So it happened. One day out of the blue back spasms showed up. They came uninvited, unnecessary sudden and as if from hell. My lower back was about to tear in two, or at least that’s what it felt like. The grips intensified by the minute. They were not only uncomfortable, but also problematic. How could I get back home?
Sweating in a drafty room is not good for the muscles
I was at the gym doing my last set of triceps kickbacks when the pain took over the back. I never had lower back pain before, so squaring with sudden immobility was a surprise. Even though the pain was horrible I thought it was just a simple muscular spasm. It was not improbable that my sweaty back locked up due to exposure to cold draft. After all, the gym was well air-conditioned. Oh, well, as long as I get home and rest a little bit I would be just fine. How naïve!
I woke up the next morning in agony. My back totally seized and cancelled my day plans. Just getting out of the bed to go to the bathroom became a long and painful process. What the heck? The spasm is supposed to be gone by now. This is when it dawned on me that the situation went beyond the back muscles.
Where is the pain in the low back coming from?
A ran a few diagnostic checks in my head. I did not have tingling in my toes or shooting pain in the legs, so it wasn’t a disk bulge. I could do a few specific moves with my legs, thus sacroiliac joint wasn’t an issue. I was free from arthritis, kidney diseases, constipation, and other conditions that could cause lower back pain. That ruled out organic disease. I didn’t smoke, took meds, or sat for hours on end. That puts me at the very top of the health pyramid, so why did I end up like that? And then a light bulb came on: I lift weights, an activity my back may object to.
Spondylolysis, a likely cause of lower back pain
I bet I got myself a spondylolysis. It was the most likely diagnosis. Everything matched, the onset, the presentation, timing, and pain pattern. Spondylolysis is a stress fracture in the lower spine, a common pest for athletic individuals.
Oops! I have a broken back. That sucks. It means I will be out of commission two months, because this is how long it takes to mend the bones. I didn’t like it. Actually, I was not interested at all in two months of recuperation. Could I cut it down to two weeks? Maybe. I would give it a shot.
My objective wasn’t to be free of pain for the mere convenience of it, but to facilitate a complete back repair in a fraction of time. I was not interested in a patch approach that would lead to permanent rest and painkiller addiction. I was interested in health perfection delivered in a nick of time. To get there I knew I needed to add some “witch craft” on top of “proper” medical treatment.
Lower back recovery plan
So here is my recovery plan for getting my back back. It is cheap, convenient, and does not involve doctor’s appointments, invasive procedures, or loads of painkillers. You can give it a try if you suspect your lower back pain has something to do with spondylolysis.
This is what I did for my basic medical lower back care
- I got myself (actually, I sent my husband to get it) a simple back brace with a magnet; The back brace was supposed to keep the structures in place allowing for bony apposition, while the magnet was to speed up bone mending[i]. It is true. Magnets make bones heal faster.[ii]
- I did back stretches; nothing fancy here, just standard lower back limbering exercises that would be recommended by any reputable physio or chiro;
- I rolled a tennis ball under my butt and back to get rid of any trigger points; Trigger points are a common cause for chronic muscular pain. They cause shortening of the muscles, which leads to spasming, weakness, and restriction of movement.
This is how I topped up my lower back care with “witchcraft”
- I grounded at night; grounding also called earthing became an incredible discovery, at least for myself. It made a huge difference for reducing pain, inflammation, and speeding up tissue healing. Grounding works by calming down the nervous system, facilitating immune system tasks, and improving blood flow. It also works by supplying anti-oxidants which prevent post-inflammatory problems such as fibrosing, scaring or chronicity of pain.[iii] I used grounded wire plugged into a wall outlet to ease my lower back pain.
- I took magnesium and B complex; magnesium is a fantastic relaxant, but it needs B vitamins to do its job; I took the pills just in case I was sub-clinically deficient in the mineral. After all I am a coffee drinker and coffee flushes out magnesium.[iv]
- I dug out an old tub of Traumeel cream; Traumeel is a homeopathic wonder that speeds up muscular repair. The reason for using Traumeel and not any other ointment is that it contains homeopathic Symphytum, a plant known to help bone reunion. Note, Traumeel may not be available in North Americans stores however, you can get it in European pharmacies.
- I bought a mix of 12 Schussler’s tissue salts; I love Schussler’s salts. In my opinion they are better then multivitamins. They supply mineral salts that don’t require digestion. They are the gentlest and the most rudimentary way to approach mineral shortages. I used them because the process of building perfect bones needs a steady supply of readily available nutrients.
- I squeezed lemons; Lemons help with circulation. Lemons have citric acid which increases zeta potential, which in turn improves blood flow. This beneficial effect extends especially in acid tissues, tissues that have been injured and inflamed, such as my back.[v] Besides, lemons contain vitamin C, an important bone matrix builder as well as sun damage protector. This latter is important, because…
- I also sun bathed; that means I let sunlight directly on the body. I always do. I don’t use sunscreens. They damage the environment. If I need a sun break I use natural shade. Why bother with sun exposure? Sun makes vitamin D. Vitamin D regulates calcium. Calcium makes dense bones. Makes sense?
- I snacked on papaya and pineapple; These two have something in common. They are anti-inflammatory. They help calm down inflammation without inducing any side effects, maybe except one, a flatter belly. Do bromelain or papain ring a bell? Yep, you can buy them in a bottle. They are sold as anti-inflammatory digestive enzymes. They are just what the witch doctor ordered for lower back pain.
Why bother with all this and not just rest and take a pain killer as most people do? There is a reason for it. I don’t want to feel good for a few minutes. I want to feel good for decades to come. I am not interested in living in a frail body with a crippling back ache day in and day out. I am not interested in rehab, walking aids, or surgeries when I am an old lady (oops! Too late).
I need a strong and functional body, not just a pain-free back. For that I need to address underlying causes such as bone integrity, body nutrition, muscular imbalances, and nervous tension or my lower back pain will keep on showing up again and again.
Life can be an incredible adventure. Too bad, but most people never get there due to their poor health. To have life rich in experiences you can’t just “pill it and forget it”. Go to your chiro, your nutritionist, your fitness trainer, or your homeopath. Hear what they have to say. Your life is worth living. The last thing you want is to waste it on pills for chronic lower back pain.