My Back in the US
I am back in the US for good. And I am back for more wonderful experiences and amazing adventures with my family. There is no turning back. No retreat, no surrender for me. I have just ended almost five long decades of professional work as a topnotch builder in Europe and Asia, and I am ready to face the next exciting chapter of my life. Hopefully another five long decades. Dream on.
All my bags were packed. And I was ready to go for a trip to Las Vegas with my dear Laura, our loving children, and our adorable grandchildren. But my back all of a sudden hurt. After hours of fixing and organizing my tons of stuff, trying to dump and squeeze in all my clothes and other necessities inside my titanium-colored aluminum multiwheel Rimowa, I felt like a 70++ year-old man. I experienced some intense tingling sensation on my lower back, and it was super uncomfortable. No amount of calming and soothing massage from my beautiful wife could ease the tremendous pain.
Actually, I am a 70++ year-old man! I am old and weary. And lower back pain is not new to me. Even in my younger years back in Europe, I would feel pain on my lower back after intense visits to various construction sites. During that time, I just needed to rest and relax for hours and the pain would eventually subside or disappear. I never took any medicine. I never felt the need to see a doctor or a specialist for my lower back pain. I have always believed that I am invincible and unstoppable. Deep in my heart, I am Mighty Thor and extreme and excruciating pain is too trivial for me.
And so I thought. I believe I was just really stubborn. And delusional. Resting and relaxing would no longer suffice in relieving and managing my lower back pain. I suppose that there’s so much more to know and understand about my health, and it is time to take some more educated and intelligent action. I can’t just sit and chill on a green Ogawa massage sofa and expect to be healed and treated completely so we can carry on with our trip to Las Vegas. I am already feeling pain in my knees. And now, on my lower back. This is serious. Maybe. Hopefully not.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says,
“Pain can impact almost every aspect of your life, leading to limited physical functioning, poor mental health, and reduced quality of life. No matter the cause of your pain, you should receive access to safe and effective pain management options and good communication with your doctor to make informed decisions about what is right for you.”
I need to know more about my pain. This is no longer an ordinary pain. This is different.
It is now or never. Today is the day. Or I can never go to Las Vegas.
No blackjack for me? No roulette for me? No slot machine for me?
Excuse me! Pardon me! I need to play!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
By the way, my name is Jack. Jack Dawson.
Sounds familiar? Titanic, baby!
Anyway, I NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR.
What is Lower Back Pain?
According to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing,
“When a person says I have back pain, we usually interpret that to mean low back pain. For good reason, the pain and tightness most often hit the lower part of the back. Back pain can be a symptom of many different illnesses and conditions. The main cause of the pain can be a problem with the back itself or by a problem in another part of the body”
Yes, it is my lower back that hurts. And I have no single clue what causes the agonizing pain. As I have mentioned again and again that I have no history of any medical condition. And I am not even taking any expensive maintenance medicine at the moment. My blood pressure, heart rate, sugar, cholesterol, and other vitals are all fine and normal. I believe so. I guess so, I think so. And my parents, who are both in their nineties, still spend their weekends playing Bingo and mahjong with our relatives in my younger sister’s house in Alaska. I dare say that having a healthy body runs in our family.
Harvard Health Publishing continues,
“Back pain is one of the most common painful and non-life-threatening conditions. It affects four in five Americans at some point in their lives. The good news is that back pain need not govern how you live your life. If you have back pain, medication, exercise, and changes in your lifestyle are likely to offer the most relief. Surgery is useful in a minority of people. Some self-care steps you can take to mend your back include different types of exercise and complementary therapies such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage, as well as choosing the right mattress.”
What is the Cause of Lower Back Pain?
So what is causing the pain on my lower back?
If I go to a clinic and see a doctor, will he or she be able to identify the cause of the pain?
Do I have to go through a series of physical and laboratory tests?
Or will I end up not knowing, just like the other patients, the cause of the pain after a series of tests because the doctor simply can’t figure it out?
I am confused. I am so clueless. And I feel so helpless.
Harvard Health Publishing shares,
“Low back pain is one of the most common complaints on the planet. And you may wonder where to turn when you start experiencing some of those aches or twinges in the lower part of your back. Take heart. “In most cases, you won’t need a specialist,” says Dr. Robert Shmerling, a rheumatologist at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.”
Since you shouldn’t try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problem, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor. “Both can serve as the entry point for back pain,” says Dr. Matthew Kowalski, a chiropractor with the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “And 35% to 42% of people with their first episode of back pain will consult a chiropractor.”
I may have no history of any medical condition like arthritis, osteoarthritis, scoliosis, and spondylitis, but my lifestyle and professional work for decades may be the ruthless culprits of the piercing and tormenting pain that I have been experiencing for years. I also never had any accident that could have caused any injury to my lower back like fractures or muscle sprains. And I am confident and very sure that I have no terminal illness like cancer or infections in my bones that may be the cause of the pain on my lower back. I really, really, really need to consult a doctor to check my back and my spine which may have been greatly affected during decades of non-stop strenuous and arduous work in Europe.
Here are some Reasons of Lower Back Pain
Harvard Health Publishing further explains, ”In many cases, doctors can’t find a cause for the pain. When a cause is found, common explanations include:
- Stress or injury involving the back muscles, including back sprain or strain; chronic overload of back muscles caused by obesity; and short term overload of back muscles caused by any unusual stress, such as lifting or pregnancy.
- Disease or injury involving the back bones (vertebrae), including fracture from an accident or as a result of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis.
- Degenerative arthritis, a “wear and tear” process that may be related to age, injury and genetic predisposition.
- Disease or injury involving the spinal nerves, including nerve injury caused by a protruding disk (a fibrous cushion between vertebrae) or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal).
- Kidney stones or a kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
Can Telehealth Pain Management Help and Treat Lower Back Pain?
I know for a fact that whatever pain I feel, I should always seek the help of a doctor. A professional should be the one to administer and manage the issues and problems that I am experiencing on my lower back. I can never and should never do pain management or treatment on my own. I need a doctor to provide me with the correct diagnosis, to prescribe to me the right medicine to take, to explain to me the most effective physical therapy for my health condition, and to recommend to me more valuable treatments available.
I need a doctor! I need a professional! NOW!
I need to call a doctor! I need to call a professional! NOW!
I need to see a doctor virtually! I need to see a professional virtually! NOW!
Telehealth is the KEY! Telemedicine is the WAY! Online consultation with a professional HELPS!
Now I can relax. And chill. My telehealth doctor got my back!
Las Vegas, I am coming!
https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00608530 https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/patients/index.html https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/back-pain#back-pain0 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/back-pain-will-treatment-for-the-mind-body-or-both-help-202206162763