From diazepam to diagnosis: how I finally found an answer to chronic pain
Seven years ago I was trapped in a very deep black hole. I was in constant pain, had stopped working full-time and had given up hope of finding relief.
The pain had started at university, after a particularly strenuous boxercise class. During the session I felt a sharp stab in my lower back. It disappeared pretty quickly but over the following few weeks was replaced by a dull, persistent ache.
Over time the pain morphed, snaking around my back. Sometimes it was in my lumbar region, other times in my shoulders and neck. I went to my GP, was referred to a physiotherapist and prescribed a host of anti-inflammatories and painkillers.
The doctors I saw during those first few months weren’t concerned. I was young and fit. I’d never had any serious health issues. Back pain is also notoriously common. In the eyes of my doctors, I was almost certainly just another patient experiencing temporary discomfort.