I'm a 37-year-old man soon to be 38, that has been on a journey over the past few years of continuous and stressful back pain episodes. I have described below my experiences in detail, with the hope that someone else out there maybe able to share their wisdom or guidance or reference their similarities to what I have been experiencing....
Over the last 12 months I have slowly struggled with my back problems worsening now at a frequency that's its severally impacting my day2day life : I have had in the last x 7 lateral lumbar shifts, where my body is tilted from the waist up with my shoulders to the left.
When these acute episodes occur the pain is quite simply excruciating and I'm unable to walk or even bare weight during these periods - on the occasions these occur, I literally have to crawl into bed or lay anywhere I can get to to lay down and take drugs such codine and diazepam in attempt to release the spasm and reduce the pain.
Back in 2004 I was cleaning my car on a slope: picking a sponge out of the bucket at a twisted angle - I slipped a disc. A couple of weeks of physiotherapy and wearing a supportive brace with pain management left me assuming the injury had resolved itself. No pain followed for a long time....
Then four years ago I started suffering, from what I simply put down to lower back ache from aching muscles. I assumed at this point there were no more complicated issues - the pain was from due to me cycling.
Then three years ago whilst doing some gardening my back went into a lateral lumbar shift: this for me was the first major incident whereby backpain was so debilitating, I was unable to stand and had to seek bedrest and I didn't know this was to be the start of a very long journey......
After I'd rested that night, my fiancé commented the following day that I wasn't standing upright, that I was standing odd...looking in her words 'wonky' - I then saw In the mirror from the waist up I was leaning to the left approx 5' degree's off centre. I felt locked up and twisted with acute pain.
I then started to explore treatments & help, being referred by my Doctor to see a physiotherapist. The back ache was worsening and daily activities including driving inflamed the pain. I pursued this line of physiotherapy every few days for 3 months however, this was unsuccessful and I was then referred to see a spinal pain specialist who suggested immediately an MRI scan.
This first scan identified a bulging disc in L4/5. Minimally invasive treatment of percutaneous disc decompression was undertaken: then unfortunately eight weeks after the operation, another back episode occurred (same as before lateral lumbar shift to the left - this time tilting at a greater angle). This initial treatment had clearly failed.
Failure of this treatment, left me feeling quite beaten frustrated and for the first time experiencing mild depression as a result of chronic pain, re-occurring physcioloigical stress and previous life enjoymens now becoming more impossible - my world socially was shrinking and I was starting to live in fear of reoccurring attacks of these episodes. My back pain and the episodes were becoming debilitating.
It was very difficult for friends and family to understand what I was experiencing and I kept trying to push myself on however, this was only worsening the problem and causing the frequency of episodes to reoccur more often - for a period of months following the operation, I tried to avoid doing anything active and manage the back pain with Ibuprofen and on rare occasions stronger drugs such as Arcoxia - I was starting to live in fear of the episodes of acute pain reoccuring.
When the episodes did occur (attack) I would simply have to return home ASAP, take bedrest then on coming out of spasm, start living again....on a few occasions when the pain was at its worse, I revisited my doctor who specialised in spinal treatment and pain Managment: he then gave me injections and on a couple of occasions epidurals to release me from the severe spasms.
I was previously a very active individual In good health, who didn't smoke, excersised regularly. I never expected to be a back pain sufferer however, my only assumed reasoning for being affected by backpain would be through having a stressful, career/job that encompasses lots of travel and high stress working environment with bad luck!
Then last summer a severe episode occurred. I then had another MRI scan which showed that my L5/S1 And L4/5 discs were looking dehydrated and degenerated. A distinct bulge was viewable and a few days later I undertook Disc FX treatment.
I was hopeful that this treatment would have resolve my pain and stop the episodes and return my life back to normal however a few months later another major episode occurred. This impacted me badly and sent me into a state of depression two treatments although both minor to me had included general anethestic and mental anguish.
I have now seen spinal surgeons who are suggesting either discectomy or multilevel spinal fusion. I am very worried about undertaking surgery wanting to know if anybody else has ever suffered these lateral lumbar shifts and the associated affects.
I am also being offered to have the Disc FX treatment for a second time as a last suggestion before off to see further surgeons to consider my options for surgery
Has anyone had similar symptons with lateral lumbar shifts and discovered other causes? Also has anyone had Disc FX twice with the second time successful.
Lastly - thanks for reading my journey.
I hope to be myself again one day.