Well, if I’m going to do a health blog, I should share the good and the not so good, right? Come with me on my journey. I’ve had major back pain the last two months. Actually, I’ve had it for two years but it has become progressively worse so that now it is impacting how I function. 😩
Apparently, I’m in good company. Lower back pain is very common. I read that 80% of adults experience back pain at some point but most of the time it resolves on it own. It is in 3rd place behind only heart disease and COPD.
Perhaps you have back pain as well. 🙁
My back pain is in the lower back, just below the waist. It has become very painful to stand or walk. I can’t jump, bounce or do jacks. It feels like a hammer is coming down on it. Walking can become so painful that there are times I can only shuffle and I can’t bend down, like randomly at the store, that’s awkward. The pain radiates to my calves now and then. Sometimes, when I make a quick move there is a zap of pain across my whole lower back. However, when I sit or curl up I feel terrific.
Pain in your lower back is called lumbar pain or lumbago and there are many reasons for it. It can be caused by muscles, nerves, discs, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints or various health conditions such as infections or fibromyalgia.
It can cause localized pain or referred pain, meaning pain in other parts of the body. The amount of pain you feel is NOT proportional to the severity of the problem.
I am still as active as possible, modifying my exercise routine to fit my issues. Lots of cardio activities are out, but most of the time I can still walk with my husband, just a little slower. So I grin and bear it.
While a little rest is okay, too much rest can actually worsen the pain. When you lie around because your back hurts your muscles become weaker from lack of activity making your back pain worse. Of course, this depends on your condition. There are times when initial rest is necessary to prevent further damage.
At my doctor’s suggestion, I started seeing a physical therapist. They have been great, very informative, knowledgeable and patient – both the trainers and therapists.
They believe my pain is caused by my vertebrae pressing/rubbing/bumping together on the back because of an overarching of the spine at the bottom and the nerve pain happens when a nerve happens to get stuck in between. That would be the reason why sitting feels better. Sitting bends the bones apart so they don’t touch each other.
They assured me it can be corrected by loosening some parts and tightening others so that the muscles pull the spine back into correct or better position.
I just started my therapy, but I have confidence they know what they are talking about. I’ll keep you posted on the progress and if it is working.
To read the next installment on this saga, click here
What is your back issue? What are you doing about it?
Have you gone to physical therapy? Was it helpful?