I just found out about this site yesterday, so much useful information. I spent most of my day reading through the forums and finally decided, I should post about my situation and see what feedback I can get.
I am a 32 year old male, I used to be super active, until about 3 years ago I herniated my L4/L5 disc doing a deadlift. I was in extreme pain, and went through pain meds, PT, chiropractic care, and 2 epidurals. The pain initially got better than it go worse again. I saw a neurosurgeon who recommended a microdisectomy, had the surgery and immediately after all leg pain was gone. Within 2 months I was back to being mostly active, but obviously more cautious.
About 6 months ago, I started having severe back pain and sciatic pain. Symptoms were similar so I thought I did something to my L4/L5 disc again. I had an MRI and was surprised to see that disc was fine but my L5/S1 was no herniated. The pain subsided but never went away. It seems to be a rollar coaster since, I have weeks of low level pain (around a 3 out of 10) and flare ups where the pain gets up to a 7 or 8 out of 10.
I am going PT, chiropractic care and pain meds again. I have been consistently doing PT, and I usually go on meds when I have flare ups. This has hit my activity again and I am regulated to just swimming to stay in shape.
I am not sure what to do, I am wondering if I should maybe go the microdisectomy route again, and then get activity 2-3 months after the surgery. I really fear chronic pain from these herniation as I get older or the pain always being there. I almost feel lost dealing with this, I shuffle between thinking the pain is tolerable and doesn't limit me from everything I should just tolerate it and it might go away. Then I think I should be able to live life to the fullest and be pain free, maybe I should talk to the neurosurgeon about a microdisectomy.
I am not looking for anyone to say "you should do this or that", obviously a medical professional is where I need to get that instruction from. I am interested more in if what I am experiencing now is similar to what any of you had, how did you cope, etc.