Hernia L5/S1 - Options?
I work in a field that is absolutely prone to back injuries. Ended up hurting myself lifting a patient on a gurney almost 8 months ago. For the first 3 months the company chiropractor didn't believe it was a herniated disc but finally sent me in for an MRI. Found out it was a 5mm protrusion of my L5/S1. Since then we tried PT for almost 3 months to no success. It would help for approx 2-3 hours but then I would have to go into work and any progress made was disrupted by the daily repetition of lifting patients. He then recommended an ESI which I wasn't comfortable with because I have had S.I's before in a non-related injury and had very little pain relief from this. So fast forward a few months and I haven't done anything for my back but my pain is gradually getting worse. I feel as if my back is deteriorating everyday, along with the sciatica, and every so often my right leg will just go numb from buttocks all the way down to my toes. It's been extremely worrying considering I'm driving with two other people in the truck.
I'm 23, in decent shape, exercise whenever the pain allows it, because I don't want weight to become another contributing factor to more pain.
I'm sure my protrusion has gotten worse in size. Went from being able to bend at waist to barely being able to bend at all. I can't even pick up a sock while bending from the waist.
What are some recommendations based off of this and what other information would you like to hear?
I'm really in a tough spot because it's coming down to the point of, either I get surgery and quite possibly quit this career, or I don't get surgery and later down the road I won't be able to carryout my job functions anymore.