Chronic Back Pain for Over Half of My Life. I'm 23.
This is my first time visiting this site which I was referred to by my dr. I just had my first appt with a neurosurgeon today. I've been having problems with my back since appx age 11. There was no known reason for the onset but since it began around the same time as my patellar tendonitis, it was deemed 'Growing Pains', that I would 'grow out of it', and was dismissed. Being 11, I accepted that 'diagnosis' and went years wondering when I would 'grow out of it'. I tried seeing other drs. I had X-rays. Nothing. PT over and over. Nothing. TENS Unit. Nothing. I'm now 23 going on 24 next month and I just found out in Dec. 2009 what was wrong with me. And of course over all this time it has only gotten worse and the pain has been traveling up my spine little by little so now I have it all the way up to my neck.
So now I'm facing the probability of surgery, and I'm terrified. I havent tried shots or anything yet and I dont know if I will try that first or not. I think I may be beyond the range of that being helpful. I have 3 annular tears in 3 discs. Two are 1st degree, and the third is a 4th degree in my L5-S1 and from the discogram I had it is leaking atleast 30% of the way around my disc. I have some bulges/herniations and hypertrophy of the ligamentum flava from years (over half my life) of inflammation. It is chronic- no painfree periods. I was informed of it being genetic as well which makes me worry about my son.
Ive been to: 4 Orthopedic Dr.s, 2 Chiropractors, PT numerous times, A Spinal Specialist who ordered my MRI and I was once again dismissed because everything 'looks normal'. A PA at a different practice picked up on everything the so called Spinal Specialist missed. Yes, I am bitter with him. He didnt even seem to want to help me. He had a bad bedside manner. I think he thought I was just trying to score pills or something. I have NEVER gone to a doctor for my back asking for pills. I've only asked one thing, "What is wrong with me?! Why am I always in pain?" I've seen a Pain Mgmt Dr who did my Discogram, and now today my neurosurgeon.
Is anyone else dealing with these same symptoms? Why is this happening to me so young? I don't want to be in pain for the next 50 years, or however long I live. I've been in pain over half my life. I'm ready to wake up and not be in pain.