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My back pain started in 2013 and was fairly manageable. At that time I was 25 years old. I eventually had an MRI which showed 2 mm broad-based disc bulge at L4/L5 L5/S1 with no nerve impingement. I was told that they didn't know why I experienced pain because those bulges did not affect the nerves. The phrase "there is nothing wrong with your back" was used several times.
As the years have gone on and my pain has progressively got worse and less manageable I have undergone lumbar injections, facet joint injections, a facet joint RFA, and SI joint injections all of which were unsuccessful. I also volunteered for and successfully completed 20 weeks of physical therapy with no reduction in my day to day pain levels. I've seen three surgeons and I'm on my third pain management doctor who have all stated that my back pain is not coming from my back. The pain lives primarily in my butt and hips and radiates into my legs. It is constant and is worse upon prolonged standing and sitting depending on the chair. My position of comfort is in a recliner or in bed with my legs elevated under a pillow while laying on my back. I exercise and I see the massage therapist every two weeks who describes it like I have rocks in my hips and butt.
I've had three MRI's over the years which have all shown the same 2 mm broad-based disc bulge and nothing else. I had an EMG last week that stated "moderate chronic radiculopathy on the right and left and additionally chronic left S1 radiculopathy with noted slowing on H-reflex testing in comparison to the right. There was reduced recruitment on the left EDB showing worse severity in comparison to the right as well." The neurologist told me I have likely permanent muscle death on the left side from the chronic impingement and suggested I contact a surgeon.
I contacted a new surgeon as suggested by the neurologist. This surgeon like the last was a neurosurgeon, not an orthopedic. The new surgeon reviewed my records and had his assistant contact me to tell me that there is nothing surgically that will help me.
What if any solutions are available to me at this point? I use this website a lot as a lurker and I'm hoping maybe one of you has the knowledge to help me because I have basically exhausted the medical community in my local area trying to get an answer that isn't some variation of "there's nothing wrong with your back"
FWIW I'm currently 30 years old and am extremely active through my job, not overweight, in decent shape, etc.