I have well over a year history of this persistent pain in my lower left back. I'm 29 years old and I'm active. I'm 6'1" and 180 lbs. I exercise regularly and have always had good posture.
I have been diagnosed with degenerative and bulging L1/2 discs. I have recently received an epidural injection, which has relieved pain around the spine. The pain that I have been experiencing every day for well over a year still persists.
The pain (more like an ache) is always on the left side
I can go to sleep with very little pain, but then wake up a few hours later with that area aching. I will then likely wake up several times after that with the same ache. This happens frequently.
It seems there's less chance of it aching when I keep my body as straight as possible while sleeping. It seems to ache more when my legs curl.
I can gain relief when I massage or press hard on the psoas and other hip flexors.
Stretching the leg muscles seems to help - and I've definitely gained more flexibility over the weeks I've been doing this - but it doesn't provide any long term or permanent relief.
The center of my back generally only hurts when it's hunched forward for a bit, otherwise it's relatively pain free.
It seems the pain/aching in my lower left back is somehow associated with tight or short muscles. I'm wondering how the bulging discs would cause this and if I can find permanent relief in this area.
I've had an MRI and have been seen by an orthopedic doctor, an osteopathic doctor (epidural injection), two physical therapists and even a chiropractor. None of them have provided sustained relief and the physical therapy might have only made things worse.
Any ideas? 4 to 5 hours of sleep with intermittent pain every night for the past year has been quite unpleasant. I need to find a fix. I've accepted the degenerative and bulging discs for what they are. What I desire is to remedy this aching in the lower left back that seems to be attributed to tight or short muscles.