Back to Me

Originally written on 9/1/16, 8:30 PM

I’m a 32 year old male living in Austin, Texas who feels trapped by chronic back pain. It’s been a battle I’ve been fighting for several years now. It’s hard to even remember when it all began.

What I can remember is that I was in the best shape of my life in the Summer of 2010. I’d just purchased my first home, began dating an amazing girl I would later call my wife, and was training alongside her for a triathlon. When I look back at the photographs from this time (my wife’s a professional photographer so there are a lot them!) I long for what I once had. The freedom to do whatever I felt like doing without the concern of the pain that would come from it.

Now, the pain is always first. What I eat, what I read, my routines, my schedules, my hobbies, all revolve around my back. I have to ask myself things like “If I eat that, will that spike my inflammation?” “Do I really want to go out with friends in this much pain?” “Do I have time to ice my back before going out to dinner with my wife?” “Is it worth the agony to go out and do this activity I really miss and love if it just means I’m going to have to forgo sleep tonight because of the spike in pain?”

I’ve gone through everything you can think of. I’ve seen doctors, pain management specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, cranial sacral therapists. I’ve had Rolfing, deep tissue work, manual therapy, x-rays, and 3 MRI’s. I’ve even tried blocking the pain to attempt yoga and personal training for muscle strengthening.

4 years later and an unimaginable amount of money spent on all this and where am I? Well the pain is still here. It hasn’t lessened. And I’m not sure if its gotten worse. If it has, it’s been gradual enough to where I don’t know.

So what’s next? This blog!

According to Dr. David Hanscom, spinal surgeon and author of “Back in Control”, what I may be facing is a neurological problem. My wife, in her endearing quest to help me find a solution, found a podcast in where Dr. Hanscom explained how he overcame 15 years of excruciating chronic back pain.

Rerouting your synapses is the only way to overcome chronic pain. Stress tension and emotions can trigger “real” pain. Dr. Hanscom says that the only way to end the pain is to get rid of all your anger and anxiety. Easier said than done right? But he found a way to notice results. And guess what, it’s writing down what makes you angry and anxious. Apparently, this 10 minute act a day can actually reroute your synapses sending pain to your body and allow them a healthier outlet. It frees the mind up from the pain and can also allow any treatments or medications your taking to do their job!

I will begin seeing a new physical therapist on September 7th. My goal is to follow some Dr. Hanscom’s advice and write out my pain. Past, present, and future. I plan to be brutally honest so this road may get a bit bumpy at times but just stick with me. It’s an emotional path I must travel down if I want to get back to the real me.

But don’t worry, this blog won’t be all sob stories and pity parties I’m throwing myself, I will also post updates on my progress, keep a record of the pain, and share things I learn along the way so that it may help others discover things that may help them on their path as well.

To all out there who suffer, I feel ya.

*To hear the Dr. Hanscom’s podcast click here!

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