Hello. I am a long time reader but first time poster. I would like to share some of my experience with you. I will try and make it as brief and to the point as possible.
I am 32 years old and have been suffering from back pain for about 4-5 years. Before I was diagnosed with a herniation in my L4/L5 (right side) and L5/S1 (right and some left) I was constantly a 6-7 on the pain scale. After a couple years of failed physio and chiro I decided to get surgery to decompress the nerve. I grew accustomed to a life of pain and began to accept that it was now going to be a part of me. Like an unwanted guest, or a horrible room mate.
The surgery took the pain off my right side but my back felt pretty shaky in general. I still had pain but nothing compared to how I felt before. I did light exercises but did not dedicate proper time and effort to maintain my back health.
Eventually L5/S1 on my left side re-herniated and I experienced classic symptoms of sciatica. It got better, it got worse, it got better when finally last Feb the pain got so bad that it would take me until the afternoon to be able to walk properly. I felt like i really hit rock bottom. I have come full circle and now the pain was worse than ever before. I became very depressed and only found comfort in lying on the floor with an ice pack.
Long story short, on a backpacking trip that required a lot of me physically I finally woke up. I decided that I was going to try and take the wheel away from my pain and drive the car myself.
I started swimming at the local pool about 2-4 times a week about a month and a half ago (along with dead bug and bird dog exercises). The transformation has been day/night. I feel that my back is probably the best it has ever been. I could not believe that within a week most pain and discomfort evaporated.
I still feel slight sciatica symptoms BUT nothing compared to what I have felt for the past 4 years. I have been able to bike, play sports, go places that required me to sit for extended periods of time. I don't feel like I need to lie down and ice every time I get home. I am happier and have a lot of energy that I used to spend on pretending that I wasn't in pain.
I feel for every one of you with the pain that I had felt and urge you to make the time for your body. I know that what helped me might not necessarily help you but if a lost cause like me can do it, you can too. Don't rely on pills like I did. Don't become comfortable in your pain like I did. Don't let the pain become an excuse for being in a bad mood or not wanting to do things like I did.