Having replied to Matt Shore's recent Facebook post about mindfulness and cold showers (I've done it now, quite exhilarating) and how cold water therapy can be helpful for anxiety and depression it reminded me of the rest of the BBC program 'The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs' by Dr Chris van Tulleken and was wholly convinced by what was presented.
I'm often sceptical with these types of shows as 'entertainment' but given my own experiences with pain and the generic approach to pain I couldn't agree more. For those sceptics reading this saying 'Andrew's only saying this as he is now a personal trainer!' let me explain my personal experience.
Here are the drugs, pain killers and anti-inflammatories, that my GP gave me a repeat prescription for when I experienced significant back pain about four years ago (turns out I have/had a herniated disk at the lower end of my back).
I have a stock pile of these as occasionally I get a massive flare up, once every 9-12 months and will take them for a day or two. These occurrences are getting more infrequent because these are my new drugs.
I bought my first three kettlebells, you can probably tell which ones, soon after my initial diagnosis because I didn't have a lot of space and wanted something that helped my mobility and strength. I self taught watching various online videos and have improved my technique over the years and more recently with expert tuition from Matt on the Sideways8 Advanced Personal Trainer course.
I realised fairly quickly that the drugs didn't help they just masked the pain and nothing was being fixed. I've been in a sedentary job for years and sitting at a desk was literally breaking me. I needed to move regularly but it was only when pain struck that I bothered doing anything about it. Am I completely fixed, no, but I'm better prepared to bounce back quicker and stronger.