I actually am not suffering with “back pain” right now. To be more accurate, I would better describe it as numbness and tinging down the outside of my right buttocks, down the outside of the calf, and into the outside of my right foot and toes.
Not so much “back pain” per se, but a pain in the ass nonetheless.
Back pain sucks, quite honestly.
The numbness hasn’t been there for that long, and the “back pain” was INTENSE when I first injured it 18 years ago (when I was 23 years old), and re-injured again this past December.
It’s quite an ironic story actually.
I had just graduated from university with a degree in exercise physiology, looking to take on the world, but not exactly sure what I wanted to do for my career, and with my degree.
What I did know was that I loved to exercise, especially at a gym, as I started at an early age of 15. So I decided what better job then become a personal trainer in a really cool health club. Besides, they had a great benefit package(s) for a 23 year old.
Things were going great, for about a year or so. Then, I injured it trying to follow a bodybuilding routing out of a flex magazine. Vince Taylor’s back routine (to be exact). Straight bar bent over rows, and I think I tried to put 3 plates of 25.lbs on either side.
Then…Boom, it happened. It felt like a duck being shot out of the sky. An intense pain similar to what it would feel like to have a a gun shot piercing into the middle of your lower back. Killer back pain
Here I was supposed to be the “expert” with a college degree, combined with a really huge passion for helping people through exercise, and I go ahead and injure it MYSELF.
But life is funny, and like the saying from Napolean Hill goes: “Every adversity you meet carries with it a seed of equivalent or greater benefit”. It was the INJURY that I realized what I wanted to do with my life.
As a trainer, I had passion for helping people through exercise. But when it came to rehabbing an injured client, I felt that I wasn’t able to help in the capacity I wanted to. Not until injuring my own back, and learning how to rehab my own back, did I realize what my passion is for life.
Fast forward 18 years. Add to my education another bachelor degree in psychology, and a Doctorate in Chiropractic, and 10 years of private practice.
I now have a busy successful practice in Boca Raton, trying to help my patients lead happy, healthy, and pain-free lives. Patients that suffer with all kinds of pain (mostly spinal pain).
So what happened?
This post after all is about a “day in the life of a chiropractor who suffers with back pain” isn’t it?
I continue to exercise quite regularly. The sunday before christmas 2010, just passed, I innocently was squatting (just a plate on either side), and on my last rep of 3 sets of 10, with great form…….and GUESS WHAT???
Boom, it happened. It felt like a duck being shot out of the sky. An intense pain similar to what it would feel like to have a a gun shot piercing into the middle of your lower back (I actually just cut and pasted that whole sentence…only 18 years later). Killer back pain again.
The pain was the most intense pain that I ever felt. I mean an 11 out of 10, with 10 being having your arm cut off by heavy machinery. I am not a big pain pill guy, in fact, I rarely if ever in my life time take over the counter medication for any pain. But with this injury, I needed a prescription, just so I could function.
How long does this type of back pain last for?
The pain was intense for at least 6 to about 8 weeks. But I continued to run my practice (lying down in my office on my back, with my knees bent) between seeing patients.
Then I had an MRI in the beginning of January 2011.
It was bad, I showed a large sized disc herniation (2.3cm) at the level of L5-S1, which caused mass effect on the right S1 root. I also had a L3-4 small left herniation, and a small left sided herniation at L1-2
It wasn’t long after that that my right foot become numb. I’d say by the middle of January. Then the left foot began getting numb. But stubborn I am, and I came up with my plan for my back pain recovery.
What to do when you suffer with back pain
Being spinal rehab specialist, I have a couple of advantage. For one, I have a rehab clinic. It helps to have a place to do the treatment. Number 2, I have the specialized equipment and know-how.
Only one problem. I don’t have me. Ask most chiropractors, and they’ll tell you, “If I only had a me” . It makes me laugh a bit, because we know exactly what to do, but we don’t always get an “us” to do it.
Lucky for me, I have the spinal decompression table. If you would like to know more about spinal decompression, especially spinal decompression in Boca Raton click here.
That decompression table saved my life (along with my own self formulated ”get my back better” manual of exercises and stretch). I will share what stretches and movements you can do for your own injury, and reduce back pain.
I took all of January, February, and March off exercixing. Feeling like you have to get out of the car every five minutes because of the pain, or squatting in line at starbucks like you have to go number two in the wilderness, will both motivate you enough to rest.
Come April 1st, 2011, I began training again at the gym. My left foot numbness went away, and my right foot was getting better and better. This went on for three solild months. Until the end of July 2011.
Then it happened once again. This time, I’m not going to cut and past as it wasn’t that bad to give it a “BOOM”. I’d probably give it more of an “ouch”.
My back flaired up again, and my right buttocks, outside of the leg and foot came back.
And so it is with your typical back pain sufferer. I am a big believer that once you injure your back once, you are more likely to re-injure it again. Its
But it is my mission to continually get better every day, and teach all my readers what they can do, on their own, naturally, through proper nutrition, proper spinal hygene, and an effective home-based exercise and stretching routine.
So, until my next post,
I got your back.
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