Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back Support

     For about a year I’ve been dealing with some interesting back issues.  Yes, literally my lower back!  And no, it's not because I am overly endowed in the chest area!  What happens is that my back goes through periods of time where I can hardly move at all, like my muscles have given out.  I never know when it will happen because it isn't connected to some sort of wrenching or specific incident.  It’s not a sharp pain.  It’s more like my lower back just turns to mush and there is nothing there supporting me.   It feels fine when I just sit or lay down. It is when I sit or attempt to get up after laying down that it gives me problems.   I can bend over from standing with ease, though.  I wondered at first whether or not it had anything to do with ‘Aunt Flo’ coming to visit.  (I can't believe I just mentioned that)  But this most recent bout has nothing to do with that.  It has been 5 days now that I'm walking around very gingerly, not bending or lifting much at all.  I’m definitely tired of it.  I suppose it will go away eventually, like it does every time.  But oh, how it messes with my plans!  I don’t feel like doing anything, much less exercise when I feel like this.  I recently talked with a friend who has the same thing happen to her.  She also has a boyfriend who is a physical therapist.  He says that it is very commonplace in women to have back issues periodically.  He said the best thing to shorten the duration of the flare-up is to put ice on it.  So instead of pain for 5-7 days, one can shorten it down to 2-3 days.  Next time, I'm trying the ice!  
     It makes me appreciate my body, though.  When I am feeling well, I am able to do so much!  It is a wonderful vehicle to take me through life.  I definitely want to take care of it more.  So with that said, here are a few things I promise to do for my body this summer.  I’m not getting all crazy, but just these few things should help a lot!
      I’ve been sitting at my desk entirely too much.  I know it and my butt knows it.  My butt is yelling, “Get off me!”  So, I will.  I promise to faithfully get up and walk or do other things every hour.  Sometimes I get so involved in what I am doing at my desk that time can really go by quickly.  But even  right now, I am standing up as I type.  There is no reason to be sitting so much! 
     I will drink more clean, fresh water.  The benefits of drinking good water are so many.  But the thing that interests me right now is that sometimes dehydration can masquerade as hunger.  Our bodies are made of 68% or more of water.  I’m sure that the body needs water way before we are thirsty and that could easily be mistaken as hunger.  There is a new bottled water that is out and it is flavored like herbs and fruits.  I could sip on it all day long!  It’s called Ayala’s Herbal Water and it is wonderful.   Right now I'm loving the  lemongrass mint vanilla!  It is so refreshing!  My husband, however, doesn't quite share my view.  He thinks that the stuff tastes like cough syrup.  Not even!!  Men, sheesh!
      I’ve recently learned how important stretching is.  And this coming from the gal who could drop straight down into the splits without the bat of an eye just a year ago.  I can still do the splits. It's just getting out of them that's the killer for me.  It hurts!  Plus I don't drop down into them anymore.  I ease myself down into them.  But being limber isn't whether you can do the splits or not.  It's your hips, your hamstrings, your pectorals, your back!!!  If you want to stay young and not age, you need to stretch and work every one of the 600 muscles found in the body.  And especially  in view of my back issues, stretching can be one of the weapons in my arsenal to keep myself pain-free.  So, I am incorporating stretching in my daily exercise routine.  If I don’t do ANYTHING else, I will stretch.  It’s that important.  A program I’ve found recently is called Classical Stretch.  It is amazing.  The premise of the method is that without regular stretching our bodies start to atrophy as early as in our twenties.   By doing regular stretching, at least 25 minutes a day, we can alleviate the aging process our bodies go through because of non-use of our muscles and bones! 
     I want to spend more time outdoors.  The weather is beautiful right now.  I’ve got a great bike and a dog who absolutely loves to spend time with me.  I feel like being outside frees the mind, invigorates the body and rejuvenates the spirit!  So out I’ll go. 
     I don’t know how much, if any of this will ultimately help my back, but I know it will help me be a better mom, wife, friend and person!  

Disclaimer:  My post, my opinion, yours may vary!  No compensation  was received,


Amber said...

Thanks for this post - it was really eye-opening. I'm changing my computer position so I stand when I'm using it!

Georgette said...

i believe sitting in front of the computer all day can really mess your back up. It does whenever I'm on here doing blog giveaways and my own blog. I have to get up frequently and oh boy, do I feel it.
I should add- thanks to 40DD boobs, I've been "blessed"(heavy sarcasm) with back problems my whole life. A friend told me try a heating pad, but that's only a temporary fix.
Exercise has really done a huge, huge favor to my back. Walking a lot has loosened it up to the point that even if I have a lot of pain, it's still not as bad as it used to be.

Marti Tabora said...

I'm thinking I might like to try classical stretch. Thanks for all the great info.

tannawings said...

Honestly since I got on twitter (and doing some contests) I have put on 30 pounds.
Get up get moving!

Amy V said...

yes, i totally agree with you- stretching is important as is back support!

Stephanie H. said...

I have chronic back pain from an industrial accident I count my blessings everyday I had surgery in March that reduced my pain to almost nothing. I also no long need to use the scooters to go grocery shopping. I can walk to my mail box I am working on extending the distance that I can walk. It is getting better slowly.

latanya t said...

I sit at my desk too much too. Thanks for the helpful information.
I try to remind myself to get up more.

amy beth marantino said...

i learn something new every day... thanks for the good info about desk position.

Bee W Bedard said...

I do most of my work at a desk - I need to remind myself to stretch

Donna George said...

Yep, need to stretch, maybe go to the chiropractor, an do back strengthening exercises. You take care of your back, it will take care of you.

A. Smith said...

I'm in a funk right now and I just wanted to let you know how much inspiration I got from this post. My butt feels the same as yours and my lack of stretching and getting outdoors is taking a toll. I don't have back problems yet but my lower back is starting to function better in a sitting position which is not good at all. I will get outside as well.. by force at this point but it's a step in the right direction. Thanks for the virtual lift ;)