Just joined this forum to speak with other people who may be experiencing similar problems to me.
I'm a 30yo man living in the UK and have suffered with back pain for most of my life going back as early as age 11. This was always put down to pulled muscles, strains from being active but as I go older the flare ups of back pain seemed to get worse.
Whether a sciatica kind of pain shooting down arms/legs, intense pain in the lower back meaning I couldn't stand upright or lots of neck pain restricting my movement and shoulder pain that would keep me awake at night. I can stand up for about 20 minutes before the pain in my back so such that I have to sit down. Similarly, I can sit down for about the same stretch of time before I have to get up and move about a bit - this has made it difficult to enjoy a lot of things I've taken for granted over the years like fishing, playing drums which I've done since I was a child and going to music concerts which are typically without seating.
My back used to "go" at seemingly random times. I've always been quite active and my back never seemed to flare up when I was boxing or hiking. It would seemingly "go" when I was doing something fairly innocuous like making a coffee or walking the dog.
If I sit for too long I have started to notice my ankles/feet will feel numb which makes it difficult to stand or walk . I also get a lot of shooting pain/spasms which are typically more noticeably at night when I am in bed. Usually it'll be an involuntary jolt of my body or a leg much to my partners annoyance when she is trying to sleep.
The final straw for me after endless physio, being sent away with various medications that didn't touch the pain, chiropractors etc was me feeling like I was having a stroke with the worst pain I've ever experienced. I was fobbed off with both Tramadol and Diazepam for the umpteenth time so I insisted that I had an MRI scan because everything else I had received to-date was a remedial measure when I really wanted a diagnosis.
Anyway, I was diagnosed with fairly well-established osteoarthritis in my neck and back, a number of bulging discs and stenosis. I am currently awaiting referral to a consultant to discuss the results in more detail including long-term management of the pain.
I'm delighted that "it" finally has a name after me being a grump for years and it being down to "bad back" which I'm sure people thought was just a lame excuse.
I'm really looking for support from other people who are suffering. I've no idea what this means for me both in terms of prognosis as it seems every case is unique to a degree in terms of intesity and impact on daily life. Some seem to manage OK while others end up using wheelchairs to get around. I'm worried as I seem quite young compared to other patients who have posted online about this kind of thing. I'm concerned about whether or not things like drumming could be making it worse. I've definitely noticed that I struggle to play things I used to find more straightforward.
I'm literally in pain every day now and feel like this is taking over my life. I feel sorry for my partner who has to see me in a foul mood most of the time because I'm in agony. I generally don't want to go out and see friends because I know at some point I'll be in a lot of pain and want to leave early which then ruins her night, too.
Any support would be gratefully received.