sigh, i have a long history with back problems.
when i was about 24, i hurt my back at work lifting a patient. i went through many months of pt and eventually had an MRI that showed herniation at L5/S1 and a bulge at L4/L5. I mostly recovered from that although i was declared permanent and stationary. since then, i would only notice hip pain (i always felt it on the side of my right leg, not down the back like traditional sciatica) when i was doing housework (i know it sounds awfully convenient, but totally true!), or lifting, or when abusing my body in some other way.
fast forward to late september of last year. i was 29, almost 30 and i was riding my bike and a car hit me. i developed right shoulder pain and was seen by a PT for that right away. at the time, my back was only hurting me a slight bit so i didn't get treatment for it. the PT suggested that i try yoga as a means to strengthen my shoulder after my injury. i began taking a vinyasa yoga class once a week. this continued for about 8 weeks before i began developing intense chronic back pain. i could no longer comfortably ride my bike. every time i stood up from a sitting position it was like i couldn't straighten my spine. i was also having trouble sitting for long periods of time for class because of the continuous aching pain in my back.
i made an appt with my doc, who took me off of work for 7 weeks and again referred me for PT. i treated with one PT for about 5 weeks and had no improvement so i began seeing a chiropractor. at first, it seemed like he was helping me quite a bit. my shoulder was feeling better and so was my back. but then after an adjustment one day, i began to feel some tingling in my legs whenever i would look down. 5 months later, i still have that tingling and it just keeps getting worse. i know that the adjustment he gave me caused the tingling and since then i have read that people with herniations should not be adjusted by a chiropractor because the shearing force they use to make adjustments can further damage discs. if only i would have known!
most recently, i again hurt myself at work lifting a patient. so now i am at square negative one because i have more pain and new symptoms. i now have tingling in my arms, particularly my right arm in addition to right shoulder pain and right lower back pain. UGH! i just feel like its never going to end! i'm trying to finish school (grad program starts in two weeks) and i had to buy a car for the 100 mile round trip commute to school, since now i have what my PT describes as a "load-sensitive spine." ie: i cannot carry a back pack, nor can i tolerate the impact from bumps in the road on my bike. no more bike and train commute. no more backpack.
currently, i can walk for about 10 minutes before i really start to tingle. i have done three steroid tapers in hopes of getting rid of my pain and tingling. fortunately, the tapers and PT have helped the pain tremendously, but haven't done much for the tingling. currently i am forbidden from just about every type of exercise. i won't try yoga again since i believe that it was also a culprit in worsening my back. i can't run, walk too much, swim, hike (something i really love and hope to be able to do again someday), bike, play sports, sit too much, stand too much (general admission concerts are out...). i'm sure everyone in here can relate on the frustration all of the limitations bring.
luckily, i have a new and amazing PT that has helped me recover partially (to the point i am at now) and i am extremely grateful for his enthusiasm and competency.
i'm hoping to feel better soon. and looking forward to supporting and chatting with the others on this board. hello to everyone!