on the worst area - the left piriformis. This muscle hurt when pressure was applied and was noticeably tight. I'm not sure if more soft tissue release is in order (due to the fact that a patient is supposed to experience relief within three sessions) but I'm committed to give it a try a few more times, along with doing the prescribed stretching exercises. My masseuse also showed me how she believes my sacroiliac joint may be locked and that it might be helpful to discuss this with my chiropractor. It's through her that I came to this web site, because she kept mentioning the muscle "piriformis", and to sate my curiosity I googled "buttocks muscles" the next day and voila, I found this web site.

So this is where I stand today with no magical cure in sight. What I'd like is to hear from someone who has experienced similar pain and successfully conquered it.




Updated 2004-05-16

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