Disc pain made me waddle back home like Quasimodo

Ewan McGregor  as Renton in Trainspotting - the gender neutral toilets Zella has visited are almost as grubby

ZELLA COMPTON: Men – just aim it in the right direction and we’ll all be happy!

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We so take our health for granted.

Waking up pain-free, with maybe a little grumble at feeling our joints are a bit stiff first thing in the morning, we’ve got it good.

It’s only when something happens that you realise how important health and fitness is and the kind of abuse we put our bodies through on a daily basis.

Eyes and back seem to me to be the most precious items. Twice I’ve ended up at A&E with something caught in my eye.

Suffering pain and discomfort, you soon realise how important your eyes are.

But last week, my back had its first problem and I can now empathise with anyone reading this that has to suffer such agony on a daily basis.

Taking a regular run across the fields at Stokes Bay on to the promenade between the shelters, a sudden, searing lower back pain struck.

It was like I’d been shot.

I had to double over, but then realised I couldn’t actually stand up straight again. I was stuck.

Ten minutes from home, I had to waddle back like Quasimodo and hope that passers-by didn’t think I’d soiled myself!

Exercise is good for you, they say. But, sadly, running has caused me severe knee pain, pulled calf muscles and tight hamstrings.

Now I was doubled over like a grovelling jester.

Off to the experts I went and the prognosis sounded alarming. It seems nothing ever positive follows the word ‘prolapsed’ and indeed, on this occasion, it applied to a disc in my lower back.

Thankfully, through great physiotherapy, I can now stand straight and move pain-free. But for a few worrying days, I discovered how important my back really is.

Of course I milked it for all it was worth. My wife looked slightly confused at the feather fan and large bunch of grapes waiting on the coffee table when she got home.

‘They are for my treatment dear,’ I exclaimed, like some sort of Roman emperor, lying on the sofa.

I’m sure Julius Caesar never had to do the washing-up...