By sharing my story and joining the PAB I feel I can make a valuable contribution to understanding the complexities of LBP.
Hello, my name is Anne Harrison, I am 64 years old. I am a very active person and my interests are walking, gardening, horse riding and generally being in the outdoors.
I was first diagnosed with osteo arthritis when I was 50, this disease presented itself firstly in my toes which required surgery, followed in 2015 with my first knee replacement. I had suffered with mild lower back pain for many years but had always thought it was a long term problem following the birth of my two sons who both required caesarean section delivery which bruised my lower back. The condition slowly increased and I tried many forms of therapy to alleviate the pain, physiotherapy, pain killers, TENS machine etc. The use of ibuprofen over a prolonged period resulted in gastritis.
I was referred to a local pain management centre where in 2016 I had a facet joint injection, this was unsuccessful. I was also prescribed morphine patches and diclofenac pessaries as other forms of pain relief did not suit me. In 2017 I had a spinal injection which made a small improvement for 2 months. During 2017 I had 2 MRI scans saw a neuro surgeon and was eventually referred to my current consultant who in April 2018 carried out spinal fusion on L 3-5 with a bone graft to consolidate the repair and straighten my spine. My journey through this time has been difficult as my life style had to be altered to accommodate my ability, there was a long period of time when to walk more than 100 yards required my husband pushing me in a wheel chair, I also had to give up many of the things I loved to do.
I am presently in a good place health wise as my spine is quite stable but I am also aware that the rest of my vertebra are at risk of crumbling and are likely to cause me problems in the future. Any degenerative disease needs constant management and having a choice of treatments will help. I am conscious that many people suffer with arthritis, in fact my son who is 35 has already had problems with his toes, I would love to think he might get better treatment options than I did.
” I am presently in a good place health wise […] but I am also aware that the rest of my vertebra are at risk of crumbling and are likely to cause me problems in the future. “
I would like to think that in the future there may be a less invasive form of treatment to deal with problem like mine which seem extremely common but life changing. Although there are many treatments available I had to push at every stage to try something else when what had been offered was unsuccessful. All my treatment has been provide by the NHS mainly in Sheffield to whom I am extremely grateful but if I had not been prepared to pursue different avenues I suspect my treatment would have stopped with the pain management clinic which for me was not enough. I did pay privately for some physiotherapy and also to see a chiro practitioner.
I would suggest to anyone in a similar situation to me not to be put off pushing the system to see what else is available, research of local services and specialists helped me move on. I am now aware of my physical limitations, too much stress on my back and I have increased pain, if I manage it well and take regular exercise i.e. swimming and Pilates I find I can now go on longer walks but I have not felt confident returning to horse riding.
By sharing my story and joining the PAB I feel I can make a valuable contribution to understanding the complexities of LBP and take part in helping the progress of less invasive treatments so future generations have a better choice.