This is a first post for me. I've had back pain off and on for a number of years, it's been muscular, with back going into spasm then PT and things are ok. All that's changed recently, as I've had back pain that won't go away, and they're saying it might be nerve problems. An x-ray showed L5 is out of alignment (pushed forward a bit) and that I also have a bit of Lordosis. I have pain standing for over a few minutes stationary, and can walk for about 20 minutes before the pain kicks in. I'm on NSAIDs for inflammation/pain.
As it stands, PT for a month hasn't done much but stop pain from increasing . I used to be very active, and all that has been eliminated. I should mention that I had heart surgery a bit over a year ago, and that took me out for a bit, but since then, my back problems have been consistent. The odd thing is that there has been no trauma or accident that caused this to happen. I'm 38yo male, and have been in good shape all my life. I'm hoping to get my old life back someday.
My question is, what non-surgical solutions have people had good results with in dealing with a similar problem? My PT is on the fence, and wants me to speak with a surgeon. I'm not too impressed with what I've read regarding surgical results and am not too happy with this as an option. I'm trying to get a timeline together for how long I pursue alternate routes. I do my PT 'workout' twice a day, and am diligent about sticking with things.
Has anyone had a similar experience that can help me out?
I receive my epidural injections at the spine instutute that I go to. The doctors have their offices there, and also an excellent facility within the institute for giving the injections.
I received my first epidural injection on April 27, '07. That injection was given at the L3/L4 location to reduce the inflammation of a pinched nerve. The nerve was being pinched due to the associated bulging (perhaps ruptured) disc. At the time the pain was radiating from my back down into my right leg. The lower part of my leg had a tingling sensation. A week after the injection the pain in my leg was gone. A month after the injection the tingling sensation in my leg was gone. Today I still do not have any pain or tingling in my right leg.
The end of August or early September of '07 the pain in my lower back at the L5/S1 location was getting worse (Slipped L5/S1). So my PM doc gave me another injection in that area. It worked very well.
By the first part of April '08 the pain at the L5/S1 location was again getting worse, so I had another injection. It has worked very well. I now have almost no pain, unless I overdo my gardening "exercises".
Some thoughts - Mrg, I'm convinced of two things regarding whether an epidural injection will work or not. It is essential that the doctor use a fluoroscpe when making the injections so that he can "see" the exact location in your back where he needs to place the corticosteroid. Would be impossible without the fluoroscope. Second, the doctor must have the expertise to be able to guide the needle to PRECISELY the EXACT location where the inflammation is in ones back. Without a doubt my PM doc is an expert!!!
Time will tell when I will need another injection. He and I estimate it will be in about another six months.
Sorry this is so long, but I wanted to give you some of the details.
If you have any questions let me know.
Also, DO seek the advice of a spinal surgeon about your own situation. AND then seek the advice of a second spinal surgeon.