Can you relate to Michelle? I was talking to Michelle the other day and she was disgusted with her back pain. She was ready to throw in the towel. She even asked me “Can’t you just get a back replacement? My back must be defective.”
She continues to explain why she was so disgusted with her back. “I understand why my back hurts when I carry my daughter who is 45 pounds now. I’ve found ways to deal with my back pain at the grocery store and after my work commute. BUT I’m completely confused by why my back would hurt while I brush my teeth!!”
I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have to adjust every aspect of your life to avoid pain. And back pain does affect everything you do.
Michelle was obviously at her wits end. She was tired of having to find ways to accommodate her back which alway resulted in her missing out on important things in her life not to mention making her errand take longer. As I started to ask her about the history of her back pain it became obvious that Michelle had been dealing with her back pain for over 5 years. The first time she could remember having back pain she helped a friend move, she was sore for a week. But a few months later she picked something light up off the floor and she had to see her doctor for muscle relaxers. She has sense just been changing how she moves to avoid the possible reinjuring her back.
“I'm in my early 40s and I feel like I’m in my 60s! I'm scared about what that will mean going forward. And not being able to brush my teeth is the last straw. I have to do something.”
My son was so excited the other day when he got a remote control car. He drove that car over everything! He tried to climb the wall which really didn’t go far. Then he got the idea to launch the car off the table thinking it would be a cool stunt like they have on movies. He cleared off the kitchen table and ran the car off the edge. Unfortunately the landing was not as smooth as it was going to be in his mind. His car crashed causing the tires to fly off. He was devastated thinking his car was broken. Thankfully we were able to get the tires back on but I did talk to him about how to take care of his toys.
Over the last 10 - 15 years it has become more common to see younger and younger patients with hip replacements. Their stories are very similar. They started to have mild pain in their hip while sitting too long. Then the pain started to have pain if they walked too long. Eventually they are thinking about their hip all the time. They have gone to the doctor who told them its arthritis. Perhaps they suggested a cortisone shot to help with the pain; but they ultimately tell you that eventually the arthritis will get bad enough that you’ll need a hip replacement.
It is not your fault! Your body is not defective and you didn't do anything wrong.
Those are the first few sentences I’ve said to countless women who have come to see me with injuries that don’t seem to heal. But what were they supposed to think? Especially after they went to a doctor, chiropractor and a physical therapist and they still have pain or limitations in their knee. Many of my clients had a doctor tell them matter factly that in 10 years they’d need a joint replacement. Of course they think something is wrong with their bodies.
I received this DM from a sweet concerned woman.
I was walking in the grocery store parking lot towards where I thought my car was when I realized I was walking the wrong direction. Naturally I turned around to go towards my car. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying any attention to where I was walking and I turned around right after walking over a road hump. So when I turned around my foot landed awkwardly on the side/top of the road hump. I was able to ungracefully stop my fall however, my ankle is killing me now. I most certainly rolled my ankle. What do I do right now to stop it from getting really bad ie ugly and swollen?
I told her that the answer was a little long so I asked if I could call her. After talking with her I thought I would share a summary of the information I told her.
We all have that friend that has the cutest shoe collection. That person that has a different shoe for each outfit. What would that person do if they were stuck in a walking boot for 6-8 weeks. I think they would go pretty crazy just like Alicia. Alicia was no wimp when it came to hurt feet, remember she loves cute shoes. Over time she developed a bunion on her big toe, which she ignored for years. It wasn't until she started to have pain on her pinky toe that she finally went to the doctor. The pinky toe pain was just too much to ignore any longer. The foot doctor told her the only way to stop the pain is with a bunionectomy. Alicia agreed to the surgery. Then while she was still in the walking boot she started physical therapy. She was ready to do anything to get back to her cute shoes and her normal active lifestyle.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald