I'm new to this forum but I have been having back issues for the past 4 years. I have only known about my bulging and herniated disc for the last two. I am 20 years old and have bulging discs between L3/L4 and L4/L5 as well as a herniated disc at L5/S1. I am currently a student at a university, however, I had to drop out for the semester about 4 weeks ago due to the severe amount of pain I was in. My back muscles were as tight as a rock, I was having severe muscle spasms, and my nerves were being pinched causing extreme pain in my hips and down to my knee - making me unable to walk to class, carry books, and somedays it would take me 1-2 minutes to get out of bed because of the pain. I knew that I was not going to be able to continue on with my studies so I dropped school and have returned back home and am currently staying with my mother. I have been seeing an ortho for the last two years who is very conservative in his approach, however, after my last appt with him he said that the next step would be surgery (lumbar decompression and possible laminectomy). Over the past two years I have taken anti-inflammatory pills, did pt for 2 months last year and continued the regimen on my own up until pain became to great, and had 2 injections of which the last one had zero effect. I also have been seeing a neurologist and have been trying a different approach through medicine which includes muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory pills, and an anti-seizure pill for my muscle spasms. Over the last week or so I have noticed very minor improvements with the new medicine however I am unable to do much because the medicine puts me out. Also, as a 20 year old male, I am very worn out with hearing the phrase "manage the pain." I am unsure of what to do as far as have the surgery (which has a great success rate and my recovery time would most likely be short because of my age) or wait it out with the pills and hope that I'm not back in the same situation in 2-3 years. Anyone have any advice or wisdom?