Hi, I am a new member, and I have been searching this site, and Google for the past 2 months to try and find someone with similar symptoms to me, but to no avail. If I am making a duplicate post, then I do apologise, please do send me links to the discussion as at the moment, I really do feel like I am the only one in world suffering from this problem. Firstly, let me introduce myself;
I am male, 37 years of age, I'm 6'3" and I have scoliosis and crohns disease. I am an office worker, who sits at a desk and the heaviest thing I lift is my pen!
I have suffered from back pain all my life, but over the past 5 years it has got progressively worse. 3 years ago I spent over £1000 on over 30 sessions at a Chiropractor for my lower back pain, these sessions then led me to have severe sciatica in my right leg. During February 2011 I was admitted to hospital on two occasions for severe pain whereby I could not move a single millimetre without screaming in agony, I was put on a morphine drip and given all the painkillers they could safely give me. I had an MRI which confirmed I had a herniated disc at L5/S1 level, and I was referred to a neurosurgeon. He refused to operate until he was 100% certain that my back would not correct itself, I had to put up with this pain for six weeks (I was laid up in bed pretty much this whole time) eventually after a second MRI when my condition got so severe that I was close to be hospitalised for pain management I was given an urgent L5/S1 microdiscectomy the very next day after seeing him, this was early March 2011.
When I woke from the surgery, for the first time for nearly two months I was pain free. I was so happy. I was home after two nights in hospital, and was walking 10-30 minutes every day for the next 8 weeks before returning to work. For the nearly two years I was the best I had ever been, yeah I had numb right leg and the occasional nerve pain in right calf, but it was short, sharp and sudden so it although it would give me a fright, it was gone and appeared less frequent.
I apologise for babbling, but I'm really trying to build picture here in the hope that someone can help…
So now onto where I am now… I moved house in October last year, and I feel that a combination of bad luck and my own stupidity might be the cause of my current problem. I was doing lots of heavy lifting for the move, including trying to push a heavy wardrobe up the stairs. Also, whilst running down the stairs in the middle of the night to get milk for my crying new born baby, I misjudged the stairs and missed the bottom step and came down with a thud which sent heavy vibrations up my spine. At the time, both the lifting and the stair incident didn’t cause me any problems. The next day though I bent down to load the dishwasher and BANG!! It was like lightening going off in my lower back and it crippled me, I slowly got up but could hardly move, the pain was so bad I eventually got into bed and laid flat for the rest of the day. The next day I woke and I was fine. Now this is where I am at…
If I bend, twist or get up from sitting down I feel like I have been hit with a cattle prod on my lower back, its like lightening going through my whole body and I have to hold onto something and stop myself from moving until it has calmed down. When it calms down I have to slowly get in bed and lay flat, after hours of laying flat or even on my side, say 5 or 6 hours, I am ok again. Until I bend, twist or get up from sitting.
I had another MRI a few months back and it showed nothing abnormal. I have normal levels of scar tissue but I do have a tear in my disc which specialist believes when I bend, jam comes out of the doughnut (the disc) and aggravates a nerve and causes the pain - he therefore sent me to a pain specialist.
The pain doctor said that he believe this has happened, and since then my joints have locked up and I am in a vicious circle. Also, because I have no sciatica pain he said its not likely to be nerve pain! I explained it was like lightening which shot through my whole body but he said he needed to rule out the joints so I had facet joint injections 10 weeks ago, this done nothing - so I went back and had nerve root injection near the disc I had the L5/S1 microdiscectomy on - This was 5 weeks ago and again, its done absolutely nothing, I'm getting worse if anything.
My problem is the pain is not constant, for instance as I write this I'm in no pain whatsoever, but I have to do everything with extra special care, I cannot bend, I cannot twist and every time I get up from being seated its scares the living daylights out of me, as depending on the type of seat or how long I have been seated, I will be struck by the pain lightening and it genuinely cripples me. I've found that chairs that are padded well and keep my back upright are the better ones for me, any that are too firm (such as plastic hospital waiting room chairs) or too soft such as settee's or sofas, when I stand I am crippled with pain.
I really am at the end of my tether, my doctors have given me amitriptylene which I take every night for the pain, it does nothing to help whatsoever. The pain when it comes is so severe its in my very lower back, feels like its right in my tailbone, it is definitely nerve pain as it shoots through my whole body like lightening, once it dies down after about 10 seconds of being motionless, I can move ever so slightly and get in bed, I will then be pain free as soon as I lie down, assuming I do not twist whilst in bed. (log roll in and out of bed). At the moment, I feel disabled, I cannot do anything other than walk on egg shells, I cannot lift, I cannot move very well, I cannot function normally and I have no idea what to do.
I'm really hoping someone on here can offer some advice, some guidance, some hope… anything. Its not getting better on its own, no pain killers or meds or injections are touching it. I'm thinking maybe an L5/S1 fusion might work but I don't want to plant this seed in my doctors mind if its not going to cure my problem. Because I have no sciatica pain, its difficult convincing doctors its nerve pain, but it is, I know it is from the severity off it. Also, I have scoliosis which is quite bad, I'm not sure how successful a fusion is with curvature of the spine.
I'm thinking maybe its degenerative disc disease, I don’t know!? Also, the MRI showed nothing, is there anything else that might show something? Maybe an X-ray!?
I would be extremely grateful for any help anyone can give. I thank you for your time, and I am sorry for the long post.