Back in 2004, I was at church with my family, all dressed up ready to start our Sunday. We were in the atrium waiting to go in when my 2 year old at the time pull away from me and I quickly reached out to get her. In the midst of picking her up, I twisted my lower back and felt a bit of a rip or snap, so to speak. I didn't think anything of it but I did know it hurt.
The family and I proceeded to go inside, I had my husband take my rambunctious daughter and I slowly walked to my seat in my 3 inch heels and sore back. Yeah, in pain but looked pretty good that day!
Months went by and my back was still out of sorts. I would walk weird, sit weird and basically live in pain for nearly 4 months. I was young, I had been injured before and I truly believed that the pain would go away but my husband insisted that I go to the doctor, see a specialists and consider rehab. So, I did and found out that I had a herniated disk! The young back doctor was so excited about my disk and wanted to perform surgery right away. He also proceeded to tell me. . .with a smile on his face that I would not be able to run or have full range of motion after the surgery.
HUH?. . .WAIT, WHAT?
I immediately left his office and said, NO to surgery but I did agree to get a series of 3 steroid shots through another doctor. I also did some research and decided to see a physical therapist and a massage therapist. After 6 months of treatment and taking up pilates, I slowly started to recover. I got back in shape and later ran 3 marathons, SEVERAL half marathons and 100s of 5Ks. All with no surgery BUT with some light back pain from time to time. As long as I stretch, exercise and not add stress to my back/body I am doing REALLY GOOD!
I am not a doctor or back specialist but I am a person with options and so are you! Depending on your level of physical activity and lifestyle, talk to your doctor and other back specialists to see what options are out there and how you can keep your back strong.
DID YOU KNOW: Lower back pain is a primary cause of musculoskeletal degeneration seen in the adult population. Nearly 80% of adult Americans have lower back pain issues and many of those cases can be prevented with the suggestions listed above. Prevent future injuries by doing the following:
- daily exercise (keep the core and back muscles strong)
- daily stretching (include yoga or pilates to your exercise plan)
- ergonomic friendly work environment (using a stability ball for a chair or stand more, walk on your lunch break and have management make sure your computer station and work area is right for your body)
- massage therapy (find a specialist that will work for you and try and get a massage twice a month, if possible)
- foam rolling (learn the basic foam rolling moves and get rolling before your start every workout.
- stay active (don't let the couch suck you in every night. Make sure you are moving every chance you get)
- do not wear 3"+ heels (and lift a 50 pound ANYTHING with a twist)