Have been through similar issues though my problems are all in the cervical spine. I still have occaissional bouts of the tingly pain (where it feels like the entire left side of my body is on fire, literally) and numbness (where I can't feel a thing in either of my hands), especially during cold weather.
While most of my pain and numbness has been beaten back with Tai Chi Chuan, I still have a very difficult time keeping my head straight. It likes to fall off to one side or the other during my forms, not much but it is noticable.
There is nothing in this world I can do to stop it, but since that's the only symptom I still have at this time I'm very happy about things.
I'm glad to hear you're on the road to recovery. Tai Chi Chuan is the only thing I've ever found that helps with my spinal issues, and believe me I've looked.
I tried every treatment known to western medicine and the only thing that helped was some pretty massive doses of pain killers. I hated feeling like a zombie all day but could not function without them.
The downside was they made me very, very aggressive. I was "angry" all the time when I was on the medication and didn't know why.
Then I started practicing Tai Chi Chuan again (funnily enough, the problems leapt out at me after about two years off of training, go figure) and the symptoms began to ease off within half a year.
Once I was able to stop take the pain killers I realised that they were what was causing my undue aggression. I'm SO glad I'm off of those things. I didn't like myself being that way and no one else much liked me either.
Now I am mostly living a normal life and am very, very greatful for that.
When the cold weather sets in during the winter I still have a lot of problems, but constant Tai Chi Chuan practice has gotten me through it.
Keep up your practice, it really does help.
[This message has been edited by Bob Ashmore (edited 06-05-2008).]