My name is Mitesh and I am now a healthy software developer.

Let me give you my backstory.

I suffered from a serious back injury many years ago because I had ignored the warning signs from my lower back. With constant agony and chronic lower back pains, it took me about two years of extensive research, trial & error and belief in myself to find a solution to this problem.

It was looking very bleak, and I had nearly resigned to the fact that I would have to live with chronic back pain for years to come. However, being a natural problem solver, I persevered in looking for a solution.

You see, In 2003, I started to notice something wasn’t right when sitting at my desk at work. I started to feel pains in the lower part of my back that I didn’t pay too much attention to. I simply put it down to the fact that I may have developed a weak lower back due to long periods of sitting at my day job as a computer programmer

During this period, I also started to notice that I was unable to sit on various soft surfaces. Sitting on a soft sofa or chair would feel uncomfortable, and my lower back was close to being pulled out of place. Still I didn’t seek professional advice, thinking that it will resolve after a few weeks of rest. But it turned out differently.

One hot summers day (yep, we used to get sun here in the uk!), I was unable to stand upright after pulling my back from stepping out of my car after a long drive visiting my parents. This lasted a few days. This pain gradually got a little worse within the week as the simple action of getting out of bed resulted in me pulling my back once again. It was a slipped disc from what I now understand.

The lower back was still recovering from the original injury, and the simple motion of getting out of bed had exacerbated the condition.

This point marks the beginning of a very lengthy road to recovery, of which I didn’t know of at the time! The year was 2007.


Two years of Lower Back Pain, Expensive Treatments, Frustration and False Hope

I would constantly feel an annoying sharp pain with certain movements throughout my day. Each time it would feel like it was distracting me from what I was doing as it would radiate from the lower back region down to my legs. Terrible right?

I sought help from Chiropractors and Physiotherapists. I got various explanations as to what might be wrong. I was advised to do stretching exercises regularly. However, these exercises were not improving the condition.

Imagine, I suffered for two long years! I know this isn’t right, this pain exhausted me from physical and mental wellbeing as I tried a number of expensive treatments.


Chiropractic Treatment

I had consulted two Chiropractors which had different opinions.

The first Chiropractor came to the conclusion that I had an ‘unstable’ sacroiliac joint. “This ailment can be exacerbated by many actions, but particularly by heavy lifting, prolonged standing or prolonged sitting” as quoted in his report.

The Chiropractor carried out various stretching exercises on each visit. I spent around two months in the treatment without being able to alleviate any of my pain. I, therefore, decided to look for a second opinion.

My second Chiropractor carried out an X-ray on my lower back. Based on the X-ray result, he concluded that a vertebral subluxation was present. This diagnosis meant that a vertebra had moved out of its normal zone of motion, causing interference with the proper function of the nervous system at that level. This displacement was causing the chronic pains, as he explained.

I needed regular weekly treatments of spinal manipulation until the vertebrae restored back to the correct position. Each treatment resulted in a cracking noise, and the Chiropractor would explain “the bone has been put back into place.”

The pain was gradually relieved, and my visits were reduced to once every two to three months. My condition was getting better; thus my therapy sessions became shorter. However, I still wasn’t 100% pain-free from various movements or any form of medium-heavy lifting.

But at this point, I had given up to the fact that I would have to keep having these treatments every few months.


MRI Scan and Medical Remedies

In February 2008 I was thinking of planning a trip to India to attend a family wedding but due to my back condition I was in two minds. However I knew I would be able to get a fast medical assessment while there for a fraction of the cost compared to the UK. To this end, I decided to go to India and have an MRI Scan carried out on my lower back to see if they could help.

Trying to have an MRI Scan carried out under the NHS in UK would have simply taken too long or may not have been possible. I did consider paying privately, but this would have cost too much, especially as I had already spent a lot of money on unsuccessful treatments.

By making the decision to have this done abroad worked very well financially. It cost me around £120 and two days to get the results.

The date of the MRI scan was 14th February, to those of you in the uk, yes this is Valentines day, so of all the days, this was the day that my lower back was finally going to get some love!

After speaking to the consultant in India, based on the MRI Scan he concluded that some of my lower discs were worn out. To try and help my back pain he advised me to carry out various exercises, all of which I had tried and were unsuccessful. He suggested I must use my back daily doing the exercise he prescribed. However having tried this again, my back was simply not feeling durable over the course of the treatment.

Physiotherapy Report

After coming back from India, I was still determined to try and solve my lower back pain. I went to see another different Physiotherapist to get their opinions on what might be causing the chronic pains and provide a resolution.

This Physiotherapist thought my spine was unusually very straight. As a result they thought this may be causing the issues, again…. The Physiotherapist was going to refer me to a Rheumatologist. However, this was all too scary for me so I simply said No and stopped seeing that Physiotherapist

Opinions from other Physiotherapists viewed that a scab like tissue might have formed due to lack of movement during the healing process and this could be causing the pain.

Well, after all this, I had finally come to realize that chronic back pain is something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. By this time, the pain was not too bad. However, I had to be careful as sudden movements, etc. would bring back the pains in the lower back.

After speaking to the consultant in India, based on the MRI Scan he concluded that some of my lower discs were worn out. To try and help my back pain he advised me to carry out various exercises, all of which I had tried and were unsuccessful. He suggested I must use my back daily doing the exercise he prescribed. However having tried this again, my back was simply not feeling durable over the course of the treatment.


My Software Development Career was at Risk

A few months later I was discussing my back problems with one of my Uncles who I hadn’t seen for a while.

I clearly remember our conversation as I was feeling very down and totally deflated as he was asking me how my job was going.

At the time I was going through a disciplinary process at work as my performance as a software developer wasn't meeting the expectations of my employer. I was working for a pharmaceutical agency and we had tight deadlines to deliver applications for big pharmaceutical clients.

As you can imagine, this often required working late and sometimes weekends to meet the demands promised by our agency to these clients.

I had been working there for over a year and was doing well, however since the onset of chronic back pain following my slipped disc, my performance suffered.


I struggled to work late and sometimes weekends on a project deadline. I struggled to concentrate and focus on my job due to the back pain and hence I had to decline the late working pattern due to this.

So, as a consequence of this in time, led to a disciplinary procedure where I was going to be sacked from my job. At the same time I was also very worried of applying to other jobs only to end up in the same situation again due to my lack of ability to work and concentrate for long periods due to my lower back.


What Happened Next Changed My Life

My Uncle had heard enough of my struggle and the problems I was having at work. He told me to grab my jacket and go with him. He said nothing more. I simply did as I was told as I wasn't sure if he was angry or frustrated with my conversation.

We got into his car and he took me to his local gym (he's a gym rat by the way).

I remember wondering to myself, why have we come here? still not saying anything due to being worried how he may react towards me (it is very common for indian family members to get very angry with their nephews if they are out of line and hence are respected by the younger generation of the family).

He took me to a 45-degree hyperextension bench and showed me what he wanted me to try. At first I was very hesitant as I was scared to get pain and possibly injure my back again. However, he reassured me and reminded me that I had exhausted all avenues so I had nothing to lose especially if I wanted to get my career back on track as a software developer.

I did the exercise carefully and a few others which he showed me. He then told me to ring him the next day to see how I felt.

After the short gym session, I was feeling a little sore and rather confused. My lower back felt very weird and when I got home, I could feel certain muscle groups sparking in my lower back causing me to feel a bit scared and cautious at the sametime.

The next morning was miraculous. I remember waking up and I felt like I had a invisible support belt wrapped around my spine and I was finally feeling like I could be seeing the light at the end of a very dark and dull tunnel. I rang my uncle and thanked him and we setup an exercise schedule of doing various exercises at the gym every 3 to 4 days initially to build my lower back up again.

So, as you can see this point of my life was a crucial turning point. I'm so glad to this day that I opened up about what I was going through with my job and my lower back, and i'm eternally grateful for what he has taught me and showed me along the way.

And this is how, Weak Back Builder was born.