Welcome to the Healing Well Chronic Pain Forum, as you can see from the many post, that this is definitely the place to be! I honestly believe you won't find a better bunch of folks anywhere! Your story, unfortunately is all to common, I dare say it would be very rare to find anybody here that hasn't experienced something similar, with at least one of the Doctors that they have had. So if it is of any comfort, YOU are not ALONE! Among allot of other disc problems, I have a herniated and torn disc at T12, and that was from well over ten years ago! I could not find any Doctor (surgeon) that would even touch me! (and I seen quite a few!) The one surgeon that I highly admired and thoroughly trusted, told me the surgery was very dangerous, (they would have to do an anterior approach "go through the front" and move all the organs to get at my spine) and he did not believe that in the long run I would get that much benefit from it, (because fusing the discs makes it more likely that the disc above and below the fusion will go bad) and that short of fusing my whole spine, (which they would not do!) that as long as I could walk, and get around, and they could manage my pain, (in at least a somewhat suitable manner) That I would just have to live with it! And I have!. Oh yes I just about forgot to mention that during that time I had also went to PT and even Aqua therapy, and I flunked out of all of them! They were just making me worse!!!, and they would tell me "don't come back untill the Doctor fixes you!" It was definitely a "Catch 22 situation" I felt like you, devastated, and helpless, and in oh so much pain! I could not work, I sat in a recliner all day, and took pain meds!!! My world as I knew it had changed beyond all measure! I was put on short term, and then long term disability, and I eventually got SSD. I am telling you this so you will know that I can definitely empathize with you!.
You are young and especially because of your age they do not like to do that type of surgery on you!. and if they can, they will avoid it at all cost! If I were you I would go to Physical Therapy, let them do there thing, if it helps? Fine! If it doesn't then you have more documented proof of your condition. But you also need to find a Doctor that will treat you for your pain. The best thing of course is going to a Pain Clinic and having a PMS taking care of you!
Hang in there ahuffman, you are not alone, we are all here to support you!
Again Welcome to our Family!
Moderator Chronic Pain