I'm Sarah, I'm 24 (almost 25) and I've been experiencing back pain for about 8 years on and off. I was diagnosed with a bulging disc when I was about 16 that would become inflamed from time to time causing me pain in my lower back that would calm down with time, rest, and treatment from my tens unit. That was bearable with it being every month or so, and I was able to live my life for the most part like everyone else. Then... it got alot worse...
The beginning of July I had extreme pain in my lower back that was keeping me from doing my job and even being on my feet more then 5 or 10 minutes. I went to my primary care doctor. She put me on pain meds and in physical therapy which did nothing. Where after a few weeks of trying her treatment. I ended up going to my orthopedic doctor, who tried cortisone shots, more medications and then told me to see a pain management Dr and if that didn't work for me to see a spinal surgeon. So I went to see the pain management Dr, he preformed an epidural injection, and a facet joint block, which I got no relief from either. From there he recommended me to see a spinal surgeon.
The first spinal surgeon opinion I got the man was totally useless. He spent a whopping 10 minutes with me at the most, looked at my Mri results, told me I have a bulging disc, disc degeneration and I'm to young for surgery. Don't take the pain medications the previous doctors prescribed and that it should heal itself in 18 months.
With no relief or real guidance... I went back to my pain management doctor hoping for some sort of light. He sent me to another pain management doctor who stated I may be able to have a biaculoplasty done for the degenerative disc but he's not sure if it would work or if my insurance would cover it. From there feeling lost and hopeless I asked my coworker with back issues who he sees. He referred me to his spinal surgeon who was very informative in explaining my degeneration and who states I should NOT go for this disc burning procedure but attempt to heal with with time and a back brace.
He said he'd consider doing surgery in a year or two if the problem doesn't fix itself. My problem is... how am I supposed to continue with my life in this constant pain? As of late I've felt very discouraged, depressed and extremely anxious over everything. (I suffer from major depression and anxiety disorder which was a problem before the back issues) I'm trying not to give up hope but I'm so scared that I will have to live with this pain the rest of my life.
It's been preventing me from working because my job requires constant movement, heavy lifting, and standing. The doctor says I may be able to go back if I use my brace, but just standing or trying to walk for 5 minutes hurts ridiculously. I don't really know where else to turn... so please... if anyone can give me advice. It will be extremely appreciated.