I recently only turned 21 in early October, and have been dealing with chronic back pain for the past 2.5 years (since May/2009). I have two herniated discs in my lower back (L4-L5, L5-S1). The L4-L5 level is worse than the L5-S1, and is mildly bulging into my spinal canal, impinging on a nerve. I have severe pain in my lower back, and I get radiating pains from my lower back, through my buttocks and thighs, into my knees, through my shins, and into my ankles in BOTH legs. Now, I have literally tried nearly every viable option I have, except having a back surgery.
I have had several epidurals, facet injections, and a couple S.I. joint injection, only to find no relief from these. I have been through physical therapy multiple times, I tried seeking chiropractic help, even acupuncture, and still, no relief. I was told by a pain management doctor that if I were to get a TENS unit, I would benefit greatly from the unit, but I really didn't get any relief from this either. I have tried getting a workout/exercise routine, but this seems to only make my pain worse overall. My doctor recommended I try swimming to loosen my back up, but still nothing.
I see a pain management doctor for medications to help cope with the pain as best as possible. I take Cymbalta (60mg 2x's/day), Oxycodone ir (15mg 4x's/day), Baclofen (20mg 2x's/day), and Alprazolam (1mg 2x's/day). The pain management doctor can only do so much for me, as he can't really do much to treat the pain, other than just write me a prescription. I don't want to be on drugs my whole life, but I don't want to be in pain, suffering everyday either. I feel that I'm kind of at a standstill.
Now my doctor wants me to get a functional discogram to see if he can pinpoint where my pain is coming from. I have my appointment scheduled for the 28th, but have some worries. What if the discogram comes back false? or even true? Should I try everything I possibly can to get a surgery preformed? The pain is ruining the quality of my life so terribly bad. I feel that I can't work a full time job anymore because with my pain being so bad now, I really don't know how I would work 40 hours on top of the pain. I would honestly do ANYTHING to get some relief from this! I would just love to have my life back.
Please, if anybody has any advice or ANYTHING to say at all, please reply. I would greatly appreciate anybody who spends the time to talk with me.