I am 36 years old and weigh 180 lbs and have come down with chronic lower back pain over the past few years. I lost 100 lbs and have become more active, but the doctors have said that these issues have existed for a while without having the pain. I was diagnosed (MRI) with DDD from L4 through S1 and I have herniated disc L5/S1 and a small one L4/L5. So far I have had the following done.
Epidural Cortisone injections
S.I. joint- Cortisone injections bilateral twice
Facet joint- Cortisone injections bilateral twice
Facet joint- ablation
I have been going to therapy, chiropractic, traction and acupuncture for almost 2 years and I seem to get slight relief with adjustments. Within a few hours the pain is as intense as before the treatments. I have more recently been getting stretched with MUA (manipulation under anesthesia) techniques while conscious since I am flexible and have no pain with the stretching. It actually feels very good to stretch that far.
My neurosurgeon (very respected in the area) has gone over everything and suggested a spinal fusion, but that's not his first choice since I am 36 years old. He advises there is no guarantee that the pain will go away with the procedure. He advises against a discectomy since I have no sciatic pain.
I'm looking for other procedures that might help this constant lower back pain. It is centralized in the lower back right in the L4-S1 area and is extreme after waking up. I can still run with minimal pain several times a week. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I live in the Monmouth County NJ area.