Can I Get Through The Stuck Place?

I have a core pain that has stuck around for the last 5 years. It feels like a bruise inside L/5-S/1. It is so deep. The cause of pain doesn’t show up on an x-ray, but the MRI shows several possibilities such as an annular tear and degenerative disc disease. Supposedly, an annular tear or degenerative disc pain can be alleviate by steroid injections and/or nerve blocks, but I have had those procedures on several occasions and on many disc levels and have never had relief from that, leaving my diagnosis nebulous.

I am seeing Dr. M., my new chiropractor, 3x week. We stopped the jackknife machine (which he calls the Superman) because by forcing a stretch into my lower back I got flared up again. The good news is that the flare up is down, and my pain is back to what I describe as a level 5 on the pain scale. Anything higher than a 5 and I need pain medication to cope with it. I am taking Meloxicam, an anti-inflammatory, every day since starting with Dr. M. who believes this core pain is inflammation.

We have added acupuncture once a week to my treatment of 3x week adjustments, water bed and a roller machine that mobilizes all levels of my back. I also still get my very helpful massage therapy once a week as well. This has all got my pain down to a 5. BUT, the pain still limits almost everything in my life since sitting is still extremely painful! It is like sitting just puts weight and pressure on the “bruise” inside my lower back.

I have hope that this treatment will continue to improve my pain level, but I really don’t know. This is a stuck place. I am learning to be patient with myself and actually lower my expectations of what I should be able to accomplish personally and professionally with this limitation of pain. Going easy on myself lessens the depression and allows me to take better care of myself.