Have you experienced lower back pain while walking? I sure have. I wanted to share today some of the episodes in my life that have been really difficult to get through and some of the things I did to help.
My starting point
I have a long history of back problems, which began in 1999. I was an active 26 year old with no injury history what so ever. I basically started to notice numbness in my right leg in the calf region. The pain increased as time went on and I finally went to see a doctor.
Physical therapy would be my treatment. This was kind of the beginning of the end for me. I went to PT for a few sessions and was doing my “homework” exercises as prescribed. Over those first few weeks, I got worse, in a hurry.
I was then told to stop physical therapy and go back to the doctor. Pain medication was next up. At this point, having never suffered any kind of injuries or serious pain in my life, I just wanted it all to go away.
I was in experiencing a lot of lower back pain while walking, not to mention sitting, laying down, or just about any other position I was in. The best place for me was in a hard straight back chair that forced me to maintain a neutral spine.
This made working difficult, as I had a job in customer service that required me to greet people at the door and help them. I looked like a very old man as I would slowly rise up out of my seat and walk to the front of the store.
Nothing worked, time for surgery
After cortisone shots and pain medication, I was presented with surgery as my final option. I didn’t know any better at this point and went ahead with it. I do regret that decision, as I have continued to have back problems over the years.
I actually was pretty good for a number of years after surgery, but then more problems happened. In 2007 I ended up with more disc problems, which caused my sciatica to hinder my life, especially while walking long distances.
In 2009, another bout with sciatica that had me going back to the pain clinic where more pain medication and cortisone shots were prescribed. During this painful time in my life walking over any kind of terrain was nearly impossible, even walking long distances caused my sciatic nerve pain to flare up, stopping me in my tracks.
This is when I first discovered an inversion table and after a few months of using it, I was back on my feet and feeling pretty good.
What was that?
Then 2011 happened. This was the first time in my life that I felt a pop in my lower back. I went to pick up my daughter, who was 5 years old at the time and I felt something I had never felt before with all of my back problems.
This time I thought I had the answer, hop on the inversion table and I should be good to go. Well, that didn’t exactly work out as I had hoped, and I tried to invert at too steep of an angle. I had never really been taught how to use an inversion table properly, so I ended up doing more damage than good.
Inversion tables are very helpful for me with my back problems, but now I understand how to use one the right way.
With my injury in 2011, there was no treatment that worked for me, and again I was presented with surgery as my last option. I was not going to have another back surgery, I would rather just deal with the pain.
Barely getting through the day
I hobbled around with sciatic nerve pain shooting down my leg most of the day. Walking from the parking lot at work to my desk was almost more than I could bear at times. I literally had to limp to my desk at times. This was a rough time in my life.
The only relief I was able to find was riding a recumbent bike at the gym and this was short-lived but was definitely welcome. Driving to work was excruciating as well and there were days I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make the 45-minute drive.
I would go to the store with my wife and I got to a point where I would have to sit down or lay down in the aisle because I couldn’t go any further. Ugh, those were some rough days let me tell you.
This went on for 16 months, and I really thought my life was going to be like this forever. I wasn’t sure what else to do. I didn’t want to have surgery, but I was struggling to function in life. Finally, I literally woke up one day and the pain was gone.
Conclusion: Lower back pain while walking
These days I do a lot of walking, it’s an excellent way for me to get out of the office at work, and get some exercise in. I also walk every night with my wife and we have great conversations. A simple task like walking was a part of my life that was taken away from me and now I definitely don’t take it for granted.
Walking can be a great exercise for people with back pain. I have also been on the other side, where walking was incredibly painful.
I know my situation was painful, but I also know people have it a lot worse than I do.
Do you have some back pain stories you would like to share?
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