I did as much reading as I can on this site, but I would like to hear people's opinions from experience. As we all know, everyone's situation here unique.
So here is the story - I hurt my back lifting weights in May 2010 (I was 18 years old at the time). I was in a car accident in August 2010 which caused my L5-S1 disc to bulge. Eventually, the pain kept getting worse after trying physical therapy. Then one morning in October 2011 I woke up and could barely walk. January 2012 An MRI showed it became herniated. I went back to college and the pain got so bad that I had to withdraw.
The most logical option for me was surgery after I tried an epidural injection in March 2012 which helped for about 2 weeks. The pain was very bad and radiated down my legs all the way to my feet. On May 8, 2012 I got a Microdiscectomy at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. For those of you unfamiliar, it is one of the best places to get such a surgery and has amazing success rates and world class doctors.
I was feeling better every day until about a month and a half after surgery - the pain leveled out in my lower back and most of the leg pain was gone at this time. I was doing walking and icing my back. About 2 months after surgery, they finally instructed me to begin physical therapy. Initially it was helping but the pain started to get worse after about 2 weeks. They instructed me to stop and prescribed me oral steroids and told me to rest, and told me to take 2 Aleve twice a day after that.
So at the end of August, the low back pain continued and I feel general weakness and constant stiffness in my legs. I got an MRI with contrast and they said to my amazement that it healed properly, and prescribed me more steroids (which i feel did not help). This influenced my decision to go back to college.
Now back at college and approaching 5 months since surgery, I am going to make another appointment as they instructed me to do so if I didn't begin to feel better after a month. I still have moderate lower back pain which becomes severe if I sit or walk for too long. I am still taking the Aleve as well (even though i feel as though it does nothing) and also icing it and doing some stretches. They still haven't instructed me to start physical therapy again. Could my scenario be considered normal? Could my pain just be because of muscle weakness and the fact that ive barely done physical therapy? Should i ask to start physical therapy again or ask about getting another epidural injection? Could it also be a possibility that I am just still getting adjusted to all the walking on campus and not getting enough rest? Any input is greatly appreciated!