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Oh my aching Back!

Updated on April 19, 2012

Gardening this week just reminds of how much I have learned.

I have spent most of my life with backaches. Even as a small child I remember sleeping with my knees up to relieve the aches of my lower back. It started out as a simple accident while riding my favorite Sheltland pony Lady. We were playing hide and seek on horseback, me and my best friend Margaret that is. I was trotting by the front of my childhood home when I passed the cardboard box of baby raccoons. My father had accidentally shot the mom and we were now raising them by hand. Anyway when they woke they made their very funny sound which startled my pony when she reared up and deposited me on the sidewalk tailbone first. I was paralyzed from the neck down from this fall. Granted it was temporary and only lasted about 10 hours. It scared the crap out of my parents but the damage was done.

From that time on it seems I have had problems. I had horses fall across my pelvis, was pinned by ponies both standing and on the ground. I have had some really tough wrecks with them and in cars to for that matter. Lots of accidents and falls and it leads to a life time of aches and pains, in the back.

Well in my 20's I moved to Tennessee where I found my first Chiropractor. I found some relief with this new modality and was very glad at the time. Fast forward to years later when I found Feldenkrais and used that method for a while with some relief too. I then came across Pilates where I was strengthening my core which supports the spine and found so much more relief from any aches and pains I have had. Then the final piece of the puzzle was when I found the clinic The Egoscue Method had set up camp in my neighborhood. Was I happy about that. I had used Pete Egoscue's exercises for years for carpal tunnel and now that I had a pinched nerve, buldging disk and whiplash (deer hit me) I went to see those folks.

They give you specific and strange exercises you'd swear can't possibly help you but really do. I did everything they said and the pain that was running down my legs quit. The aches that I was having in my neck and shoulders vanished and any other strange undiagnosed pain just went away.

The best thing is I use all these modalities from time to time. I do my pilates mat class every week without fail as it keeps my core strong and keeps me limber to move. Well it also keeps me in shape but that is an added bonus. I use the Egoscue exercises whenever I seem to get my body in trouble like this week gardening. Then if it feels like structurally I am out I see my friendly neighborhood Chiropractor who adjusts me and send me on my way.

Bending over and hoeing in the garden this week just reminded me of how grateful I am to have all this knowledge. The young lady (30) who is working with me and complaining about her back is getting the benefit of my knowledge as I tell her to pull her belly button to her spine when she bends over to support her spine. She has decided to check out a local pilates class to see if it may help her with her issues that have been haunting her of late.

This spring while you are doing all those outdoor chores make sure you are careful with your back. Seek the help of one of these modalities in your area. You can google and find them in most states and cities around the country. Egoscue has 28 centers across the USA and more are opening every day. It happens that this is amazing work. He helped get Jack Nicholaus back on the golf course without back pain and has done so for many amazing athletes. So needless to say he can help you too.

Good luck to all you gardeners out there who toil in the soil like me. The benefits are so worth it when we reap the rewards of our hard work. Happy Spring.

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