Had back pain on and off for 5 yrs (had a few nasty falls in snow in 20s). 1 Sept 2012 had to call an ambulance as had sciatica, loss of bladder control and pelvic and back pain. Mri in hospital confirmed L4/L5 central prolapsed disc and degenerative disc disease. Also have Coeliac Disease (I like to blame that for my bad genes). Consultant said I would always have instability & should have a spinal fusion. But physio & a stimulating disc injection first. Had a carer for 6weeks to wash and dress me. Couldn't sit at all for 3mths. Improved with physio. Now doing 1:1 pilates & having Physio still. But had back pain flare up. Scary & fed up. Had a cry tonight but told myself to get a grip as overall things have been slowly improving. Am I mad for avoiding the pain of an injection and surgery? I've read spinal fusion is 80% effective & can cause stiffness and problems. There is new work in artificial discs. Not sure if NHS do these. In 30s, no kids. Want to be able to live life properly and wondering how long the ups and downs of this will continue? Any positive stories minus the gory bits? Self employed so none of this is helping my income much. Luckily have a supportive family. But worried it'll come back and be bad again. Relaxation tapes and breathing help a bit. Still on coedine and naproxen for pain & inflammation. Have others found it takes as long to recover?