My name is Dr. Brooke Olsen PT, DPT. I am the co-owner of The Physio Revolution and a nationally recognized chronic pain expert and I've made a career for myself helping hundreds of active adults end their pain, naturally.
We've become known as the "Last Chance PT's" because many come to see us after everything they've tried has already let them down.
But this wasn't always the case.
Very early in my career, I had terrible back pain. I previously had a large disc herniation in my lower back that sent shooting pain down into my left leg, glute, and calf.
Before I knew it I was in over my head with pain in all the wrong ways. This lasted on & off for over 5 years. I eventually developed what they said was "chronic back pain".
At first, the doctor told me that my MRI was the worst he had seen for someone in their 20's and that I would need surgery. "It's a mess in there" is what he said and then he showed me everything wrong with my MRI results.
I couldn't believe it. I was so scared about what my future held.
I had so much pain when just trying to put on my shoes or get up from a chair, nonetheless trying to go for a hike or walk around the park. I tried what felt like everything to help, and it just wouldn’t go away.
You can imagine the frustration and hopelessness that set in. I asked my colleagues for help, but most of what they tried did nothing for me.
When it got really bad and I still had to work, I took Advil, and sometimes wish I had something stronger. (I hate pills by the way, so that’s really saying something).
I got away with just leaving it all alone and doing nothing but a few injections to manage the constant, low grade pain.
For a few years it came and went, but then one day, I was working on a client leaning over her and as I was coming back up I felt my back give out again.
It literally dropped me to my knees.
It was the MOST terrifying and outright painful experience.
I remember waking up the next day so worried because I hadn’t just bounced back from it as I figured I would from resting.
For the following 3 or 4 months, I had about four of my colleagues take a crack at my back and try to help me fix it. But all of their generic exercises only helped momentarily, and before I knew it, the constant pain was starting to become normal.
I found myself calling the two chiropractors I knew in the area, just to find myself relying on their adjustments to feel some sort of relief.
I decided to contact a few of the doctors who were referring patients to me.
Within the following year, two of them told me I needed cortisone injections, one told me to just keep doing what I was doing (which I just could not believe considering it wasn’t working!), and the other told me that my best bet was to just get surgery to fix the damaged disc that happened again.