It started off with a pain in my back from lifting too many heavy things. The ache just wouldn't go away. The doctor's examination did not reveal anything "critical" and I could lie down and sit OK. The problem was walking. I could walk only so far and then the pain started. It became so sharp that I had to stop and sit down until it abated. A vicious circle developed: one wanted to walk but resented the fact that walking hurt!
So I was sent to orthopedics. So an X-ray and then an MRI was taken. Result? I was told: "Well, it looks like you have some stenosis at L4/L5. You could try an epidural and if that doesn't work then you do have the option of having surgery (a laminectomy) to release pressure on your nerves."
I opted for the epidural - it seemed safer. The epidural was scary - having to lie still and the fear of the pain. It did give relief but it didn't last.
So I then tried various therapies: phsysio, chiropractic, osteopath, massage, etc.
Following an assessment, one therapist suggested that I had one leg slightly longer than the other. One way to "correct" this was to have orthotics fitted. These did help. The downside was the lifts made it hard to find comfortable shoes (and your favorite shoes didn't fit!). Sigh.
Over time, I began to notice that I had a loss of sensation in my left big toe if I had been wearing my shoes for awhile. That was OK but then the sensation affected my right foot (my good side). Now that I wasn't happy with.
Another therapist then suggested that in correcting for the leg length difference with orthotics there was a change in the weight distribution through my back and knees. This effect was being reflected in the problems with my toes. So the choice was to abandon the orthotics and work on my knees OR accept the discomfort in the toes.
So what did I decide? I'll tell you more tomorrow.