Sore Back Summary

….and I’m back !

Sore backs are not fun.  However, with a bit of effort from both a physical and mental perspective, you can eventually feel better.  At least my back is well and truly on the mend.  I am feeling a million percent better 🙂

After a disappointingly long period of time with multiple lower back disc protrusions, I am finally felling close to normal again.

YAY !

However, there is a disclaimer here.  I still need to be very careful.  I am not quite miraculously cured just yet….but I’m getting close.

Say YES to drugs !

I had two cortisone epidural injections, approximately 6 months apart.

Side note:  Epidural injections are not pleasant experiences.

The first one certainly relieved the pain and got me moving again, which was great.  But it did not last.  The second one hit the spot and did the trick.  Again, it was not a fun few moments in my life, however it has made a world of difference.

Combined with continuing exercise, I credit my second cortisone epidural with helping me recover significantly.

I still have a sore back.  I still need to be very careful.  I still need to do my exercises.

Walking is the best exercise.

I have stopped going to the pool and swimming.  While my swimming routine did help me, I have always hated swimming for exercise.  Doing lap after lap after lap of the pool makes me lose the will to live and die of boredome.

The pool did provide some pain relief, which was good.  The water taking some of the pressure off my back allowed a few precious moments of relief many times in my case.  The water providing resistance to the foam dumbells that I used for exercise too was useful and beneficial.

Instead of swimming, I’ve significantly increased my walking efforts.  I regularly achieve more than the 10,000 steps that my fitbit hassles me to do every day.

I have also added (or actually re-added) my elliptical cross trainer machine back into the mix.  I have been taking it slowly, but the benefit of this machine is that it is a very low impact exercise.  I can go as fast, or more realistically I can go as slowly and carefully as I like.

As I do subscribe to the theory that a strong(er) core and a regular exercise program will help me and my lower back issues, I will continue to make the exercise effort.  And I can listen to podcasts while I’m walking and using the elliptical cross trainer machine in my garage.

Healthier, Happier, Stronger.

I’m a middle aged man.  I’m in my very late forties.  I am unlikely to be competing at the Olympics any time soon.  However, by making a consistant effort, the exercising has had a few added benefits.

So, while I am far from my peak physical fitness of 30 years ago, I am getting noticeably stronger.

I will point out that I’m coming off a VERY low base here… so even the smallest improvement is noticable !

This has helped with my overall happiness too.

Because there is not a bit more get-up-and-go about me, I’ve been able to get back into my music again – and enjoy it more too.

Last year I went overseas on a drama tour to Germany, England and Wales with my family and the local theatre company we are involved with (Nuworks Theatre).  It was an amazing experience.

In August this year (2018), I am again going overseas, again with Nuworks, this time with my youngest daughter only (my oldest daughter is in her final year at school, so she and my wife are staying behind this time).  We are going to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.  Again, this will be another amazing experience to say the least.  I will be taking my saxophone with me as I’m in the band for one of the two shows we are taking to Edinburgh.  Great fun !

Two “once in a lifetime” experiences in two years ?  Not too bad at all !!

I’ve been teaching saxophone to multiple one-on-one students, which again has been great fun.  I’m playing my saxophones a lot again, which is most enjoyable indeed.

Being able to get back into and continue and enjoy my hobbies again has provided me with a renewed sense of purpose and something to look forward to.

Part of the reason for MatthewsBack.com

I will keep up my exercise program.  I will keep walking.  I will keep going on my cross trainer machine.

It has been an effort.  It has been a challenge.

This leads me full circle and back again to one of several reasons for creating this blog and website.

If I can do it, so can you.

I am trying to inspire others – you in particular, dear reader – to keep going, keep trying, keep at it.

If you are injured, perhaps if you are middle aged and unfit, unhealthy, unhappy – possibly in combination and because of all of these things – if you are not achieving what you want to achieve:

PLEASE KEEP GOING, PLEASE KEEP TRYING.

Yes, you’ll probably need to take baby steps.  Climbing Mt Everest this afternoon may NOT be a good idea.

But, if you take one step at a time – and I am trying to show you my baby steps here in the pages of this website and in this sore back summary – you will get there.

Mental fitness and physical fitness are all intertwined and interconnected.  Work on one, and the other will probably follow.  And the easiest to work on is the physical fitness.

My journey continues to be difficult.  I still need to be very careful from a physical perspective.  I need to stop and think that perhaps cutting down a massive tree with a huge chainsaw is probably not a good idea, due to the potential strain on my back.

But I can go to the shops, I can sit for a few hours, I can go overseas, I can tie up my own shoe laces.  I can now do lots of things that for a while I couldn’t.  I can continue to build on this.

I am fortunate to be overall a happy and positive person.  My lower back injury took it’s toll on my happiness and my fitness.

Fixing one has helped with fixing the other.  This, in turn helps to provide motivation to keep up the momentumn.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.  Both mine, and yours.

Thanks,

Matthew

P.S.  Please share this blog post on your social media profiles.

P.P.S.  What are you doing to recover from your injury ?  How are you helping yourself (or others) get back to being a postive, happy and healthy human ?  Let me know in the comments below 🙂