One of the main reasons I became interested in back pain was because of an injury I sustained as a physiotherapy student. After lifting a patient I was astounded that the experienced physiotherapists I saw couldn't help me. I managed to rehabilitate myself from a moderate severity disc injury over a period of 12 months.
I have been relatively pain free, and fully functional until recently. My surf lifesaving interest has seen me return to paddling (which I did a lot of as a young adult) and over the past 4 years I have become more and more serious in my training regime. Unfortunately a combination of marked increased training volume/intensity, a larger blade size and poor recognition of symptoms (my initial pain was a hamstring pull) has led to a serious disc herniation with radiculopathy.
Its been quite an amazing experience to rehabilitate myself with a more severe
problem and I plan to document the detail in the coming months as my recovery continues. Needless to say I've learnt a lot including a serious dose of empathy for my patients!
I guess the lesson is careful monitoring of training parameters and athlete response, particularly as you nudge into middle age!