Despite being several inches over 6 feet in height, and having spent about 30 years lifting and shoving stone by hand, I rarely suffer from back problems - but I have one now.
I know what I am about to say is not the best way of soliciting sympathy, but before you reach for the keyboard to offer helpful advice, I do not want to be overwhelmed with ill thought-out suggestions concerning bloody chiropractors, osteopaths, eastern medicine, my weight, my diet, how much I drink, how to lift stone, etc. etc. - believe me, I've heard it all before and nobody (at the moment) knows my body better than I do. All I want is sympathy.
Lower-back muscle-seizure has happened to me about 4 times during my grueling career as a stone mason/carver, and the first time it did, I went to an osteopath (who was too fat and lazy to come to me) to make sure it was - indeed - muscular, and not to do with misplaced vertebrae.
I had to employ a charming young girl to put on my shoes and socks the first time, and that was only possible after having raised myself from my bed, which in itself took an average of about three-quarters of an hour. The osteopath simply refused to come to my house, which was a mile away from his practice - unless I paid him about 5 times the going rate, so I struggled into my car and drove to him in the centre of Bath.
When I had parked in his street and removed myself from the car (which took ten minutes), I found the right number of his street, and noticed that his surgery was in a basement. The only way to get down to it was via three flights of small, stone steps made lethally slippery with about 200 year's worth of algae growth. It took me so long to get down them, that he had seen me coming through the window, and had time to finish off his previous patient before I got there. He did, however, hold the door open for me at no extra charge.
Once stripped down to my underwear, I lay face down on his couch, wondering if he would have the strength to help me off it after the session had finished. He began by lowering a simple, infra-red heat lamp over me, then went off somewhere else for a cigarette or something. The lamp was on me for about 20 minutes. When he came back, I asked him how long he had been an osteopath, and he told me 'three months'.
He was not a young man, so I asked him what he had done before that, and he replied that he had been an insurance salesman. All the while, the heat from the lamp was doing it's work.
When he finally laid hands on me, his only comment was that I had particularly strong shoulders, and asked me what I did for a job. He was not surprised at my answer. When Her Indoors visited him with sciatica, his only comment to her was that she was wearing very interesting knickers, and that he didn't see underwear like that very often. Hardly surprising either, since he had only been in the profession for 3 months, and I assume that his previous job didn't normally expose him to women wearing only knickers. Judging by the look of him, I would guess that assumption to be correct.
Anyway, I declined his offer for a booking of a further 4 sessions, on the grounds that my fears had been allayed and - because I wasn't able to work because of back pain - I was unable to afford them anyway. I assured him that if my back was to get better soon and I was able to go back to work, I would book myself in with him and give him a load more money in the near future, then spent another 10 minutes climbing the steps to my car. This time, he didn't hold the door open for me.
It is not as bad this time, and I have learnt how to conduct myself in order to minimise the discomfort. It still hurts like hell though, and - without giving you the gory details - sitting down and standing up again is the worst bit.
Sadly, I have many things to do tomorrow, so I cannot just laze about feeling sorry for myself, which is why I am asking you to feel sorry on my behalf. You have my authority.