Spinal Relief: Slipped discs, back pain, lumbago are new additions to your vocabulary


My Slipped Discography

In a bid to feel productive but unable to knuckle down to some actual work, I have been prowling the net on the hunt for a fantasy all-inclusive holiday to a far-flung, five star resort – with spa facilities and high speed boat transfers.

Could be Seychelles, could be Mauritius. My budget? Let’s say £500 per head tops? At the moment, the best price for a week is coming out at £3,275 per person, and that’s without a pedicure. So, for two of us you’re talking more than £6,500.

I know. Quite a bloody lot. But, still barely approximating what I’ve spent on spinal relief over the past six years.

As a young person, I remember moaning about having a bad back. What I was referring to at the time was a mild stiffness in the lumbar region which had developed as a result of my lying on a plastic sun lounger, so hungover that I simply didn’t have the physical coordination required to turn over, for eight hours.

Now I’m past forty I know all too well that that was not a bad back.

On my phone I keep the photo I took of my MRI scan, the one which clearly shows my herniated disc at L5. That, my friends, is a bad back.

I show this picture to two kinds of people; a) other people with bad backs and b) Les, the car park attendant who gets annoyed if I park in one of the disabled parking bays because I am not disabled.

The thing is, sometimes I am disabled. When my back goes I can barely get in and out of the car, let alone drive it the 45 miles to work (note to self: next car will have to be an automatic).

So, while I may not have a badge, I do have a picture of my desiccated discs, oozing spinal jam, so I’m going to keep parking in that bloody disabled bay whether Les likes it or not.

back pain

When you say you have a bad back, other sufferers make themselves known to you, each offering the number of the specialist who helped them in their time of need.

As a consequence, I have now spent the equivalent of a round the world cruise on chiropractors, osteopaths, physiotherapists, sports masseuses, McTimoney practitioners, Alexander Technique tutors and a woman who hit me with a sawn off broom handle.

What’s more, I handed the money over willingly, my back hurt that much.

My newest therapist is a brilliant sports physio called Kevin. Kevin has enormous hands.

The first time I visited him, he pulled my pants halfway down my bottom to get to grips with my buttock. As he kneaded my gluteus totes maximus, I felt a fat finger graze my vulva.

Every other muscle in my body went into spasm. Had one of Kevin’s fat fingers merely trespassed in my vaginal area or had I been sexually assaulted?

The results of his massage however, gave me a certain amount of mobility and relief and so I went back again and again until I could happily have skipped the forty five miles to work.

My vulva remained untouched every other time so now I feel happy to look him in the eye as I hand over another £50, confident that his interest in me stops at my coccyx.

If you have back pain, I’ll pass you his number. If you’re lucky enough to have reached the age you are without back pain, count yourself lucky. Take that expensive holiday.

Realistically I’m looking at a long weekend in Rhyl.

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