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In my line of work (full time father of 4 year old twin girls) your use of the all important back area is unpredictable. A non-poisonous spider may cause a red alert that requires generous helpings of child-carrying at 20mph up the stairs and then subsequent minutes of bending down to see if everything is ok and occasionally offering hugs. The hugs may or not be accepted depending on the exact location of the stars in that moment. In my other job (writer) the back is again called into action when you are banging your head against the wall and need the support of a supple spine to keep your neck loose.

In any case, about 10 years ago, I had a 'lower back problem.' As a yoga teacher at the time, I employed my vast knowledge of eastern medicine and new age babblery to apply ice and lie down for a few days.

After retiring from teaching (yoga kills, people AND yoga kills people) I slipped a disc lifting a 5 pound tiny table and shifting from one foot to the other. A grown man lying on the kitchen floor yelling shit shit shit while 2 two year olds was not pretty.

A slipped disc in the lower back (L5/S1) is a weird thing. Basically the spongy stuff between your vertebrae poke out a little and touch a bundle of nerves which then apply a signal to your brain that you are f*cked, maybe for a minute, maybe for two weeks.

Three years after the first incident, I've had PT (some really good results), steroid injections (loved the turnaround, loved the drugs) and strength training, which I've always done anyway. All of it provides temporary relief and I've cut the 'down' time from a week to a day. But as for real healing, my doctor tells me the spongy stuff dries up in my 80s and it shouldn't be a problem then. I'm 48

So I'm thinking of surgery which basically snips off the spongy pokey stuff.

But at 48, or 58 or whatever, at what point do you say 'well, I can do the PT and the injections and the weights because I'm not a kid anymore' and just accept your pain.

I know alot of people have it alot worse than this but I have lived a fairly healthy life to this point and am trying to decide if an operation is better than acceptance.

What's your FP tonight?

Originally posted to mmontanaman on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 04:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by WYFP?.

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