Living With Chronic Back Pain
Welcome fellow Wellness Warriors! In this blog, I want to speak about chronic back pain. It is something I have lived with for almost half of my life!
When we see holistic articles, we see happy, agile, beautiful shiny representation of life, and while that is great for those whom are blessed enough to experience this world untouched by physical misfortune, there are many of us seated on the other side of the fence, with health issues present, either temporarily or long term. So, while I apply natural methods to everything first & foremost, there still are occurrences in the body that are less than shiny & beautiful! Like, even the shiny perfect have to shit, am I right?!?! 🙂
And let me say, even shitting is something I am grateful for, because tou may be unaware but some people have issues with their shits!! There’s always something to be grateful for, even if it’s just being able to shit!
But I digress!!!! Holistic means all inclusive, the good the bad and the ugly, everything is in there. So as I said, great to see perfectly healthy, happy, financially sound people living holistically, but what us normals, also living holistically but perhaps not as shiny!!! I am a normal, I’m not rich, I am a mother, my house is perfect on occassion but usually littered with the evidence of the children I have spawned, and I have a shitty back that hurts constantly. There, it’s been admitted.
I’m a holistic momma with a dickhead of a spine! Ok, it holds me up still, which I’m massively thankful for, but my god is the pain unbelievable. As a family, we are well. There is the occasional cold, that passes well with natural remedies, there more recently was the first ever anti biotic given to one if the kids for a uti that wasnt clearing followed by the first penicillin allergy rash which was treated with natural antihistamine(thats another story for another blog), but on the whole we are well, we eat well, and anything that comes up is dealt with as necessary.
But under it all my spine feels like its crumbling, 24/7. Some days more than others, and those days I feel incapacitated, unable to achieve the simplest thing from this chronic pain. I first hurt my back at 16/17, will dancing I knocked something out of place. I did a different move, clicking it back in, but was in excruciating pain,radiating around to my ribs. I went to the dr, who said I had put whatever it was back into place and that the pain would subside when all the muscles relaxed. But as the years continued, this injury sporadically kicked up, and I quietly, or sometimes crying my eyes out, just wait til it subsided,each time!
At 22 I gave birth to my first child, and my second child at 23. Both prenancies were so very painful as regards my spine. I also have hypermobility, my joints are a bit loose or over stretchy, and when I became pregnant it was as though my spine lost every bit of strength, and ached constantly and basically has not stopped since. My pelvis felt demolished(as it does for many women after carrying the weight of a child on top of it and subsequently shoving said child out of that pelvis!), the original injury unbearable, and the added neck issue!!
I went to a chiropractor to no avail, if anything he worsened the problem. And I undertook Pilates during my second pregnancy, which helped to a point, and which I even took an online Pilates trainers course in so I could continue to use the exercise efficiently at home as much I can, but still the issue continues. I have not progressed to stretchy fitness mogul levels as my range of painless otion is limited, and as a rule with Pilates you do not push into pain! The stretches I do therefore limited, as I don’t want to cause more damage.
I more recently went to a newer chiropractor, and she was wonderful, definitely better than the first guy, but still I found that while it brought an element of relief that was all it brang, and for short periods.
But yeah, my entire spine feels shit. And my doc is sending me for a cervical spine (neck) mri, as this neck swells and crunches, pops, cracks, ka-dunks, constantly! Recently I have been getting weird dizziness from it, so the mri will hopefully show exactly what we are dealing with here!
Regardless of scans, I have hypermobility, so this is something that will have to always been dealt with and maintained. Which can feel like a horribly daunting prospect because seriously being in consistent pain is a fucking shit buzz!! And nobody can see the pain so I feel stupid expressing it. Because none of these words express it correctly! Because of the hypermobility, I can move, but I also over extend every movement without realising, creating crunching and strain and general yuckiness. With the neck it radiates up into the head. If you have chronic back pain you get it, if you don’t I’m sorry if my description doesnt do it justice.
I am small in stature, so painkillers every day just is not an option. When I feel its at its extreme, I will take medication, but otherwise I live with the pain, taking raw garlic for inflammation, doing whatever a mother has to do, doing gentle stretches when possible,with this massive under current of physical pain constantly, daily, which can play on your mental health, can be very depressing, and therefore I must help the issue.
The garlic & tumeric etc helps the inflammation, the smoothies and good nutrition gives the body all the support it can to repair, which also help keep the stress levels even(Im premenopausal also so this is a great help for hormonal stuff!) and that’s all that can be done. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, will show up on the mri, will there be degeneration or damage from years of things moving in & out of place, or not! If nothing shows up I’ll feel slightly insane because the pain has been so intense for so long, progressively feeling worse even with maintenance.
So there you have it, holistic advocates have real lives too, things happen in their body too, just like you and I. Everything is a process, we all start somewhere & are eternally learning! What I find is that all the nutrional support, and the cognitive mindfulness, being aware of and putting attention on the many good things instead of only focusing on the back pain, its the only way. While it can feels hugely overwhelming at times, I have it good, I have a home, a family, friends, food, etc, all the essentials that many don’t, so I’m doing ok, even if pain is present while I’m doing it!! That’s how I keep my sanity.
Lastly, here’s my 2 favourite smoothies for back pain & inflammation:
Tastes mildly sweet with a zing!
1 med orange
2 tsp tumeric powder
Water to mix
2: Spinach/Kale berry smoothie
Handful of Kale
Handful of Spinach
Tblspn sunflower seeds
2tblspn porridge oats
Water to mix
So that’s it for this time.
How you manage an ailment holistically, I’d love you to share!!!