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I've been in pain for several months now...
Everything started in October 2016, when I did a wrong movement (almost nothing by the way) and I felt a strong pain in the left side of the lower back. What we call the typical lumbago. ..
I'm 50 but was walking like an 90 years old person. But it was really like a mechanical pain, not radiating into the leg. Only the lower back. But with ibuprofen, heat pad and some rest, it went better by itself after 2 weeks. I was even able to work on my deck (being careful not to bend forward though)
But in February, pain started to come back. Pain in the left buttock . I had an X-Ray of the lumbar area that didn't show anything specific. I was able to contain the pain with Diclofenac 100mg extended released
But it went worse: difficult to walk especially in the morning, VERY painful to get into my car (put the right leg to get half seated was OK, but lifting the left one into the car was very painful)
So I had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who said it didn't think it was a pinched nerve but a very tight hamstring, so I should do PT. But at the 1st session, the therapist talked about bulged disc !!!!
After 4 or 5 sessions where I couldn't see any improvement, i insisted to have an MRI, that finally showed a bulged disc at L5-S1 on the left side. So the doctor told me my pain was coming from here, and I should keep doing PT. But same thing, after few more sessions, it didn't get better, thus he prescribed epidural injections. I did 2 actually, 2 weeks apart . The 1st one showed great relief after 2 days, but not for long (maybe the PT session ruined the benefits, this is when I decided to put PT on hold for now). The 2nd one was so-so (didn't see the same level of pain relief)
I saw the doc who did the 2 injections 2 days ago: he looked at me, did some exams and said it's not coming from my hip, and my pain is typical of a pinched nerve (laying down, raising my left leg generated pain in my buttock)
He said my options are now back to PT, another epidural he could do another way, or see the surgeon to talk about surgery. He said I should also stop anti-inflammatory for now, and try Tramadol instead
Here are my symptoms: i sleep relatively well, but it's stiff/painful in the upper buttock area when I wake up. When I sit for breakfast, i feel it helps. When I go out to walk the dog in the morning, it's painful in the buttock and down the leg (calf). But during the day, when I move around, looks like it's getting better. Sometimes, it's like I have nothing at all. However, as soon as I sit (especially in my car), even for 5 minutes, the first few steps when I stand up are painful...
Since I stopped the Diclofenac but didn't wan't to take Tramadol, I thought the pain would be very bad without any meds after 1 day.....But surprisingly, it was not worse than usual
So now i don't know what to do: I don't trust PT to help fix the problem, and it I could try a 3rd injection (but I've heard it's not always safe) or see the surgeon to talk micro-discectomy......
But my big question is: Are all my symptoms coming from that disc: could it be something else? I wouldn't want to go thru surgery (which I want to avoid) to realize it was not that actually !!!