Hi everyone, I am so glad I have found this forum! I am 42 and I started having sharp lower back pain on the right side in November 2014. Also had pain in my right front thigh. It got so bad my husband took me to the ER. They immediately thought kidney stones since I have a history. Did a CT scan and of course, found nothing. Sent me home and told me to go to my GP. Saw her the next day and within a few minutes of hearing my symptoms, she said it's your back, not kidneys. She sent me to a pain management doctor who I finally was able to see in early January 2015.
MRI was ordered and results were DDD at L3 & L4. Herniated disc at L5-S1 with abutting the bilateral S1 central nerve root, left greater than right and spondylosis. With this I have a lot of low back pain on both sides, pain in buttocks (mainly right, sometimes left), shooting pain down back of right thigh and goes down to feet a lot, feeling of my right leg falling asleep and "pins and needles" feeling. I have also been having right hip pain. I do accounting so I am at a desk all day and that is just killing me. I have to get up and move around so much.
Medications: Norco, Tramadol and Meloxicam.
Treatment so far has been:
2/11/15: Transforaminal Epidural at L3 & L4 - Had no side effects from this and felt some relief right away. Took the pain at that level down but still had very low back pain and shooting pains.
3/25/15: Transforminal Epidural 50 Bilateral procedure at L5-S1 - I was in pain right after and the back pain was so bad that day and night and legs kept going numb. Called off work the next day, talked to the nurse who said this is all normal. Only had about 20% relief with this one and was still having the low back and buttock pain and sciatica.
4/21/15: Another Transformanal Epidural 50 Bilateral at L5-S1 - She hit a nerve on my right side during the procedure and I thought I was going to come off the table! Pain was bad after but did get better.
2 days ago the pain came back worse than ever! The shooting pain down my right leg and the numb feeling has been so bad. When she ordered the third epidural she said she wanted to have me go to physical therapy for 4 weeks after the epidural and when it felt better. Well, since it isn't better I am in no way wanting to schedule that. I don't know if it will help any right now anyway.
I have a follow up appointment with her next Monday. She said at the last appointment that if the 3rd epidural & PT doesn't help then her next step is to refer me to a surgeon. I have a feeling that is what I will hear on Monday.
I guess what I want to know, is if anyone had the epidurals without much relief and did go to PT and did that help? I know everyone is different, but just kind of wanted to get some feedback.
I do have good days where the pain is not that bad. It seems on those days I try to walk more, cook, do housework, etc and bam! I am down again with the pain. The past several months my life has consisted of working and when I am at home, I am usually having to stay down with a heating pad or ice and meds. My husband has been amazing but I hate having everything fall on him. Cooking is my passion and stress relief and it kills me that I can hardly do it now.
Thanks for listening and any advice/encouragement! I guess I am kind of at a cross-road and need to decide if I should continue conservative treatment or meet with a surgeon