You’ve likely heard the stat…
If fact, you’re probably part of the stat.
And so am I.
About 80% of adults in the US will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives.
At the time, I was 26 years old and working as a Certified Athletic Trainer at a college in western New York State. I had driven out to Stratton Mountain in Vermont to snowboard with some friends over a long weekend.
Toward the end of our day on the slopes I went over a jump and landed awkwardly on my back on a hard patch of ice. Ouch!
I’ll spare the (excruciating) details and fast-forward to the MRI report confirming a herniation of the L5-S1 disc, which was irritating the nerve root causing extreme and constant sciatica down my right leg.
That was 2004. I received some relief from traditional chiropractic care and physical therapy over the next 8 years (including my 10 semesters at chiropractic college). All of these treatments were met with varying degree of success.
There were some ‘good’ days. And then, there were mornings I was in so much pain, it’s hard to describe unless you’ve been there. Days when putting on socks was a dreaded task and sleep was elusive.
Determined to avoid constant medication and dreaded surgery, I continued to experiment with different conservative approaches. Acupuncture, yoga, stretching, strengthening, running, not running, different types of resistance training, posterior chain strengthening, anti-inflammatory (paleo/primal diet), and a variety of chiropractic techniques.
I stayed consistent with my training, rehab, and diet.
And one day I was on my regular morning walk with my dog Harper and I realized I had woken up and walked without any pain.
It might sound odd, but it had been 8 years since I had no trace of low back pain. Throughout those years in addition to the care I received, I had continued to stay active. I love to mountain bike, golf and hike, but everyday I would notice at least some nagging pain. Until that day.
So what changed?
The truth of this post is the truth that so many of my patients and folks all over really don’t want to hear.
What healed me completely was time, persistence, consistency and a lot of hard work. Our bodies have an amazing capacity for health and healing, but the principle I’ve come to respect the most is that all processes take time. (That’s Principle #6 for my fellow chiropracTORs out there).
I see and hear a lot of people looking for ‘the cure.’ We all want the magic bullet. The quick fix. I even sell a product called the Full Body Fix! (Which includes the very techniques I found worked best for low back pain). But it doesn’t work if you don’t put in the time.
Health is not a silver bullet endeavor. In my chiropractic world, some people think their back is “out” and all I need to do is put it back “in” and the pain will go away and stay away. I have some bad news. It doesn’t work like that.
A lot of people have stories that are quite similar to mine, except for the ending.
They have pain they learn to live with. Period. End of story.
My hope is that you don’t give up hope and the possibility of living a better story. Maybe your damage is so great that you won’t ever be fully symptom free. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be persistent in your care and rehab and let time work. I encourage you to keep fighting. Keep asking questions. Keep trying.
As always, I am here to help.
Yours in Health,
I’d love for you to take advantage of the subscriber only coupon for $10 off my video rehab program – The Full Body Fix. I’ll also include my free eBook “Why Stretching Your Hamstrings Isn’t Working, and What To Do Instead.”
Last modified: April 7, 2017