Low Back Pain Blues
I had quite a journey trying to solve my low back pain problem.
At first, I thought I had tight hamstrings and I began a stretching routine. This was a big mistake. Stretching, I have found, is one of the worst things you can do when you have low back pain. Turns out that the real problem was never the hamstring muscles. They only felt super tight. In fact, they were not at all.
When you have nerve impingement (something pressing on the nerves that come out of the spinal column to innervate the body), it can manifest in many ways. In my case, it felt like tight hamstrings. I could have stretched them day and night and not only would it have not helped, it probably would have made things worse by adding to the pressure on the low back.
Once your lumbar spine becomes pain sensitive, all that stretching may cause more PAIN!. Ouch. Of course, when this problem started, I did not realize that I had a low back problem, but it quickly became evident.
Another tip: Avoid hot tubs. Still thinking that I had a muscle problem, I thought a good soak in the hot tub would help. In retrospect, this caused tissue around the spine to swell, increasing the problem. I also woke up very stiff and pained the next day. Unfortunately, I still did not realize what was going on and repeated the process the next night.
Laser And Other Therapies And Why They Are Not The Solution
After that painful weekend and a horrible flight experience back home, I decided I needed help. The flight home was horrible because I had this feeling that my back was going to lock up at any time. I kept getting up every couple of minutes in an attempt to keep that from happening.
I could not sleep on the bed that Sunday night because my back was too painful. If I moved a little to the right or left – OUCH! My back would hurt and not just a little. It was a sharp grabbing pain. I knew I was in trouble when I woke up on Monday morning.
I went to a chiropractor that an acquaintance raved about. This chiropractor only really did laster therapy. I went, each visit was $65. Allegedly, and according to the doctor, I would feel better after about 14 treatments or so. I got to 11 and realized this wasn’t going to work. In addition, the doctor told me that he could get me feeling better but this problem would come back again. This did not sound like the right solution and it was expensive on top of that.
Take away: Having therapies ‘done to you’ are not going to fix your back. You might get some temporary pain relief, but that’s not a long term or permanent solution.
You have to take charge of your own back and the best resource I have found is THIS ONE.
Lots Of Doctors, Books and Searching
After I realized this doctor was not going to be able to help me in a real way, I bounced around to several doctors. I saw other Chiropractors, an MD and a Nurse practitioner. I had an MRI done. It slowly dawned on me that all of these medical professionals had no clue how to solve my problem!
I was offered an epidural – NO WAY! I was given exercises (some of which I discovered later would actually be BAD for my back).
I was surprised. These people go to school for a long time, yet none of them knew how to solve my back pain problem – even that one profession that focuses on the spine! WOW!!!!
I searched high and low. I read books on back pain. I joined membership websites run by various doctors on back pain.
I tried many therapies, etc. It was crazy… Why, because none of it was working and without a real understanding of what I was doing, some of it may have been hurting my back further!
Finally, a doctor from one of the membership sites I was using sent an email talking about the ‘go to’ source for back pain – it was a researcher up in Canada (now retired).
This researcher spent over 3 decades researching the spine and seeing clients. His knowledge and understanding of the spine, what works and what doesn’t work, is probably the best out there.
He has written several books but one focuses on the average every day person. That book is Back Mechanic.
I believe that after I started reading this book, things started to change for me. It took some time, but my understanding grew and I implemented things from Dr. McGill’s book. My back was getting more and more under control.
I’m still not 100% better, but I see the progress. Even if it is slower than I would like, it is working.
I’m basically pain free except for just a tiny bit of pain. That tiny bit is not enough to warrant medicine or anything like that. My back is stronger and it is not as sensitive as I described above. I can sleep in a bed again, instead of on the floor. I can basically do everything I need to do. It’s not 100%, but it is improving. I can see the improvement from week to week or month to month.
Things were bad. I am glad I came across the resource that has helped me.
I hope this blog posts helps someone else. Back pain can be such a horrible thing to deal with. It got bad, really bad. I did not know where to turn for help. If this blog post points you in the right direction, I would be so happy to know that it helped someone who was desperately searching for the answers that had seemed so elusive.
Best to you
PS: The video enhanced version of Dr. McGill’s book may be helpful to you as well.