My story starts at the age of 11 when one of my classmates thought it funny to remove my chair as I went to sit on it. The school was very old and the floors very hard. As you can imagine I had a very painful landing.
The next day I was in so much pain still that my mum took me to the doctors who referred me to a back specialist. I had to wait six weeks for my appointment and the specialist asked me to touch my toes, which six weeks on I could do. He signed me off without any further investigations.
I suffered with back pain in varying degrees from then onwards. I could go weeks without anything significant but then my pain could be so severe at times that I was unable to walk unaided if at all. Strangely things did improve somewhat after my first pregnancy, for a time, possibly due to ligament changes or posture, I’m not sure why. Within a few months though I was back at the status quo.
I had always been very active and strong in general between bouts, but during the building of my house I decided to lift a wheelbarrow full of bricks which left me immobile for some time and in immense pain. From that point on I was so frightened of lifting etc that I would avoid anything that may bring the pain on severely, my back could ‘go’ even if I stood too long for no apparent reason after being perfectly pain free for weeks.
I had an MRI at the age of around 40, which showed some desiccated discs and damaged joints together with Osteo arthritis that had now developed in my lower back. At least I now understood, which I found very helpful. I was also prescribed strong painkillers.
It was at this point that I started a job that I found to entail some very hard work hours on my feet and significant lifting. I needed to work but had strong doubts as to the possibility that I could carry out this work with my back issue, but I had to try. I expected to not be able to cope.
However, the longer I was in the job the less back pain I had. I had become the fittest and strongest I had been for many years.
I rarely if ever now needed painkillers, If I did take one it was only so that it enabled me to keep moving that day which normally meant that the muscles did not spasm and cause the nerve pain and that the episode was avoided by staying active and mobile.
At varying times throughout life, mostly down to different jobs I have found that the less active I am the less I become able to do and the more discomfort I encounter with my back.
I have also learnt that I can pick heavy things up if I do it correctly, I moved three bags of compost from my car boot to the garden the other day, (not all at once) historically I would have had to leave them in the car until I could ask a man to do it for me, which I did not like at all!
Although I am now in my 50’s I suffer less with my back than at any time in my life due to my understanding of my own body and how best to manage it.
If you are doing less than 150 minutes of moderate physical activity and would like the opportunity to work with a Physical Activity Coach to create an exercise routine that works just for you, for free, get in touch.
Flippin' Pain is a public health campaign supported by @NHSLincsCCG @oylincolnshire & @ActiveLincs which aims to raise awareness & bring a better understanding of the problem of persistent pain to the population of Lincolnshire
Visit Flippin' Pain to find out more.
The information and advice within this blog are not intended to replace any medical advice, with all our clients we seek to address their individual needs and circumstances - this includes any adaptations required for long- or short-term health conditions and medications. Please seek medical advice if you have any health conditions before considering a lifestyle change. If you would like to address any of the content of this blog, please email us.