Re: i'm not alone
looking pretty good mate, i know confidence is hard to come by at times but try not to be too hard on yourself. ive seen plenty of people much younger than yourself in much worse shape.
how are you finding yoga? weight training combined with a solid stretching routine can work wonders. you said you have tried lifting weights before.. did you follow a specific back routine? what exercises were you doing exactly?
people with our condition really need to strengthen our foundations, without solid, flexible legs the pain in our back can really intensify. like anything, if the ground work isnt solid anything above will become weak and have to try and take the brunt of what the foundations should be taking.
i made the silly mistake of focusing too much on weight lifting (love it though, really has become a life saver for me) and didnt bother to stretch at all. i couldnt figure out why with such a strong physique (my deadlift/squat/bench were all 3 plate) i still couldnt hold myself up or walk longer than 5 minutes without sharp pain, it was because everything was so tight that all the muscles i had really counted for nothing.
surgery may be your only answer, but i honestly believe with the right exercises and correct stretching people with our lvl of curviture can really reduce our lvls of pain, im happy to say that since i started really focusing on stretching im pretty much pain free!