Lumbar Spine Recovery

I had just endured the most painful month of existence I have ever had.  I had spent most of the time staring at the ceiling counting the long seconds between muscle spasms in my lower back that sent bolts of searing pain shooting down my left leg along the sciatic nerve down to the tips of my toes.  If I flinched even an inch in the wrong direction, which was often any direction, the pain would worsen.  I don’t know what’s worse than the feel of someone flossing your nerve with red hot razor wire; after a certain level, it can’t be described, it’s just excruciatingly painful.  That was what I was experiencing when I re-ruptured my L5/S1, the lowest vertebral disc in your body and often the one that is damaged when damage happens to your spine.

It made me reevaluate life.  After having dealt with what I would now call minor muscle spasms and sciatic pain for about 20 years (I’m only 39), this last episode forced me to stop dealing with the symptoms and to confront the cause.  So I decided to use a combination of surgery, medication (minimally), acupunture and all natural physical therapy.  Pain killers do just that, but not much in the long run.  Acupuncture helped tremendously on the feel better front.  Surgery was a little scary, although my surgeon and his staff was amazing and made the process as comfortable as could be.  It did “fix” the problem, which was to eliminate the constant irritation of my nerve.  I was most concerned with never allowing this to happen again.  I honestly don’t know if I would be able to handle it.  So I chose to seek out the aide of Laura Neal, DPT at Mizuta and Associates PT to help in correction and prevention.  It was one of the best decisions of my life.

After 7 months of on and off PT, I went from having to take a break on my way to the bathroom across the hall from my bedroom and staying awake in the same position for 2-3 days while writhing in pain to now being able to do everything that I was doing pre-dark-era-in-my-life.  My PT was patient and understanding of my physical and emotional pains and limitations.  She used a sense of positive energy to motivate me and when that wasn’t enough because I was feeling lazy or just frightful of how my exercises might go, she was firm yet respectful in telling me what I needed to do to get through those difficult times.

My physical therapist recognized my situation and started me out with the most basic of exercises, explaining the necessity for each one since I had that look as if I had learned all of them in grade school.  We progressed right on point.  There were times when I wanted to go faster and she thankfully eased me into a more moderate routine.  There were also times when I didn’t want to progress and do some of the more advanced exercises and she just gave me the encouragement I needed to give them a try.  Thankfully, I did.

Lumbar Spine Testimonial

Every day I spent with my physical therapist was a new day of PT as she catered to my current physical condition instead of sticking to some sort of rigid guideline of boring routines.  Because of her help, I was able to overcome the most mentally and physically challenging time in my life.  Along with the exercises, I’ve also learned to correct my posture and maintain my core and how to move more safely given I am now very accident prone.  Valuable lessons learned in life!     Thank you, Laura, and the always friendly and welcoming staff at Mizuta and Associates for helping me back on my feet!