Play Through the Pain!
A few of you know that about a year and a half ago my Lower Back put me out of commission for a week, then on light duty from that point forward. This blog will be to sort of talk through what I tried throughout my recovery and investigation to try to resolve the pain naturally.
Rewind the tape to almost 2 years ago. I’m sure I’ve injured it before, however this time the pain was not going away with time. Basically my back locked up while I was helping a local group with their day of giving at a charity. One minute I’m working with them, then back spasms galore with every move other than standing straight. That night I ice for a few hours figuring all will be right in the morning. For the most part it was, and I stick to my routine of 21 Day Fix Extreme, Insanity and 6-7 day work weeks.
Then out of the blue another spasm and lockup session so severe that I had a hard time standing. Ended up in the hospital getting pumped full of whatever the doctors felt I needed, got an MRI and when I was barely coherent, sent home after being counselled on why I “needed” all their prescriptions to stay ahead of the pain.
So after a week or so lost with meds, I attempt to get back to my routine, however this time I am nervous… Nervous to cough, nervous to sneeze, nervous to lift, nervous to do much of anything. This time the pain was not going away, and it was revealed I had a bulging L5/L6. So when it inflames, the bulge pushes on the nerves creating the spasms, but also making me numb from there down. A very interesting feeling if you haven’t experienced it, I do not recommend it.
With this new found nervousness I do all the follow up appointments. At each visit I tell them I have no interest in prescriptions and want physical therapy.
Over the course of 2018 I go to physical therapy almost every single week, at least once a week as well as the chiropractor. I do every follow-up, consultation, and whatever else was recommended, and remain uninterested in prescriptions except when the spasms return. Which was at least a monthly occurrence, and I was starting to resign to the fact that I may not ever get back to my workout routine (4-6 days/week) and would be stuck in the medical system. However, throughout this process I am reading, talking with folks outside my “care team”, and just learning about pain management.
Also during this time I keep remembering something a Middle School Teacher had told (even if I can’t remember who it was) “…plants are going extinct faster than we can figure out what they are or what they are good for. Who knows, a plant that can cure cancer could have just disappeared and we’d never know”.
So trying to keep a bit of hope, I start ordering all kinds of supplements and studying others to try later if the first bunch have no effect. For me this year I have found a combination that seems to work as well as folding Pilates into my gym routine (2-3 days per week – and 1 day Pilates). Here are the supplements that I use, and why:
1) Turmeric – I get it at Costco (they also have a powdered version for “Golden Milk” look for it!), but have ordered from Amazon as well. It has benefits from Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Boosts Brain Function, and helps battle Depression. There are a ton more reasons, however remember for your body to properly absorb it, make sure it has black pepper/BioPerine mixed in. Here is one of many pages dedicated to Turmeric.
2) Phosphatidylserine – I get this one from Amazon. While Cortisol can be good for controlling sugar levels, reducing inflammation, assisting with memory and regulating metabolism, too much can basically undo all the benefits (including weight gain). Through my research I noticed it being called the “Stress Hormone”, basically meaning when your body undergoes higher than normal stress, it over produces Cortisol. So my theory became that my body was still over producing Cortisol because my memory was terrible, I was always inflamed, and I never felt normal but rather was always in pain. I’ve tried a few others but the one I’m linking seems to have given me great results. Check out some other benefits of Phosphatidylserine.
3) Hemp Oil – I get it from Prime My Body because I trust Dr. Chris Shade and his prior Detox work/understanding at QuickSilver Scientific. This one I spent the most time researching because I didn’t want anything psychoactive, and knowing that most companies use butane to extract the CBD. But the science showing the effects CBD can have with reducing inflammation, reducing stress, anxiety and depression, to diabetic reduction, this plant is pretty amazing if cultivated correctly. It is a great air and soil purifier, and 100% Legal in the United States and many Countries. Check out some other amazing uses for Industrial Hemp.
** Remember, I AM NOT A DOCTOR. All of this came through my own research and trials & errors to find a combination that would get me mobile again.
Other components include:
1) An Anti-Inflammatory Diet (especially rough because I love nightshades). Plenty of recipes to share.
2) Limited Sitting – including travel restrictions. Sitting is the devil (to quote The Waterboy).
3) Pilates – I hold firm in my belief that 90% of it is posture related. Fix the posture, fix the problem.
5) Walking – If you can only do 1 exercise to help with lower back pain, this is it!
6) Lighter workouts, including more jogging than exercise bike because of sitting vs walking.
7) More trips – Instead of carrying all I can, I take 1 or 2 boxes at a time and bring my cart with me to many places. Remember – it costs to be injured -
For me these adjustments have helped me start this year off on a way better foot than the prior and I look forward to being pain free!
Best of luck and if you have any questions or comments, just let me know.