My Back Pain is Managed, but I’m Looking Forward to Retirement

I probably should have picked a different job than being a masonry contractor in Arizona. When I started at 18, it was a lot easier. Thirty-eight years into it is wearing on me. I like being outside, but the Arizona sun can wear you out. My arms and legs are still strong, but my back hurts me so bad sometimes that it makes me weak. I keep seeing my chiropractor in Phoenix on an as-needed basis to keep me able to do my job without going home at the end of the day too sore to do anything else.

I grew up back east in an area where there was coal mining. My grandmother used to tell me stories of how my grandfather would come home so sore from working in the mines that he would lie flat on his back on the table and sleep for an hour or so when he got home. My dad retired as a lawyer and still has a bad back. I guess it is something hereditary, because Dad did not do a labor job but still has a bad back. He won’t go to a chiropractor. I go and get a tremendous amount of relief. Sometimes I feel like crawling in, but I walk out with a lot more comfort than when I went in.

If I keep up with my stretching, exercises and proper lifting procedures at work, I can go for months without needing any intervention. It is when I get comfortable that I start to slack, and then I start to hurt. A lot of my pain is nerve pain. It weakens your ability to lift and move. You know you have the physical strength to do something, but the pain stops you cold. When the pain is gone, I can do the work without a problem. Nothing else hurts. Just my back.