Hello all, my name is Casey Brown and I have been suffering from debilitating back pain since about Jan. 2012, or about 10 months. The nature of the original injury is unknown - could be due to training martial articles where I might have hyper extended the joints of the spine, not quite sure.
Anyway, my case is quite weird because according the MRI, my spine is nearly perfect, except for some "mild facet joint athropathy" - basically, the lower three facet joints on both sides are very irritated and inflamed, giving symptoms similar to arthritis (I'm 24 years old btw). According to the MRI, the irritation was "mild", and everything else seems to be tip-top - the discs are great, no ligament or muscle damage, etc. However, the pain is QUITE SEVERE. I can't sit or stand for more than about an hour without experiencing a huge flare up of pain and inflammation, as well as a reactive muscle spasm.
As I said earlier, the first onset of pain was back in Jan. 2012. From Jan to Feb I kept on with my daily activities, and kept training martial arts.I gave up martial arts and stopped working out altogether for the next four months (probably a very bad idea but I didn't know any better), and began resuming light to moderate exercise in July to present (approx. 3 months ago).
I have done EVERYTHING in my power to fix this, but it just refuses to get any better. I've seen personal trainers, physical therapists, 2 orthopedists, 2 chiropractors, regular doctors, and even tried acupuncture. I am doing all the proper corrective exercises and stretches I know of, and keep good posture throughout the day and when seated, but alas, nothing ever gets any better.
I did a round of facet blocker injections in my back yesterday to see if RFA (radio frequency ablation - a procedure that kills the nerve endings in the fact joints so they can't send pain signals) would be a good option, however, sadly, the injections provided little to no relief, meaning the RFA wouldn't help much. I am stilling considering going through with it, because some of the pain I felt after the injections could of just been skin pain at the injection site, but I dunno - I am pretty depressed because I thought this was the answer.
What should I do? Has anybody else had a "mysterious" case of lower back pain that just simply would NOT go away no matter WHAT they did? I am losing my mind here - I just want to move on with my life so badly. It's so hard, I want to give up sooooo badly. Every single day I am in pain. I can't work, I can't go out to bars, clubs, etc. and be a regular kid - the pain is too severe after about 30-45 minutes, there is always a HUGE flair up of pain. I need to ice/lie down within an hour max of any activity.
I'm at a loss - should I do the RFA? Would that be a waste of time? The ONLY thing that looks wrong is the facet joints, yet they just seemingly WON'T HEAL. This is the only thing that gives me SOME hope that RFA will work, even though the results from the injections didn't seem to help much at all.
Suggests and advice welcome! Thanks.