I was just diagnosed yesterday with multi-level DDD, so I'm still learning. I have a lot of disk dessication (lumbar) and three bulging disks. But the doc said that it's the joints that are causing me crippling pain. Enlarged joints press against nerves. To be more exact, facet hypertrophy in four places and posterior element hypertrophy in one place. I was feeling very sorry for myself since I'm only 52. But after reading more on here, I'm a heck of a lot luckier than a lot of folks, so I'll try to quit feeling sorry for myself!
Most of my pain is in my right hip and leg. A back brace has been a Godsend! But I understand that I can't wear it forever. Eventually, muscles will atrophy. I'm scheduled to start physical therapy. Frankly, I'm not real hopeful that it will provide a lot of relief, not as much as the brace is giving me. If I don't wear the back brace, I must walk bent way over. If I'm in the brace, both sitting and standing are more comfortable, but I still can't stand for long or walk very far before I need to rest. I walk with a limp. My leg feels quite weak and is numb in places.
I know that injections are an option, but it seems from what I have read here that it's something of a crap shoot as to whether they will provide relief or cause additional pain. Any thoughts on that?
Nights really suck. There is no sleeping position (including using stacks of pillows under my knees) that lasts more than a few hours. How do people here deal with sleeping?
Another question: I have been out of work for more than a year. The jobs that are available are stuff like cashiers at convenience stores, so I have concentrated on home improvements. But now I am afraid that no one will want to hire me in this condition. There is no way to hide it. Even if I were to wear the brace under a suit, I'm still pitched slightly forward and my limp is obvious. Are my fears valid?
Thanks for all the help.