My Long History of Sciatica
My story starts in 1989 when I was only 9 years old.Struck by sudden lumbar pain and left side sciatica, I was nearly completely immobilized for a few weeks. I don't recall many details now, but I remember many tests and the word bursitis being used. I wouldn't say it was chronic, but I did have some dull pains here and there until 2005 when I was told I had herniated a disc. Chiropractic treatments seemed to have 'fixed' it then.
2007 out again, then better, 2008 out leading to surgery at 4-5. Then good, really good, until 2011 when my chronic issues started. Saving you from a tedious read, bad bouts happened: early 2011, mid 2012 to late 2013, summer 2014, late 2015, late 2017 to spring 2018, early 2019 and now I've been in terrible condition since July 2019 (its mid Feb 2020 now).
During all this time I've had many bad days as well. Now this time since July, I've been up and down, but never good. I've been between stuck at home on the couch and able to perform most regular duties. In the last few weeks though, it’s gotten really bad. I had an MRI late January, but the images don't show much more than slight nerve displacement. However, it's so bad that I've stopped being able to even go into the office.
I saw an orthopedic surgeon today and he said that there is not enough evidence to warrant a surgery and his assessment shows that there is no real significant pressure at the nerve root causing my sciatic pain, numbness and weakness. I've had cauda equina type symptoms, I have trouble with stairs, foot drop, urination issues, tight muscles exactly where PT would expect, terrible (perceived) pain etc... but no apparent cause.
My symptoms and medications make it very difficult to perform my job as my company's manager and I am feeling very guilty about not being able to work much. I am certainly not the type of person who folds and gives up, but I am now after this many years starting to think there may not be a solution. I'm hoping there is someone out there who has had chronic issues like this with some advice on how to deal with both the physical and emotional sides of this.