I'm new to this discussion thread and new to back pain in general but I'm glad this forum exists. I've read a lot of posts and it's helpful to know I am not alone in facing unknown back problems. However, I am posting for the first time because my symptoms seem peculiar to me and I haven't seen anyone here with the same issues at my age. I turned 21 years old in October of last year and I have had lower back pain for a little over three months now. The pain started as a dull ache and it hasn't gotten much worse than that, but since then I've developed other strange symptoms. Lately both of my legs are prone to episodes of tingling all the way down to the feet and toes - it's not numbness, but feels like pins and needles - other times I'll feel a hot burning pain creep down one leg or the other (this sounds like sciatica to me, but from what I've read sciatica usually only occurs in one leg). Occasionally my back pain will radiate up into my middle and upper back and between the shoulders, but that doesn't happen too often.
Here's the strangest part: often times right before I'm falling asleep, the tingling will move from just the legs to the arms and back as well. This always happens right as I'm about to fall asleep and pulls me out of my tired state. It's a very strange sensation and it makes my head tingle/makes me feel like I'm experiencing an odd change in perception. This usually only lasts for a small amount of time before I really wake up, and then the tingling will move back to mainly my legs. I've visited my GP when the pain first started and he thought it was a muscular issue so he prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication, but that didn't seem to help at all. Now that the nerve issues have started I don't think it's got anything to do with muscular pain. I thought (and still think) it might be a herniated disc, but I've heard that those hurt much worse with pressure or activity, and my back doesn't seem to respond negatively to any major movement. I also think my pins and needles feeling would be restricted to just one leg or the lower half of the body if it was a herniated disc, and that's not the case. A few days ago I received a therapeutic massage which seemed to help loosen some tight muscles but didn't alleviate the low, aching, deep pain in my lower back. I'm scheduled to get an MRI in a month which will hopefully shed some light on what's going on, but it's getting to the point where I can't sleep well and can't enjoy daily activities because I'm thinking about it all the time. Three months seems like a long time to have strange back and nerve pain, and the longer it continues the more anxious I get. I keep thinking I'm far too young to have these kinds of issues without a specific event triggering them, so I'm a little worried (I can't recall anything that caused trauma to my back).
Thank you to anyone who reads this and might have some insight on the situation. While my pain isn't that bad, my mental exhaustion is at an all-time high, and being able to talk to people about it might help with that a bit. I hope everyone is doing well, and thank you for allowing me to be a part of this community. Cheers.