Back pain of lower left side

Patient

Q: I currently am a 19 year old female 5'2" 240 pounds. 3 years ago at age 16 I was in the gym with a few friends. I leg pressed 900 pounds 3 times... yes 900 pounds! I have since experienced chronic lower back pain on my left side of my sacrum. Over the years it has gotten worse to the point in which I can not lay flat on my back with out excruciating pain on the lower left side, so bad so that I cannot lift my left leg when laying flat. The pain goes away when I stand on my left leg, but hurts when I take the pressure off... I can't seem to figure out anything that helps...

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that you may have sustained a lower back injury from the excessive amount of weight you leg pressed. A possible back injury whose symptoms could have lasted this long could be due to a partial herniated intervertebral disc. This occurs when one of the cushioning cartilaginous discs partially rupture. We recommend that you follow up with your doctor to have a physical examination of your back performed and an MRI to determine the extent of your back injury. Since its been 3 years, you may need to under go a rigorous regimen of physiotherapy to treat this pain. If the herniation is severe, it may need to be surgically repaired. Please see your doctor.

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