Hi everyone, I've been reading up on the forums for a while now trying to find some information around my situation but have struggled to find anyone with my symptoms so hoping someone can shed some light on the issue if they've experienced the same.
My story: Around three years ago I had a herniation at L5-S1 with a bulge at L4-L5. This resulted in some pretty bad lower back pain and sciatica. Thankfully this resolved after a few months to where I was pretty much back to my old self. Unfortunately around 4 months back I managed to aggravate the injury and over time this resulted in me being unable to sit for any period of time due to an escalation in the lower back pain over the following few weeks - no sciatica this time but a visit to a chiropractor did aggravate things further and added some hip pain on my left side along with numbness of the hip area if I sleep on my left side.
After the back pain and lower back stiffness peaked in intensity around a month later it slowly began to subside somewhat over the next month or so but has not completely gone away and sitting is still uncomfortable but not impossible.
Now this is where it gets a little weird - as the back pain began to reduce I noticed another symptom which may have been there previously but was may be overshadowed by the back pain. This is a general feeling of anxiety which as best as I can describe is in my chest area almost like a restless feeling. Along with this symptom which I would now class as almost worse than the back pain at times, I have noticed that my heart rate in general is a lot higher than it was prior to this whole incident (and the first month or so of the re-aggravation of the injury) and there does appear to be a link between the heart rate and the restless feeling I get (higher HR= restless feeling worse). This is verified via my heart tracker that I've worn for over a year. My heart beat also feels a lot more pronounced than before as I can most times feel my chest and stomach area moving in correlation to my heart beat any time I am at rest and this can be quite disconcerting! To give you an idea of the difference, before this all happened my heart rate whilst at rest would hover between 62-70 bpm (I exercised regularly so was pretty fit) now this doesn't seem to drop below 80 bpm even when I am just laying down and tends to hover between 84-90 bpm!
I have tried to attribute this to the lower back pain but even when I am most comfortable and the pain is barely noticeable (laying down) the HR does not drop below 80bpm.
I've also compared my HR when sleeping to what it was previously and again there is a significant difference - where my HR would drop to between 50-60 bpm previously now it hovers between 62-72 and I wake up early feeling lower back stiffness and some mild discomfort but the worst of it is my heart pounding at around 80bpm and this restless feeling in my chest! This has been going on for over a month now with no real improvement and initially I hadn't put too much thought into it as I thought it would eventually go away as the lower back pain was getting better but this hasn't happened. I have to add that I did take my HR tracker off for a while after this happened as I didn't see the point in continuing to charge it every few days when I was no longer being active! This unfortunately means I cannot pinpoint exactly when the HR issues started after the back pain started again. I began wearing it again a week ago when I decided I had to get to the bottom of this HR and restlessness issue as they are rally beginning to get to me now and making life even more miserable along with the back issues!
I have been to my GP and had an ECG and although my HR was said to be a little fast, it was within normal range with no anomalies found and no palpitations (I do get these but very rarely and these were something I would get on the odd occasion previously so those are normal for me). My GP was of the opinion that my HR was within normal range and wouldn't listen to my reasoning that although it was within normal range, it wasn't my 'normal' range! She put the restlessness/anxious feeling down to stress dealing with the back issues and suggested an SSRI but I do not believe this to be the case and politely declined.
The best way to describe the restless/anxious feeling I get - I've had to take codeine based painkillers previously for an injury and the anxiety/restlessness I get is pretty much the exact feeling I had when I stopped taking those after a few weeks (withdrawals). On this occasion I have not taken anything stronger than NSAIDs for pain relief so I know it is not anything related to medication. Any ideas would be appreciated - sorry for the long post!