I've had a longish history of back problems. Disc bulge and nerve impinglement definitively diagnosed and treated with a disc/laminectomy at L5/S1. There is also possible bone spurs. Since then I have had problems which my pain doc (specialises in back and neck) has said is SIJ, a chiropracter has said disc (I have a bulge at the same level on the other side to the disc/lami) and a physiatrist has said is disc. In their defense, sometimes it does feel like the pain is axial, and other times it does feel more like it is the SI joint.
I have had plenty of SIJ steroids, which seem to help some of the time, same for epidurals (which always help when the problem is clearly my back). I went to PT which also helped. I also work out daily and do yoga and try to stretch to some degree each day. The twisting chiropractic-style alignment also helps and sometimes I feel a little "pop" and a slight tingle and a lot better.
The problems are back and seem to be getting progressively worse. I probably have a background pain level of 2, but can go up to 4-6. Dosing up on ibuprofen sometimes helps. Muscle relaxants (like soma) nearly always help. Lidoderm patches always help. I don't think the epidural/SIJ injections are definitive enough. Everyone says MRIs of the SIJ area are no good diagnostically. CT Scans seem to be out of vogue at the moment as well.
Are there any diagnostic techniques which can be used to differentiate the problems I am having? Should I see an orthopod?