Hi! Im a 25 year old male and Ive been suffering from degenerative disc disease for quite some time now. Although I was diagnosed last year after an MRI report, but Ive been facing several issues in my lower back, entire spine, neck and feet. All of this tarted around 5 years back when I picked up heavy weights during workout at a gym, and later that year, I got sprains in both my ankles after I fell from a 15 ft height. Yeah, pretty bad year for starters.
So Ive been facing various issues related to bones or nerves or I don’t know which parts (to be honest) and all of it has made my everyday living really hard. I keep reading articles, seeing doctors, but none of the findings have actually helped my condition and it keeps getting worse with each passing year. I would be really thankful if someone could read my case and suggest me as to what exactly am I facing (is it ONE single issue which is affecting all the other movements in my body or are these different issues?) and also, what are the best possibilities for me in terms of treatment (both medical as well as at home). The doctors keep suggesting me pain relievers, muscle relaxants and regular stretching exercises. But I kind of require something more long lasting than this.
Below are some of the details:
Picked up heavy weight in gym around 5 years back
Got sprains in both ankles after falling from a height. Was on a 21-day walking plaster rest. Although, both the ankles still hurt today if I walk/ run too much. There is uneasiness on a daily basis as well.
Whole spine (upon touching or pressing). It’s like the pain that you kind of LIKE. I like it when someone massages/ rubs the whole spine with their fingers.
Neck, particularly the muscles near the shoulders
Feet. Slight pain in the ankles. But, more pain in the Achilles tendons (specifically, the muscles on the back of the heels and also around it) of both feet. All this happens either in the mornings or at the end of a tiring day.
I really like to massage my entire back, neck and feet. This kind of relieves from the pain and stress temporarily.
Also, I get relief from hot shower and stretching exercise (which I have to do every morning). But everything, temporary.
I cannot continue for the day, if in case I don’t do the stretching exercises after waking up and then follow it up with hot shower. Sometimes I have to take the hot shower for 2-3 times to get relief from all the pain in the entire spine.
I face uneasiness around the neck as well, in the muscles specifically.
If I’m out in the cold for long durations, then also my whole back, thighs and legs start paining, especially while sleeping.
During winters, I have to sleep with a warm bottle near my lower back and hips to get some relief from the pain.
I have been suggested some stretching exercises. One of which includes pulling the feet towards the face while lying down in straight position. This kind of feels uneasy on the nerves in my feet sometimes, and also, the two corner most toes in both feet also tend to move in different direction all the time while the other toes are being stretched towards the face. Does this indicate any sort of nerve pinching, or is it normal for some toes to have independent movements?
WHAT I CANNOT DO:
I can’t stand or sit for long periods. Therefore, standing in queues or sitting in a chair for long periods are like nightmares for me.
I can’t walk for longer periods
I can’t sleep on soft mattresses. Hence I only use hard mattress.
I can’t pick up heavy stuff
I can’t even bend down most of the times. If accidently, I do, I face problems in getting back up.
Sometimes I can’t move when I get up after sitting in a certain position for a long time. It’s like the dics change positions in my lower back, I mean if that’s the right way to describe it?
In case Ive been involved in doing even some home related activities for 2-3 days, such as cooking (standing for long periods), washing clothes (picking clothes), arranging/cleaning my room and wardrobe, doing the dishes, etc., then also I kind of get this sudden attack in my lower back, which restrict my body movements and it takes atleast2-3 days of bed rest and meds to recover from that situation/pain. Really hate it. It happens almost every time I get involved in the mentioned daily activities.
TREATMENT DONE SO FAR:
Pain relievers – temporary relief
Muscle relaxants - temporary
X rays – okay reports
MRI – degenerated disc
TENS treatment and other massage/ vibration machines – all for temporary relief
WHAT I WANT TO KNOW:
What should can I do to have something more than just a temporary solution? I know that there is no permanent solution to this issue, but please suggest something that I can do to at least be able to go on with a regular life.
Which kind of specialist should I see? Should I see a chiropractor, an orthopaedic, neurologist or someone else?
Is my issue related to bones, muscles, nerves, posture or any sort of deficiency?
Is the pain in the entire spine related to this or is it something else?
Is the ankle pain, heel pain and the neck pain related or a different issue?
Should I be taking some vitamins for this?
Are there any tests that I should take, like a whole body MRI (if that’s a thing), or a blood test or more X-Rays which could help identify the root causes?
I already do some stretching exercises (as suggested by the doctor) in the morning to relieve the pain (which is just temporary). Are there any more exercises/Yoga routines or change in daily activities and postures that you would suggest?
I know the main issue had started by doing a wrong exercise in the gym, but after all these years Im planning to start going to the gym again. If I avoid heavy exercises for back, would you recommend hitting the gym again or should I refrain from doing exercises (except for back) at all?
Are these symptoms indicating towards some pinched nerves in my lower back (which is having its effect on my feet, rest of the back and the neck)? Or is it my entire spinal cord which is having issues?
Thanks for reading the above, and I would really appreciate if a medical specialist could respond to my case and suggest me things. Also, if someone is also facing such issues, kindly respond by sharing your experiences and how you tackle with these issues in your daily life.Maybe we can be helpful for each other.
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