Back Pain Nightmares
My Back Pain Experiences
Being an enthusiastic horseback rider, but not paying attention one day - I fell off, which gave me back problems in the early 80's, where I had surgery to help fix the problem. Since then I've learned a lot of the do's and don'ts when sitting, lifting, walking and even curling up in my bed to sleep - basically everything we do entails using our backs, so things that were second nature as a youngster - now have to be learned all over again as an adult.
Knowing that many people suffer from back pain for various reasons, the following real life experiences may give you hope in knowing that some things can actually help alleviate the pain you have in your back. But bear with me - I can get a bit long winded and not always find the right words - but here goes.
As this hub is intended only to provide information regarding my situation and experiences, it may not be relative to your particular back pain situation, so when in doubt always consult your doctor.
After being hospitalized for several months, without walking, sitting or doing much more than sleeping, reading and listening to music, once I was up and about I quickly realized that sitting down was one of those every day things that could present problems and make the ache that I already had, far worse. But there are solutions to every problem - even this one.
Sitting for too long can bring on back pain
Back in the 1980's when I first began working with them, computers were big, bulky pieces of machinery that were the best things since sliced bread. Even then the computer was classed as one of greatest inventions of our time. Today without doubt these (much) smaller pieces of equipment help to make our lives just a little more convenient.
Sadly, there's a negative and positive side - where we win on convenience, we lose out on other areas. Most people have a laptop or pc these days, which does mean that we're all doing lots of sitting and if you're anything like me, you get so engrossed in what you're doing - time rushes by and before you know it, you've been sitting at your computer for hours, without a break.
Alternate standing and sitting: Adjustable desks
Setting up an adjustable desk gives you the opportunity to alternate sitting and standing while working at your pc and although recommended - this type of desk is expensive, especially those with a motorized system to adjust the desk height.
Adjustable desks can be found online, where most ergonomic stores have them and there are many different desks to choose from with electric height adjustment being the most popular. So if you're interested in this solution for your pc workstation just search using the search term 'adjustable desks' and take it from there.
Take frequent breaks to walk, be inspired and freshen up
Taking breaks between long intervals of sitting will help to keep back muscles supple, flexible, with more chance of avoiding stiffness, tension, aches and pains.
My schedule to take a break is every other hour for 20 to 30 minutes. I usually take a walk with my dog. Lunch breaks are an hour or more and if the weathers good we take a couple of sandwiches, fruit and something to drink down to the lake, where we often try but sadly fail to catch a fish for supper.
I use an alarm that reminds me to take my breaks. This requires commitment on my part as I have to set the alarm. I've been using this for years and it works well to get me out in the fresh air and my limbs moving.
Frequently taking a walk in the fresh air is great to clear the mind and does help get the inspirational juices flowing. It's also extremely beneficial for well being and health in general. I always have my mobile and camera with me, so I can take notes and photo's of things I want to use and don't want to forget.
Relapse: My body hurts all over
About 3 months after leaving hospital I had a relapse. Walking and sitting became unbearable, so it was back to bed with my legs up.
As it turned out it wasn't my back. I'd been walking around in a funny way - kind of half bent over to one side to try and avoid the pain from my back. As a result I'd placed tension on my hips and shoulders, not to mention headaches that were so intense, they led to nausea and frequent periods in bed. Since having surgery, I simply had not relaxed at all because the initial back pain has hurt so much and I was afraid it was still there or would come back.
As it turns out I'd done more damage to the other parts of my body - because I hadn't learned how to walk properly post surgery, how to sit properly post surgery - my bed and box to put my legs up on was my only comfort - basically my body had become tight with tension.
Believing can move mountains - well near enough
After a week in hospital with intensive therapy using a swimming pool mainly I began to loosen up, which helped with the tension a great deal. The hospital suggested that I considered going to yoga. At first this sounded like a joke - how could I possibly go to yoga classes, I could barely sit let alone get myself into a lotus position.
They say that believing can move mountains - yeah right! I was just so sure this was not going to get better - life as I knew it was over. No more riding, dancing, living! Today I can see that I was brainwashing myself into believing that the headaches, pain and tension weren't going to get better any time soon - if at all!
I know better now thanks to yoga!
Yoga Gave Me Back Pain and Tension Relief
There are many types of back pain, some worse than others. Mine was sustained from an injury that resulted in surgery, so perhaps there's no similarity, but there are things to be learned here as exploring all the possibilities is sensible.
What I can say is that yoga showed me a way to first deal with placing more stress on other parts of my body to avoid the excruciating pain in my back. I then learned a level of meditation that I didn't think was possible. The meditation then taught me how to deal with the tension and stress. OK it took several months to learn what I have - which is very little considering how extensive yoga is.
Yoga has taught me to walk and sit properly, to relax and avoid tension and pain. For anyone that has experienced something similar to my back pain nightmare - consider all the options for pain relief, even those that may not seem suitable - sometimes they may surprise you and bring you out at the other end - whole!
But do remember, your doctor is the first person you should talk to because your back is such an intricate piece of equipment, where most if not all the nerves in the body pass through, so you'll understand you don't want to be damaging any of them.