Hi - as the Subject line says - I have had chronic lumbar back pain - such that I have to severely limit my activity to 4 hrs of light activity a day; cannot work, cannot go out shopping/socialize, cannot take public transport, cannot clean my house, cannot cook - lots of things I can't do any longer.
I believe I have discogenic pain - I have DDD, a bulge and a tear at l4/l5 - it was a herniation up until 1 1/2 years ago, when the MRI shows the herniation has "resolved" (sucked up, eaten up, dried up? I don't know). My pain is all primarily in my lower back. I take oxy ER and lyrica to keep the pain at baseline, and if I exceed my 4 hour limit of activity a day, I take percocet for breakthrough pain.
I hurt my back on a very rough, rickety, fast old roller coaster. Since then, I have taken all kinds of meds - had Steroid injections in the facets, ESI's and Sacro illiac joint - all with some minor, temporary relief - but not attacking the real problem - AXIAL BACK PAIN. There is no numbness, tingling or loss of motor function - IT'S ALL PAIN, AND IT'S ALL BACK. Also, if I ignore the "4 hours of light activity" rule for a couple of days (by taking lots of breakthrough meds) - I HAVE ACUTE EPISODES FROM "HURTING MY BACK AGAIN" - IT FEELS LIKE WHEN I FIRST HURT IT ALL OVER AGAIN - MY BACK "GOES OUT" - AND IT TAKES 2-6 WEEKS TO RECOVER FROM THIS. Even though I'm very careful, I "hurt my back again" about 3 - 4 times a year.
I've been to 4 surgeons, and because I don't fit in the box, they're not really interested (although one of them seems to want to help find a diagnosis). The big problem is, the test for discogenic pain is the "DISCOGRAM" - but my discogram - although it shows the dye running out into the bulge - I HAD NO PAIN AT ALL. I think they gave me too much sedation or did not put enough pressure into my disc - I DON'T KNOW! IT'S ALL A RIDDLE THAT I'VE TRIED DESPERATELY TO SOLVE FOR THE PAST 3 1/2 YEARS.
I am so sick of steroids (now have a puffy round red face); medications, needles, MRI's, physical exams, stupid happy faces on pain scales, needles needles needles.
I KNOW I'M LUCKY I DON'T HAVE FAILED BACK SURGERY! I KNOW I'M LUCKY I DON'T HAVE MOTOR PROBLEMS/NERVE PROBLEMS! BUT I KNOW THAT WHEN I DO TOO MUCH, OR WHEN I HURT MY BACK AGAIN, I AM AS CRIPPLED AS ANYONE - I CAN'T STRAIGHTEN MY BACK, AND CAN ONLY SLOW SHUFFLE WALK WITH SUPPORT!
PLEASE DON'T TELL ME A NEGATIVE DISCOGRAM IS A GOOD THING - NOT WHEN THE ONLY DIAGNOSIS THAT SEEMS TO FIT IS DISCOGENIC PAIN, AND THEY WON'T TREAT THAT BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVE RESULT(HONESTLY - I DON'T THINK THEY KNOW HOW - FUSION DOESN'T NECESSARILY SOLVE THE PROBLEM - LOOK AROUND SPINE-HEALTH!).
Any advice, kindness, any ideas, ANYONE OUT THERE WHO HAS SIMILAR PROBLEMS WHO CAN JUST SAY HI - Anything would be much appreciated.