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Her face was pulled into a grimace. She sat down very slowly, maintaining her position throughout the consultation. She was obviously in pain.

“I have had pain in my back for many, many years”, she began to talk. “I have had numerous x-rays, manipulations, physiotherapy sessions; I even had an orthopaedic surgeon do a fusion on the lower spine to try and get rid of the constant  agony.  None  of  these  attempts  to  help  the  situation  was  ever  completely  a  failure  or  a  cure.  This  pain seems to be able to come and go, making my life a living hell. At present I am back on daily prescription painkillers. They help, but I become constipated, I feel nauseous and I just can’t trust myself to drive my car, my head feels too woozy”.

Her pale, puffy face was covered in a layer of cold sweat which she dabbed at with a handkerchief.

“When did you begin with this back pain?” I wanted to know. This would provide me with a clue and maybe I could figure out what the trigger might have been.

“Oh, I remember clearly. Two things happened. I helped my husband to hang curtains when I had to hold my arms above my head, heavy curtains and all, for quite some time. My back ached a lot for a few days, I remember. Then, I had a bad flu which put me to bed for a few days, after we had hung the curtains. I had excruciating pains in my back and down my legs  during this  bedrest. After that it never seemed to clear up. For the record, when both my children were born I had epidurals. Somehow I think the epidurals had some part in this condition.” She explained very carefully.

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