back pain

The 5 biggest mistakes I MADE when I had lower back pain

The 5 biggest mistakes I MADE when I had lower back pain that everyone needs to look out for. Number 4 is one we are all guilty of!

For years, I had been crippled with lower back pain. In fact, as far back as I can remember, I have had an issue with my back for whatever reason. Later on in life, it got to a stage where it actually became quite debilitating. Sleep was broken as I couldn’t turn around in the bed. Getting out of a car would have me walking like a 90 year old man before I could even straighten up. If I straightened out my leg, I would get such a horrible shooting, burning sensation in my back and all down my leg. Something had to give.

It all came to a head for me one morning, when I literally could not bend forward and lift my leg to put my underwear on after my shower. I would literally be left standing there, afraid of bending over, and wondering how the hell am I going to dress myself. Socks? Forget about it. I had to get someone else to do it. I was at the point where I used to dread waking up in the morning because I would have to go through the whole rigmarole again. The worst part? This was all avoidable. I made many mistakes with my lower back pain, which, looking back, I wish I had someone to TELL ME to look out for to stop making things worse. To that note, here are the 5 biggest mistakes I LEARNED, so others need not do the same things!

  1. Keep moving. Advice over the years has been geared towards laying up and waiting for the pain “to go down”. However, we now know that this is the worst thing to do. The human body craves movement. The old adage, use it or lose it really rings home here! Ironically, fear of the movement that causes pain results in avoidance of that movement, which in turn causes more pain! (fear avoidance model) If we can understand that rarely are we going to do any serious damage by moving in a certain way, we are halfway there already.
  2. Taking pain killer and anti inflammatory medication: These are pain markers, not killers. They only hide the symptom they don’t get to the route cause. This can lead to your back pain becoming worse, not better in the long run. Avoid them if at all possible.
  3. Assume that your lower back is the issue! What I have now learned over the years is that very rarely, the lower back is the issue, it’s symptom of something else. Unfortunately, the human body is much more complex than we give it credit for, and there could be any number of varying factors that come into play, including but not limited to, social factors, emotional factors (stress, etc) physical damage, referred pain from elsewhere in the body and so on.
  4. THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT; DO not ignore the problem in the hope that it will go away. Pain does not work like that. It doesn’t just disappear. And if it does, it doesn’t necessarily mean the issue has gone away. This also includes “training through the pain”. Pain is the bodies mechanism for telling us there is something wrong, our warning light if you will. If we don’t address it early the problem will more than likely get worse. Visit someone who can help, this can start of with a Doctor who can point us in the right direction.
  5. Rely on medical imaging and only getting one opinion. The go to procedure for diagnosing LBP is through X-ray or MRI. Most likely this will return a verdict of “bulging discs at l4/l5 S1 (does that sound familiar?) I am here to tell everyone that probably 8 out of 10 people with pain or no pain, will have these abnormalities in their medical imaging! These do not ALWAYS correlate with the pain that people are experiencing. I was offered surgery on the basis of bulging discs at l4/5 S1, but only for my dislike of anything hospital, I refused. But I did go down the Doctor/medicine/rest it route, which I still regret to this day. There are some amazing therapists out there that are more than able to give a second opinion!
  6. ( I know I said 5, but this is a bonus point) understand that our bodies have an unbelievable ability to heal. We are never broken or for the scrap heap. Negative thinking about an injury will serve to make the problem much worse. DON’T LOOK FOR THAT QUICK FIX. if someone tells you they can fix the problem in x amount of sessions, or even on session, they are lying, because that simply can not be predetermined!

So there you have it. Those are by far the biggest mistakes I made whilst suffering with Lower back pain. If you have any more questions or queries on the above information or would like to discuss the above with me, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 089 4918007 or by email I would be glad to help.

Yours in motion Mark