The Lazy Journalist - Nervous about having my nerves fried

Not actually the Lazy Journalist but he has some sympathy for the chap in the image. By Harrygouvas on Greek Wikipedia
Not actually the Lazy Journalist but he has some sympathy for the chap in the image. By Harrygouvas on Greek Wikipedia

It’s good to be stoic, tough and uncomplaining about aches and pains, and one day I hope to achieve that unlikely state of mind, but in the meantime I’ll stick with constant bleating, bitterness and melodrama.

With that in mind, this week I’m due to undergo a bit of a procedure to ease the back pain related to breaking my several vertebrae sometime ago and the consequent mushing up of squidgy bits between the discs in my spine.

The Montefiore Hospital

The Montefiore Hospital

I’m quite excited about the planned radiofrequency denervation injections at the Montefiore Hospital in Hove, and in due course hope to be bouncing around like a Spring lamb living on Paul McCartney’s farm.

A denervation is pretty much what you’d imagine it is - dispensing with those pesky nerves which are carrying the pain signals to the noggin. In my case, a block of nerves in my lumber.

I’m basically going to be like an invulnerable superhero, impervious to pain and injury, but only in a small patch on my lower back.

But it’s fair to say I’m more excited about the intended results (ameliorating the unpleasant aches and pains emanating from that spot) than the actual mechanics of it all...

Steve Holloway

Steve Holloway

In short, it’s a case of needle into the spine (or to be more precise, in the joints that link the bones in your spine together) then radiofrequency waves heat the tip of the needle, which will, in the words of one American hospital website, ‘deactivate’ the nerve endings.

Obviously, in a perfect world the words ‘needle’ and ‘spine’ wouldn’t be in the same sentence, but needs must.

I’ve tried not to do too much internet dabbling on the subject because there are always grim details and unwanted opinions bouncing around the hypochondriac’s information super highway.

The hospital has given me more than enough information and, on the plus side, visiting the Montefiore doesn’t fill me with any foreboding because I had some less hardcore injections there earlier this year and found that the place is nicer than most of the hotels I’ve ever stayed in.

A couple of people have suggested that it’s an elaborate rouse just to get out of having to exercise for a week, and I must confess I’m looking forward to putting my feet up for a couple of days afterwards (although I’m not exactly a reluctant to do that at the best of times, let alone post-spinal tinkering).

Unfortunately my wonky back has already put me out of action already and swimming and gym sessions haven’t been plentiful this week following a bit of a flare-up.

Exercise and stretching obviously helps but that’s easier said than done when things are unpleasant pain-wise.

The plan is to get back to the Prince Regent and the King Alfred as soon as possible and also try out the gym at the Withdean Sports Complex

Ryan, Freedom Leisure’s area health and fitness manager, has said he’ll give me some tips on a stronger swimming technique, and hopefully the crazy rope- slapping exercise which I’m keen to try but not keen to make a mess of.

The obvious hope is that Thursday’s procedure will lead to less lumber aggro, lots and lots more exercise, and for everyone else around me - slightly less moaning to put up with. Perhaps...

To find our more about Freedom Leisure’s Brighton and Hove gyms visit