I have had back pain on and off since the birth of my second child in 1978, mostly with over exertion.
About 5 years ago my back starting hurting more frequently, especially with vacuuming, gardening, sweeping etc. I had an MRI that said I had a bulging disc. No therapy, medication, or treatment were given.
In 01/2015, my husband and I stopped smoking. I subsequently gained approximately 15 to 20 pounds. We decided to start walking as a form of exercise and signed up for a 5K. I managed to complete the 5K walking, but had extreme back pain. We went to a park to walk, and I had to stop after 1 mile due to extreme back pain.
I purchased a back brace thinking that might help with my back pain and walked in another 5K. Again, I did complete the 5K, but at the end I was hardly able to put one foot in front of the other due to the pain. The back brace did not help keeping my back from hurting.
While putting out our garden I had to sit on the ground to plant because I could not bend or stoop to plant. Now vacuuming, sweeping, loading and unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry and just about all daily activities are accompanied by back pain. I am unable to stand more than 5 minutes without terrible back pain and pain into my right buttock and down my right leg with tingling in my toes.
The only thing I have found useful in helping with the pain is the TENS unit. However, this only alleviates the pain for a short while. As soon as I am up walking around the back pain returns.
I fortunately do not have any pain sitting. Sitting in fact helps relieve my pain. I am unable to lay flat on my back. I have woken up several time in the middle of the night and found myself on my back, and it is almost like a paralysis to be able to turn to the side because of the pack pain.
At this point I am probably only able to walk about a half a block before I develop severe back pain. My back pain at its worse would be rated a 8/10 to 9/10. At its best would be a 3/10 to 4/10.
Most recent MRI said bulging disc at L5 and DDD L3, L4, and L5 with endplate erosion.
Primary doctor referred me to a neurosurgeon. He suggested epidural steroid injections. I had my first ESI on 6/22 and had no relief. Went on vacation in the meantime and had a terrible time because I couldn't do anything. Had my second injection this Tuesday. When I got home my back felt very achy and tight. Then last night, the day after the injection, I got up and had no pain all day until fixing dinner standing at the stove. The pain was as bad as ever! Once I was able to sit down it subsided quite a bit.
This morning I got up and again had no pain, but started doing dishes and of course I was standing again and started having pain again. I am scheduled for 1 more injection in 2 weeks. Unfortunately during the course of these injections I have also gained almost 10 pounds, which I cannot afford as I was already overweight. I am unable to exercise because of my back and the treatment I am receiving for my back is not working and causing me to gain weight.
I am very discouraged at this time. I just want to be able to go for a walk and not have pain and be able to do things again.
Carol Welcome to Spine-Health
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