My name is Kristen and I am 26. I was diagnosed with DDD 3 months ago. I have always had what I would call a "bad back". I remember having minor sciatica and lower back pain at a young age (10) and at that time ibuprofen would alleviate it.
In December of 2010, I started experiencing intense pain in my left thigh. The sensations were throbbing, burning, aching, etc. Long story short - it took until 3 months ago, after 2 different therapy programs (traditional and McKenzie) with no improvement to figure out what was wrong. I went to a specialist and after reading my MRI he diagnosed me. My mother has DDD, as did her mother, so it shouldn't have come as such a surprise, but it was very defeating for me to hear considering my age and how I have watched my mother suffer throughout the years.
I have DDD between L4-L5 and L5-S1. My doctor described it as mild at this time. This doesn't sound bad, but the problem is that I am still in pain. I have experienced some relief taking Voltaren bid (2x daily). I've had 2 lumbar steroid injections, but I can't say I noticed any difference. If I had any, it was slight. I was prescribed Neurotin a month ago to try to alleviate the rest of the pain. I've taken 100 mg tid (3x daily) for the past month but continue to have severe light-headedness. I called my doctor to tell him this and he told me to stop taking Neurotin. I was expecting that I could possibly try another med but he told me that there really isn't much else other than muscle relaxers and narcotics, both of which he said he doesn't want to do, and I don't want to do, either. He did say there was Lyrica but he seemed to think I would experience the same light-headedness. He told me to try extra strength tylenol tid in addition to the Voltaren for a month.
I am very discouraged. I am able to work (computer desk job), but I am not able to do the things I used to be able to do without I would say a 6-8 on the pain scale - dance, bowl, drive more than 20 minutes - even the little things like mopping or vaccuuming are things I have avoided for months. My social life, my dating life, is nothing. I know there are worse conditions out there but I feel like half of my life has been stolen from me and the only parts left are the parts that I don't enjoy.
I don't really have any questions. I am just not sure what to to do.