Back Pain is a Pain

30 going on 130…

On the 26th February, I was doing some work on the computer when I started to feel pain in my lower back. This isn’t completely unusual for me since I was diagnosed with degenerative discs in my lower spine almost 10 years ago, but this felt different and more bothersome. I tried adjusting the chair, sitting on cushions and using a pillow for lumbar support, but nothing was helping. Lastly, I (stupidly) elevated my legs up onto the cabinet at the side of the computer desk. Since this alleviated the pain, I ended up sitting like this for some time whilst I continued with my work.

When I got up from the chair, I could barely stand up. I figured I’d just aggravated a muscle or something and took a hot shower before going to bed. When I woke up the next morning, I was in agony and my back looked like this:

I was completely locked to one side. (This also happened a few years ago after hiking up a mountain in Bergen, and it took a few sessions with my chiropractor before I was walking and standing up straight again.) This time was different as I had pain radiating down into my left leg like small electric shocks with every slight and sudden movement.

My first port of call was obviously my chiropractor, but unfortunately it didn’t help. I was still in agony and still locked to one side.

The following day, I went to see a Doctor, who diagnosed me with Muscular Scoliosis, and gave me a prescription for co-codamol and Nozinan; a strong anti-psychotic that is also used for pain relief. I couldn’t even sit down at that point and walking was a challenge, so I was advised to lay down and walk around the apartment every few hours to keep mobile.

The following day I went back to my chiropractor, but an hour or so after leaving, my back was skewed again. So I decided to try something different and booked a session with a Naprapath.

I explained my medical history and told him my core muscles were most likely weak from two open surgeries, and that I also had degenerative discs. Due to the pain radiating down into my left leg, he suggested that it could be a herniated disc.

He used a number of techniques – electrical current treatment and acupuncture on the area that had tensed up (that was causing scoliosis), along with massage and chiropractic adjustments. I started to feel a huge difference just after the first session, so I continued seeing him for further treatment.

10 weeks later and still dealing with pain, I was referred for an MRI. This confirmed that I had mild disc herniation, disc degeneration and Modic changes in the bone.

It’s an ongoing issue, and even though it’s been 15 weeks, I’ve been told that it can sometimes take 9 – 12 months for prolapse to resolve on its own, and that I shouldn’t be too hasty with surgery. I’m trying to incorporate different back exercises into my workouts to help strengthen the different muscle groups, but have to be careful not to aggravate the nerves by stretching or lifting too heavy. I still can’t sit without it causing pain, but I am able to do more than I could in March – and slow progress is still progress. 🙂