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No escaping low back pain

No escaping low back pain


By Mike Wilcox


My failed bid to quit coffee, which I outlined in last week’s column, drew quite a bit of attention from fellow coffee drinkers. Most were very understanding as I outlined my trials, tribulations and one-day hiatus from my “go juice.”

Another reason I couldn’t quit cold turkey is my back gave out on the night I made my brief-lived decision. When my lower back fails to function properly, I cannot concentrate on much of anything else.

I must have slept funny that night, because when I arose for work, I had that throbbing pain many of us are familiar with. There I was in the bathroom, removing myself from the shower and preparing to get dressed for a busy day.

I tried to bend over to pull up my trousers. The pain was excruciating. I had to sit in a chair to complete the task, but could not tie my shoelaces. I tossed the shoes in a closet and pulled out a pair of loafers. I managed to find a pullover sweater, but lifting my arms to get into it was too painful. I discarded it for a button-down shirt instead.

Someone described back pain as almost as bad as a toothache. That’s a stretch, but the constant throbbing is definitely annoying. It’s been three days now and the throbbing is still bothersome, especially when I attempt to lie down and catch a good night’s rest. The key word is “attempt.” With back pain you can’t sleep. You twist and turn in an attempt to get comfortable, but no position alleviates the throbbing.

Next morning as the shower, get-dressed cycle played out once more, I was tired, crabby and wishing I had a Keurig instead of the slow Mr. Coffee pot. Finally the “go juice” was brewed and I actually smiled for a moment before the grimace became a fixture on my face again.

Sitting in a chair all day with my back pulsating is no easy chore. At one point I lay on the floor and had an employee walk on my back. When I was growing up my dad had my siblings and me do this for him. He swore it was a big help for his back pain. RIP Dad, but I can’t say it helped me one iota.

After work I sit lazily in the hot tub. Hmmm, I thought, pulsating jets on a pulsating lower back would be just what the doctor ordered. Think again. The hot tub made the back pain worse. From hot tub to bedtime I couldn’t stand up straight. You would think I was auditioning for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

As I complete this rant I realize I have two choices. I can wait this out hoping the back pain will go away, or make my way to a chiropractor. I have been to chiropractors on and off and for the most part a good “crack” helps immensely. Other times the pain just subsides but does not go away for another week or so.

As I walked into the office I suddenly sneezed. The pain brought tears to my eyes. I think the man upstairs has made the decision for me: On to the chiropractor. Hope he has a good cup of warm coffee.