Arlene and two adopted dogs.

Just a blog from someone who loves to communicate with other dog owners

Physiotherapy etcetera.

To-day I managed to get into the garden for the first time in a week and hoped to get some quality work done, well I planted and hoed,and swept leaves and weeded. I stopped at 5.30 pm to walk the dogs, and boy did I ache, I could hardly drag myself up the slopes from the beach, When i got home and ran a bath for a good soak, then my brain started turning, please God don’t let me have done too much.

Over five years ago one August morning I experienced  the most excruciating pain radiating from my hip to knee, I thought I’d had an electric shock, as I was standing by the cooker, or even a heart attack as my heart was racing i was sweating and had pins and needles. It turned out I had dislocated two discs in my lower back. I thought that it was only tall people got back problems, but obviously not.  When the doctor came out he of course asked me what I had been doing lately, I  had been gardening yes, then when I remembered I had been laying paving slabs, and spreading pebbles for a couple of weeks, before I turned in I brushed the dogs and recalled my back ached, but thought nothing of it at the time.

I was sent for scans had Epidurals, various pain killers endured blood tests, which showed up I was anaemic. I couldn’t walk and was in constant pain. I’d pretty much made up my mind if I wasn’t walking by Christmas I would top myself, and I was serious, I couldn’t bear not to be able to ever walk with my dogs ever again. ,friends were doing that for me. All in all  it was a tough time.

Eventually I got a bit more mobile. and I was offered half price 10 week membership for the Gym to have a course of physiotherapy.

I hated it, I had a set course of exercises so couldn’t do what I wanted, I got bored cycling and getting nowhere, I got annoyed having to sit on a big ball and lift my feet up to keep my balance, running on a treadmill seemed pointless, sitting and pulling weights up and down or from back to front was a bit like hard work. I didn’t complete the course as I couldn’t see why I was doing it. And this is  the whole point of writing this post, no one told me what the benefits of each exercise was, no one supervised me to see that I was doing things properly, I was not aware that certain exercises were to strengthen the back muscles or improve my balance which was badly affected. I was monitored by computer,  if I missed an exercise or skipped the required number of push ups or pull downs it told me, so I had to go back and rectify it.

I attended hospital and then my doctor for a further six months, till they eventually told me nothing more could be done as the nerves were irreparably damaged.

I still get discomfort and pains in my leg sometimes as though  I’d been walking through nettles,

Every morning since it happened I get out of bed carefully, straighten up when I sneeze, bend knees when lifting and put my foot on a chair to tie my laces.

I often wonder had I finished the course –  maybe it would have helped improve the situation, maybe I would have stayed the course had I been told the particular benefits of the exercises.

Please, please I haven’t screwed up after my over exuberant gardening to-day.


  1. Ooooh dear….can I relate to this or what! The first time my back went I was just like you describe here, and like you the absolute worst part was not being able to walk my own dogs…nevermind you can hardly walk yourself it was the dogs!! I know many people, many of them short (I am tall so that doesn’t help backs) who have had horrible back prob’s. They too were told damage was irreperable, though this was largely due to wear and tear on the spine across the years. Of those that had physio none of them ended up any better off than the ones that didn’t. I think we have to learn to live with our backs and be very aware of the correct way of bending etc, and also to be on the look-out for any early warning signs. Hope you’re on the mend very soon. Big sympathy!

  2. alene! i understand back problems. i have some degeneration in my lower back, and have had some subluxation since i was in my early twenties. i recently went to a chiropractor who specialized in decompression, which helped more than anything else ever has, including other chiropractors. but he explained things to me, which does make a difference. im so sorry they did tell you the benefits of the excercises. how stupid on their part!
    of course, i rely more on God than anyone else, because He can restore ‘irreparable’ damage.

    one thing that will help is ice packs. ice reduces inflamation. an ice pack on your back for several 15 min intervals will give you more relief than you might think. heat will make it worse.

    i hope your back is better! i do the same thing to mine in the garden too often!

    • Thank you Kirsten I think that maybe 5years + is maybe too late for anything to be done, and think I just have to live with it, as I can, it’s not too bad, it’s more the fear of it ever happening again that haunts me, so I try and think before I bend etc.
      I didn’t know that heat was bad and that Ice packs were the better treatment, and here I am chomping at the bit to get into a hot bathe after gardening ! I’ll take that on board, thank you.

  3. I’m relieved to read your answering comment to Annie, and see you’ve not done yourself any lasting damage, Arlene, and yes, you would have thought the Gym could have told you more about the benefits of finishing the course of physiotherapy and the reasons for each exercise, seems very lax way of doing things, especially as you were paying. 😉
    Take care in future or else, um…or else her Maj will tell you off!! What a threat eh? Have a ‘restful’ week-end, hugs to you,Tango and Ruby, from me and Her Maj.xx

    • Sometimes we forget about the back and the extra work we put on it. I also bend my knees when lifting. Be careful working and I will try to take my own advice…lol

  4. I think the consistent thing in all our lives from an early age is that we hear people saying to take care of our backs. Yet still we push it to limits and inevitably suffer for it, but do we learn…no!
    I hope your back is more forgiving for your latest gardening blitz and enjoys the rest when you put your feet up at the end of the day.

    • Thanks Annie and it’s good to see you on here again.
      I got up very tentatively this morning, and presto, all is OK so I can get on with the rest of the day as normal.

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