I’ve been having periodic low back pain for a couple of years now. It started sitting in my home office chair and now I get it when I’m in a car for long periods of time (which is often.) It’s usually toward the end of the day. Sometimes I just get it for no apparent reason at all, even in the morning, and I thought it was probably related to how I was sleeping.
Toward the end of last year, the pain became significantly more frequent. For about three months I’ve been doing physical strength and conditioning exercises on a regular basis - not just back-related, but weight lifting and HIIT type stuff. I got a new mattress and a knee pillow for side-sleeping and it seemed to lessen somewhat (laying flat on my back hurts.) I got a myofacial foam roller to squish out the muscles. I got cushions for my back in the car and at my desk. Last week for my birthday I got a new office chair - pretty much top rated for comfort/ergonomics. I’m just telling all this so you can see I’ve already tried quite a few things to help.
Usually the pain is mild to moderate and only intensifies when I persist in holding whatever position I’m in. Well, today I was sitting in my brand new office chair for less than an hour and it happened again, only this time I was in so much pain I had to lie down on the couch with an ice pack and not move for a couple of hours. It felt better at first, but sitting up on the couch with my laptop, it has intensified.
I’m 50 lbs overweight, and I’m almost certain that is contributing to this issue. I mean just thinking about it from a common sense perspective, most of the people I know with back problems are overweight. I’ve always had a large chest and gaining weight has of course made it even larger, putting more strain on my back than in the past. I’m starting a weight loss plan with a fitness/nutrition coach and continuing to strengthen the muscles in my back.
Ordinarily, this is a time when I would go see a doctor. But the truth is I don’t have very much confidence in modern medicine to fix back problems. I’ve never met a person who said, ‘‘I went to the doctor for my back pain, and it helped.’’ Mostly what I’ve heard are horror stories of people getting expensive back surgery and then being more screwed up than before. Then they have to go on disability or something and spend the rest of their lives in pain. To me the only way out seems like just getting really strong and fit to prevent further deterioration.
So I put it to you good folks - have you ever been helped with back pain by a doctor? Am I better off just sticking with the exercise and getting rid of these extra pounds?