How I got rid of my back pain

Seriously, most of the people I know work while sitting. Corona even make it worse. People don’t need to drive to work by car, ride a bike or go by train. They just get out of the bed, trying to get the kids out of the house if there are any, and then go to the next desk and start working.

And most of these people have trouble with it. The only difference is the degree of hardness. But let’s start from the beginning.

The first time I had trouble with my back was back in high school at the age of 12 or maybe 13. My mother and me went to the doctor’s. He offered to me that my “spine is not straight”. It didn’t tell me that much. But I always had pain in the upper area of my back close to the neck. I did a lot of sports, football, table tennis, everything one can think of.

I guess it started that early due to I started programming with 12. Anyway, my mother haven’t that much of help, even if she cared a lot. And the doctor’s as well.

Next thing I remember with my back was giving me (strong) signals was when I started to work. After having finished school and training, and did my duty with one year of civilian service - yes, that did exist back then 1995 - it started to get worse. I stopped doing sports that much, just because jobs take their time. Here it was different. It was more the rear pelvis that hit me hard.

There was one difference when I was young compared to today.

When being young, pain comes and goes. When being old, the pain stays.

Jumping to the actual issue. Twice I did a “TransAlp”. Riding my mountain bike across the Alpes. After the second time, I was pretty much 40 with three children with the age of 15, 9 and 6. Three months after the Transalp, I had serious pain.

I was even not able to lift up my (younger) children anymore

So the story started again. Again going to doctor’s. Need to do an MRI, suspected herniated disc. MRI is magnetic resonance imaging. Getting appointments take a lot of time, as well as getting the results. Finally, my discs were fine. But I still had issues. To make a very, very long story short, they couldn’t help me.

The doctor finally said “you can always come by and get a shot”. I am not sure if these “shots” are well known. This is medicine directly injected in the area of pain. It solves the acute issues, but it does not last long.

It do not want to be treated like this. I do feel much too young to get this kind of medicine once a month regularly. This is not a cure. This is just symptom control.

Doctors don’t help. What now?

So I decided to try to fix it on my own. And the only thing I could think of have been sports. So I started, every day. For six months it was really a pain. Afterwards it got better.

When it was like once in a month that I had pain when I was young, it was like once in a month that I was pain-free.

I did this for more than 5 years. And I still do. But there was one thing that changed the game.

I had been on vacation last year in the Netherlands. My wife is half-Dutch and we are pretty used to that area. My wife bought a ridiculous delicious sweets. Kind of mini cornflakes covered with chocolate.

I always ate too much sweets.

And when I passed the third or fourth time, these mega-delicious sweets, took an handful and stuffed it in my mouth, I thought “I cannot stand this anymore”. I actually just wanted to cook for me and my family and I was already full due to these sweets.

I thought about nutrition multiple times before. Beside sports I even stopped eating sweets, pig-meat and drinking alcohol for two weeks. I was much better afterwards and I personally thought it would be the meat. There are articles out there, that states that this can have a huge influence. If you are interested have a look onto 3 foods and ingredients that can worsen your back pain.

So I stopped the eating meat for months. But it didn’t solve it.

Back to these sweets, I actually stopped it. That was last year. It doesn’t mean I do not eat sugar at all. That is not only very cumbersome, I wouldn’t be able to do so. Sometimes, it is necessary to have some ultra satisfying sweets.

The difference is, may be I do it once a day, or twice after the meals.

I don’t eat sweets 10 or 20 times a day anymore.

Especially within Corona-times where people are at home all the time, the refrigerator is too close to avoid having “a short look” and pick up something. I do not have any issues with my weight, though. Due to sports and because I did sports for my whole life, I have pretty much ideal weight. It would have been easier to “just” get rid of some pounds and it’s better. Anyway, I know that it is not easy to loose weight and keep it.

Combined with the right training, my pain vanishes. It took weeks. This is what makes this self-experiments so complicated. The result takes time.

After six years of training and avoiding sweets a lot, I am now pretty much pain-free. Certainly not completely. But it doesn’t influence my life badly anymore.

Let me just state my biggest learning here:

I consider sugar to be the most underrated drug on planet

This was a long journey. But it worked. So I’ll keep the pace.




Software architect, guitar player, sports lover.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Do we need to reconsider the US food guidelines?

Why Nurses Should Get Their MBA

A Turning Point for Modern Medicine, or a Dead End?

Common Medical Conditions You’ll Face as You Get Older

a baby hand on a wrinkled hand

Sunscreen: Queen of summer or unnecessary Bummer?

Eating and Releasing Guilt.

Trials of an ICU nurse during a pandemic

Your Body, Your choice

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Holger Leichsenring

Holger Leichsenring

Software architect, guitar player, sports lover.

More from Medium

Breakfast Served at 6am

HOW I ORGANIZE MY LIBRARIES I certainly don’t have the energy to successfully organize like all…

Vegan Matcha Granola

The Fat and Ugly Truth of Food Challenges