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A Spondylolisthesis Success Story

Discussion in 'Success Stories Subforum' started by jcroft, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. jcroft

    jcroft New Member

    A Spondylolisthesis Success Story

    I have been reading this board and working for the past 12 months, but have never posted. This is to give hope to all you out there with this diagnosis. I am 42 years old, high school and college athlete, have always been into lifting and running and stay very fit. After an episode of back pain I had x rays which diagnosed me with grade 1 spondylolisthesis with a pars defect (broken bone) at L3 and DDD, and bulging disc from the MRI. I was crushed. The ortho said never to lift more than 40lbs and my athletic life is basically over, just try to control the pain, and if that doesn’t work we can do a fusion. I began using Dr. google since I had no clue what spondy was and that was a mistake. Saw all the horror stories. My mind began picturing my life with a cane, wheelchair, etc. because of what I had read. The day of my diagnosis my pain increased 2 fold and continued. Being an athlete all my life, I worked hard with a PT for 2 months, nothing. I tried everything under the sun with no avail. I came across “Healing Back Pain” on the web and ordered the book. After a read I proceeded to lay down the book and called it garbage (after all I have a scientific background, and this was not rational, although I had every personality trait!). Still in pain a month later I read it again, decided this very well could be my ticket avoiding a fusion, I wholly bought in and started working the plan. After a month there was no change. Frustrated I pushed on and forced myself back to the gym and running. Long story short, it took a good 4 months to become pain free. I am back to lifting (heavy weights, deadlifting, squats, etc.) 5 days a week and running. My strength is not back to where I was, but I have no doubts I will get back there. I am 5 months pain free. I simply share this information to give you all hope and encouragement. Although Dr. Google really messed up my head at first with all the negativity about spondy, one remarkable thing I learned from all the recent research is that 6-8% of the population is walking around with this condition without pain (that is 15 million in the US alone!). I praise God for my health and thank Him for somehow, someway leading me to the good doctors book.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Awesome, jcroft - thank you for posting! dancea

    (PS - perfect length and perfect amount of detail - short and oh so sweet!)
    nowa and BruceMC like this.
  3. Ewok2

    Ewok2 Peer Supporter

    Congratulations! Good on you! It is truely amazing how the fact a significant portion of the population are happily walking around, pain free, with any number of conditions, doesn't stop doctors from diagnosing them as the cause of pain.

    Would you mind telling us a little more about how you 'worked the plan'? What did that involve for you? Journalling? You mention physical activity. What else did you find useful?
    nowa likes this.
  4. jcroft

    jcroft New Member

    I did all the recommendations in Sarno's book plus journaling. But I can tell when things finally changed for me: I stopped fearing. I was afraid if I did anything I would further injure my back. I would fear just turning the wrong way, walking too fast, etc. Like I said, Dr. google has some real horror stories out there of people stuck in pain. The moment I stopped fearing and just started living (including going back to the gym and running) I no longer cared about the pain, yes it hurt, but it was just pain and I was not going to damage anything. Fear turned to anger because I finally saw that I had been tricked by my own brain. Good luck on your journey, hang in there, I was at a point where I thought there would never be success, but you can make it!
  5. Linc

    Linc New Member

    Jcroft...This story sounds like mine. I found out at 42 I have a grade 1 isthmic spondyolithesis at L5/s1. It started with a left calf pain... I went to the Dr and one thing lead to the next ... X-ray, mri, even an injection. The day I found out from the X-ray I had back pain for the first time in my life. Fear has me at about 75% healed. It’s like a habit now checking in with my pain, etc. Dr Google messed me up too...It was all I did. So I’m trying to finish strong here and kick this thing after about a year of trying. I am athletic too, played High School sports and college. I work out 4 days a week without pain. My fear has me stuck at standing a long time in one place like shopping. Anyway this post was Encouraging to me. Thank you! Hope you are still doing great!!!
    nowa likes this.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Linc,
    I think you may be closer than you think! "Standing in line" seems to be a common trigger for back, foot and other pain, for people who have engaged Dr. Sarno's process. So I hope you don't fret too much. One help is to ask yourself what kind of feelings are coming up as you stand there and connect this with your understanding of this work. Reassuring statements to yourself may also help.
    Andy B
    Jeather and nowa like this.
  7. Linc

    Linc New Member

    Thank you for the post. Yes...I believe it’s really a matter of conditioning now. I enjoy shopping at the mall with my wife and girls...but right after my dr diagnosed me with this abnormality I was in constant fear and being at the mall last year with my family were some of the most painful times. I can be at the gym or playing basketball and be fine. But the mall or standing in lines etc or sometimes sitting in the car I have side calf pain. Oh well just learning to let go ... I’m getting there. I know what this is now that’s the shift I didn’t have in the beginning. Waiting on my nervous system to catch up here. Thx again!
    nowa likes this.
  8. jcroft

    jcroft New Member

    Still going strong with no pain. Since I posted this there has been a few times of sharp pain, I ignored it and the next day it was gone. Tell me that is not proof that this pain cannot be from spondy! I am now deadlifting 295 for reps and squatting the same. You can beat this. Hang in there, the payoff is within reach!
  9. daniebama

    daniebama New Member

    Thank you..i really apreciate your post because i have had this last year the very same experience.I hope after this two years you are ok and the pain is gone
    I have just discovered dr Sarno ..when i was getting a depression but now i feel hopefull
    nowa likes this.
  10. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    ..and we all know that in GOOD science, if there is ONE exception to a rule, we need a new rule!

    And I am very grateful to Dr. Sarno, but ultimately he was just the manifestation of a lot of prayers in a lot of dark places and to me, is an instrument of a Loving God. I thank him for this always.
    great post bro...
    nowa likes this.
  11. jcroft

    jcroft New Member

    More than ok after 2 years, pain free and now deadlifting and squatting over 300+ for reps. Keep going until the goal is reached. The cure is in you! God bless!
  12. Gojab

    Gojab Peer Supporter

    I love this story because you sound like me. I'm 60 trying to be 30 and first "hurt" my back doing really challening calesthenics (like burpees, jumping etc.). Its been 2 years since then and I have tried everything else. I'm only one week in, and I had a beautiful 5 days with no pain and ENERGY where I felt like I could do anything! Now the pain came back for days 6-8 and I should expect that. Fear is the worst. But I am dedicated to eliminating that. Thank you and good luck.
    Kellso likes this.
  13. mugwump

    mugwump Well known member

    Congratulations! Your story is good and I really admire your strength in dealing with that sickness.
  14. hawaii_five0

    hawaii_five0 Well known member

    jcroft: thanks for posting this (couple year old now), but it was very encouraging. Your situation sounds really similar to mine, although I've got + 20 years on you. Athletic, runner, cyclist, gym rat my whole life. I've got probable "vertebrae instability" and grade 1 spondy. Was largely painless but when the doc diagnosed spondylolisthesis after that and 1000 Internet searches later the pain started, and now includes back pain and sciatica. I'm convinced the pain is largely pyschosomatic and/or from anxiety, so I am hopeful that going thru the TMS process will help me find a way out.

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