I recently hurt my back. I get a twinge maybe once or twice a year if I am not careful. Been to the physiothrapist In Australia for it before and fixed things up until my “next twinge”. The previous time I got it was back in February while on vacation for a month. Thought it was just a stiff back from sleeping too much… And it subsided after a couple of weeks.
Sometime around the 13th of August, I woke after doing a twist turn thingy I do in bed while sleeping sometimes and I remember saying to myself that I hope I didn’t hurt my back with that. But when I woke up it was a little sore, but didn’t think it was too bad. I still went to work and still went to the gym as usual. All was fine, taking it easy until I got to my incline sit-ups and I could feel the strain in the back so I stopped, but I guess that would have been the turning point to noticing that is was quite sore, but still not the sorest I have had, but noticeable uncomfortable and I knew I had to be careful.
Then, the weekend of August 21 and 22, something happened and I could bearly walk when I woke up. I couldn’t straighten my body and had to make small shuffling steps when I walked. I was stuck on the sofa practically all weekend. But magically by Monday morning, I could get up and walk again, though could still feel the twinge in the back and down the front of the thigh, too, I was noticing at this stage. It was a little tough to lower myself to sit and I had to take a deep breath and use my right leg a lot to stand.
For the next three weeks, I just put up with it thinking it would come right as it has always done before. I continued working and going to the gym, though backing off a little. I went to see a Chinese Medicine Doctor, told how thing had happened to which she said it sounded more like a Hip Flexor injury than a back injury. So she gave me some accupunture and I got some manipulation done. WOW!!! my back cracked, just like I had been trying to do with my own stretching routine, but couldn’t. That felt much better, but the back was still sore on the left side and down the front thigh. September 12 was the Sun Moon Lake 3.3km swimming event. I wasn’t sure if i would go in it, I would see how I felt on Sunday morning, and while I could still feel the twinge, it seemed not too bad. I swam the event well, no problems while swimming, but after completing the swim and after cooling down, the pain started throbbing back.
So, I had the mornings off for the next week, which I thought would be good to get some recovery going. It did seem easier to sit and stand during this week, though I could still feel the twinge, which was still kind of strong. I thought it was making progress. We had a typhoon over the weekend so I thought here was another chance to get some recovery in and it felt not too bad on Saturday and I was feeling a bit better about that. I stayed up pretty late on Saturday night/ Sunday morning and finally went to bed around 4am. It was a little difficult to lie down and get in a compfortable position. I had been suffereing this way while sleeping for a while now during this sore back period. But maybe an hour later I suddenly woke up in excruciating pain with the muscles in the left side of my lower back going into a spasm. I didn’t know which way to turn, roll or move. I kind of had to just take it until it relaxed. I lay awake for a while after that and then dozed back to sleep only to wake again about an hour and a half after the first spasm, to have another spasm. It was one of the most painful things that I have experienced. It took me a long time to stand up from getting out of bed as I could feel the muscles wanting to contract forcefully if I went into a certain position while trying to stand. After standing, I could feel a noticeable throbbing in my left side lower back and left front thigh. I lay down again a short while later only to have it spasm again after an hour of sleeping. I tried to get out of bed, it took me nearly 30 minutes with one time upon nearly standing all the way up, the muscles went into a spasm again forcing me to fall back down on the bed again not knowing which way to move or turn to stop the pain.
So I went to see a Dr David W. Hang in Shilin. I saw him a few years ago when I rehurt the ligaments in my knee. My Taiwanese friend who had lived in the states for a few years found him for me. He is a member of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons and a Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery from UCLA. So he checked me out just as well as any physio has done before I would say and he found the sore spots, said my muscles in that area are tight and in a spasm, he gave me a steriod shot in that area. Gave me a weeks supply of steriod tablets, muscle relaxants and anti- inflamatories. I scheduled an appointment for some physio treatment for the next day with the physios that work with him. But, already by the evening, my back was feeling 100 times better… And if it hadn’t made significant improvement by the end of the week, he said he would take further action. But I feel it has made significant improvement already. Feeling much happier now.
Went to my physio appointment at the Orthopedic Sports Medicine Institute which works inconjunction with Dr Wang. I did some bends and stretches for the physio so she could check out my range of mobility. Seems so strange that only 6 weeks ago I could bend over and put my fists on the floor without bending my knees (never been able to put my hands flat on the floor). Now, I could bearly touch my knees, which is still better than the day before the steriod shot, but this is how I was when I was 16 when I first started TaeKwonDo training. Then the treatment. First some ultrsound on the sore area, kind of felt weird after a while, then some massage treatment . Then some stretches. Anyways. I gotta do a stretching and strenthening routine every day and to take it easy for about 6 weeks, slowly getting back into the gym.
So, his service wasn’t covered under the Health Insurance. His consultation, steriod shot and other mediacation cost me NT$1,900. The Physio treatment cost me NT$1,200. Even without the Health Insurance, I thought this was OK as compared to Australia which would only cover this if you had private Health Insurance. But some of his services are covered by Health Insurance, like last time I saw him about my knee, he sent me up to the hospital to get an MRI and that was covered and then when he was telling me about the knee reconstruction he could do, he gave me the price I would need to pay and said it was a little expensive as I needed 3 pins and the health insurance only covers 2. But still NT$30,000 for a knee reconstruction I thought was good as an arthriscope in Australia cost me AUS$1,800 about 15 years ago when done privately as I couldn’t stand being on the public health waitlist.
So back to the Disc Problem, some of my friends were warning me about that problem and I was a little scared about that. I guess that would have been the docs next search if it hadn’t improveed by the end of the week, which, today, Friday, I am amazed at how much better it is after the spasm attacks of last Sunday morning.
Maybe you want to check out this Doc, I can PM you his address and number if you want. Good luck.