Hi everyone. I’ve been reading a lot regarding similar problems I’ve been having. I’ll give you all some background.
I’m 35, and up until this past February I have had no issues of back trouble.
I am an active person, was an avid mountain biker, jogger, outdoor enthusiast. Always on the move. This past Feb I was working out early mornings at my house, light free weights, and I use a Bowflex Maxtrainer when it’s too cold outside here in CT. I felt a lot of leg stiffness post workouts, and had thought I wasn’t stretching out enough. The next few days go by and the tightness in my legs starts radiating down my foot which was going numb. My leg was so stiff it felt like I had a peg leg. Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from there.
So, end of February I begin to see a chiropractor, and he said I had a textbook case of a pinched nerve so he gave me stretches, lightly massaged my lower back. This went on about a month with no improvement. I was referred to a pain management doctor who specializes in back pain. He ordered an mri which revealed a herniated disc in my L5/S1 region. Also prescribed me some 750mg ibuprofen which I’d take here and there but usually once I took one, the inflammation went down enough it was tolerable. I hate taking medication
He referred me to a physical therapist for 2 months, that did absolutely nothing. Next step was a cortisone injection which I’ve only had 1, but that also did nothing. He referred me to an orthopedic specialist who took one look at my mri and said microdisectomy. Scared at the thought of surgery, I figured I’d try another avenue.
I began to see a Naturopath who set me on a good diet, and was doing acupuncture twice a week on me. By golly, I actually felt some improvement. I was doing ok, with very mild pain, and only trouble walking long distances, but I haven’t had an ibuprofen in a couple months.
Then just last week everything came crashing down. Out of nowhere, I’m experiencing pain like I never have before. I literally cannot stand for more than 5 minutes, can’t lie comfortably, and sitting in a car is almost impossible. I was having spasms so bad I was screaming in pain, it was that intolerable. It feels like my whole left leg down to my knee is tensing up, and the outside of my foot has now gone numb once again. I pretty much have to drag my leg in order to get around. I figured I’d rest and give it a couple days. I was desperate so back to the pain doc, and he put me on a prednisone dose pak, an 800mg Ibuprofen, and a muscle relaxer.
The scary part is, I’m 2 days into this medicine and I still cannot stand more than 5 mins, cannot lie comfortably, or sit in a car. Basically the only improvement I had was the excruciating spasms have subsided, I have pain once I lie down but it is more discomfort now.
I know I hear mixed stories about surgery, and everyone says give this time. Well, I’ve had this issue since Feb, and here we are in December and I’m flat out in bed. I’m about to pull the trigger and call the surgeon on Monday if this doesn’t improve by then.
Am I being too impatient? I can’t operate at my job, or do anything currently for that matter, I don’t want to think I'm making a drastic decision but my career, and life in general lies in the balance.
Thanks for reading, this has been a tough road. I find I encounter people who say do the surgery, others know a guy who knew a guy that surgery did nothing. I’m just not sure what to do.