I just joined this forum today, and wanted to introduce myself. I am a 38 year female, and I have suffered from lower back pain since I was 18. The pain has become dramatically worse in the last 10 years, and has now reached a point where it is constant and pretty dibilitating.
My most recent MRI showed three herniated discs at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 with two root nerve impingements at L4 and L5. I also have moderate to marked central canal stenosis and facet joint issues. And my most painful condition is my sciatica which causes me pain and numbness down both legs and into my feet. I have some nerve damage in my right leg as well.
I have seen three doctors at this point, and all three have mentioned possible surgical treatments, but all three have also expressed the opinion that I should continue to try other treatments first. I agree with them, and am going to put off surgery as a last option only if nothing else works.
I am currently taking non-prescription nsaids for pain and swelling, although they don't really seem to have any effect. I do not take narcotic pain killers for personal reasons. I am currently doing PT and my doctor has prescibed an exercise program that includes walking, yoga and other strengthening exercises. I am also trying to lose a bit of weight to take some pressure off of my spine. My doctor and I are going to see if the exercise makes any difference in my pain and mobility before making any other decisions. I will be doing a follow up with him in a month.
I look forward to meeting other people on this forum and having people to talk to that are experiencing similar things. Chronic pain can make a person feel very alone even when they are surrounded bu people. At least that has been my experience lately. I am glad I found this forum
If I forgot to add any info to my introduction just let me know.