Saturday, May 14, 2016

oh, my aching back (and knees)!

I've had lower back pain for many years due to a sedentary lifestyle, a desk job, and mild scoliosis. Up until about two months ago, pain from inactivity was helped by periods of activity.  In the last two months, however, it seems no matter how much activity I do, it isn't helping the pain anymore.  My lower back stiffens up after about 15 minutes of sitting, which is tough because I have a desk job and really need to be at my desk to do most of my job.  I'm working out 5 days a week and doing about a 1/2 hour of walking on the two other days, and it's not helping. Sleeping has become dreaded rather than welcomed.  I'm usually tossing and turning from 4 am, on. And now the pain has shifted from my lower right to my lower left; I have no idea why.

I finally went to see an orthopedic doctor for my back.  I've been through physical therapy and chiropractic, so I didn't want to go that route again; sitting at a desk for 8+ hours basically undoes whatever is done by a therapist or chiropractor.  Instead, I was happy to be prescribed an anti-inflammatry drug...until I remembered I'm not supposed to be taking those anymore; they can cause damage to my new pouch.  I was prescribed Celebrex, which is a Cox II category anti-inflammatory drug.  That means it isn't as hard on the stomach as things like Ibuprofen and naproxen, supposedly.  I checked my gastric bypass surgeon and I have to take a break from them every few days so as not to damage the pouch.  Hopefully it still helps me.  I also now have a back brace, which reminds me of a corset; however, it's not sexy in the slightest.   I'm supposed to wear it when sitting for long periods of time, like at work. I was worried the doctor would tell me I need to stop working out, as that would make my final weight loss goal even further away.  Luckily, he didn't.

My knees have been bothering me ever since I started working out.  It doesn't hurt all the time.  It's mostly when I go up or down stairs.  I'm really nervous about arthritis in the knees, and it's one of the biggest reasons I had weight loss surgery.  My grandmother was bedridden at an early age due to her arthritis in her knees.  She was very overweight and so was I.    So, now I'm wondering if it's arthritis, or if I injured myself.  Or maybe all the damage from being overweight all my life is finally surfacing.  I'll be going to another doctor for that soon; however, I'm going to wait and see if the Celebrex also helps my knees.

Although I feel great overall since I lost the weight, I can't help but feel like I'm falling apart now due to other issues. But I'm grateful that it's just my back and knees.  It could be worse.


  1. This is where aqua aerobics and/or aqua jogging might really help. You should see my lower back right now, with all the aqua jogging I have been doing, there is some pretty amazing definition going on back there.

    The thing about being in the water is you can target and strengthen particular muscles without any impact on joints etc. There is no way I would be able to do all the walking I am doing on land without the pool time.

    I did my first ever pilates class the other day. OMG. It did not feel like exercise in any way to me while I was doing it, however.. it certainly felt like exercise the next day. That is the thing I love most about aqua, no matter how hard I push, I never have any pain the day after.

    I was not in love with it, but I know I *need* to do it. :)

    1. OK, I have no idea where my first comment went...

      I don't know of any pools in the area, but might check into it. I know the gyms don't have one, but maybe there's a community pool in town.

      I can see how pilates wouldn't seem like exercise. I haven't tried yoga, but Mark has me practicing the plank positions and it's WAY harder than it looks!