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Monday, October 24, 2011

Backs, crackers and drugs

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It's 9:42 AM as I start this - later than I intended. I'm about as good as it gets for me, which means I feel no reason to complain on my own behalf. We had a great but all too brief session with the Lakes yesterday - fantastic to see Julie and Bob again after all these years.

  Regrettably the circumstances weren't as we intended. Tracey was still practically immobilised with her painful back. This morning she is no better than she was yesterday. She can take over my Doctor's appointment for this afternoon. 

  'Bad backs' are horrendous, and I'm grateful that I've only had two relatively minor sessions of it in my entire life. All I remember from each is thinking, 'this condition - a bad back - is one of the most painful, frustrating ones in the world,' and having great sympathy for chronic back pain sufferers.

  Tracey isn't a chronic sufferer of the lower back pain that hit her this time, but she does have regular visits to the chiropractor to put particular bones in her back back into place. This seems to work for her.

  The world seems divided into three categories - well, the 'First World' anyway; those who go to physiotherapists, those who visit chiropractors, and the lucky ones who have never needed to go to either. If you're in the third category, you won't know what the fuss is about, because until you have been in a position where you can't put your underpants on because the pain in your back is too intense, you just won't understand!

  It's a bit like a religion - something like the divide between Mac and PC users - unless, like me, you're an agnostic and use both. That's computers I'm talking about. When it comes to the other, I'm not a 'chiropractor' person. I've never been to one, though I'm sure there are times when they can do just what's needed to put something back into place. All those cracking noises, and the reported manipulations seem like black magic to me. I feel safer with physiotherapists. Call me a wimp if you want. They don't crack things and toss you about. Not too much anyway....

  Other than that, it's a beautiful day. A visitor is expected at 10.30. My med appointment this afternoon is mainly to replenish the drug supply, but right now,  Tracey needs some treatment.

(Note: if you read this earlier today, it's changed.)


  1. I've spend many hundreds of dollars on chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists. When one doesn't work, try one of the others; if that doesn't work, try the last remaining one. Sometimes just rest works best, or lying on your stomach with your chest elevated. Try to avoid operations, but I've seen them work too. Carl fixed his problem with a back bender I bought from Canada, when the doctors wanted to operate.

    I do know the absolute agony of lower back pain and not being able to put on your own underpants, let alone do the other seeminly effortless but necessary things we all take for granted.

    I hope you are better very soon, Tracey. Ouch.

  2. I used to go to chiropractors often with my back problems. I don't need to now I've been to Jenny Miller (who also fixed Joan's back some years ago). It's horrible having that back pain. I'm about to go to Jenny again to get her to show me how I can manage upper body exercises without upsetting my neck/shoulders.

    I'm so sorry about Tracey's back -what an absolute DRAG for her!! But one slight silver lining: having to be the one in charge CAN be empowering! When you can manage it.I bet there's lots of people out there who are saying (as I am) why didn't they ring and I would've gone around to drop off dinner..(oh, and disempowered you again:)

    And can Tracey drive herself to the doctor? What does the doctor do, anyway?Does yours actually do a bit of back repair (mine doesn't, unfortunately). And such beautiful weather for your walks, oh dear!

    Julie xx

  3. I found it miraculously empowering to learn what was wrong with my back and how to fix it myself. I won't go into details as I've had more than one problem with more than one cause, but Jenny Miller (and no, I don't have shares in her business) taught me about disk buldges, how they are caused, how to fix them myself, and how to prevent myself from getting them again. Well, maybe not prevent, but at least minimise the possibility.

    I found that general doctors usually do no more than put you on drugs and send you to a surgeon for a possible operation. The drugs are useful temporarily, but doing the right back exercises is far better than an operation, need I say?

    Chiropractors will slot you back into shape, but rarely explain what's going on and how to fix it yourself. They like you to keep coming back, at least once per week forever.

    Osteopaths are much like chiros, except you get a massage for you money as well as a realignment.

    Physios can't do the back crunching that might be necessary, but I find that they do teach you exercises to do at home, and how to fix the problem if it happens again. I guess they make enough money without seeing you every week.

    That's been my experiences of over 30 years of back issues. Sometimes, none of it works and you just have to lie down and rest and read a good book. And yes, don't drive a car. Take a taxi if you have to.

  4. Surprising more people aren't commenting on this, since it's such a common ailment. I struggled with it for years till I went to Jenny.



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