Hello fellow back pain sufferers. I just had a couple of questions but let me do quick rundown of situation.
I have suffered unexplained bouts of mild to severe lower back pain for many many years now. I attributed to having 6 children and not having a strong core, and poor lifting/bending skills at work (plant nursery...lots of picking things up and putting down from ground. I am 42.
About 2-3 years ago they did an MRI on me and showed degenerative disk at L5-S1....it looked black on the photo as opposed to the white where normal disc material was. And they said slight bulge. My symptoms continued...fine for a few weeks, wake up in pain for a few weeks etc...
Then this past December I had sudden numbness in my leg, excruciating sciatic pain, foot drop etc. At first I thought it might go away but it worsened rapidly...within a few weeks I was in for another MRI. This one, less than 2 years after the last one, showed a MAJOR disc herniation which was pressing on sciatic nerve bundles and causing the pain but also a 25% spinal stenosis. It mentioned that it was primarily the left but could effect the right leg as well. At that time ALL THE PAIN WAS LEFT SIDE. So, I scheduled a cortisone shot. WOWOWWOW!!! For 3 1/2 months I felt great. The numbness, limp, all of it gone.
NOW: it came back, but totally on the right side only, lower back and upper leg into the hip. I have another shot scheduled. If that wears off they say I am perfect candidate for surgery. You could see the large "mushroom" of disc material on my MRI. I could see why picking that junk out would send relief!
QUESTIONS: OK, I am on opiate pain killers and they can make me super constipated. I am noticing a pattern: after a couple of days with no BM, it gets so painful I feel I can barely move, or walk. When I have a BM, that night I sleep the most pain free. RELATED???
JUST BEFORE I had the pain and numbness begin in my left leg, like a week or so before, I began having pain and numbness (first time ever) in my left arm...I went to doc who suspected pinched nerve in the neck and gave me prednisone. It cleared pretty quickly but then the leg pain started immediately...RELATED????
And finally, why would the pain switch from one side to the other??
Thanks everyone. This has been hell and I have a new respect and empathy for anyone I see limping...I know how painful this is. My co worker said "I have that and I deal with that everyday" yeah right lady....how can I "deal" with it when I CANT WALK????