Hi everyone, I'm a newbie - so glad I've found this site/forum. I'm Rach, 35 & from Australia.
I injured my back Oct '07 while lifting a heavy bucket out of the sink. I experienced excruciating pain in my lower back mainly on the R side. I took painkillers, dozed off & woke up, tried to stand up & fell out of the chair as I had numbness in both legs, absolutely no leg strength - they were like dead weights. I had to crawl to the bedroom. Next morning I was still in agonising pain & my spine was severely bent sideways - to the point where I looked deformed & felt like I was going to topple over.
Saw a chiro straight away who took x rays & he thought I'd pinched a nerve. I visited him every day for a week & he did very quick minimal spinal adjustments. Over the next few weeks I had chiro sessions every 3 - 4 days, then every 2 weeks. After a couple of months my spine slowly straightened & the pain decreased a fair bit, but it was still there & I felt I'd hit a plateau. I wasn't happy with my progress or the chiro's technique - so I changed chiro's.
Found my current chiro through word of mouth, highly recommended. He practices massage, accupuncture & spinal manipulation & adjustments. He's gentle, easy to talk to & explains everything clearly.
Most days I'm pain free, some days it's just a dull ache, enough to be annoying. Occasionally though I'll have 'flare ups' - they're really nasty & usually put me out of action & back on pain meds. My R facet joint plays up, becomes swollen & very painful. This affects the range of movement in my R hip/leg & sometimes I experience dull nerve pain down the front upper part of my R leg. During a flare up I also experience burning/aching lower back pain & sometimes stabbing muscle spasms.
Recently my GP sent me off for a lumbar spine x ray & referred me to a rehab/back specialist - who queried an annular tear & ordered a lumbar spine MRI. MRI reveals that "there is mild to moderate disc height reduction with loss of T2 signal at L3/4 & more severe disc height reduction at L4/5. At L3/4 there is very mild posterior broadbased disc bulging associated with a small annular tear. At L4/5 there is a large central focal disc herniation measuring 20 x 9 mm. This markedly indents the thecal sac at disc level. It appears to be extruded beyond the annulus. It does not produce any focal nerve root compression."
Good news is I don't need surgery at this point & I can have cortisone injections if needed. Now I'm concentrating on getting fit again as I'm hypothyroid as well as suffering a back injury, so I've become a tad porky! I used to be very slim, loved the gym, swimming, yoga & pilates. I'm also looking for a new job, as 11 years in aged care nursing hasn't helped my back either.
Anyhoo, sorry my post was so long - hope to 'meet' all of you eventually. :H