Home » health » My Year Of Pain – Look After Your Spine!

My Year Of Pain – Look After Your Spine!

Not many people have seen or heard much from me in the last twelve months or so. I took early retirement from the career I loved for so long because things just didn’t feel the same any more. Freya and I had done much soul searching, as neither of us felt ready to retire just yet, but it wasn’t really obvious what either of us really felt we could turn our attention to, let alone agree on!

If you’ve visited the website over the last year or so, you’ll know that we were all set to embark on investing in a Newcastle mobile phone shop, with the primary focus on consumer technology such as mobile phones and sim cards. Sadly, just as we were starting to get everything in line, I was carrying stock from the car into the house and the world literally stopped for me. I’d managed to damage my back, and (long story short) it took a long time to find out why I was in so much pain, and longer still (of course) to find my way to starting a journey to better health.

First and foremost, the NHS were great. My GP referred me straight to a specialist, and even though that took a couple of months to get started, once under way I had all manner of pokes and prods, resulting in massage, manipulation and what felt like everything else under the sun. Over time, it had become increasingly clear that things appeared to be getting worse, not better. I’d been warned that may be the impression initially, but the medical staff were starting to look as concerned as I was after the third or fourth session.

This carried on for a couple of months and it did settle down, but didn’t get anything like back to normal. A friend of mine introduced me to an American doctor who’d been seconded over on an exchange programme, from his normal job as a Fargo chiropractor from North Dakota. It appeared that I wasn’t actually helping myself. I was spending a lot of time horizontal, lying down in bed. Apparently, that can actually compound the problem, and while going to the gym and weight lifting is probably a bad idea with lower back pain, staying gently active can be an important element of recovery. He spent about fifteen minutes looking at things like how I was walking and bending, and a surprisingly short amount of time looking or feeling my back.

Incredibly, the only treatment I’ve needed to really head back to fitness is exercises that I do twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. From what I understand, the change in pain I experienced as I had the previous treatment was probably down to me walking oddly to compensate for the previous pain, and that may well have healed months ago. The real problems have come as a result of my actions since the injury, not from the injury itself! Once I got over that initial phase of special exercises to get moving, I transitioned to a home cross trainer that you can read about here.

I have to say, I’m a little surprised this wasn’t picked up sooner, but as we know, our health system is under immense pressure, so I’m just grateful to be able to get out and about again. It’s amazing how much you realise you take for granted normally when you can’t do it any more, like walking around the supermarket or walking to buy a newspaper in the morning. I’m not fully pain free yet, but very optimistic that the improvement will continue for another month or two and I’ll be back to firing on all cylinders.