Note from the writer: This is a story submitted by a member of our on-line community who shared her story with us, and we thought it might offer hope to some of you who are suffering with chronic pain:
I know what it's like to live with debilitating, life shattering, back pain, day in and day out, but I have a message of hope.
Seven years ago, my life radically changed for the worse when my degenerative disc disease began. It seemed that my back problems cascaded, and I was diagnosed with radiculopathy, facet disease, herniated disc disease, and sciatica.
I had to give up my profession, friends, hobbies, and other things I loved - and I'm officially disabled.
I have lived in extreme pain accompanied by tingling and numbness in my arms and legs. I have been unable to function in my daily life, and I have had very limited activity. My pain has completely isolated me from the rest of the world, and the suffering and loneliness has made my life unbearable.
Through the years I've tried many treatments: physical therapy multiple times, narcotics, Lyrica, methocarbamol, and massage. Currently I am on Meloxicam, Cymbalta, and Cyclobenzaprine. None of them have worked.
Here's the good news of hope:
Something inside would not let me give up, so I asked my general practitioner for a referral to a physical therapist. The therapist had just completed a special course of training to learn a type of physical therapy called the McKenzie Method for back pain.
She got me started right away, and within two weeks, I felt relief for the first time in seven years.
Now, I attend physical therapy three times a week. After physical training, I must do the exercises several times a day to stay flexed, and maintain muscle strength. I must do the exercises daily for the remainder of my life - a small price to pay for getting my life back. I am still officially disabled, but I feel myself growing stronger every day.
I realize the Mckenzie Method is not a magic bullet, and it won't help all of you. My point in writing this letter is to urge you to try this if you haven't already. If this doesn't work for you, don't give up hope, and never stop looking for a treatment that will work for you.
A Spine-health on-line community member
If you have your own success story to tell, the Good News section of the Spine-health Forum is a great place to share that story with people who might need an extra bit of hope with their own recovery from back or neck pain.