Hello! First post here. I will try to tell my story as thorough and as briefly as possible. 25 yo Male. 185 lbs. Very healthy.
I originally injured my back about six years ago lifting a snowmobile. The next day I couldn't get out of bed or walk. I nursed it back to life over two months with OTC pain meds, chiropractic, and lots of ice. I was mostly back to normal until this spring. (March, 2013) I go into the golf shop to get fitted for new irons. I went onto the monitor cold turkey. Hadn't swung a club in many months. No warm up. Something went wrong - and it hasn't gotten better four months later. I am in pain all the time... but NO NERVE SYMPTOMS, except a very occasional sharp flare through my groin and into legs. And so the story begins...
I started with chiro again. I did 5-6 adjustments over a month. Tons of ice and stretching. Things got better for a while, then back to bad again. He took X-Ray and found a definite pinch in the L5-S1.
Head to DO Doc that specializes in spinal health. We try strong anti-inflammatory drugs and a prednisone pack. When the drugs are at their peak, I actually have a pain-free day or two. After the drugs... pain is back to normal. We turn to MRI. It shows herniated disc at L5-S1 and some degeneration at L5-S1 & L4-L5. We do an epidural injection. The numbing agents felt great... but this didn't solve anything. Back to pain that same evening. Doc suggests physical therapy.
Head to PT. We do a 6 week plan of core stability and flexibility. (During this time i'm still doing some anti inflammatory from the doc) I have good days and bad days. Still in pain. Overall not any better than before PT.
Head back to doc and say we need to be more aggressive. It's been four months. Clearly this approach isn't working. He offers more drugs, another injection, and a referral to an orthopedic specialist. He says I am not a surgery candidate without nerve symptoms.
So now we are up-to-date. I am in uncomfortable pain just sitting in my work chair typing this. I hate the pills I'm taking. They make me drowsy. Specialist is still a month out. I continue to do PT at home. I am extremely frustrated that it won't go away. I've done everything right.
Does anyone have any opinions or tips regarding my case? Am I really not a surgery candidate because I don't have nerve symptoms? Should I lie and say I do? Am I going to live like this for the rest of my life?
Thanks for your reply Dave. I will definitely keep trudging on. I anxiously await my appointment with the orthopedic specialist. I have not seen anyone for pain management. I like to think i'm handling it pretty well. I just don't think I should have to live with it forever. I'm too young. My back shouldn't be affecting my life the way it is.
I will definitely read the tips that are pinned up top.