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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I used to work as a registered nurse but then decided to pursue my childhood passion. I had been a freelance writer for a couple of years when I started experiencing back pain.

When you're young and full of energy, you tend to take your health for granted. That's exactly what happened to me. I refused to listen to what my body was telling me.

I thought working crazy hours every day is the only way to live a successful life. Big mistake.

My back pain grew worse and worse with each passing day. It was at that point when I realized that my age had nothing to do with it. I'm in my twenties, full of hopes and dreams.

Unfortunately, I put my health on the back burner. It was only when my back pain persisted for several days when I finally had the time to visit my doctor.

Surprisingly, the doctor couldn't point out the particular disorder that was causing my suffering. He gave it a name anyway: Non-specific Low Back Pain (NSLBP).

Then he discussed what was already obvious: My back pain is the culmination of all the years I had neglected my health. Lack of exercise, poor eating habits, and stress all joined forces to give me a debilitating disorder that drastically affected my productivity.

For a writer who spends most of his day in his chair, a lower back pain is the last thing I will ever wish to experience. It's the bane of every wordsmith's existence. And in my case, it became a catalyst that finally convinced me to turn my life around.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

Almost every aspect of my life took a turn for the better after I decided to make my health a priority.

I've become more conscious of what I eat and drink. I shed off some weight because the extra pounds were too much for my back to handle.

I've incorporated stretching exercises into my daily workout regime. These stretches are designed to release tension in my hips, hamstrings, and lower back muscles.

I've read all medical journals and relevant reading materials that explore low back pain in great detail.

It's this thirst for knowledge that led me to the recently updated guidelines by the American College of Physicians which now advocate the use of nonpharmacologic methods instead of medications as first-line therapies for treating lower back pain.

Among these methods are massage and mindfulness meditation. For this reason, my view of low back pain management has changed by leaps and bounds.

I try not to get stressed out by little things because of holistic healing – one that involves both the mind and body – is the key to back pain recovery.

My view of low back pain management has changed a lot.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Because of the changes I have made in my lifestyle, I can now work more productively and do the things I used to enjoy like running, cooking, and traveling.

It's amazing how your life can take a 360-degree turn by simply changing your lifestyle and committing to it no matter what. It all starts with a will to change. Without it, progress will be harder to achieve. As they always say, it starts within you.

Thanks to my recovery, I now have a new mission of preventing back pain among writers and other desk-based workers through my blog.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

Because of the changes I have made in my lifestyle, I can now work more productively and do the things I used to enjoy like running, cooking, and traveling.

It's amazing how your life can take a 360-degree turn by simply changing your lifestyle and committing to it no matter what. It all starts with a will to change. Without it, progress will be harder to achieve. As they always say, it starts within you.

Thanks to my recovery, I now have a new mission of preventing back pain among writers and other desk-based workers through my blog.

Who has been there for you? How?

I live with my mom. She has been very supportive since day one. Because I'm the breadwinner of the family, I tend to drown myself in work and forget to keep the lifestyle changes in the process.

She always reminds me to exercise every time I forget about it or make excuses not to do it. She prepares my meals and sees to it that I stick to my occasional juice diet.

My mom also suffers back pain, so we rely on each other as a support system. It's great that I'm still single because I don't know if I will be able to attend to my back pain if kids are running around the house.

My mom is the single most important emotional support for me in this journey–and the main reason why I've succeeded.

I tend to drown myself in work and forget to keep the lifestyle changes in the process.

What's your advice to someone else living with back pain?

Don't wait until you're too sick or too old to make changes in your life.

While most cases of back pain are linked to an underlying medical condition, most of the time there's nothing to blame but yourself. Back pain is a lifestyle disease. It can be debilitating if left untreated.

Your career and family depend on you. Don't ruin your life with back pain which can be prevented if you just take care of yourself. Make your health a priority and everything else will follow.

About Luisito

My Story: Luisito Batongbakal Jr.

Luisito E. Batongbakal Jr. is the founder and content strategist of MassageBoss, the place to be to learn simple DIY relaxation tips. A former nurse who suffered from all sorts of body pain, he is now on a mission to help others live more comfortably. When not indulging in massage, he writes for different health publications to change people’s lives, one article at a time.

See More of Luisito's Work

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