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…
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I sit in the jacuzzi every morning with a focus on putting jets where they can get to my back; lower and upper back.
- 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.
- 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.
- I try to pay attention to my posture.
- I have discoverd that bicycle riding does not bother my back so I do a lot of this.
- I never jog or run or use an elliptical machine. All of these will result of back problems the next day.
- 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…