33/M. Fit, otherwise healthy. Previously very active and athletic. No MVA's or trauma to spine - Have been fighting back issues for about 6 months now, with symptoms getting progressively worse. Very scared and depressed at what the future holds, especially when reading some of the awful and chilling posts on this site. My heart breaks horribly for so many of you, and I fear I may be joining you before too long.
Started with hand nerve issues both sides, did a cervical MRI which came back normal. Did EMG/NCV which was also relatively normal so issue is/was thought to be Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Has since progressed to mid back and lower (SI) joint pain. Now it hurts (2 out of 10 scale) to stand for more than 15 minutes or sit in a chair for extended lengths. I get sciatica from time to time and I also have really bad TMJ issues because of back neck issues. Basically I'm messed up top to bottom.
Have seen 3 Neuros. 2 Chiros. Tried PT for 3 months, with little improvement long term. Some days better, some days worse.
Right now the pain is somewhat tolerable, it's more of a nuisance. But 6 mos. ago I was completely symptom free. And I am aware many people even on this site would give anything to be where I am. So I am grateful where I am, today. But I am frightful for tomorrow. It is becoming increasingly difficult to do my occupation (desk work) and I don't have any disability being that I am self employed. I am newly married and I am fearful my marriage would not last through me being in disabling chronic pain. I know I am not there yet, but I am not prepared emotionally or physically and the trend of my symptoms is disturbing. They're getting progressively worse and spreading by the day.
I am set to see an Ortho. this coming Wednesday where they will start with a lumbar x-ray my lower back I assume. Guessing it won't show much of anything - as I have read many do not.
Thoughts are that most of my issues are tissue, muscles, posture, or severe inflammation related but I can't be sure. How can I know? Even if they were mechanical, I am not sure how I would honestly deal with them. And it doesn't make the pain any different. I don't want to consider back surgery unless I am completely out of options - and without any clear target I am not sure that would even be an option for me.
Feeling very scared and depressed because I read of so many people who relegated to opiates and chronic pain for the rest of their days. I fear that I am headed there as I can't see any improvement in my symptoms. Wondering if there is anything I can do to stave that off. I still try to remain active and mobile as I know it helps to keep the joints moving in the back.
Just so down because I can almost touch the days prior where I was a "normal" symptom free person. I am not even married a year and my poor wife has had to face the possibility of me not being able to work or a medical condition which has yet to be fully identified.
Could use some encouraging stories of people who have managed to get better or find a way to cope with the nagging discomfort. Hard when the majority of people here have signatures with multiple surgeries, drugs taken, etc. Scary to think I could ever be in that group but I know it's an indiscriminate ailment and nobody deserves this sort of agony.
Anyone else have major back pain WITHOUT herniations or DDD? Is it possible muscles can cause this chronically? Is there any hope?