Thursday, July 26, 2012

It Started with a Tingling Sensation

After the whole chiropractor experience I gave up for awhile and just decided to be accustomed to bed rest and a life of walking for exercise and low intensity sports. The pain minimized and wasn't as excruciating as it was before, the pain no longer radiated all the way around my back and no longer hurt from slightly bending over. This went on for a few months. I had thought I was on the road to recovery, and that things would only get better as time went on. I was completely wrong.  It started with a tingling sensation on my left side, wasn't sure why or what might have caused it. Each day the tingling feeling got worse and eventually turned into a subtle aching pain.

Frantic to get the aching pain to go away I started to do some research on what might resolve the issue. Having done a lot of previous research from when I initially had my injury, everything looked as inconclusive as it did before. I decided to adapt a stretching routine I found online tailored for herniated discs. I figured this was the worst case scenario for what I did to my back so these stretches would do more good than harm. After doing the stretches for about 3 weeks the aching was just getting worse and worse. It got so bad that I was having horrible spasms that ran from my lower left back down to my toes. Was the worst feeling in the world, I felt as if I was losing control of the left side of my body. I couldn't walk correctly without limping and dragging my left foot. It was the most frustrating thing. The breaking point to get some addition help was when my entire left foot lost feeling, completely numb. The only sensation I felt in it was when I would get a spasm radiating down my leg to my toes. This brought me to the next step of my back pain extravaganza.... the physical therapist.          

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Chiropractor Torture Room...

After reading on the internet that being inactive to long counterproductive to the healing process I decided to go to the gym and stay active. I primarily did upper body movements and on occasions out of frustration a few leg exercises. The pain pretty much stagnated, or at least seemed it did I may have not noticed due to the pain felt in my upper body from next day soreness. I decided it was time to try a professional of some sort.

I had read on the internet that chiropractors help the problem. How I was so wrong. I should have known after the first visit that something wasn't right. I had thought with the chiropractor driving a brand new BMW, best location in town and a new building, that the services would match. My first appointment went as follows, I went in to be greeted by someone who was still in high school. She then hands me a form that I had to fill out saying what my pain level was for the day and what type of pain I was feeling. This seemed routine. Then the doctor comes out, shakes my hand and tells me this high school student will be taking me to a few machines to loosen me up. Keep in mind this is before he has a chance to take a look at the intake form indicating my pain and problem. How would he have known if these machines would be good or not for my back?

One of the machines was a bed in which the patient lays down in and a roller underneath goes up and down your back. This was discomforting at the least, but I had no one to express my thoughts to as the young lady had left me to my torture. Ten Minutes had passed and she finally came back and took me a room to wait for the doctor. Thirty minutes of waiting and the doctor finally makes an appearance. I tell him where my pain is and he nods his head and says, "ok get on the table." I get on the table and he contorts my body and cracks my back on one side. Then the other. Lots of cracking and pops are heard, not much discomfort. He says that the the appointment is over and to talk to the lady at the front desk to schedule my next torture. The cherry on top is the lady telling me,  "oh and by the way the cost is $120." I obliged as I did feel a little better. Getting in the car I thought wow....the doctor literally saw me for five minutes, most of which was just contorting my body generically as he probably does with every patient. With that kind of turnover I wasn't surprised he could afford such luxury. To clarify, the relief of pain I felt would equate to the feeling of cracking your knuckles after a few weeks, the relief is temporary and soreness was much worse in the next coming days...which by coincidence is when my next appointment was scheduled.    


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Diagnosing the Back Pain Problem...

The next morning after my injury, the pain radiated throughout my whole lower back. My movement was limited as I could no longer bend forward or walk without pain. I did not take any ibuprofen afraid that if I took it I would not be able to feel if I was doing more harm than good. Now I know I went about it all wrong and that inflammation is a hindrance to the healing process.

After a few weeks of continuous pain and not wanting to leave my bed other than to go to school and eat, I got frustrated and wanted to get to the gym afraid I would lose all my hard earn progress. Going to the gym was not a good idea. I worked through the pain, but wow did I regret it in the morning. Realizing the pain was not going away I got worried and started looking to options on what it might be on the internet. I was surprised how many different things it could be such as: degenerative disk disease, herniated disk, nerve damage, sciatic nerve compression, or even a combination of factors. This was my first process of going through a checklist of what works for treating each one of these...   

Friday, July 20, 2012

I had no idea....

I had no idea that doing a workout exercise that is so simple could cause such long lasting damage and discomfort. The straightforward dead lift exercise started the now daily endeavor I am facing with lower back pain. It all began as a self motivated goal to add some beef to my 120 pound 6ft body frame. Every week I would slowly approach the weight scale with anticipation of seeing a pound or two gained, mostly to just be discouraged. I look back and it seems I was my undoing to my own back, I got frustrated adding maybe more weight than could have or should have. Regardless, I had no idea that the back was so fragile and complex.

I should have listened to my body, the months leading up to the incident I was feeling more sore than usual. Muscles would cramp during the day during mundane activities. The night at the gym was like any other, I would do my typically routine, squats, lunges, etc. I was prepared to finish up for the night with a set of the deadly dead lifts. I loaded the bar up with weight as usual before lowering it to the floor. I figured I could crank out 10 reps, at about the 8th rep, I was stuck. I was in the forward bending motion trying to slowly lower the bar to the ground. I was stuck in deadlift limbo, I couldn't bring it back up to put it on the holder as it was too heavy and I didn't want to drop it (looking back I should have...). I lowered it as far as I could then I felt a sharp pull/throbbing in my back, dropping the weight the rest of the way. The pain wasn't so bad that I was screaming in pain, but it felt strange something I haven't felt before. I arrived home and iced packed with anticipation that pain would be gone when I awoke in the morning. How I was so wrong. This was the beginning of the mental and physical battle with my back...