Early in my rugby career, when I was just 18, I herniated a disc in my lower back. That injury threatened to end my professional rugby career before it began. I was able to battle back from that injury with extensive physical therapy and hard work, but my luck ended when, at 35, I ruptured that same disc putting an end to my two decade long career.
The longevity of my career is attributable to learning to live with and manage all forms of lower back pain and chronic neck and shoulder pain. I became very good at surrounding myself with a team of knowledgeable therapists for every kind a pain flare-up. Eventually though surgery became my only option and I used it as a chance to start again from the best possible place I could to build a normal, pain-free life for myself.