I'm a 31 year old female who has been dealing with back pain for nearly half my life. The onset of symptoms was when I was 17, I stepped off a riser and my back went out. It happened again a year later. Since then I have had issues that have gotten more and more frequent. I get a "compressed" feeling in my lower back, it feels like someone has put my spine in a vise and is squeezing the crap out of it. This happens several times a year, usually shortly before my back goes out on me. This last year has been the worst. For the last 5 months I have had near constant pain, compressed feeling in lower back, and pain radiating down my tailbone and out to my hip joint area. Have had a few instances of sharp shooting pain down my right leg. I have been to 4 different chiropractors in the last 15 years. The chiropractor prior to my latest one told me that it was just "sore muscles" and I should just take it easy. That was 5 months ago. It wasn't getting better. I went to a new chiropractor who decided to take some x rays. The x rays indicated a problem with the L5 S1 region. There is very little space left between the vertebrae. She recommended I show the xrays to my doctor. The doctor scheduled me for an MRI, which I had done yesterday. I will have the results from that test tomorrow morning. I have been reading up on treatment options for this issue, and came across this board during my search. I am a healthy, active, 31 year old female. Up until the last 5 months, I worked out regularly, and enjoyed a fairly active lifestyle. My doctor has already indicated that chiropractic care clearly hasn't helped, and due to the fact that I exercise and still have had increasing issues, (including specific exercises to help strengthen my back) that PT probably wouldn't help. My other options are injections, which sounds like would only help to manage pain, and not fix the issue. I am tired of dealing with this, it's been 15 years now. It may be too early yet, but I've been reading up on surgical options. I've heard several accounts of patients having their disc "shaved" to remove the portion that is pressing on the nerve, but that a few years down the road, they have the same issues return. My brother in law had the same issues I am now having, and he had his L5 S1 fused. He said it was the best decision he ever made. I just want the problem fixed and the pain to go away, and I want my life back.
Everything depends on your MRI results. For some cases surgery is the best option. For others, conservative treatment helps. The treatment is to remove the compression. You have to discuss the best treatment option with a neurologist, which can range from medication to physiotherapy to traction, lumbar belts, lumbar corsets or even surgery. Hope this helps. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem
Surgery should be a last ditch option in my opinion. I had my disc shaved and two years later reherniated two out of the three. Also there are plenty of people on here that have horror stories with their fusions. The shots are good and can help but there are also chances with that. There are things like decompression therapy that may help you though and try to see if there is a chiro in your area that practices homeopathy as they do not force your back into place. You have a lot of options check them out before you have surgery please, you may think it is bad now but things can get worse. Best wishes, Sissie
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