Thanks for sharing your stories as its nice to feel I'm not totally alone struggling with chronic back pain . I'm a single mum of 3 & a registered nurse and began to have back pain 5 years ago. I had a ct and was told my facet joints at L4-L5 and L5-S1 were swollen and inflamed due to arthritis . I would have a couple of flare ups a year and with pysio anti inflammatories , mild pain killers , Pilates after 6 weeks it would improve but always had some pain esp when driving or sitting . 2015 things took a turn for the worse. March I had a bad flare up and had cortisone injections into both joints , which did give some relief I was doing pysio, Pilates, seeing osteopath and acupuncturist to help and by June was better. Then BANG in July drive to work one day and couldn't get out the car. Went straight to my GP and was told to go back to previous regime of pysio hydrotherapy Pilates etc. this time I could hardly even get in the floor to do pilates or was in agony from thr drive there. Another lot of cortisone injections , anti inflammatories, lyrica for nerve pain , diazepam for muscle spasms, endone for intense pain were easing the pain but not seeing much improvement but still my GP wanted to treat conservatively. One day in Nov I woke to a numb leg and intense burning pain in my thigh and couldn't take it anymore and went to the hospital where I was admitted for 8 days Under a neurosurgeon . I had slight weakness in my right leg and delayed ankle teflex. I then had CT, MRI, bone scan which showed disc protrusion at L4-5 no evidence of it pressing on nerves, Moderate facet joint degeneration, mild spondylolitheis at L3-4, mild spinal stenosis at L4-5. Bone scan showed inflammation in my hips and L4-5 and L5-S1. So neurosurgeon ordered my another lot of facet joint injections referred me to orth doc for hip pain and discharged me. Saw ortho dr who said my back is the issue hips are byproduct . So I left the hospital no better . I haven't worked since October as I tried and was sent home too many times, and need a clearance from GP and pysio to go back which neither will give me. Some days I can't drive anywhere due to the back pain when sitting and after 10-15 mins my thigh burns then goes numb and my foot goes numb. I spend my life in chronic pain if I cut down all the meds in order to function I'm In agony or I am in a medication induced daze but the pain is bearable. I currently have a fentanyl patch for pain , take 150mg lyrica morning and night, slow release tramadol day and night, anti inflammatory daily , diazepam before bed to help me sleep, regulat Panadol and endone when it's really bad. I have an appt with a spinal surgeon Tom and I'm absolutely petrified he will just say continue with pysio hydrotherapy etc and see how you go. I think I would lose it in his office . My gp has told me I do not have any "severe" issues so surgery wouldn't be an option so he doesn't think seeing surgeon will help. He thinks it will improve on the coming months. Some days I wonder if I'm imagining the pain as there's nothing really wrong with me . I'm so stressed as my life has been on hold for over 6 months and some days j feel I can't stand the pain anymore. Hoping I'm not alone and others can relate .