Take Charge by Living Large
A Painful Reminder
Everybody hates having a pain in their back—lower, middle, on top, and all over your backside. It’s excruciating and drains your energy. Sure, aspirin could help kick it to the curb to elevate the agony for a few hours. Poor posture, improper footwear, and a bad bed are a few reasons why we experience a backache, time and time again. For me, it was a different and personal story.
When I was twelve-years-old, I was diagnosed with having Scoliosis, which is the curvature of the spine that was shaped like the letter S. From there, I had back surgery, a metal rod inserted to fix it, staples to close it, and wore a back brace for most of my humiliating two years in junior high. Fast forward to 2015, after twenty-five years, I experienced a terrible backache last spring and saw my family doctor about it. My neck ached it from well. I had an X-ray, an MRI and a Cat-Scan to see what caused the pain. After they ruled everything out, including a kidney stone, they discovered that the bottom of the rod had wear-and-tear.
From there, I was referred to a neurologist, since I had concerns about having Scoliosis again. With a new Scoliosis X-ray, he determined that since I rated the back pain a 5 back then, I didn’t need surgery. But besides a problem with balance, gait, and posture, he suggested a cortisone shot or doing physical therapy.
Of course, those options were expensive at best, when your health insurance paid for it. Instead of spending money and hours in rehab, there are some other suggestions to help you save cash and feel better fast.
What Scoliosis Looks Like
Lower Back Pain poll
Have you ever had lower back pain?
Daily Walks in Comfy Sneaks Helps Lower Back Pain
Walk Right and Straight With New Footwear
If you stand on your feet for a long period of time in shoes, and if your feet cramp up and hurt, it’s time to change your footwear to comfortable ones. That’s what I did. I walked in my Keds for volunteering and to do chores and errands. Tennis or walking sneakers from Reebox or any other company can help your feet feel better any time of the day. It sure helped me out in the long run, since I ditched the old ones in May 2015 and worn my new pairs of sneakers.
During the summer, you can still feel the same cushioning in flip-flops and sandals. For winter, pretty much in boots and galoshes as well. If you’re the type to wear shoes, try to find them with cushioning inside the soles and preferably a flat or a low heel-typed of the shoe. Within time, you can feel a difference in your posture and also on your feet.
A Good Sleep Will Help You Feel Better
Sleep Well With Memory Foam Pillows and Mattress
How long has it been, since you bought a new pillow or mattress for your bed? Maybe it’s time to ditch them and replace them, without getting a new frame? Whether you sleep with one or two pillows under your head, if they’re flat and lost its fluff, consider buying a new pillow with memory foam or one with cervical support. You can find one that’s perfect for you, if you sleep on your side, back, stomach or both at any store.
If you enjoyed sleeping on a soft bed, try to consider getting one that’s stiff to support your back. It would take time to get used to it. If you can’t afford a Tempur-Pedic or Sleep Numbers bed, consider getting one with memory foam instead. It would save you money in the long run.
Here are some tricks I’d learned from physical therapy last year that you can do at home. If you sleep on your back, insert your pillow under your knees. If you sleep on your side, place the pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your stomach, place your pillow under the lower part of your legs. You can use any small towel for cervical support and place them around your waist.
Try these ideas and see what happens? Are you walking straight with good posture? Sleeping well without pain? If so, you’re on the right track. We’ll move onto sitting next week, and the pros and cons of therapy.
My Health Update from 2015
Here's my health update from 2015. When I went to my neurologist in February, he gave me a clean bill of health. My back pain had decreased bit by bit. I've slept on my new bed for a year-and-a-half, around the same time I've gotten new sneakers for walking and for when I volunteered. It worked like a charm. If you wear new sneakers and get a new mattress or bed set with a stiff board and memory foam pillows and mattress, your sleep will improve. If you stay fit and active by walking, you won't have any repeat episodes of back pain. Overall, since I had back pain for 1.5 years, I've had two physical therapy sessions, one aquatic physical therapy session, and post-therapy sessions at the gym to work out at the pool and at the machines, five times a week, have worked wonders for my back pain. And it can work for you, too!