Hi, My story really is one where I first felt back pain issues during high school. I was young, energetic, and enjoyed running and biking. The small episodes of pain could slow me down for a day and up to a week over the years. Usually I would ignore it, and refused to take any drugs. Eventually I found relief through a chiropractic visit and could expect that I would be a return customer about 1 to 2 times a year. I would typically only go once or twice, and then fight the pain the rest of the way until the next occurrence. I should also include that I engaged in motocross sports as well during the next years. This sport sent me over 100 foot jumps and through the woods at dangerous speeds. So by every right I maybe earned some of my pain.
The chiropractor said that I mostly was pinching a nerve / with a bulging disc in my lower back, which would also cause some leg numbing issues. Fast forward to my family life with 3 young boys and still enjoying running and biking. ONE DAY I felt in my back that twitch or feeling that would alert me that within a few hours I would be unable to function well. In other words a typical episode that would render me useless in terms of picking up a 2 year old, or standing up straight.
Unfortunately this time I got to a different level of pain, and by the late evening I was unable to walk. I had to agree with my wife that I would finally go to the hospital, where I was shot up with pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs and told to go home. My wife was very shocked and saw that at least conventionally I was meant for either tightening my core (not too bad), or a candidate for surgery.
I have a friend who had a spinal fusion and at least for him, has not worked a day in his life since. So that is currently not an option I would put on the table.
I found a medical doctor who specializes in Prolotherapy. He is in the Chicago area, and arguably the best in the biz. I was given "injections" into my back, about 100 of them that were meant to cause mild inflammation, and so creating a healing response naturally from the body. I continued to visit the doctor about once a month for a total of 4 times. I have been pain free now for about a year. I can only tell you that it has been the best thing I ever did. I have since continued to run and bike and yes pick up my kids. I hope this information helps.
One more thing, I happened to be out of work at the time, and so I didn't have insurance, but I was able to afford the treatments on my own. Yes they can cost a few bucks. - Jerry