I have suffered from lower back pain for twelve years. As a teenager, I fell off a skateboard and fractured my tail bone. I recovered from that quite well, and really didn’t have any problems until 1997. While in labor with my son, I fractured my tail bone again. Since then, I have been in pain constantly.
After I left the hospital when my son was born, my general practitioner diagnosed the fracture and prescribed ibuprofen for the pain. Ibuprofen did absolutely nothing for the pain, so I found myself going to the Urgent Care quite often. I had numerous x-rays and exams, where the doctor would proceed to tell me that it was a soft tissue injury. After a few years of this, I finally got up the nerve to argue with the doctor and they did a more in depth exam. I was told I had a rotated sacrum. The sacrum is a large, triangular bone at the base of the spine and at the upper and back part of the pelvic cavity, where it is inserted like a wedge between the two hip bones. Its upper part connects with the last lumbar vertebra, and bottom part with the coccyx (tail bone). (def. courtesy of wikipedia.) I was sent to inversion therapy for treatment.
After completing physical therapy, I felt better for a while. I was constantly working, and my job had me on my feet for at least eight hours a day; eventually I started to be in pain again. Over the next few years, I just suffered through it. I would start to hurt after walking for a while, or sitting too long. Car trips were agony. I would get up in the morning and hurt. Finally, about three years ago, my husband found a spinal surgeon willing to see me for free. He performed an exam, an M.R.I., and x-rays. His diagnosis was something new- I had herniated discs in the lumbar region and Degenerative Disc Disease. He prescribed some medication, but moved his practice out of town before we could discuss treatments.
I let another two years go by before I decided to consult a pain management specialist. ( I want to add here that my waiting to seek treatment was only because I have no health insurance for myself and I couldn’t afford the high costs of treatment.) The pain management specialist confirmed the spinal surgeon’s diagnosis, and added that my sacrum was rotated yet again. This time, however, instead of physical therapy he recommended injections. I was scared to death of this, I really hate needles. My husband and I discussed it and decided that the chance to be pain free outweighed the fear of needles, and so I went to the hospital for Bi-lateral SI injections. They injected me with dye and used an x-ray machine to guide needle placement. The injections were painful, and I was in more pain than ever for the next couple of days. After about the third day, however, I noticed that there was no pain. After twelve years, I had absolutely no pain at all! I was able to sit, stand, and walk for longer periods of time without hurting at the end of the day. When I woke up in the morning, I felt great.
The only drawback to these injections are that they are a temporary solution. It has been about four months since my injections, and I have noticed that I am starting to hurt more. I will go back and have them done again, and I am also thinking about inquiring as to whether the same type of injections would help my knee and shoulder pains as well.
I am happy that I have been able to enjoy pain free moments and I think that if you have lower back issues, this is something that you should look into. It has helped me tremendously, and I feel like I can enjoy my life more, and not be afraid to do things because I would be hurting later.