Here's my problem: I can't stand up for long.
This means I can't queue for a coffee without doubling over or crouching. I can't visit museums or galleries, or go on city walks or days out. Concert for my favourite band that my mates are going to see? Forget about it :-( Socialising is difficult because most people stand and aren't aware that I am counting the minutes until I have to excuse myself.
I appreciate that there are people that cannot stand at all, and there are people on this forum who are in a lot more pain than I am. I'm lucky that I still have the capabilities that I do have.
I'm a young(ish) man of 30, and I *really* want to stop my pain getting any worse.
The pain is in my lower back. All the doctors, physios, chiros and osteos that I have seen over the years have said there's nothing majorly wrong with my back or body, so I shouldnt be in any pain. X-rays revealed nothing. There are a lot of small 'body errors' though:
- some lordosis (lumber curvature)
- small amount of scoliosis (curvature in the spine)
- rounding forwards of the upper back
- head/neck is too far forward
- completely flat feet (fallen arches)
- slight twist in the pelvis
- pelvis is anteriorly rotated (ie. rotated forwards)
- hamstrings are very short/tight, and always have been. I can't get anywhere near my toes.
Despite all that, the average person wouldn't notice anything wrong unless they were looking for it. However, the pain/discomfort makes me hunch my shoulders a lot, which *is* noticeable. My shoulders are tight all the time.
I'm in pain most days, and find that sitting with my head between my knees helps. Walking also tends to help, to a point. I can't go out on walks though because that causes pain after a few hundred metres.
On the good days I can go about most of my business as normal, I work in an office and can maybe queue and get my lunch without the discomfort turning into pain, and maybe don't have to double over all day if I don't do too much (use too many "spoons").
On bad days I can't pick up my laptop for the weight, and I have to walk cautiously, like an elderly man. Sitting down also causes pain on those days, and I can't concentrate on work.
On really bad days I can't get out of bed for the pain, but thankfully they are few and far between.
I am actually very active and go dancing a number of times a week; as long as I can get up and sit down when I need to, I am fine.
I used to take paracetamol and ibuprofen regularly, but realised that they werent doing anyting. Then I found that co-codamol does help a bit, as does getting really drunk (not a great long-term solution... nor great for work!).
The pain can come and go without rhyme or reason, whether I take meds or not, but doing things like standing, walking, general activity consistently does make it worse in the short term.
An interesting thing - pain intensifies when I am stressed. It is significantly swung by my emotions.
I get massage and manipulation (cracking) every few weeks, which at £37 a pop (excuse the pun!) is expensive.
The experts ("experts") say I should strengthen and stretch. I did pilates twice a week for 2 years but found that it didn't do anything for the pain. I tried intensive stretching of hamstrings every day - I have tried it 3 times over the years but see no results and get demotivated.
I am currently trying to use a gym to exercise my leg muscles in another attempt to strengthen and then stretch afterwards but after about 6 weeks of this I am in agony every day and it is affecting my everyday life now, so I have stopped the gym this week.
...I'm at a "so, now what" place in my life.
Current thoughts are that I should try exercising with lower weights - but the weight is already low enough that I have only once felt soreness in the legs, because my back pain stops me before my legs do any real work. Squats are the single worst movement for me for back pain, but I don't know why.
I am interested in the effect of emotions... has anyone seen this before?
Any thoughts on the matter? Has anyone experienced anything like this? Any support would be really welcome.
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