Life Hack #2: Lower Back Pain

This just in:  In April of 2017, I was taken out of my house on a board, unable to lift a finger due to lower back pain.

The diagnosis was 2 herniated discs; something that doesn’t heal.  You just have to learn to live with it.

I did consider surgery but the doctor said even that was only about a 50/50 proposition and in the end, other discs would soon go bad as a result.

I have been virtually pain free for about a year now.  I’m not an expert on back or pain but I did my homework and came up with a plan that works quite well for me.  This homework included participation in a Stanford University Back Pain study and consultation with a surgeon.

Here it is…

  1. First of all, realize that the days of lifting 100 lb rocks are over.  If I need something heavy to be lifted, I get help.
  2. I don’t overdo things.  When I’m feeling great, I don’t decide that I’m cured and go out running and lifting.  I pace myself.  If I plan on playing 9 holes of golf, that’s what I do.  I don’t do 18 because that was not the pace I had planned on.
  3. I realize that there will be some bad days.  I don’t let this get me down.  I take it easy.  Gobble some Advil and maybe an ice pack or something.  I also use a Tens Unit from time to time.
  4. I start every day with 26 minutes of exercise that is a combination of Yoga and core strengthening.  I have missed doing this only a handful of times over the last year.  This is vital.  When I do Yoga, I avoid movements that twist my upper body.
  5. I sit in the jacuzzi every morning with a focus on putting jets where they can get to my back; lower and upper back.
  6. I look for alternative exercises.  For example, I like to do curls for my biceps however, this adds weight to my upper body and compresses my spine.  Instead, I do pull-ups.  This works my biceps and stretches my spine.
  7. I have a Teeter Hangup.  This is a device that turns me upside down so I end up hanging by my ankles.  My surgeon likes this but only for about 45 seconds at a time.  He said if you hang too long things start to stretch that shouldn’t be stretched.
  8. I try to pay attention to my posture.
  9. I have discoverd that bicycle riding does not bother my back so I do a lot of this.
  10. I never jog or run or use an elliptical machine.  All of these will result of back problems the next day.
  11. I never take anything stronger than Advil for the pain.  NEVER.

Now that my back is doing so well, I can save the world.

Up, up and away…




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2 thoughts on “Life Hack #2: Lower Back Pain

  1. Thanks for the post, Jim. I have lower back pain that my MD has determined
    is caused by arthritis. My best thinking tells me to sit but I’ve been told to get up and walk. I also need to EXERCISE and stretch daily and the hot tub seems like a good part of a regimen to ease the back pain. And I must remember that I’m no longer a youngster and not to lift heavy items like I used to.

  2. Hi Dave. I know nothing about arthritis, however, I met a guy that had it so bad he could no longer work at the age of 50. He tried everything and then…he tried being a vegan. Within weeks, he was back at work, pain free. Now, I imagine that arthritis is a lot like back pain: a lot of different variations and not everyone reacts the same way to different treatments. Best of luck.

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