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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I am new to the board so forgive me if this has been posted a dozen times and for being long winded just want to give as much detail as possible.
50 years old Male, 6 feet, 195 pounds in good shape. I have had some slight sciatica that started about 4 years ago(PAIN LEVEL 1.5 out of 10), MRI showed bulging disc L4-L5. I was very active and lost some flexibility in the left leg but the Pain was maybe a 1 out of 10 so I didn't see the need to get epidural injections. I was actually scared I would injure my back more if I could not feel any pain. I had problems walking or sleeping but would throw my entire lower back out from time to time, feel the pop and sick feeling, when you know your back just went out and you were going to be in pain for at least 2 weeks. I tried Inversion, PT, ICE, HEAT, Stretches, Yoga, Assisted Stretching, Continued to do Brazlian Jiujitsu but very careful, Spine Decompression, Chiropractors, Massage, Ice, Heat, TEMS, Cold Laser Therapy, Cryotherapy, Acupuncture.
Nothing really seemed to help so I just lived with it and it was not a big deal. It did not affect my sleep or work or exercise unless I over did it for a week and then the back would go out. Now about 4 weeks ago after 2 weeks of probably over doing it I was bending down to pick up something at home and pop the back went out like in the past, but this time I felt burning down in my left foot and my left foot went numb. I iced right away and the next day I woke up bent over forward and bending to the right right side of my body slightly as well. The sciatic pain in my lower left side of my back to my butt, thigh and calf was very bad, After the 2nd or 3rd day of sleeping maybe 2 hours a night, I went to the doctor. The pain level at this point was a 9 out of 10. (PAIN LEVEL 9 out of 10) I could not stand or walk without extreme sciatic pain. I moved around the house trying to find a position that would elevate the pain and settled on the bathtub with warm baths. This gave me the most relief but it would return when I got out. The doctor gave me Naproxen, which did nothing for the pain. I went to the Chiropractor who did Ice, Tens Machine and slight adjustment, No relief at all. I had to stop and kneel down during the X-Rays because I could not stand for more than 20 seconds. I feel like I have a high pain tolerance, as I have had ACL Surgery in both knees and never used the Morphine pump or pain meds after either of those full reconstructions. Have had broken elbows, and ankles and torn ligaments and never used pain medication more than aspirin. Made and appointment with Spine guy who did my MRI 4 years early but it was over a week away. I went to the urgent care because I was getting no relief or sleep. Doctor prescribed predniSONE, Gabapentin, and HYDROcoden-Acetaminophen. I did not take the HYDROcoden because I thought I could tough it out. I could tell my back muscles were healing as I didnt have to grab the head board to turn over, I could push my self off the ground but the Sciatic Pain was still at a LEVEL 9. 2 Weeks from injury, I found relief sitting in a work chair. I ended up dragging myself back to work because I had missed 7 days and I have never missed that many sick in work school or anything. I still have severe pain when I stand or walk but once I get to my chair the pain goes to a 1 or 2. I can not sleep sitting or in a recliner as some have. I try legs up on back, face down, on side, nothing really relieves the pain at all but I can get about 3 hours of sleep if I sleep with a Tens Machine on to distract the pain some. Its usually in 20 minute sessions though. I finally got to Spinal Doc, who gave me more steroids, a pack that was 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, I assume a stronger Prednisone, He said after these run out if the pain is no better schedule MRI, This also did nothing for the pain, so after 3 days, I scheduled MRI, I finally broke down about 2 days ago and took the HYRDOcoden. I slept 8 hours and went to work. Had an MRI the next day and have an appointment with the Spinal guy to read them tomorrow at 1pm. My left leg is very weak so I assume the disc that were bad 4 years ago are worse now and pressing somewhere on the sciatic nerve. What I am wondering is if the pressure on the nerve is causing the weakness and how long before permanent damage is being done or permanent weakness in that leg? I assume no matter what the MRI looks like they are going to want to do some type of Epidural in the nerve. If so will that just make the pain go away? Will the leg still be weak when I walk or try and stand for more than 20 seconds? I tried to take 1/2 a Hydrocoden last night at midnight and it did nothing. It says take 1 every 6 hours for pain but scared I can't drive doing that or even work if I take one every 6 hours? Last detail I can give is if I stand in the mirror and lift my left leg, my body (CORE) holds pretty tight and stable, if I lift my left leg, my Core starts to turn and I see there is not enough support there, if this weakness again because of something pushing on the nerve? Anyway thanks for listening, and again, sorry for the long post!

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