Re: Confused over it
If you are anywhere near the Clearwater area, I can give you a suggestion. In general, I would suggest you look for a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon rather than a neurosurgeon for your particular issues. Most doctors or the clinics they work for or hospital system will have a website that shows the doctors' training and education. The fellowship is of particular importance because it is what tells you that the orthopedic doctor has additional, specialized training in the neck and back, and you want to be sure that the medical practice is limited is issues of the back and neck, and nothing else. The doctor does not also replace hips or set broken bones. Also, you do not want a sports medicine doctor.
They should be willing to provide a proper diagnosis and suggest a series of conservative treatments. Only after all conservative treatment modes have failed should the doctor suggest surgery (unless of course, it is obvious from the very beginning that the problem is so severe that nothing but surgery will help).
Being on your feet all day is something that is brutal for someone with your issues. I hope you are at least wearing really well-cushioned flat shoes. Heels are terrible for someone with back problems. Could you get one of those gel mats that are advertised in the shelter magazines (and used by chefs, etc.)?
Whenever anyone has any type of impact crash, it seems almost inevitable that he/she develops arthritis in the facet joints, and sooner than it would happen with normal aging. The facet joints are paired with each vertebra and are joints that allow us to bend and twist in the spine. I wouldn't be surprised if you have some degeneration going on in at least one or two facet joints. And along with this, you usually find some other degeneration going on, too.
I hope the ESI will provide some relief for you.