Understanding Back Pain
Back pain can be debilitating. It can affect every aspect of your life and that of your loved ones. It can cause sleepless nights, restrict our movements, activities and daily life. It can affect our moods, (it’s hard to be in a good mood when you're hurting). It can even affect our appetite. No one can fully understand what it is like to injure your back unless you’ve gone through it.
I have been helping people with back pain for over 2 decades and it wasn’t until last year that I fully understood what many others have gone through and are going through. Last year while working out I felt a pull or twinge in my lower back, it didn’t seem like anything to be concerned about. I took it easy the rest of the day. The next day I got up and did a workout. Shortly after lunch my back started to hurt and as the day went on the pain got worse and worse. By that evening every movement hurt. I tried ice and heat, but that didn’t work, anti-inflammatories didn’t help. Trying to sleep that night was next to impossible the pain was so intense. The next day I could not move without feeling excruciating pain, child birth was easier.
My husband took me to the hospital, where they diagnosed a pulled muscle, offered me some meds and sent me home. The medications didn’t do much for the pain but did allow me to sleep. Since I’m self employed, taking time off is not something I really wanted to do. My doctor recommended a back pain clinic but it was at least 3 months to get in. Of course I decided to try a few other therapies. I tried chiropractic where they told me it was an SI Joint issue. The chiropractor helped take the edge off but that was it. Massage was next and it didn’t help at all, and was extremely painful, that therapist thought it was piriformis syndrome. I tried acupuncture but at the time it didn’t help. I then got into the back clinic where they proceeded to diagnose it as a herniated disc. So now I have had 3 different diagnosis. During this whole time I had been doing yoga, pilates and qigong. I was making slow progress. I then decided to travel and see one of my mentors in neuro-acupuncture. With him I was able to make even more progress.
Back pain can be caused by many different things:
Muscle or ligament strain
Disc issues, bulging, slipped or herniated
Nerve impingement or pinched nerve
The risks of injuring your back can be caused by:
Lack of exercise
Having a healthy back is imperative to your quality of life. There are so many things you can do to prevent an injury and getting help quickly if you do injure it is also important. For me it has been 18 months since my back injury, I credit acupuncture and daily qigong for the majority of my rehabilitation. Keep in mind sometimes it's not that a therapy didn’t work but finding the right therapist to execute it is key. Also be consistent, there will be times you don’t want to move but movement is necessary for a healthy life.