Do the terms stenosis, impingement, sciatica, L4, L5 sound all too horribly familiar? If you're like me, and evidently, millions of other Americans, lower back pain can render you virtually immobile for weeks at a go. My serious back problems started a few years ago and were the product of a morning spent behind a Troy-Bilt roto-tiller...or so I thought. Further investigation revealed that a litany of congenital conditions from scoliosis to the aforementioned stenosis had all played their part in laying me low, the Troy-Bilt was, simply, the messenger.
Now, I spend life one false move away from incapacitating agony. I had always heard people complain about 'sciatica' and thought they must be some kind of namby pambies. Not any more. Now I don't leave home without the proper allotment of pain killers in my dop kit-'just in case', I feel like House, or worse yet, Rush.
But trust me when I say that pills are only a stop-gap measure, real relief, of any lasting measure, comes only through a needle, as it happens, a needle the size of a turkey baster. When I start feeling that very special kind of nervous-electric pain in my lower back, I can't get to the orthopod fast enough. That's when I'm jonesing for an epidural of cortico-steroids and nothing else will suit. I've been finding that I can get over a year out these procedures, and along with a lot of core exercises, they keep me ambulatory and medicating with ibuprofen alone. Amen to that.