Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum, and I'm looking for any advice/input that any of you have. I'm 21 Yrs old and have had back pain for 3 years now. After a year, I finally got an MRI and it showed l4/l5 herniation and an l5/s1 herniation that presses on my S1 nerve root. I started with PT for 6 weeks with no relief, then had my first epidural. I wasn't in any pain for about 2 weeks then it came back worse than ever (found out later that he hit my spinal sac). After that I dealt with it for another year before seeing another PM doctor. I had a series (4 separate times) of Lumbar epidurals, SI joint, and Facet Joint injections. By this point they really did nothing for me pain relief wise.
I got another MRI in the fall and my problems got way worse. I still had the herniations and pinched nerve, and also added on DDD, Spinal Stenosis, arachnoiditis, and a disc losing height in the middle of my back. I was in a lot of pain so I started the hunt for a surgeon. I had a microdiskectomy/laminectomy (he also removed a facet joint). The surgery went really well, and got rid of the shooting pain in my right leg, but still to this day I'm in a good amount of pain. After recovering I thought I would be in a lot less pain, but that's not the case.
I went through PT and stayed at the same pain level. The only thing that changed was the shooting pain. I've been seeing my PM doctor currently and we're trying a few different things. They initially thought all the pain I'm still having in my lower back is my Facet joints because of the exams, so I had a epidural block with absolutely no difference. I had an EMG a few weeks ago, and it shows my S1 nerve is still pinched! They think it's from the arachnoiditis. My nerves start thickening around the l2/l3 level then they clump really bad around my l5/s1 which they believe is pinching my nerve. I'm not positive what they just injected me with last week, but it was to help break away scar tissue.
I'm still in the same amount of pain I was before, and am still going to PT. We talked about the option of a SCS, but I'm not really for it. Just curious how others have dealt with this problem. From what I have read and researched there is no cure for it, and it is a recurring thing. I never was big on the narcotics for relief, currently I only take 2 tramadol in the morning and at night, then a valium at night for sleep. It just really bothers me because I'm only 21, and I know eventually I will need to have more work done on my back.