I wanted to make a series of posts about all kinds of back issues – from simple back pain to herniated disks. I see more and more young people having these kinds of problems and decided to share my experience on the matter. But I can’t do it before I tell you my personal story. I hope you will find some valuable information in it and you will learn from my mistakes.
I friendly advise you to read this series if you: work on a computer, drive many hours a day, your work involves standing or staying in one position all day long, your parents or grandparents have back issues, or surprisingly… you have been traumatized mentally/emotionally in some period of your life (especially in childhood). I will explain that later.
Well, first of all, I have never been a sporty type of person. Maybe that’s why I was such a chubby kid. 😀 My back muscles were not prepared for what they would have to endure. And when I went to the university, the struggle began. All these heavy bags of luggage, changing accommodations, moving etc. Until one day, as I was walking on the street, I felt strong sharp pain in my lower back. It was really hard for me to go back home, and I could not move out of the bed for days! What the heck was that? A doctor came home and quickly examined me, and said with a broad cheering smile: “Congratulations! You have a slipped disk!” A slipped what! Wasn’t that for old people? I mean, I am only 23!
So, for a couple of years, I buried my head in the sand and avoided the thought that I would never be a normal person anymore. I took my strong anti-inflammatory pills as soon as the excruciating pain started to show its ugly head and simply endured the crisis. And they followed one after another. But as we say here in Bulgaria:
“One evil does not come alone!” Even though I took my medications, my left leg started to get numb. But that was not all – these pills are so strong that they agitate and harm the gastric mucosa and you end with gastritis or ulcer. Ugh! So, I decided finally to face this problem and find the best harmless solution available. So…
Lesson #1: Face your problem, don’t avoid it!
I know it could be rather scary to look at a problem straight, but believe me, you will feel so relieved afterwards. No matter what the problem is – health, financial, relationships, if you avoid looking at some issue, it means it is necessary to pay attention to it. This way you will be able do resolve it quickly and efficiently, rather than waiting for it to become even a bigger problem. It is like going to the dentist’s for that tooth ache. The sooner, the better! Maybe if I had the courage to face the problem from the beginning, my leg would be fine.
But let’s get back to the story. After avoiding the pain for so long, I decided to get an X-ray to see what’s really going on. I am not sure that was the right thing to do. I mean, you don’t really need radiation to know you have a slipped disk. I don’t want to talk you out of examining your backbone. But after all, I think there should be clarity about the situation. And if you want to keep visual track of your progress, X-ray pictures are necessary. Just don’t do them too often. But the main problem was how doctors explained the issue itself. Just to recap her words – I have not one, but two herniated disks, I am never going be a normal person again, I won’t be able to lift anything heavier than a couple of kilos, I am lucky I can still walk, I should get a surgery to resolve the problem, and… I won’t be able survive a pregnancy. Sounds veeeery encouraging! Needless to say I was in a depression for quite some time.The doctor’s words hurt me so much that for weeks I felt there was no hope, and I will have these extremely painful crises all my life. I regretted going to the doctor’s, but to be honest I felt a bit relieved. After all I got lucky.
Lesson #2: Don’t let other people (especially doctors) scare you!
I don’t mean all doctors act this way. But most of them don’t know any better. Maybe it’s what they were taught in medical school – prescribe drugs and make surgeries. But there are countless unexplained cases of people healing themselves, sometimes even overnight. I guess the medical science still hasn’t figured out our bodies’ full capacity to heal and regenerate. The same applies to herniated disks. There was a documentary on a Russian program that showed a man with multiple backbone disk protrusions, and he was advised by his physician to undergo an immediate surgery. But the man decided to take another path – he got a personal trainer specialized in these types of recoveries. And in a while, after many physical, mental, and emotional therapies, the X-ray showed that surgery is no longer necessary. The doctor was amazed – he had never seen such recovery in his entire practice!
So, the more calm-minded and optimistic you stay, the more capable of healing yourself you will be!
As I started to research such cases, I decided to start doing something on a daily basis to help myself recover. I started doing yoga, eating better, releasing stress and healing emotional traumas, and in a while I noticed that my leg was so not so numb anymore. The pain was almost gone and I had less and less crises. So, if I can give you one last piece of advice, it will be:
Lesson #3: Make consistent small steps towards your goal!
No matter how difficult or impossible some problem may seem, if you work towards it daily and consistently, the chances are that one day that issue might be already behind you.
In my upcoming posts I will share with you what I did to improve my backbone health.