Every once in a while my guy has a day when his back pain drops to the level of 'nagging discomfort' (let's say a 3 on the pain scale).
It doesn't usually last very long and we've never been able to accurately pinpoint the magical combination of factors that bring it about. But when it happens, he's goofy, relaxed and less guarded.
It highlights for me how affected he is all those other days when he's operating from 4-10 on the pain scale. It means he doesn't often sleep well so he's tired and things he 'has' to do, like drive and work, are consistently uncomfortable and require constant changes in position. And, he's always trying to judge how far he can push himself without making it worse. For example, can he take E driving after dinner, or, did he use his driving time going to work and back? Things he wants to do are often out of the question (hikes, yardwork, travel, skating, or just sitting through a movie).
I'm not trying to be a party pooper here, just reflecting on how hard he works trying to reduce how much it affects our family. I forget sometimes that he's smiling through the pain, and then when I see a genuine almost pain free moment I can see the difference again.
PS. Please for the love of all that is good do not send us advice on fixing back pain. I'm pretty gosh darn sure you haven't thought of something he isn't currently doing or hasn't tried and rejected. If you do feel you must, please check against the list below before forwarding. Cold packs, heat pads, back supports and/or pillows, massage, osteo, chiro, physio, vitamin b, fish oil, inversion tables, orthotics, yoga, weight training, anti-inflammatory meds and pain pills.