Re: multilevel degenerative disc disease @ 29 years
I think you should get whatever you think will feel better. There is something to be said for mind over back pain. If your doctor/surgeon says that surgery is not imperative, try other options. I had bulging (then ruptured) disks at L5-S1 & L4-L5. Bulging can mean only back pain and no leg pain. You only need surgery if the pain goes down your legs. In the meantime, you should also try accupuncture for relief.
It may or not be applicable to you, but I would try to acquire Healing Back Pain, by Dr. John Sarno. It helped me when I had the bulging disk problem for many years. When they rupture, however, your only option is surgery.
In the meantime, do massage and accupuncture to alleviate the pain. Having 3 little ones with this pain must be a nightmare. I have bought chair massagers from Homedics corporation and they help with managing the pain.
Good luck and you'll be in my prayers.