I'm sorry to hear about
what you are going through, it does not sound like fun. That being said, I would be leery about
letting a chiropractor diagnose you. They can assess the biomechanics of the spine, and sure they can pick up on obvious degenerative changes on xray, but they are not MD's, and they are not trained to read and assess xrays the same way that a radiologist or spine doctor would. The fact is, most of us have evidence of DDD and spinal arthritis as we age. However, these diseases are often not painful (though yes, sometimes they are), and many people don't even know that they have them until someone xrays their spine. So even if you have these changes on xray, whether or not that is the cause of your pain remains to be seen.
While having a chiropractor work on you probably isn't going to hurt, and may help, if this pain continues, you really need to go back to your doctor and have more advanced imaging done (typically an MRI). That still may not definitively tell you the cause of your pain (it may also come back with nothing more than the DDD & arthritis which leaves you in the same boat, wondering whether or not that is the cause of your symptoms), but it will detect any nerve root compression or other problems with the spine and/or surrounding tissues that may be causing your symptoms. The reason that your doctor hasn't rushed into sending you for any testing thus far is probably because statistically speaking, the majority of people with lower back pain and/or sciatica will get better on their own within 2-3 mo, and thus many doctors won't even consider doing imaging until the patient is at least about
8 wks out. It sucks when you are the patient and are in pain, though.
In the mean time, you might consider talking to your doctor about
trying a course of steroids (if you can take them with your diabetes, since steroids also raise blood sugar), in case this is some acute inflammatory process (steroids are much more powerful than the NSAIDS you already tried). If you can tolerate it, massage might also be something to try. As would physical therapy -- they can help with both pain reduction techniques and stretching and strengthening. Ice and heat are also your friends. And OTC products like the bio freeze your chiro used, lidocaine gel, icy hot, arnica gel, etc, can also help temporarily. If all those things fail, depending on the cause, you're probably looking at trying epidural steroid injections.
And a word of advice -- don't compare your pain to someone else's. Yes, there is always someone else "worse off," but we all experience and respond to pain differently. It doesn't matter if your pain tolerance is high or low. Pain is pain and will wear you down emotionally and physically, and you are justified in your feelings and your desire to seek help!!
I hope you feel better soon! Please let us know how things go.
Post Edited (skeye) : 12/28/2017 7:27:16 PM (GMT-7)