Hey, I know you or someone you know may have suffered from back pain (disc prolapse). You’ll enjoy this story
It has been an absolute pleasure in helping Ricky to recover from his back pain (L3-5 disc prolapse). For 16 years he had fluctuating difficulty with even light tasks like hoovering and putting on his socks. Now however, he’s golfing, gymming, starting yoga and running his successful construction company pain free.
Now, believe it or not when you’re suffering from 16 years of back pain, it isn’t the spinal damage that is the hardest barrier to get around. In fact, at least 20% of individuals under the age of 60 have a disc prolapse (Ricky had been scanned and the results showed a disc prolapse at L3-5). The hardest barrier to get around is pain itself. We can have a pain free disc prolapse therefore the debilitating problem is pain itself, not the damage per se but that’s for another post.
When back pain is chronic (lasts longer than 3 months) it effects three key areas
Frontal Cortex (the Big Brain)
This presents itself in the form of negative belief systems i.e. “My back will never get better… I just know it will go again… I have the back of a 50 year old”
We need to go from this to “I am confident I can do this… My back can handle this”
The Amygdala (the Lizard Brain)
This is where fear resides. We need to reduce anxiety levels and reduce fear of relapse otherwise pain is more likely to occur. This is why it is important to empower our patients over their pain with self massage and pain relieving exercises
The Spinal Cord
The spinal cord will make pain a lot easier to occur if the patient isn’t taught how mimic painful movements pain free. For example, by practicing a pain free press up, you can get a pain free bench press. By practicing pain free movement whilst laying, you can reduce painful movement whilst standing
Now Ricky’s path to recovery wasn’t without obstacles. But every couple of weeks we were making significant improvements. Manipulating his upper and lower back eased his pain as well as deep tissue massage. But the most important factor was that every week to two weeks, I was providing Ricky with exercises with goal based outcomes that got him closer to his goal which was to play golf pain free.
I have attached his rehab plan below and if you want the basics of the spinal rehabilitation guide that I write for our patients, just go to www.revitalizeclinic.co.uk/resources