Ten years ago I experienced a manual handling injury that was to change my life. My L5-S1 lumbar disc prolapsed, which unfortunately resulted in my S1 nerve root becoming permanently damaged. I experience daily persistent pain, but continue to work and live well.

I have put a lot of effort into learning about pain in general, and in particular MY pain. I have found that this understanding has helped me learn to manage my pain better, and live life well with it.

The journey to understanding MY pain has been a long one, and one that is not finished yet! The diagram below illustrates the complex nature of MY pain.

Not everyone who experiences a disc prolapse, and sciatica, goes on to experience consequential changes in their body such as central sensitisation, peripheral sensitisation and changes to their brain, but it does happen for some.

Understanding that there is more to my pain condition than the original ‘damage’ to my S1 nerve root and my back, has been helpful.

I have written about some of these jigsaw pieces in two other blogs:

A patient’s understanding of persistent pain

A patient’s simple understanding of sciatica, radicular pain and radiculopathy

I guess my next challenge is to learn more about the jigsaw pieces of central sensitisation and peripheral sensitisation. The bigger challenge might be to write about them in a ‘patient friendly’ way!

Tina

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