I have a terrible back. For years I've lived in fear of the onset of an 'episode' when one of my lower discs slips out of kilter with the rest of the spine. It goes in phases, sometimes I can go 2 or 3 years between episodes, other times they seem to happen every couple of months.
Having a bad back is fantastically incompatible with having children. Although they don't recommend bed rest any more(they like to keep you moving around), racing around after toddlers, picking up and carrying them on one hip and having to move unexpectedly are not conducive towards getting better. It probably isn't surprising that the number of episodes I've had has increased since becoming a mother.
And if having children around isn't helpful, being pregnant is about the worst thing of all. Whatever that hormone is called that makes all your bones lovely and flexible and able to move in weird ways during birth is obviously very effective, but not helpful to keeping my back in line. Every pregnancy I've had has been accompanied by an episode at some point. Which usually leaves me on crutches whilst heavily pregnant and looking rather tragic.
So far in this pregnancy I've been ok. But I know my back well and there are the first signs that it is struggling to hold it all together. So I've been looking at ways in which I can stave off the onset of an episode. Normally I manage my back with pilates type exercises, but that went a bit by the wayside when we went to Bosnia. Interestingly, I didn't have any episodes in Bosnia, draw what conclusions you want from that fact.
Previously I've gone to physiotherapists, with mixed results. Fundamentally I buy into the physio concept. I need to strengthen the muscles around my back to help support it. But the physio-terrorists were not successful in helping me when pregnant with Luke. By the way, if you ever want to get some attention in an NHS physio clinic, I strongly advise passing out when a physio pushes you to do something that you know isn't a good idea. They pay a lot of attention to you after that.
So with this pregnancy I'm looking round for alternative therapies. But I've concerns. I tried a chiropractor a few years ago, which directly led to the worst back pain I've ever had. I don't know if it was the discipline that contributed to the onset of that particular episode, or I was just unlucky in getting a bad practitioner. This time round I've been recommended an osteotherapist, but I have to admit to being scared. If I stick with what I know, I know what will happen and I know that it is likely to be painful but just about manageable. I worry that, like my previous foray with the chiropractor, I may make it worse for myself by going to this osteo. But on the other hand, he might make it better. He specialises in pregnancy. He has been highly recommended.
So what I'm interested in is what experiences with the back quacks have you all had? Were they positive? Or during this pregnancy should I just be sticking to my exercises and hoping for the best?