Discover how Megan has approached and learnt to manage her musculoskeletal back pain after numerous surgeries.
Megan is a busy, active, engaged person, who works part time and has four children and a wonderful husband.
This is Megan’s story and follows her experience with back pain, including three surgeries on her disc. Megan was fortunate to find a skilled health practitioner who understood her problem and was able to give her the tools she needed.
Megan was terrified of bending, she was fearful she would hurt her back again and need another surgery. Megan talks about learning to trust her back, to stop being overly protective and regain her confidence.
“My back story begins years ago, probably back in my teens…as I got older it got a little bit worse”.
In 2012, out of the blue, Megan’s back “went” after she had been doing some heavy lifting and sitting for long periods at her computer. She had a disc problem which was operated on and she recovered well, doing all the things she had been advised to do as part of her recovery.
In 2014, she experienced the same back pain again and had another round of surgery, followed by a similar episode in 2015 and a third surgery.
“The third time, my recovery just wasn’t the same…it was like my body knew what to do [it knew about pain] and I’d go from 0-100 [on a pain scale] in a few minutes…”.
Megan used medicines she had been prescribed to help her to be the super mum she wanted to be…she was desperate. Medicines weren’t that helpful and she turned her focus to learning more about managing her pain.
Megan did Pilates and tried to follow the advice to “move, move” but didn’t really know what this meant. How could she move when she was so sore? “It was hard to accept that with movement I would have pain, but without movement I’d have even more pain. I was protecting myself more, moving less, pain was going up”. Bracing and protecting her spine didn’t help.
In 2016, Megan was seen by a skilful Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist who understood the terrible fear and overly protective behaviours that were holding Megan back. With careful education and practical strategies to guide her through, Megan has made great progress.
“When you are in your own story it consumes you, when it’s pain it consumes you…nobody is going to solve your pain issues but you…you have to be stubborn and resilient.”
She describes the importance of having a good team around you, people you trust, and not being afraid to ask for other professional opinions when you aren’t making progress. Megan describes the role of family as a key support and the importance of using all the resources you can.