I'm asking this on behalf of my sister, I hope that's okay. If it makes a difference she's 27, never had kids, no other health problems that she knows of, average weight for her height.
About three years ago she had what the doc called a lumbar sprain - she woke up one morning and her back hurt so bad she couldn't walk. She'd been lifting boxes the day before but didn't notice anything at the time. Had painkillers and anti-inflammatories and it got better, but for the last couple of years (she's not sure exactly how long because she says it started gradually) she's been experiencing back pain, mostly lower back but sometimes around her shoulder and often but not always focused around a particular muscle on the middle left side of her back. Late last year she was treated by a physio who did lots of massage and gave her exercises to strength a muscle in her lower abdomen which he said would support the back. Her back was significantly but not completely better for a few months but now the pain's back - not as bad as before but she gets it most days.
So the thing is, she wants to join the military and she's terrified that she won't get through the medical tests. I've never seen her want anything as badly as she wants this and I really want to help her out. So, what can she do to strengthen the back itself? She's not focused on the pain going away because she can deal with that, she wants the back itself to strengthen/heal, if that makes sense. She wants to apply in about a year and she has to get her fitness up over this year. We both think that will help, but what else can she do? We're both kind of new to this whole natural health/healing thing. More physio? What about a chiro or an osteo for this kind of problem? Because she has to pay out of pocket for everything she wants to focus on things that are more likely to help. Are there any supplements she can take to help the muscles heal? For exercise she plans to walk/run/swim and do weight training, anything else?
We've tried google but a lot of the sites we get are total scams - you know, the buy my e-book and your pain will disappear overnight sort of stuff, so I'm hoping there's someone on MDC who has experience with this.