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Hi. From a newbie's perspective, this is a very open and welcoming forum. I am blown away by the info available and the helpful nature of the posts I have viewed so far. I am so glad I found this site.
My back issues started about 15 years ago in my senior year of college, severe lower back pain brought on by a weight lifting session. I didn't give it too much thought back then. I had an apartment mate who worked at the local hospital and provided me with some toradol samples when the Advil wouldn't cover the pain. After about 4-5 weeks of doing next to nothing but going to classes, I felt much better and got on with my life.
In my 20's I continued with my active lifestyle, playing mostly tennis and volleyball, almost year round. Figure about 10-20 hours of matches per week. That all came to a crashing halt about 6 years ago for two reasons, 1) kids came into my life which was great, and 2) a return of severe lower back pain which was not great. I have used chiropractic care to get me through numerous rough patches, and I have continued to use lots of Advil for pain management (but nothing stronger). About 2 1/2 years ago I had my first batch of sciatica, which got me to go to an orthopedist. Through a decent history and some x-rays, he diagnosed me with grade 2 spondy at L5-S1 and a possible ruptured disk at that same location. We talked about 2 disk fusion, but didn't go forward. About a year later I got a MRI which confirmed the ruptured disk at L5-S1, but also revealed a second ruptured disk at L4-L5. At that point (1 year ago), the surgeon said I would need a 3 disk fusion to correct my structural issues, and he did not recommend that type of surgery for a 36 year old with my pain level.
Through lots of core training exercises and a calisthenics regime (I laid off the weights about 5 years ago) I have managed to stay relatively accepting with my pain levels. Recently (about 2 weeks ago), I have started to get numbness in both feet that then travels up my legs after sitting for longer than 15 minutes. Standing and walking relieves this sensation. I am also getting a sharp stab of pain in my lower back a few times of day, which does not seem to be brought on by movement or any specific position. So I have made a new appointment with the orthopedist for a new assessment. He can't see me until August 15th, so I am going to float at my current pain level (I hope not worse) and new unsettling symptoms (foot and leg numbness) until then. In the mean time, I may see my friend the chiropractor to help me if need be.
If anyone can offer advice, please do. Otherwise, checking out previous posts and reading this website’s thorough info already has helped me a great deal.