They say back pain affects 80pc of the population at some point in their lives. Mine, started in my late 20s with extremely debilitating low back pain. Treatment in the first years consisted of physiotherapy and manipulation by an osteopath and chiropractor but eventually surgery was the only option.
Another three spinal surgeries followed the first one, then physiotherapy and then eventually I was put under a pain consultant for long term care. The pain consultant soon made me realise that there were many other options to surgery and I decided I wanted to try everyone of them. The question was which one to try first.
I decided to go down the holistic route first and had acupuncture, then massage, then reflexology. They all seem to help for short periods of time but none were a permanent fix. When I first started at the pain clinic, massage and acupuncture were done through the NHS, now all this has stopped.
Every week in the daily papers I read about another treatment for back pain from botox injections, epidurals, trigger points, heat therapy, light therapy and the list goes on and on.
There are also a number of products that you can buy to help with the pain from heat pads, tens machines and special cushions and mattresses. With so much to choose from and most of it being quite expensive to fund, it is no surprise that most people just stick to taking medication.
But medication has it’s own problems with long term usage. From stomach problems, bowel problems and addiction to name a few. All of this makes it very hard for someone who is suffering from chronic pain to decide which route to go down. Support groups can be helpful but there are not that many just for ‘back pain’ sufferers.