Hi, I’m Shaun I’m 22 years of age. I used to be an auto-electrician. Now I’m an estimator/mechanical planner. I hurt my lower back a year and a half ago. I had an end plate fracture of L2/3. In my experience, it caused me a lot of pain and my left side to lock up.”
Shaun had repeated episodes of low back pain following this and needed to take sick leave from work. Work was very supportive and helped with a job change to allow Shaun to continue. Over this period, Shaun saw a number of physiotherapists but there was no real goal of strengthening or rehabilitation.
One physio tried helping Shaun to build strength, but he had no flexibility. His back continued to be painful and he experienced his back getting “…tighter and tighter…and I ended up hurting my back more than it was worth.”
Finally, Shaun found a physiotherapist who recognised that Shaun needed to focus on building flexibility, and keeping this flexibility while adding strength. This gave Shaun a clear pathway to getting better, increasing his confidence, allowing him to set goals that were important to him and allowing him to re-engage with exercise, activity, work and socialising.
“Figuring out you are going to get better…setting guidelines for what you want to achieve…is pretty important. It’s a bit of a depressing time…you are used to working a lot of hours…now you are sitting on the couch and all you have to think about is your back pain. Getting reassurance that you are going to get better is a good thing. Being told what you need to do and a good structure is helpful.”
See how Shaun used his iPhone, so he could record what exercises he needed to do“… so if you forget, you can go back and have a look on your iPhone and see how bad you were originally and how stiff you were and take a video now and you can see big differences. You’re the driver, the only person that is going to make yourself better is yourself”.