I have been going to physical therapy for nearly 3 weeks and doing the exercises prescribed diligently. Sometimes I feel worse after the exercises, and sometimes I feel better. The pain has actually moved from my butt to my hip and my piriformus muscle is VERY tight. I've been stretching it the best I can without further aggravating the nerve.
After 3 weeks of physical therapy and only minimal relief, I decided to go ahead with a cortisone shot in my back. I made the mistake of looking online for people who had done this before and got only negative feedback from people who had adverse side affects. This made me so nervous!
Yesterday morning I went in to Dr. Zamas, who is phenomenal if you are in need of someone, for the injection. I was getting so anxious and nervous for the shot I was really wishing I had taken a pain pill. The thought of a huge needle sticking into my spine right next to the nerve that is killing me was very scary. The Dr. came and got me and told me to lie down, hold very still and that it shouldn't last more than about 90 seconds. He hooked up the X-ray machine so he could see if he was in the right spot and injected the cortisone. The pain shot down my leg making my calf and foot tingle, but it was no worse than it has been for the last month. I was so relieved that it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I thought!In the picture above, the white thing is the disc, grey is the spine, and yellow is the nerve. My disc and bone are both pushing on the nerve from different directions. The cortisone shot is supposed to reduce any inflamation in the area, and had some lidocain in it to numb the nerve for a few hours.
I felt the relief from this immediately! I was able to bend over and put my shoes on pain free for the first time in a month! Now that the numbness has worn off, I still feel it in certain areas and just need to be careful when I move around, but I am SO much better than I was! Hopefully this is the answer for me and I can keep it under control without having to turn to surgery. Thank you to everyone who has helped me and my family during this time. I really appreciate the great friends we have!