I'll put a bit of my background here first before I ask my questions.
24 Year old Female, 5'8" 159 Llbs. Apart from L5/S1 "moderately large" central disc protrusion, I am very healthy.
December 2007--Hit by car while crossing the road. Broken clavicle, no other injuries
April 2008-- Sudden terrible low back pain, Go to PT for 1.5 months, everything is great!
August 2011--Throw out back turning the wrong way while sitting, get better within a week.
January 2012--Throw out back from sneezing, get better within a week.
March 2012--Start to notice sudden lower back pain at dinner, gets worse througout the night. For the next month in a lot of pain with limited movement. See a doc who prescribes muscle relaxers and anti inflammitories.
May 2012-- Although not in as much pain, still in pain--go to chiropractor, this helps signifigantly
July 2012- Having sex with boyfriend, when he suddenly pushes my legs too far back, and I feel lower back go. At first its excruciating to moving from sitting to standing, slow walking range, can't bend over etc. Go to PT, and get much better, still have some aches, but generally doing well.
August 2012-- some very mild burning pain in calf, go to doctor, get an MRI and get the result that I have a moderately large central disc protrusion at L5/S1, with some mild degeneration between the vertebrae.
I've seen a orthopedic surgeon's PA, and he didn't seem too concerned. Even though I have mild sciatica, I guess I passed all the nerve tests. Of course, after that, the pain gets worse. I can stand/ walk forever, but I can't sit for more than an hour without feeling pain in my tailbone. I also can't seem to get comfortable lieing down, and usually wake up at least once per night.
1. My pain predominantly is in my lower backs, the muscles in my glutes, and sort of up in the butt crack tailbone area. What I feel is crazy is that its a burning, inflammed pain. I think the reason why standing is more comfortable than sitting or lieing down is because nothing is touching the area, (for example, lieing on my stomach feels best) Has anyone else expereinced this burning inflammed pain? This is not like my prior back pain. Is this the sign of an infection?
2. Is this something that happened from having sex w/ my boyfriend? Or maybe got accelerated from the accident? Should I not be having sex in the meantime?
3. I read that 80-90% of patients don't need surgery, but when I look online, it seems thats what everyone gets? I don't know if its even an option for me, since currently, my disc is protruding (hasn't leaked out). It seems like surgery is something that is just inevitable with this....Does anyone know of someone who has conquered a herniated disc? How? My Doc said sometimes they get "re-absorbed"....
4. How often does one get an MRI for this? I'm nervous, because what if things get worse? or change from my last MRI? I didn't know if there was anything standard for this.
5. Treatment Advice. Its hard for me to work right now, thats most painful (especially cuz my right butt cheek ends up feeling like its ON FIRE after sitting for so long--fortunately, I am not feeling so much in my calf anymore, even though it was super mild. Thats supposed to be a good sign). I know definitely, from reading here, and talking to a few people who have endured this.....that it could be a lot worse. I'm grateful than I can walk, move around, and generally live my life, albeit with some pain. I am very scared of becoming invalid, addicted to pain killers and so on. I'm even avoiding ibuprofen right now, cuz I have been taking it somewhat regularly since March. I wish there was a way to treat the root cause of this rather than it being a pain management issue. And its so hard, because different docs tell me different things (One doc says no bending, my PT says bending is good---WHAT?!).
Sorry, if that is a big ramble. I'm only 24, so this is heavy on my mind. I have dreams of having children, carrying them, hiking, and being active, and that feels far away right now
Any stories, experience, expertise, would be appreciated. And if you are in central Texas and have had good doc experiences, please recommend!!!