I thought I knew what I was doing; however, my back told me different. That small tweak that I felt on that fateful day was later diagnosed as 3 herniated disks in my lower back.

My back

To make matters even worse, I’m a personal trainer who relies on being fit and a creditable source of fitness information. Any goodwill that I’ve built up previously with clients and gym members could be at risk. Who wants to work with an injured trainer?

It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in my services.

Lucky for me, I was able to bluff my way through and continue to work and train through the pain. Unfortunately, the thing about pain is the longer you ignore it, put it aside and train around it, the worse it gets. It’s always there, knocking at the front door, waiting for you to it let in.


And it did get worse, much worse. The on and off sciatica pain combined with the debilitating back spasms left me unable to lift or do much of anything.

This resulted in me being in terrible mood and being a real joy to be around.  I wasn’t really living, I was just surviving.

I could go on and on, but this is starting to turn in a pity party in which I invited everybody but only I showed up.


However, I’m all good now and I no longer suffer from chronic back pain. It was a long and painful road to recovery, but now I lift and play to my heart’s content.

If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain right now, I hope this advice helps. My pain can be your gain.

1. Do some research

Breaking news. When it comes to your pain your local GP or pain management specialist mightn’t have your best interests at heart. Shocking, I know. Their usual advice consists of

  1. Stop doing this, this and that exercise and rest
  2. Show me the money
  3. I have a pill or injection for that

This in itself is not terrible advice because sometimes the pain is too much to handle, and you want it to go away, even if it’s only temporary. However, this doesn’t get to the root of the problem.

This is where Google can be your best friend.

Doing a little research increases your chances of finding a medical professional who has encountered your type of injury/pain before which means your time and money will less likely be wasted and the treatment they prescribe is more likely to work.

It’s what you call a win-win.


Another route you can go is using the direct messaging function on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn because you can reach out and ask questions about your current predicament to those who are in the know.

When you’re asking, make sure your questions are as concise as possible to avoid possible confusion and time wasted.

While it’s almost impossible to diagnose over the internet, they can offer suggestions on what to do because they may have encountered a client with a similar injury.

At worst, they will completely ignore your question or offer a suggestion on whom else to contact. Either way nothing ventured, nothing gained.

2. To make an omelet, you must crack a few eggs

 Pain and the human body have a complicated relationship, and we are all put together differently. Those two factors combined mean that there is more than one way to treat and help alleviate your pain.

What works for you mightn’t work for me and what works for me mightn’t work for you. But how do you find this out? You must throw caution to the wind (after your research) and try the treatment to see if it works.

When going through my lower back issues I tried

Nothing worked until I went through intensive PT focusing on breathing techniques, postural adjustments and re engaging the inactive muscles around my lower back. It was a long and painful experience, but it was worth it.

3. Learn Perspective

On my way to yet another physical therapy appointment, I was having a “woe is me moment.” My back was killing me, and at that moment I didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

That’s when I walked past two guys on their way to PT also. One was in a wheelchair with no legs, the other had an amputated leg below the knee, walking with the aid of a walker.

I felt like complete idiot.


When my therapist asked me how I was feeling, I had a response all cued and ready to go.

“Regan, I was going to tell you that I felt like shit. But then I walked past two guys in the car park without the use of their legs. I’m good, Mate, so let’s get to work.”

No matter how bad you’re feeling, someone has it much worse than you. Keeping that in mind will put your situation in perspective and help keep your eye on the prize.

Wrapping up

Being in chronic pain sucks, but it’s very individual to you. Please don’t ignore it and use the advice above to find a treatment that works for you.

And remember it’s taken time to get into pain and it’s going to take some time to get out of it. Keep your head up, do the work and the rewards will come.

Need some help getting over an injury?

Email me – shanemcleantraining@gmail.com


  1. swosei12blog

    Like you, I have been dealing with a herniated disc injury for a bit and I have to admit that doing my PT exercise has been the best “remedy”. Not doing my PT exercises when I do not have issues is my problem. Get well soon.

    As far as working with an injured trainer, I do not think that I would be too bothered with that if the trainer has decent reputation.

  2. Balance Guy

    Thanks mate for the kind words and if you wish to pick my brain on how to deal with your back feel free.

  3. swosei12blog

    Now, that you mention it. I have a bit of tendinitis in my left elbow, so I cannot really lift. Actually, I cannot have full range of motion with my left arm (i.e. not being able to fully extend it). Any times on what types of things I can do to maintain. I have not been lifting, but it had been a little boring focusing only on lower body. Plus, I can’t even do some lower body exercises such as deadlifts or squats with weights.

  4. buy elite proxy

    After study a few of the weblog posts in your website now, and I actually like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site listing and might be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web page as effectively and let me know what you think.

  5. 4 Exercises For Better Hip Mobility - Balance Guy Training

    […] The problem is that these joints are designed for stability rather than mobility. When other joints have to do a job they are not intended for, they will eventually flip you the bird. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *