I am a 36yr old male, 5'5" 175lbs and in decent physical condition. I have been athletic lol my life. One year ago I herniated my L4/5 disc. Physical therapy did not help so I got injections which lasted 3/4 days then the pain came right back. Next a friend directed me to a different PT who practices dry needling. In 4 month going twice a week the pain from my lower back all the way to my toes had disappeared. I felt like it had never happened and I am happy to say that my lower back still has zero pain and feels strong. This was all in the beginning of 2016.
Now just 3 weeks ago I was woken up in the middle of the night 2am with severe back pain in the middle of my back which felt like it was wrapping around my ribs just below my chest. I had drank quite a bit that weekend so my wife said maybe it was my kidneys so I pounded water. By 9am the pain had gone away and did not return until the second night. Same thing 2am my back is hurting so bad I had trouble getting out of bed. I knew something wasn't right. So that day I made an emergency call to my PT and he was able to take me but again by 9/10am the pain was gone.
He said he saw 4 disc in the middle of my back that were compressed. He did some stretching, cracking, dry needling, cupping and I walked out of there feeling much much better. That night I slept great but the following night not so much. Then I had to fly overseas to come to work for 28 days.
So for the passed 2.5 weeks I've been at work trying everything I can to manage. I started sleeping with a pillow under my knees, between my legs and that seemed at first to bring the pain down from a 8/9 to a 5/6 but then that only lasted for a few days. Over the last 4/5 nights at 1/2am the pain has been maintaining a steady 7,8,9 threshold. So I haven't been sleeping much and by 8am all pain is gone. Maybe a little stiff but nothing like what I deal with at night.
I sometimes wear a back brace during the day, stretch ALOT, even use a foam roller before bed but nothing is helping. I'm up to 1200mg a night and not helping. I am scared to go to sleep cause I know what's to come at 2am. Please help
Can I up my dose of ibuprofen?
Should I try to go get an MRI?