This is my first post after lurking the forums for a few days. It's a bit therapeutic in a way reading other people's experiences with back issues and knowing that I'm not alone. I really appreciate how everyone in this community is helping and wishing relief for one another.
I apologize in advance to the super long message I'm going to type out, but please please please, i just feel like the more eyeballs it's exposed to, the more chance for answers to make my life better
So a little background about me:
I'm 30 years old and a professional MMA fighter with a record of 8-1, and over 10 years of boxing, kickboxing, wrestling experience. I'm the #1 ranked fighter in Virginia in my weight division. I also work as a Martial Arts instructor to children/adults. As you can tell by now, it's a large part of who I am.
Now some background to my injury.
On December 8th 2016 was the first initial injury I suffered. I had started a heavy weight lifting program a few weeks prior and was consistent. The day before the injury, I was squatting pretty heavy. No big deal, although I woke up to some usual soreness. Instead of resting it, the next morning I decided to wrestle. Now even more sore as the day goes. Later that night, I decide to wrestle again. I start without a proper warm up, I go to take my partner down to the ground, and as I did I felt a sharp "tearing" sensation in my lower left side of my back. I left the gym immediately after.
The healing process was good, things were going smooth about 6 weeks out from the injury. Now with this injury, there is pain in my lower left side when I do any kind of lifting motion. I am able to do boxing and kickboxing, but no wrestling. Wrestling is what exacerbates it. So about 7 weeks from initially hurting it, I decide to get back to wrestling. I guess I came back too early and I have a bad flare up of inflammation. I decide to take another 2 or 3 months away from wrestling.
Now, fast forward to June. I have a fight that I trained for intensely for about 7 weeks (with very minimal pain). The fight happens, I win, and my back is in good shape.
After this fight, I decided to get back to powerlifting. One day I decide to deadlift and I had bad form during the lift. I immediately felt a sharp shooting pain throughout my whole lower back. I drop the weights and go home. I give it a few weeks to rest and come back to training, but the pain is still there (prominently in my lower left side)
I am lucky to be sponsored by a chiropractor who works on me for free. He did an X-ray and saw no skeletal/structural damage. He insists that it is just "soft tissue" damage. I spoke to a neurosurgeon who is a friend of my boss' and he also said it seems as if it's just soft tissue.
I also spoke to a certified physical therapist who says it seems like the issue is in my QL (Quadratus Lumborum).
The chiropractor treatments don't help so much. It gives me temporary, superficial relief. My physical therapist gives me deep tissue massages which really seem to get to the core of the issue more and help a lot more.
I took about 2 months from any kind of physically enduring activities. During this time, there wasn't much progress in my back.
I tried so many different things on my own as well. Core strengthening, theracane, lacrosse ball trigger point massaging, Roman chair exercised. As soon as I try to wrestle or lift heavy, I have a bad inflammatory flare up.
It's very strange because some days are better than others. Some days I can get away with wrestling and have no pain. But sometimes, like this past Sunday, as soon as I tried to wrestle the pain came.
This issue has been plaguing my life and fighting career for the past 1 year and 3 months. It's making me really question whether or not I can continue competing in this sport that I love and dedicate everything to.
As per my chiropractor, I have not gotten an MRI yet because he keeps stressing that it's not really required. I also don't have health insurance (pretty risky since I fight for a living lol). I've been shopping for a place for cheap MRIs without insurance.
I just don't know what to do anymore. Even if I get an MRI and they diagnose the problem. I feel as though I've tried everything needed to fix any back issue.
If you've gotten this far. Thank you so much for giving me your time
and I hope all you guys find relief!