You may come across my story about my back pain story. Having this kind of condition, made my opportunities limited and it almost led me into depression and anxiety. The intense pain that I went through was 24/7 and it came to a point that every single movement and touch created sudden excruciating pain. Despite the pain, I still went to work because I believed that being stuck at home would make me think much of my condition. Going to work was my way of distraction. However, I am working in a clinical process industry as a medical utilization review nurse and the medical conditions that I usually analyze were the same conditions as mine. So I still can’t escape the thoughts of terrfying pain.
Well, my MRI showed disc bulges on the two levels of my spine L4-L5 and L5-S1 plus the chronic and severe SI joint inflammation. The disc bulging MRI results were definitive and I also agreed on it. However, for the SI joint inflammation, further tests were required in order to rule out its etiology, whether it was infectious in origin or if it was Ankylosing Spondylitis. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a form of arthritis that usually affects the spine. It inflames the spinal joints, which can lead to severe chronic pain and discomfort. Its hallmark feature is the involvement of the Sacroiliac joint (SI).
So, I had series of tests and the results were remarkable. Knowing that my rheumatologist ruled out that it was indeed Ankylosing Spondylitis. It made me worry much because there is no exact cure for it. If it is unmanaged, the symptoms are no joke. I was already in total pain and I can’t walk without the assistance of a cane. When I discovered the possible progressing symptoms that an AS patient could experience such as having a bamboo spine, it made me feel that my world was crushed. So, how am I recovering from it? How did I go from severe to mild pain? How am I currently gaining back my life?
My Heart and Intuition Chose Initial Conservative Treatment Options
My rheumatologist told me that I needed to undergo biological therapy. A biologic therapy involves targeting molecules responsible for the mechanism of the immune system. Let me skip more of the scientific terminologies but the common drugs are disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and anti-cytokines, just to name some. To make it short, the idea is to suppress the overreacting immune system. These drugs are administered intravenously and are costly. Aside from its cost, I do not want to hurt my system more. I discussed the new diagnosis to my chiropractor, he does not fully agree with the new diagnosis. I brought up the topic about the biologic therapy and my hesitations for it. He gave me light to try initial conservative treatments first.
I took a Rest
I initially researched everything about AS. Since it is an autoimmune disease, the only way to manage it is to balance your immune system. The ways are complicated, but the highlight is to manage its roots.
Moreover, I do not want to instill in my mind and body that I am having AS.
I decided to be Off-work
Although I was afraid for the income that I would lose, I finally decided to be off work when my rheumatologist told me that I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I realized that I was just punishing myself more whenever I go to work. Instead of spending my energy to work, I tried to reserve for my extra energy for healing.
I Accepted my Condition
This is when I started to feel better. I accepted that fact that the pain is a part of my life. However, am thinking brightly that it is just temporary. I have this kind of a pain because I abused myself and there are negativities inside me. The pain is a consequence of my actions and a reminder that I needed to take slow and care for myself.
I am Thinking Positively
Stress is the mother of all diseases. Being stressed causes increase inflammation in the body. A high level of stress increases the cortisol levels in your body, which triggers inflammation process. Right now, whenever a problem arises, I don’t think of it much. I usually open my heart and mind. Moreover, there is a solution for everything and being stressed would not help.
I came across with ASVictors website, where I found imagery as an immediate pain relief. Moreover, I silently joined a group on facebook group MindBody Healing With Ralphitness, where I was able to learn that there are also other people who are suffering from this condition. Moreover, I was able to hear testimonies and obtain emotional and mental cues for AS recovery.
Starch Free Diet
Many studies show that starchy foods can make your autoimmune symptoms worst.
So I decided to cut my starch consumption.
– I only had glutinous rice
– Coconut sugar as sweetener
– No baked goods
– More meat and vegetables
– Natural Fruit Juices
– Fruits especially pineapple
I also based whatever I consume from THE LONDON “AS” DIET from Kickas.
Apple Cider a Day
Apple Cider indeed has a lot of benefits. I though that it is only for losing weight and for beauty purposes; however, it could actually be a treatment for AS. I initially learned about the Apple Cider treatment from Kyle Mecca’s video on youtube.
I tried it and I believe that it worked for me actually.
There are many studies in pubmed.com that show a link between gut microbes and stimulation of autoimmune condition. Apple Cider vinegar could clean your gut, decreasing the bacteria that are associated with the autoimmune inflammation process.
Here is the evidenced-based medical research by Dr. Alan Ebringer.
I wish I could extend my gratitude to him for pioneering that research.
I did my best to move as much as possible. Although the amount of pain was terrible, I knew that if I don’t move, my muscles would atrophy. I got my muscles working; I tolerated simple and gentle exercises. I remember that I can’t raise my pelvis for the bridge exercise before. I started with two, progressed to five, and now I can do it gently with no pain at all. I also had the opportunity to attend yoga class by Casandra, where I learned more helpful exercise and stretching routines for my back pain. She also went through musculoskeletal chronic pain condition and had a full recovery, so her story inspired me as well. Her training suits me well. She understands my condition because she also suffered the same thing. She is the best yoga mentor that I met. To know her more and to learn from her personally just check out her page trainwithcassandra.
I love visiting my chiropractor because he was just so therapeutic. The very first time that I walked in his clinic; everything around my low back including my hips and groin hurts. Whenever I do the treatment, he always says that I am going to be healed. Every after the chiropractic sessions, I experience immediate relief on certain portions of my low back, until my groin and butt pains subsided.
I do not take any pain medications; I only had physical therapy once. The chiropractic treatment played a major role in my recovery.
If you are in the Philippines, visit Dr. Pardi’s clinic in Ayala Cebu, he is a licensed chiropractor from America. I do not know any chiropractic doctor in the Philippines except him.
As of now, I am back to work, I can walk very well, and I was able to travel. I am grateful that I was able to manage my condition and gained back my strength. Although not in total recovery yet, I believe that I am getting there and I would be back as before. I am sharing this post to give insights and hope to people who are suffering from the same condition. If I was able to recover, why won’t you? Start it with your mind.
Did you also suffer from chronic pain, how did you handle it? Maybe, you have questions regarding this post; just do not hesitate to post in my box. I would love to discuss healing with you.
Health and healing,