Ed is in pain. A micro-discectomy (spinal surgery) to resolve chronic sciatica and low back pain five years ago has not worked (or at least it worked initially but then the pain returned). In fact, he is worse. He now relies on a daily 300 mg of Lyrica (Pregabalin) and eight paracetamols to be able to function at all. Lyrica is a neuropathic chronic pain medication which slows the whole nervous system down. He is not enjoying that. He has spoken to three surgeons; two are saying they don’t want to operate again due to scar tissue and proximity to the sciatic nerve. His job is demanding and involves global travel. Worst of all, he has teenage boys, and he cannot play any sport with them at all. Even sitting has not really been possible for 9 months. He is desperate to get back to kicking a ball around with the kids. The thought of it brings tears to his eyes. Beyond that, his dream is to ski again.
Ed’s 8/10 pain runs down his left leg to his foot and has been this bad for nine months. Chronic pain is multi-factorial. Our investigations looked at all possible sources of ‘threat’ that his body and mind were sensitive to. Labs revealed no neuroimmune food intolerances, and gut health testing showed candida zeylanoides and geotrichum fungal growth and otherwise healthy microbial balance.
Movement screening revealed severe upper neck restriction and left foot (cuboid-lateral cuneiform) fixation. Drills to promote movement in these two areas provided immediate relief. Ed recalled a severe left ankle sprain he suffered six years previously.
Our feeling was that the ankle injury was the primary source of the threat and he had been compensating with his movement ever since. His hectic schedule, constant laptop work and poor general fitness put enormous pressure on his lower back, and his disc went. We put together a 6-month plan to address this that fit into his travel schedule. Goal number one: Get off pain medication. Goal number two: Ski with his kids.
Ed made slow progress initially but within two months was off Lyrica and only using paracetamol occasionally. Our work progressed to rebuilding his general fitness and core strength. Seven months later he skied an icy black run with his boys.