Fitness update: I can now walk for more than two hours and yesterday I biked to the university and back (about 10 minutes each way, including a hill). I'm getting stronger, my cardio is getting back on track, however...
Last week I started a personal training regimen through the Fit For Work program – at the suggestion of my family doctor and as part of my Worker's Compensation plan – and, as I was told to expect, my back is killing me again. I go three times a week to a gym where a personal trainer puts me through about an hour of stretching, cardio, and weight training, all focused on getting me back to my pre-injury fitness level. It's a great program, and I'm so grateful to be living in a province that offers these kinds of social services. But I'm really tired of this kind of pain.
Just standing around for a few hours today has me now flat out on my back with an ice pack. And I'm trying my best to avoid taking pain meds or muscle relaxants, but sometimes the pain can be so bad the only thing that helps is the pills. I'm bound and determined to make sure this pain goes away eventually, though, and I don't want to be popping narcotics for much longer. I'm also not going to be one of those people who, years after an injury, considers herself to be disabled by chronic back pain. It can be overcome, and I think exercise to strengthen muscles, especially those that support the spine and pelvis, is the best course of action.
For anyone who's experienced lower back pain, especially chronic, I can empathize. It's not fun. But there is hope. I highly recommend Dr. John Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain, which focuses on the mind-body connection. I really believe I just need to be patient, keep working out, and stay positive. Fortunately, it's summer, so there's all kinds of incentive to go outside and play!