Low tolerance for pain? Here’s what I did

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I’ve been fortunate to have made it through most of my life without experiencing too much physical pain. Then boom! I somehow managed to injure my lower back.

I don’t recall the specific moment that it happened; however, I can think of a few possible causes of the injury.

  • Doing ab workouts while neglecting the back muscles.  You gotta even them out or you’ll be out of balance and risk injury.
  • Working a desk job with a super uncomfortable chair

The injury probably came on gradually; however, I must have done something to send it into overdrive. The pain worsened over the past month or so and began to disrupt my quality of life.

How I’m getting back to normal

Chiropractor:

When the pain progressed over the span of a week, I decided to visit a chiropractor for the first time in my life. My wife had been to one recently, so I was expecting them to pop my back and to instantly be healed; however, nothing in life is that easy.

I was surprised at the first visit that the doctor took the time to educate me about my injury and to explain how chiropractic care could help. She also warned that the pain would likely get worse before it got better.

It did!

Unfortunately, I spent a pretty penny on several appointments and didn’t see any lasting relief.

Other doctors:

Though my chiropractor visits helped a tad, I wasn’t getting relief that lasted more than a few hours. I then went to my primary care doctor who prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs). This was an annoying trial-and-error process, as I’m now on my third prescribed NSAID 🤞🏽

On Wednesday, I saw an orthopedic doctor that specializes in this type of injury. They took some x-rays and determined that my injury was spasming. He also told me that going to the chiropractor was probably making it worse, as it was likely irritating the inflammation. He gave me a muscle relaxer to take at night to slow the spasming, which he said is one of the sources of the pain. I’ve noticed a huge difference since I started the muscle relaxer.

Natural and OTC remedies :

Laying on a bag of ice has been one of the most soothing remedies that I’ve tried. For back pain of a muscular nature, my chiropractor warned me not to use heat and to just use ice. According to her, heat makes inflammation worse. But the orthopedic doctor said to use a heating pad and ice intermittently. I chose to follow the advice of the orthopedic doctor.

I also started drinking ginger tea since I quit drinking coffee. Ginger is supposed to have anti-inflammatory effects, though I’m unsure of how much impact it’s had on me given all the other stuff I’ve been trying. I’m definitely approaching this thing holistically.

I also found an OTC cream that you massage into the muscles. It’s an off brand of Aspercreme, which creates a numbing effect, providing temporary relief.

Equipment:

If you’re still reading, you’ve probably concluded that I have a low tolerance for pain and will, therefore, try anything and everything to make it go away. You are correct!

I purchased a lumbar support chair attachment for my car. After being uncomfortable daily in my office chair at work, the owner offered to buy me an ergonomic office chair with adjustable lumbar support. I chose this one.

Exercise:

Since I’m knowledgeable about working out, I passed on physical therapy and looked for exercises designed for people with lower back injuries. If you haven’t checked out Fitness Blenders on YouTube yet, I highly recommend it! The following is the video that I’ve done daily in the morning to strengthen and stretch my injured back muscles.

Conclusion

After going through a challenging couple of months, I’m probably at about 80% the level of functioning that I was prior to the injury. While I’ve learned a lot by consulting physicians and other pain specialists, the main lesson I learned was not to take my youth and health for granted!

Maybe you can relate? In the comments, feel free to share about a time you had to work your way back from an injury or illness.

As always, thanks for reading!

***

~~I’m currently reading This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe. Check it out! I’ll post a book review when I’m done reading it.

~~I just finished reading F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems by Michael and Sarah Bennett. Check it out! I’ll post a book review soon.

~~I’m now on Twitter! Follow me @perfimperfect92

*Each post features a music video that is usually random and seldom relates to the aforementioned topic. I love music and share it as a form of expression. May contain bad words. Enjoy!

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