I started having painful sciatica down my left leg that manifests when I am sitting down approximately 2 years ago which has gotten progressively worse over time. Given that I have a desk job, I spend my days in a lot of pain.
Here's what I have done so far: 2 highly regarded acupuncturists, 2 highly regarded chiropractors, 3 physical therapists (2 not so good, 1 great), XXX Orthopedist, XXX non-surgical spinal specialist, 2 pain management docs. I have had 2 spinal MRIs and 2 Pelvic MRIs. I have tried prednisone (5 day course), meloxicam and tramadol. Five cortisone epidurals. None of these things has worked. My spinal MRI shows small disc herniation on the left side of L5-S1. My pelvic shows chronic denervation and fatty infiltration of the left gluteus maximus which verifies that there is definitely some sort of nerve damage or impingement.
I'm writing because I went to my Pain Management doctor yesterday to go over the results and his basic message was "I have no idea what is causing this and you may have to live with it the rest of your life." He ordered another MRI of the nerve root, though he said it's rare that there is ever a lesion there (I don't think I'm even going to do it, as he was clearly grasping at straws.) He tried to refer me to a neurologist in the practice, but I'm starting to realize it's not a quality practice (the patients can be downright creepy if I'm being honest). I have been dealing with this condition rather stoically and optimistically up until now, thinking someone is going to figure it out and I won't be in so much pain anymore. I almost burst into tears with his response, especially because he said that if epidurals didn't help, surgery on the disc would not either.
If anyone has any advice, support or recommendations, I would be ever so grateful. I am in NYC and have CIGNA insurance (the reason I am going to a shady pain management practice is that I have an HMO type insurance right now and can't go out of network, but starting in January, I will be able to go out of network as well.)
Thanks in advance for any and all replies.