Just wanted to introduce myself. I read the forums for like 12 hours and decided i should join. There is a pretty good support group here it seems. I am 28, male....have had thoracic back issues from a pretty young age. currently i have arthritis.. whats referred to as osteophyte complexes from t5 to t11 with buldging discs at T5/6, T8/9, L4/5, L5/S1. i get a lot of referred pain from the thoracic stuff into my teeth, abdomen, around my rib cage, lower back. And i believe the lumbar discs are causing major local pain, discogenic pain. I have not had a discogram to confirm. My pain is constant but the intensity varies. It hurts when sitting, standing, laying down it never stops. I used to be real active in sports and weight lifting but have had to cease those activities completely. My mind is stuck in someone elses body bc i want to work out really bad, but as hard as i tried to work around my problems and modify my exercise i just had to quit. I do work full time but it is hard. No one understands!....and i work in orthopedics! ugh. I look really healthy and always try to joke around at work and try not to complain since it wont help (sometimes i do complain just for confirmation that it indeed does not help)....My peers dont realize i usually come home and lay down not getting up till the next day and all weekend i lay down and dont feel motivated to even go to the grocery store. Plus its hard to deposit all these big checks into the bank all the time LOL NOT, i wish!!! Money stresses me and health care costs a ton as most here would already know. I worry about keeping my job and keeping my health insurance. When i interact with people i stay positive and i generally can connect with all walks of life. I do feel like a victim of circumstance with the back issues. I mean heck my ex-wife always wanted to go and do all the fun things young people do and for the most part left me bc she wants to have fun, party, live it up, not feel restricted by my issues. When we were together i did a lot outside of the house but i had to push through pain and she never understood. With the right motivation i am willing to do most things but i can only spend so many hours before i need to rest. My body gets extra extra angry with me when i dont let it rest and force long activities. Anyway i dont have any loss of motor skills and i am thankful for that. Sometimes i get tingling and numbness that lasts for long periods of time. This is not nearly as annoying as the pain. I have some other health issues besides the spine but i am a fighter and trying to do or become the best i can with the hand delt. Here mostly for support. If i just had one affected disc i would go for a fusion but as it is I just dont know. Pretty sure this will be the ultimate outcome. I am up for the challenge when the time comes, some days i feel like the time is here but i have to support myself financially and I am trying to plan accordingly. hopefully i can live pain free eventually. It would be worth the struggle since after recovery i would be the happiest person in the world, and how cool would that be? (i know surgery is not always the answer, im just sayin' ...maybe it would work) long introduction i know. And not even half the story, but its a start. feel free to message me if you want!