Herniated disc question
I was diagnosed with a small herniated disc at l4/l5 and a larger herniated disc at l5/S1 11 years ago. I had some PT and one epidural injection. Since then I have led a normal life with really no restrictions. I am now 27 years old and injured my back lifting a very heavy object. I immediately felt back pain and my right foot went numb. I figured it was no big deal and a flare up from the previous injury.
However, it's been a little over three weeks now and while the pain has improved alot in my back (I used to have pain even laying down, but now I am pretty comfortable laying down), I have numbness (which just started this week) that comes and goes in between my buttocks, sometimes just on the left side of the buttocks, sometimes the I feel numbness down the right hamstrings, and sometimes numbness in both heels, and sometimes numbness in my pinky toe on the right foot. The numbness usually doesn't last too long but comes like 3-4 times a day, usually after I start walking for a few minutes from a seated position. My back feels really tight. Throughout the day I get little pins and needles feelings randomly down my right leg, which lasts only a second or two at a time. I've been doing alot of research for herniated discs and it seems my symptoms are a little different, as in the numbness, pain, and pins feelings in my legs last only for short periods of time but come and go throughout the day. I also find it weird that sometimes I get numbness in both legs or buttocks at a time, and then other times numbness just in the right leg. I remember when I first injured my back 11 years ago only the right leg was affected. I have not gotten a repeat MRI, but am getting physical therapy. I am able to walk, I am also able to walk on my heels and toes.
My questions/concerns are -
Do you think this is just a flare up of the previous injury?
How long does something like this take to heal?
I work in a physically demanding profession at times (right now I'm only light duty) and because I have my whole career and life ahead of me, I really don't want an MRI and my job to find out about my previous back injury. Your thoughts would be very helpful!!