Monday, 5 October 2009

Back Pain

Warning this is a bit of a long moany post!

(Please let me clarify here I am aware that I’m extremely lucky to be in such good health and that I could be a lot worse off)

I get pain in my mid back – if you imagine where your rib cage ends. The pain feels like I’m being squeezed in a vice, like the muscles on either side of my spine have been screwed up into tight little balls and nothing will release them. There is no way to predict the pain, some days I wake up and feel great and can walk for miles. Other days I wake up and know that I’m not going to get very far the muscles are already tight and won’t loosen off.

I’ve been to a Physiotherapist, who has diagnosed my problem. I have a flat back posture, barely any curve in my back, my hamstrings are tight and my pelvis is tucked under. However there is nothing structurally wrong with my back I have been x-rayed and I recently had an MRI scan (because I hadn’t made as much progress as would have been expected). I’ve been told that although there is some deterioration of the discs in my spine there is nothing too out of the ordinary and certainly nothing that can be done surgically. (Was relieved at this, not sure I want surgery on my spine all sounded a bit scary).

The bad news is that the Physio says there is nothing that can be done to relieve the pain and give me back my normal lifestyle – I was never active but I used to be able to walk to the shops without being in pain. I used to be able to go to a nightclub, strut my funky stuff and then walk home.
The pain started about 4 years ago and has got progressively worse since then. The advice that the Physio has given me keep active, be as active as possible, has helped it just isn’t me (I now swim and go to the gym). I don’t enjoy exercise I never have, also I don’t seem to have endorphins – this gym high that people talk about, how great they feel after a good session, has never happened to me I just feel sleepy.

I’ve been discharged from the Physio with no further advice other than to keep active and don’t throw money at the problem it won’t fix it. Apparently I need to accept that I will always have a bad back and I need to develop my coping skills (rant)! So where does that leave me? Do I pay money to see a private physio and risk being strung along for a lot of money and false promises (been burnt before)? Do I just give up and accept that this is as good as it is going to get – but then if I can’t walk 10 minutes at 28 what will I be like when I’m 60?

As you might have guessed I find the whole thing quite upsetting because I want to be able to stand for our marriage ceremony, to hug our guests, to have our photos taken (I reckon I’ll sit to eat). I want to be able to dance every dance with my new husband, our family and our friends. I want to be burled around for the strip the willow and still be able to shake my tail feather! I don’t want to be sat on the edge of the dance floor in agony, or drugged to the eyeballs to mask the pain. But of course it goes further than that, I want to get pregnant (eventually) and be able to still walk, I want to be able to lift our babies from their cots without wincing, I want to be able to run after them along a wind swept beach.

(photo credits; 1st photo and 2nd photo)


  1. Eek how rubbish for you. I guess you've answered your question there - "be as active as possible, has helped"... definately worth putting in the work now, as pregnancy is well worth it, but can be very hard on the back. My sympathy!

    Maybe a good oestopath could help with some symptomatic relief? I mean obviously take all claims with a pinch of salt, but maybe even a pro massage weekly could help sort out your kinks a bit.

  2. Hey Catherine,
    But I'm impatient and I want a quick fix now!
    Promise to stop moaning as it is very dull.


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