I am new here and hope someone can give an opinion.
I have had problems with my back since I was 16 (now 48). Aged 16 and 19, it was quite bad and I had extensive physiotherapy. It has flared up over the years, but nothing too major and I have always just got on with it and considered it something I had to live with. There was no MRI then and it was diagnosed as disc L4/5. Think i must have had x-rays though...can't really remember now.
Two months ago, I hurt my back lifting a load of wine cases and a day or so later, began to have lower back pain that progressed to left side buttock pain which radiated into the back of my left thigh to the knee, with occasional cramping in the calf. It has always been a dull dragging aching pain, with no sharp stabbing. I get the impression that most ppl with disc problems seem to have the sharp kind on here. I have never had that.
My doctor eventually examined me three weeks after I first saw him, which is a month after all this started and tested my reflexes at the knee only. He also did leg raises etc, which did not reproduce the pain. He stated it wasnt my disc as my reflexes were normal and could be the SI joint.
I had been seeing a physio privately for a couple of weeks before the dr exam, who said it was definitely a disc problem as he could feel it (??? didnt think this was possible) and that GP's drove him nuts with the attitude that if your reflexes are not affected, it isnt the discs.
I returned to work after five weeks off sick and was referred to our occ.health dept. Saw a physio, who when i described the pain, said it wasnt the disc, but was muscular and that it was from the muscles in spasm squashing the nerve. He said he disagreed with my physio and suggested he was in business and more or less suggested he was just ensuring continued custom. I was a bit p*ssed off with that attitude really, but it has got me wondering.
I have low hopes of getting an MRI on the NHS for some considerable time and I am considering paying for one privately.
My pain is constant, but fairly low grade now I suppose. My sacral region is tight and the area over the lumbar vertebrae sore and painful if I press in over the spine area with my fingers.
The work physio had me lying prone and he pressed down with the flat of his hand over my sacral and lumbar region, then pressed each side of the individual lumbar vertebrae. It was painful and in a couple of places, almost unbearably so. He also gave me accupuncture and one of the needles really hurt adjacent to about L4 on the left side.
Since that, it has all hurt more and I am a bit fed up. He doesnt want to see me for two weeks, when he states he will see how it is going, refer me to 'back classes' and get me back to normal with no further problems. I would like to believe him, but something doesnt feel right about what he said. I almost dont think he listened too much about my history.
Apologies for the long post. I hope someone can offer some advice.
Thanks in anticipation