Hi. I'm Dr. Molly with Your Goals Physical Therapy. Are you tired of the herniated discs in your low back, coming back every few months with a vengeance. You go several weeks without any back pain at all so thinking that you're finally over the hump you try running at the park. AND NOPE back pain comes right back. Then you give it a couple months off again, having no pain for a really long time you think, I'll go get a trainer. And that trainer will help me. NOPE. You make it through two, maybe three weeks of training. But Then you're just doing an incline on the treadmill or some exercise that isn't supposed to be related to your back at all and all of a sudden you have a huge back spasm.
You can barely get out of bed for a week. If that describes you, then you are not alone.
In fact, somebody called me about six months ago with the exact same problem. Hazel was fed up. She had had enough of her lower back. Her story started about 10 or 15 years ago when she did something to her back which caused a huge back spasm and it just never really went away. Eventually she went to the doctor who did MRIs; they discovered she had herniated discs, but they weren't severe enough herniations to warrant surgery.
They sent her to physical therapy; which did great. She said, “I did fine with therapy. I was able to do everything when I graduated. Then everything was good for a long time. But when I went back to trying to do my own personal workouts and get back to my life, my back flared up again, limiting what I could do.”
She went on to say, “I see the struggles that my mom is going through after having multiple back surgeries and her hips being replaced. That's not the life that I want. I want to figure out what the cause of the problem is and fix it. I want to be able to go back to the gym. With COVID and me hitting the age of menopause and all these other things going on. I don't want this to be one other thing stopping me from enjoying life. I've tried massage, I've tried chiropractic. I've tried physical therapy. And I just don't understand why this keeps coming back.”
I talked to her for a pretty long time on the phone which gave me a lot of information. When she came in for the evaluation, we were able to identify a few things that were missing pieces. Meaning she'd made it through therapy. We already knew a lot of the things that worked for her so I was able to start from a different place. By asking questions and learning what activities she wasn't able to get back to, and then watching how she's doing them. We came up with a plan to correct the mechanics of those activities. We had to go back over some of the core and hip exercises to strengthen and to make sure that everything moved together.
I'm happy to say that after doing a deep dive into how she moves, and with a little bit of trial and error, we’ve eliminated the pain in her lower back for several months.
She hasn't had pain in a very long time, so we were able to identify the exact thing that was causing her to have problems when she went back to the gym.
Now it's been a couple months, she's back with her trainer. She's on the path to achieving her fitness goals that she'd been looking forward to for so long.
I just wanted to give that uplifting message. Even if you've been dealing with the pain and dysfunction that comes from having herniated discs for a long time, there's always a way to figure out what ‘s causing you to have reoccurring problems.
If it was purely the herniated discs, like what Hazel thought. Then all her days would be the same since your discs don't change daily. If you've herniated a disc or you have a disc bulge, that is just your anatomy. Which means that if you have good and bad days, then something is changing in or around your spine that's making them good or bad days.
Then it’s the puzzle of figuring out what changes. Is it something that you're doing or not doing? Is it one motion you do during your day? Is it how you have to move in your environment? The trick is figuring out what’s aggravating the muscles and ligaments around your spine causing recurring pain over and over and over again. There is always an answer for that question. It's just a matter of having patience and working with somebody.
If that's the type of care that you're looking for, please feel free to reach out to me. These are the puzzles that just make my day. I know that it seems a little weird, but I really do enjoy helping people figure out what specifically is going wrong with them and helping them get back to the things they want to do. If you're looking to get back to running, going to the gym, kayaking, hiking, all of these amazing things that we can do in Houston, and just a short drive away. Then please feel free to call me.
If you would like to learn some of my best tips to stop back pain starting at home check out my Free Ebook “7 Tips To Keep Your Back From Going Out More Than You!"
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