I feel for you, I really do. I hurt my lower back in my early 20s doing squats in the gym and ever since, I can't lay on my stomach, and the back can go out any time. I can pick up a heavy bag of topsoil one day no problem, then 3 days later as I bend over to pick up the dogs food bowl I'll feel that familiar click and it's on for the next few days; back spasms, and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed in the morning etc. And in the last few years, my body decided that simply having a bad back isn't enough, it introduced sciatica into the lineup but it's nothing compared to what you're going through. Mine mainly bothers me at night or early morning if I'm (I'm guessing here) sleeping in the wrong position and one thing that has helped me is to get up, go lay down on the couch on my right side, facing the back of the couch, and raising and draping my left leg onto the headrest of the couch...then I can go back to sleep (most nights). It's one of the reasons I started my weekend hikes with Mocha, it feels like walking helps to some degree. I can't remember, have you had an MRI done?
OH yeah--I've had a MRI done. Actually I know exactly what's wrong with me and what's causing the sciatica but you have to jump through all the hoops before you get the actual cure (not that I'm crazy about the cure--because it will involve surgery.
At the L1-S5 connection of vertebrae (which happens to be where the sciatic never parts company with the spinal cord and should simply exit through a circular appurature (sorry--I can no longer spell because I take gabapentin which makes me incredibly stupid) opening. Because my vertebrae are kind of squahed there and have slipped a little sideway instead of being totally vertical that appurature is oval and the sciatic nerve rubs on the inside of the hole--and has also caused the outside edge of one of the discs to be skinned--also causes pain.
But I have jumped through the hoops now and have an appointment with one of the orthopedic surgeons next week to see if I'm a candidate for surgery.
Stay tuned for the next chapter of Aunty Bug and the sciatic PIA.
Man, I don't envy you your back issues TN--I'm within spitting distance of 80 until now have not had any back issues. I've got a lot more sympathy for all the friends of mine who have had all kinds of issues with their back over the years.
Getting up is a big problem for me--often in the morning my sciatic nerve is screaming at me because at some point in the night I tried to turn over onto my left side (I have not been able to sleep on my left side in almost three months) That wakes me up and I try to find a position that will stop the pain so I can either get up or go back to sleep. Generally nothing works...and I have been a really restless sleeper most of my life--turn over a million times a night--used to wake my husband up and he'd be wanting to know what the hell I was trying to do--that then woke me up and I had no idea what he was talking about.
And yeah, I've found that if I do a fair amount of walking during the day (even though that give me a kind of constant pain in my left leg while I'm walking) it makes it less painful at night.
I'm very tired of the whole thing and my yard and the various planted beds are a mess because I can't bend over and pull weeds--I'm still carting around one of those stupid looking pick up tools otherwise everything I drop on the floor stays there (Toad will remove anything that's edible and the cats will sometimes play with something I dropped and then loose in in a corner
I say--BAH and HUMBUG--and I've got a puppy coming over for help with ears so gotta' go.