I suffered a minor back injury 8 years ago while working. Since then, I have managed to carry on almost normally with only a handful of days off work.
In January 2012 though, I was woken up by a white flash (I thought the room light had been turned on) and intense back pain. My back was in spasm. I was unable to leave my bed for days and unable to return to work for months. 10 months later and I am only working part time doing non-demanding work. I was a television news director and cameraman. In effect my career has been on hold now since January.
I am not even able to use a lightweight amateur stills camera let alone TV broadcast equipment without terrible pain. My work life, family life and leisure pursuits have all been devastated.
I have had an epidural and a nerve root block. 2 MRIs have shown a small central disc prolapse at L4/5. The last MRI showed an improvement but my symptoms are getting worse.
I am now wondering if there is a neurological or muscular condition that is causing my symptoms to be disproportionate to the prolapse. As well as pain in my back and legs, I have symptoms that might suggest something else - cramping calf muscles, continual involuntary "rippling" muscle movement in calves and feet, shaking, spasm and twitching muscles when I try and relax - especially in the arms and neck.
Exercise causes disproportionate pain, tightness and cramping all over. Sleep does not seem to refresh me anymore.
Before January I would swim a mile regularly and could power walk up hills and mountains. I'm also a music school trained musician. I can do none of these things now.
I have asked whether I should be tested for Parkinsons or ME, but my doctor says there is no need.
I am desperate for help, but at the moment am thinking that I could be disabled for the rest of my life.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Well, without a clinical evaluation it would be difficult to determine the cause of your symptoms, though I would agree this unlikely to be due to spinal causes. Other possibilities that may need to be considered include neuro-muscular causes such as neurodegenerative conditions, infections affecting the neuro-msucullar system, muscle sprain, nerve impingement, injuries to muscles/ ligament, inflammations, micronutrient deficiencies, heavy metal poisoning, referred pain from other regions, etc. I would suggest getting this evaluated by an internist or a neurologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
Hope this is helpful.
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