I bent over to put my shoes on and “ping” my back went. I hear this all the time from my patients, but this time it was my back.
I yelled out “aaarrgghh”
My girlfriend came over asking “what have you done?”
“I don’t know” I said “but it ain’t good!”
Two days before this I had been moving some furniture around to do some painting in my flat so I must’ve aggravated my back at this point. But there was no obvious injury to my back.
I had to immediately go and lie down and took some ibuprofen. I knew enough from my physio training that it was nothing serious just bloody painful.
The worst thing was I had to drive to Reading to pick up my mum then drive down to The New Forest that day as we were going on holiday for a long weekend to celebrate my 40th birthday.
Needless to say it was a very uncomfortable weekend with severe right-sided lower back pain especially sitting in the car when driving, and then trying to get out of the car. It would take me about five minutes to straighten up. In fact I couldn’t straighten up properly and I was wondering around half bent over and kicked off to the left.
Luckily my mum had some naproxen leftover so I started taking that and doing some gentle exercises and within three or four days it was somewhat better. However it did take about two weeks to completely go.
The moral of the story here is that back pain is the most common ailment we suffer from, it happens to us all and can occur at any age. It does tend to occur more often as we get into our 30s and 40s.
If this type of back pain happens to you – don’t panic (as long as you have no changes in bowel or bladder function or lack of sensation around your genitals or back passage), start taking ibuprofen, rest and do very gentle low back exercise such as lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor and rocking your knees gently left and right.
If you’re still in pain after the first few days visit a physiotherapist who will be able to do some treatment on you. In most cases your low back pain will get better over a couple of weeks, worst case scenario it might take a couple of months to resolve. Luckily 98% of the time it will get better.