My name is Bill and I reside just outside of Philadelphia. I'm single, never married and without children. I say that's a blessing because if I had a family to call my own, I would most likely have failed to provide financial support since 2004 because my mechanical/technical career was almost impossible to continue. I am unable to do anything and not suffer for it. This is mostly due to my back problems but some of it has to do with my nearly-usable hands (arthritis) and problems related to carpal tunnel syndrome. But I've come here to seek personal suggestions on how to deal with back pain from those who suffer the same conditions as I do and how to treat mine better than I have.
I'm almost 55 and have had back problems since my late teens and they have worsened over the years. I've lived a rough and tumble life and I don't regret it, but my back is so bad right now that my stride is one third of normal and I have to move slowly and deliberately. One wrong move and I'm down for at least a month. This isn't soreness - it's like being shot, stabbed and burned in the sciatic area.
In anticipation of questions about me, here are the conditions I have relating to my back and the list beneath it contains the treatments I have undergone for years.
Scoliosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of spinal throughway for main nerve)
Epidural injections (only last for about a month)
Ice and heat pads
Analgesic patches (Salonpas)
Tramadol (I don't take Ibuprophen and Tramadol at the same time)
Rest (which is what I do 70% of my time)
I've never had surgery and to be honest I don't think modern medicine has an answer to relieve my pain so that I can maintain a productive life. I miss doing my mechanical job and the yardwork around here. I really need some advice because my condition is worsening. Thank you in advance.