Disclaimer: This is not a medical post. I’ve not referred to anything to write it, and I only vaguely understand what I’m talking about… if you are looking for medical advice, please look elsewhere.

My twitters for the past few days have mainly been moaning about my back hurting. I injured it last week, and have been out-of-action since.

I’ve been diagnosed today, so thought I’d share the full scale of my pain and woe with the world.

I have an annular tear in my lumbar region.

I’m trying to resist the temptation to google for this (seriously – that way madness lies!) but from what I remember of the doc’s description, one of the discs between the vertebrae in my spine has torn, causing the jelly (?!) inside to leak out. The jelly is what caused the muscles around the disc to inflame and spasm – a big cause of the pain I’ve been having since last week.

The now-deflated disc isn’t providing a proper buffer between the vertebrae, causing them to rub, trapping nerves, etc. Apparently, this is also causing pain, and is why I get pins and needles in my legs.

I’ve been signed off work for a couple of weeks, and told to avoid sitting for extended periods in this time, to give the tear a chance to heal. Full recovery time (including time for the goop (?) in the disc to replenish itself) should be 6-8 weeks.

No work, and no sitting down for two weeks. Seriously?! I’m gonna go bonkers.

A couple of silver linings… firstly, the doc said that of the different types of back injury, this is something that typically happens to “younger men”. He may have just been saying this to make me feel better, but if so – it worked. I’m not old and decrepit… I’m young and decrepit! 🙂

Secondly, the medical insurance I get as a core benefit of working at IBM – amazingly easy and efficient to make a claim. One quick phone call was all it took to authorise payment for treatments at the osteopath. I was really expecting a pile of paperwork and forms, or for them to try and come up with a reason why this isn’t covered. Neat!


3 Responses to “Ouch”

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