I have talked to so many people with chronic back pain and have taken care of many patients after back surgery. I never thought that I would become one of those people. Like many of you, I tried everything from physical therapy to muscle relaxers. They all helped temporarily, but nothing took the pain completely away. Here is my story and how I overcame my back pain.
One night after a rigorous weight training workout I went to bed with a little soreness, but nothing I hadn’t felt before. That morning I woke up and tried to get out of bed, but my back was so tight I could hardly move. It soon progressed to pain that ran down my buttock and partially down my leg. This went on for about three months and I decided to go to an orthopedic surgeon that I knew. He did an MRI of my back and I had two bulging discs. We decided to try physical therapy, rest, and muscle relaxers. This went on for another three months with a little improvement, but not enough to go back to my normal routines. I was completely frustrated and felt like I would have to just learn to live with the pain. I began taking a complementary and alternative medicine class for my bachelor’s degree in nursing. In this class I learned about the benefits of massage and chiropractic care.
At first I started to go to a local chiropractor. Gradually, I began to feel an improvement and the pain was no longer running down the back of my leg. I still wanted to find a way to progress faster. Then I learned about the benefit of massage in conjunction with chiropractic care. I would go to the massage therapist at least once a week and to the chiropractor about 2-3 times per week. The massage therapist would perform a variety of techniques including deep tissue massage and myofascial release. I would be pain free after the massage and then would go to the chiropractor with my muscles relaxed. This went on for a couple of months. By the end of two months I was able to cut my sessions down to once a week for the chiropractor and every other week for the massage. It was amazing!
I am now back to full strength a year after my injury and am competing in a 10K run next month. I no longer have to go to the chiropractor, but I do have a massage about once a month. Conventional medicine is great, but it is not always the answer. Chiropractic and massage seem to work well together and I highly recommend trying it. It may be a bit pricey at first, but many insurance plans will cover chiropractors or they can set you up on a payment plan. Some chiropractors even have massage therapists in their practice. Pain will make you try anything no matter the cost, but this really works!