I've joined this forum as it has provided many informative articles and cases when I have been researching my own condition.
I am a 29 year old female with a degenerated bulging L5/S1 disc, straightening of the lumber spine and retrolisthesis at L5/S1. I've had three episodes of back pain since March this year; a 1 day strain, a four week period of lower back pain and mild sciatica, and then 6 weeks later, what I am experiencing (last two weeks) now which is minimal back pain and major sciatic-type nerve pain down the back of my left leg and into my calf.
Previous two episodes resolved themselves without intervention but I felt I should go to a chiropractor this time. Seen her about 6 times and initially made the pain worse, with little improvement (just adjusted me each time, tried some kneading and acupuncture and now the inflection(?) machine to stretch my spine). Last couple days I have improved in terms of movement, but nerve pain still there.
After about 4 sessions, I asked to be referred for an MRi, which confirmed the conditions listed above. No idea where this has come from as I have not had manual jobs or strained my back in the past. Chiro can't tell me anything about why or how this has developed, only that degeneration occurs over many years. I asked if it may have been from cycling to work (16kms a day most weeks for past 10 months) but she said she didn't know.
Just a bit freaked out now as I had no idea there was anything wrong with my spine at all before this. Today she said we'd have to see how I responded to treatment before looking at surgery. This is the first time surgery has ever been mentioned and when I asked whether she thought it was likely, she said she didn't know. I didn't even think surgery was a consideration.
Just wondering whether I should be seeing someone else about this who can give me more information, such as what the prognosis is, what activities I can or cannot do, and whether I should be doing physio?
If anyone can suggest a possibly more appropriate type of specialist I should be consulting, i.e. sports therapist, spinal surgeon, orthopaedic specialist? Just want more information at this stage and I feel that maybe this is out of the chiro's depth...?