Updated: Nov 4, 2018
In early 2016 I did what I imagine many of us have done so many times – I pulled a muscle in my back. I think we all know how it goes: it’s sore for a few days and then it releases. So, I waited for it to pass. It didn’t. Three months on it was still constantly sore and occasionally acutely so. If I tried to run it was agonising. I went to Dr Portier, and he gave me anti-inflammatories. These gave some very temporary relief, but after a couple of days I was back to where I started. I returned to my doctor, and he gave me more powerful anti-inflammatories, which he warned I should take for just a few days, or they would attack my gut. Well, they did attack the gut – but did very little for the back. Finally, he suggested exercises, and also bravely attempted to do some sort of manipulation on me. No change. I decided to take this problem to Dr Veldman in Modimolle. He injected me with something that, again, produced temporary relief, but in a few days I was back to square one. By now it was about 18 months since the problem started. Things were not looking good. I returned to Dr Veldman. This time he X-rayed my back. He sat down with me and showed me the images. Was that really my back? It didn’t look good at all. Dr Veldman pointed to various things with apparent concern. The spine was quite seriously curved, and the vertebrae of the lower back were touching in places where they shouldn’t. The disks didn’t look good either. It was actually quite a shock. There was an uncomfortable silence. Rather numbed I asked Dr Veldman what one could do about such issues. He suggested exercises, but not with a great deal of apparent confidence. His ever- helpful radiologist poked her head in and said, “Its just wear and tear, get used to it”. Thank you very much I thought.