24/7 Chronic Pain

by David H.

Following more than a decade of sport related pain (so I thought), I was diagnosed with Spondylolithesis S1/L5 and had a spinal fusion in 1998.

Since then, I have had a lot of very diverse therapy and specialist consultation to assess why my pain has consistently increased.

As you say, the majority of medical practitioners know little about muscular function or treatment and focus solely on the allopathic only.

I used to run, a lot! I used to row too and was 'fit' for a long time. This has given me an enduring metabolism and I remain a healthy 74kg at 1.70m and nearly 55 y/o this year. However, no matter what exercise, stretching, massage or even avoidance measures I take, I have crushing and 24/7 chronic pain.

I have just discovered your site and the 'hidden pain' which definitely rings many bells for me! But, like many of my usual routine exercise/stretching, I simply can't take full benefit because the pain in my lower back is such a big factor and I'm wondering how you think I could best manage such contrary forces?

I am VERY fortunate that my partner, already a naturally caring and talented masseuse, will soon qualify as a certified practitioner and she is increasingly looking into more focused areas such as those your website addresses.

She does wonders dealing with my pain and makes a huge difference. She has now identified the 'hotspots' associated with TFL and other Iliopsoas related muscle groups so I am optimistic this will translate to improved therapy but I'd really appreciate your views.


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Jan 06, 2015
Your Optimism is Warranted
by: Stephen from Lower Back Pain Answers

Hi David,

Thank you for sharing your story here on the site. I'm sorry to hear you're having so much pain. It is, though, a very positive sign that your partner's hands-on work has been beneficial. This suggests that the lion's share of the pain may be rooted in muscular dysfunction. If that's the case, then it is possible to gain relief. It's just a matter of turning over the right stone, so to speak.

For example, if you haven't yet received hands-on therapy for your iliacus and psoas then we don't yet know if these muscles are significantly implicated in your pain. If you don't have a therapist you trust to treat these muscles, then perhaps you and your partner can learn to treat them yourself. My DVD program begins with very methodical instruction for this, then is followed by a program of movements, stretching and strengthening. Perhaps you are not ready for the rest, but you could start with the hands-on portion.

Depending on how long the Spondylolithesis has been there, your body has had that long to create muscle compensation in an effort to sort of hold things together. Such compensations may have been compounded following fusion surgery. If so, then there may be significant muscular bracing throughout your lower back and pelvis. I can only recommend that you continue to seek out treatment but make absolutley certain that you avoid heavy-handed treatment. This may just aggravate things. Detailed, thorough treatment is essential but not therapy that attempts to beat things into submission.

As I said, your optimism is warranted because you've experience some benefit from the massage therapy your partner has provided. It means that there may be a way out.

Wishing you the best,
Stephen @ LBPA

Apr 21, 2018
by: Emma Robinson

There should be 24 hours support for people like chronic pain ruins from my back down to my arms & legs , I’m in so much pain right now I’m in tears . I used to have a drug habit 8 yrs ago but tollence still high my doctor says put my methodone up but I’d much prefer some cold bandages around my legs & arms, this pain never goes I’m so sad I’ve now got sleep paralysis & I don’t know what real or no pls someone I’m looking for alternive also I’ll do anything pls help

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Stephen O'Dwyer, cnmt

Neuromuscular Therapist & Pain Relief Researcher

Stephen O'Dwyer, CNMT


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