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A 37-year-old member asked:

I have had x-rays, an mri, nerve tests, and the doctors say they are all negative, but i still have a pain in my lower back, that shoots down my leg?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bettina Herbert
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 20 years experience
Misalignment: Many misalignments are biomechanical (how your body lines up and works - or doesn't) and may not show up on imaging. They can be caused by old injuries, compensations to injuries or sugeries, deconditioning or by life. Now that you know it's not something scary, find a good do who does manipulation (biodo.Com, aao.Com, cranialacademy.Com). Once alignment is better, consider adding phys therapy.
Dr. Craig Morton
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 18 years experience
See spine specialist: It is possible to have these pains despite normal studies. A non-surgical spine specialist might be able to localize your pain generator. You can have nerve irritation from the spine that was not apparent on the MRI and emg's are frequently negative. In these cases diagnostic injections with anesthetic only can be used to help identify the source of your pain.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery 29 years experience
Further work up: There are other potential causes of neurological leg pain, some of which are dynamic and so they do not show up on nerve testing; piriformis stndrome is one exam. There are non- neurological causes as well including vascular disease. A detailed history, exam, and appropriate studies may indicate the cause.

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Last updated Apr 4, 2016

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