It was the 2nd week of April when I felt this lingering pain in my lower back that made me feel helpless.  I can’t do simple things like lying down on my chest; driving and even bending whenever I brush my teeth gives me pain.  I can’t stand doing the Indian sit or even doing #2 in the toilet was so painful.  I tried to have my back massaged to relieve the pain but it didn’t work and after days or a week (I think) of observing I finally consulted the doctor.

The initial test done was to check if I have urinary tract infection of which I totally think was impossible since I just had my urinalysis two weeks before I started having the lower back pain.  True enough the result was negative.  Then I told my doctor that I’ve noticed that my shoulders are uneven and I suspected that I have scoliosis.  The doctor immediately examined me using the forward-bending test and gave me instruction to do the spine x-ray then endorsed me to orthopedic.

The next day I got the results and it read, “Impression: Mild thoracolumbar scoliosis.  Posterior disc space narrowing L5-S1.”  Apparently, I have a mild dextroscoliosis of the thoracic spine of about 11 degrees noted with compensatory levoscoliosis of the lumbar spine of about 10 degrees.  All of these medical terms are so new to me and all I know is I have scoliosis.  I just prayed and hoped that I wouldn’t need to wear braces.

I was actually annoyed with some friends because of their ignorance between the difference of scoliosis and osteoporosis, thinking that the latter (which is due to old age, to deliberately highlight my age) was the root cause of my back pain.  I just hated people for being dumb and totally clueless and not to mention their insensitivity of what I’m going through that time.

Anyway just to make things clear especially for the ignorant ones, scoliosis is abnormal curvature in the spine and generally begins just at the onset of puberty and progresses during the period of rapid growth. Most junior high schools routinely screen for scoliosis because, if caught early, progressive spine curvature can be prevented. Scoliosis affects girls much more frequently than boys. 

On the other hand, osteoporosis is a condition characterized by progressive loss of bone density, thinning of bone tissue and increased vulnerability to fractures. Osteoporosis may result from disease, dietary or hormonal deficiency or advanced age. Regular exercise and vitamin and mineral supplements can reduce and even reverse loss of bone density.

So after being diagnosed and consultation with my orthopedic I was advised to check with the doctor under rehabilitation medicine to do further testing.  I got a schedule only after two weeks because I got sick and had my nerve testing done.  Unfortunately, the lower back pain was caused by a pinched nerve so I was scheduled to attend 6 PT sessions and another consultation after that to see if I have responded to the treatment well.

I am briefly describing the PT session so you’d appreciate what I’ve underwent in the past two weeks.  The PT session is broken down into 3 parts: 

1st part is the ultrasound therapy wherein the sound waves penetrate the skin and surface layers and cause muscles and soft tissues to vibrate, producing gentle healing vibrations within the affected area that soothe inflammation and relieve pain.  Whenever this is done, this is my time to sleep part of the session.  I get to sleep for about 20 minutes.

2nd part is the McKenzie exercises which is comprised of simple lying down, doing push up like exercises, stretching and bending.  The goal is centralize the pain in the core back structures rather than treat pain that are localized in a specific area.  I am advised to do these exercises on my own at least twice a day.

The last part is the traction which refers to the set of mechanisms for straightening broken bones or relieving pressure on the spine and skeletal system.  The purpose of traction is to reduce and immobilize a fractured bone, to lessen or eliminate muscle spasms and to relieve pressure on nerves, especially spinal.

And midway to completion of the entire treatment I began to feel better.  The pain has lessened, it was a good indication that I was responding to the treatment.  Last Monday, I finished the last session and then I visited my doctor last Friday and he asked how I was feeling and I said that the pain can now be tolerated.  There are even days that I wouldn’t feel any pain.  It was a very successful treatment though he advised me that I should visit him again after a month for nerve testing.

I’m really lucky that all of the medication and procedures that I’ve done were covered by our company’s benefits.  Aside from that blessing, I have also learned that discipline and obedience play a big role to your treatment’s success.  If I had not listened to my PT and done those exercises, I don’t think I could have responded well to the treatment.  So with this experience I’ll make sure that I’d be doing the McKenzie exercises religiously.  I just hope that the pain would go away permanently. That’s what we call wishful thinking. Ha-ha!

Thank you for those who prayed for my speedy recovery and to those who read this entry that only summarized my 3-week journey of pain.  Sorry for boring you. LOL

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