I need some advice and I'm not sure where to go. I'll try to make this as short as possible.
Over the past few years I've been having problems with my lower back. Around January 2012 the pain was unbearable so I went to the doctor. They took x-rays and said I was fine, to take some Ibuprofen and put an ice pack on it. A week later I could barely move so, on a friends' recommendation, I went to a chiropractor. He sent me to an orthopedic surgeon, who again took x-rays. His comment was, "you have a very healthy spine for a woman your age". But he couldn't explain why I was having lower back pain. Several months passed when I told my chiropractor something else needed to be done since the pain was getting worse. He sent me to have an MRI done back in October. It showed I had one protruding disc, one bulging disc, stage 4 disc degeneration and osteoarthritis. But, he said, this still wouldn't explain the pain. So I kept doing my usual things every day until two weeks ago when I started getting pains radiating down my legs. I had another MRI done two weeks ago. This one shows two bulging discs (one is torn and the other is encroaching on the nerve), stage 4 disc degeneration and osteoarthritis. Yet, the chiropractor says this MRI shows improvement over the previous one. Huh????
This afternoon when I saw my chiropractor he said he wanted to send me to a pain management specialist. When I asked him why he gave me an odd look and said so they can manage my pain. I told him I don't want to cover up the symptoms, I want to get to the root of the problem and get it fixed. I told him, in my opinion, seeing a pain management doctor would be like taking aspirin to get rid of a headache from a brain tumor. He said, no, it's worse. It's like covering a smoke detector with a pillow when there's a fire. I have no idea what he meant by that comment.
I know I need to see another doctor. I have an appointment with my PCP on Feb 7. The orthopedic doctor I saw is part of the largest orthopedic practice where I live and it will be hard to find one that's not in that practice.