I'm a 50 year old man who has been very active, lifting weights, running, etc. I do have a desk job, so over the years my core is not as strong as it used to be, but I'm still considered to be in good shape. I've had some off and on back problems that have always been diagnosed as muscular, and they've always gone away. The worst episode did land me in the hospital, as I woke up in the middle of the night and could not move at all. That was about 2 years ago.
My recent history is that in Mar 2012 I developed a bad respiratory illness that had me doing some major coughing, to the point that my lower back started hurting. Just as it was getting better, I somehow managed to hurt my back a bit working out, but went to my chiropractor, felt great the next day, and hit the gym to do legs. No problems noted, and worked out the next day, a Friday, doing arms. Well, later that night and into the weekend, I started having the most agonizing pain that feels the worst in my leg, primarily my hamstring, where it's a dull, constant ache, and the shin, where I get a shooting pain. It's hard to straighten up, too. I feel like I'm binding in the soft tissue near the groin muscles. I can also feel pain in the buttocks. If I just touch my back, it feels super sensitive. A very strange feeling. That first weekend I got virtually no sleep, as I was in total agony. The only position that would provide any relief at all would be if I'd get on my knees and stretch out like the Muslims do when they are praying. I saw my doc and he got me on Prednisone, which I'm almost through with, and Vicodin for pain. I've tried to limit the Vicodin but can't get through the day without it. I just had an MRI but haven't seen the radiologist's report. It's been over 2 weeks now and it's pretty scary, as I can't see living life like this. Does this sound like sciatica or perhaps something else? I can move, but everything is painful. Thanks.