Hey guys, my name is Connor and I've been suffering from back and leg pain for 2 years. It started after I was tripped during a soccer game and fell on my left side of my lumbosacral area. Ever since then my life has been outlined by back pain. I have bilateral pars fractures at L5-S1 and grade 1 spondylolisthesis. My doctor said that it shifts and moves around in flexion when he took X-rays of my spine in different positions. I also have a bulging disc at L4.
Now, I don't know what to do. I really need your help. I greatly appreciate any and all help that you may have, and thank you for reading.
So, my symptoms:
I have burning in my lumbosacral area and leg from sitting too long. I can usually relieve it by stretching my hamstrings, hip flexors, lower back, and with a few pelvic tilts. When I stand too long, I begin to feel deep tingling and aching in my lumbosacral area (lower back and top of sacrum). I've stopped participating in gym, all sports, and do not run. Going on the elliptical machine hurts me and causing a deep burn in my lower back while I'm doing it and a persistent ache across my lower back afterwards.
Walking on the beach, on uneven surfaces or hills, etc. all hurt my back and produce a deep ache. When I bend forward, I feel an ache in my left side of my lower back.
In the morning my symptoms are usually minimal. My lower back just doesn't feel "right"--there's a tingle and weird feeling. As I progress through the day the pain gets worse with standing and especially sitting. Taking a hot shower really helps with the burning but not the aching. The burning comes from laying down too long or sitting, while the aching comes from activity.
At this point I feel depressed. I don't know what to do. My back pain has basically become my life. I can't be a kid, do sports, heck, I can't even get through a day without experiencing back pain. I've cried a lot about this and it has become such a big depression in my life.
I need your help. What can I do? What treatments are there?
I have some questions about surgery for this condition. Are spinal fusions a "fix" or a "cure"? Like, you tried all these conservative treatments and they haven;t cured your pain, so you undergo it? Or is it more of a "last-resort" option, when you just can't take the pain anymore, where it interferes with doing simple functions? Honestly my life has been a struggle and I feel so restricted and deprived of my teenage years, but is surgery advisable?
My pain isn't to the point where I'm bedridden--I can still go to school, walk, move, etc. It's just that I'm kept from doing the things I love. No gym, no running, no dancing, no good exercising. I can't lead the life I want--an active one where I can run, be fit, go to the gym and not have to worry about my back pain. Not to mention the pain. It drives me crazy. Sometimes it's very low, but other times its just a nagging ache, like a tootheache, that just reminds you of how miserable your life is. I really want to just fix all of this, end it, go back to normal. But is surgery the right answer? I don't know. I really need your help, please. What else can I do? Some kind words? Thank you :-(
Liz, Spine-Health Moderator