Thursday, October 10, 2019

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

After battling chronic back pain for the last couple of weeks I finally went to the doctor.  The truth is, I've actually been getting bouts of back pain for the last few years, but I just pushed it aside and got on with my life.  Sometimes it was worse than other times and I couldn't move at all.  This time, I had pushed some heavy tables at school, felt my back go, and put that down as to the cause.
The fact is, pushing those tables only exasperated the problem I didn't know I had.
I knew my back was weakening and actually felt as if I was losing some of my mobility.  But I just put that down as being somehow related to the Tram Flap reconstruction surgery I had had in 2004 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, where they used my stomach muscle to create a new breast.
I had never thought that it might actually be a disease of sorts.  That had never crossed my mind.
My doctor asked lots of questions, poked and prodded my back, twisted me around and then declared that I had a classic case of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and booked me in for an MRI to see how far it has progressed.
It turns out that various ailments I had been suffering from the last few years were all related to my lower spine.  But, myself and previous doctors had always treated them in isolation and never connected them together.  When you put them together, then you have a classic case of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis.  My advice to you, is if you are reading this and have been getting some or all of these symptoms, go and see a doctor right away and get checked for Spinal Stenosis.
These are the symptoms I have had the last few years;
1. Chronic lower back pain where I feel like I have been cut in half and not put back properly.
2. Burning pain in lower back.
3. Chronic hip pain.
4. Cramps in the calf muscles.
5. Finding it hard to walk properly and sometimes limping.
6. Completely imobilised thinking my sciatic nerve is pinched.
7. Pain and stiffness across my upper back, sometimes even my neck. Muscles go into spasm and tense up.
8. Numbness and loss of feeling in my feet.
9. Pain in feet when walking.
10.  Unsteady on feet, struggling to get balance especially when climbing stairs, stepping onto escalators and stepping over objects.
11.  Struggle to control bladder.
12. Difficulty getting up out of a chair, sometimes walking a few steps with your back bent before you can straighten it.
13.  Unable to stand for any length of time when washing dishes or hanging up washing, as your back starts hurting so badly you have to sit down.
14.  Not able to walk long distances without stopping somewhere and sitting down as your back hurts so much.
15. Needing to lean on a supermarket trolley when shopping, as your back starts to hurt if you walk around carrying a basket.
I have found, that my back hurts less when I wear a backpack as that makes me lean forward when I walk.
All these symptoms I thought was just a product of ageing, and I guess in a way it is as you tend to get this when you are over 50.
As I discover treatments and strategies to ease the back pain, I'll share them with you.
Cindy Vine is the author of Not Telling, The Case of Billy B, Defective, CU@8, Hush Baby and The Freedom Club.  All her books are available in both paperback and ebook format on Amazon.com.

Thursday, October 3, 2019