Hello I am new here. I have been reading here for about 6 months. My back pain has been taking over my life off and on for 10 years. I know that I should seek a NS opinion before I jump to conclusions, but I would just like some advice if anyone has experienced something like my problem.
First off, I am only 26. I injured my back in 2006 lifting concrete bags. As I lowered myself to sit the bags down, a sharp pain hit my lower back, and I could not walk for a week. Every since then back pain has haunted me.
My family recommeded chiropractic which I did frequently and it seemed to help, The only test that were done by the chiro were an x-ray, and I was told " I dont see anything here that wont heal". By 2008 I could somewhat enjoy activities again. I stopped going to chircopractic, because I could cope with the pain. Pain included: lower back quickly exhausted after an hour of hard work (putting in fences, building a chicken coop, digging, gardening, having to bend over for more than 10 minutes) If i kept pushing through the pain, i would have to pay for it for months before my back got back to the way it was before i pushed it.
This went on in to 2013, at this point I was ready to accept it was probably never going to go away, and could cope with it, and realized that many people suffer back pain much greater than myself.
Then in March 2014, my wife asked me to build a storage building. I was putting silicone in the gaps around the floor bending over for about 30 minutes. Went inside, took a shower, went to bed for the night, woke up in the middle of the night in severe back pain, thought I could sleep it off.. Went back to sleep, woke up, and could not get out of bed. Pain was very severe. I even had to have help going to the bathroom.
I have a non physically demanding job, but I had to take most the week off. Simply because standing, sitting and walking seemed unbearable. I went back to work the next week, in pain, but lessening everyday. The sharp pain in my lower back turned into a throbbing, burning ache over the next few months. Went to a different chiropracter, at first he was very informative, and caring. But started to get upset at me for simply asking what he thought was wrong with my back. He demanded that i needed x # of visits per year of pain I was in. His diagnoses was " Chronic lower back pain"
After a few months of that, I started feeling like a $$ to him, and decided it was time to go to a M.D.
October 2014 I exhausted my back putting in a walkway to my house. Which was only a 3 hour job. That I had to draw into 3 days because of my back pain. After the job was finished, same as previous times, I woke up and could not walk.
Because of the severe sharp pain in my lower back that hit me as soon as my feet hit the floor. ( This pain was a 10 to me) Same scenario as before, over the months the pain went from sharp nerve feeling pain, to a burning throbbing achey soreness. That flared up worse after bending over. I decided to go see a M.D. the previous time i hurt my back, but this time I actually scheduled an appt.
It was November 2014 that I went to see the doctor. The pain sometimes radiated down to the back of my right calve, but the leg pain wasn't really bothering me, and went away after a few weeks, but the back pain did not and was horrible. Could not lift my young kids, sit for more than 15 mintues, have a sit down dinner, drive without my lumbar pillow, tractor was off limits, walking hurt, have to sleep on my back with 4 pillows stacked 2 high at knees and calves. Sleeping on side resulted in waking up with horrible hip pain.
The doctor told me it was just a back ache, and no one likes to deal with a back ache, and that he once he woke up alittle sore and PT treated it. ( I was upset with his no big deal attitude..)
PT was eye opening! Never before had anyone actually listened to my symptoms and gave me an actual reason my back hurts. She said it was a herniated disc. She taught me to lay on my belly and do half push ups, leg lifts on my belly, and to tighten my glutes on my belly. She said this helps the disc push away from the spine, and strengthens the lower back muscles around the herniation. They helped the burning aching soreness reduce by about 50%. She told me not to bend over for about 6 months. My back soreness got alot better, we did the visits into January 2015. Then she said I could be released and to continue the excersises.
The back pain quickly returned as soon as I bent over one time, for about 1 minute and the soreness like before PT returned.S o If i live the rest of my life without bending at all at the waist the pain does lessen.
In May 2015 I hurt my back again, and this time I'm not sure what i did? Just woke up like all the other times.
I went back to the doctor, finally got an MRI.. Which showed a " broad based extrusion of discogenic content somewhat asymmetric rightward with mass effect upon the anterior thecal surface of a mild to early moderate degree left to right"
The doctor refferred me to a NS, He told me that he recommends a fusion at L5-S1, Anterior and posterior.
He said I probably have a 90% chance of recovery, to be better than I was in 2013 ,healing after I hurt it the first time.
( I am no were near that good now) I could actually lift things and work hard then get sore, now i get sore from simply bending, and I can not bend over at the waist without using support. Bending over has left my bodies function. I use my knees to get down and keep my back straight. And sitting for short durations and lifting anything over 20lbs has been very painful and regretful since ealry 2014. He said I would ( all ball park figures he said)
Be back to work in a month. but would have a 9 month recovery. He told me about the risks. He seemed fairly confident that this was my only option to get part of my life back and to live more normally. He aslo told my that the L5-S1 disc has lost most of its inside content, and my pain was coming from the degenerating disc. The central extrusion is about 10 mm. He said chances of successful recovery were good because I am young, do not smoke, have a relativly healthy body weight, and the rest of my discs look very healthy, and my job is not one that is hard on the back.
Please any advice would be helpful!