Hello, I am looking for some advice from others on how to proceed with my situation. Any input is greatly appreciated. Looking to hear from anyone going through this or experts on what generally works and what does not work. I realize everyone is different but there seems to be alot of general information on this and not many secifics. Just trying to get a feel for the experiences of others.
I am 32 and I herniated my L5/S1 disc to the right side in January of 2010. Initially this was VERY painful. I was put on a Prednizone pack followed by tons of NSAIDS and light duty pain meds. After the initial injury, I was able to make a 80% or so recovery in about 6 months. This means I could walk OK again without limping and was not in constant pain. All reflexes returned except achilles. Sciatica went away for the most part.
I have since had 3 or 4 "flare-ups" where I reverted back to maybe half as bad as I was the first time. This was due to sleeping wrong twice and standing for several hours another. 2/3 times I used NSAIDS to get through it and once I got another steroid pack to help get me through it.
I have seen 2 Dr.s so far both recommended in my area. Both have said the MRI suggests I would definitely be a canidate for surgery if I had more constant pain but because it can be treated and eventually goes away, that surgery should be avoided at this time.
Generally after a "flare-up" has "healed" I have a little pain but I am basically afraid to do anything physically challenging. I cannot stand for more than 20 min or so without getting a sore back and having to sit down and rest for a few minutes. This all gets better sometimes. I have been given a precription for Celebrex which seems to help as well. It has been suggested that I have physical therapy too but have been afraid to do it to this point because I didn't want to inflame the nerve again.
I have been told there is still the option to do a nerve block and/or some injections (not sure the order)as a next step.
The right edge of my right foot is numb and has been since about a week since I herninated my disc. They have told me this may be permanent. I can live with the numbness but the pain during "flare-ups" or fear of pain has got me going crazy.
I guess my questions is, can someone really live a normal life with a hearinated disc against the sciatic nerve? Or am I going to have these kinds of problems until an injection or other action is taken?
I do not want surgery. I personally know someone who had surgery for a similiar problem and ended up WAY worse off. You also hear so many bad things about surgery. It seems like there is also a reason two Drs at the two major practices in my large city are telling me to avoid surgery.
What is generally the success with the nerve blocks or injections? Any other suggestions?