If so, I’d like to offer you five simple tips that could significantly help to relieve your back pain.
Like you, I too have had back problems. As a body builder, I used to lift heavy weights. Then in 1999, at the age of 54, I severely injured my back lifting weights. I had a slipped disc or what is sometimes called a bulging or a herniated disc.
After it happened the pain was so severe, it was like a bolt of lightening shooting through my body and it dropped me to the floor.
An ambulance rushed me to the hospital where it took numerous pain killers to sedate me. Then in intense pain, it was all I could do to get out of bed and use a walker to go to the bathroom.
When I returned home, I was so unsteady on my feet; at first, I still needed that walker. But I soon stopped taking the pain killers because they made me groggy and I feared becoming addicted to them. This meant I was often in intense pain.
My physical limitations required my wife Anne and me to sleep downstairs and she helped me to shower.
To remain productive, my home office chair was heavily pillowed, or I worked while lying on the couch, writing my newspaper columns as best I could on an angle and conducting interviews only by telephone. I worked for limited time periods before the pain stopped me.
To this day, I am indebted to my family and friends for their good natured assistance.
As the weeks passed, I began walking small distances and pushed myself to walk longer. After a while, I could walk long distances and I could ride seated in a car again.
But for the next two years, the pain kept flaring up and desperately seeking relief, I went to a back surgeon and had an MRI done. The damage to my discs was extensive but he advised me not to have back surgery, but instead major physical therapy.
It was excellent advice. In the months that followed, I went to a top physical therapist who taught me exercises I do today and in the process, I learned some techniques you may also find quite effective in relief of your back pain. Despite the severity of the injury, I now function normally and with relatively little pain.
Here are the five simple tips that could significantly help to relieve your back pain:
1) Regularly get up from your chair. Many people sit for long periods and if you’re one of them, you’re putting significant stress on your discs. With time, this alone can cause deformity and back pain. So that I won’t forget to get out of my chair, I drink lots of water and nature regularly calls.
2) Lay down preferably face down for five minutes at a time at least twice during an eight hour work shift. This will unload the weight from your spine and let it relax. To be more comfortable, place a pillow or a rolled up small towel under your head and neck.
3) While you’re lying down, breathe deeply through your nose, relax your muscles and think positive thoughts. This will make you feel good and you’ll return refreshed and ready to go again.
If you’re thinking, ‘where at work can I lay down,’ if you’re cubicle is big enough, lay down on the floor. Simply let those around you know what you’re doing so as not to surprise them. Otherwise select an unused conference room, an empty office or some other out of the way spot.
If your concern is you’re too busy to do this or that you shouldn’t do it because others don’t do it, then you will continue with your back pain, your unrelieved stress and the pain pills you take. And as need be, you’ll have to call in sick to work and rest your back in bed.
4) If you haven’t already done so; get a chair that is well designed to support your back. In recent years, they’ve become common in the workplace. But if your employer won’t provide one, then it’s well worth buying one.
5) Take a walk. Few people realize this but walking is one of the best back exercises. From my severe back injury, my physical therapist checked my posture and taught me how to walk all over again, at first an odd feeling for me at 57 years of age. But what a difference it has made.
Walking also burns calories and is good for your heart, your brain and every other part of your body that better blood circulation can help. And it can be a fine stress reliever.
Plan to walk at least 10 minutes at a time, which is sufficient for your spine and your muscles to adjust. But ideally, think of the TV show, “60 Minutes” with its ticking clock and in the course of a day, give yourself a total of 60 minutes of walking.