Friday, October 23, 2015

Back pain - what to do?

Yesterday I read a book, that helped me a lot to understand the spine and what can cause back pain. Alone because of the simple yet profound description of the anatomy the book is valuable. Yet it has also other great tips.

Here I summarize everything that I learned from all different sources:
1. Observe yourself in daily life. How do you stand, sit? How do you pick up heavy or not so heavy things from the floor. How do you get out of bed?
- I found out that I need a desk chair. I remember when we moved I used to say: I cannot sit here. My chair has no little wheels and it has not the right height for me. To buy a new chair has now priority.
- It's a bit difficult for me to get out of bed without turning and twisting the body as we sleep under the roof. I have to find a way to get up that is not that awkward as it is now.

2. Weight: I don't only talk about the body weight here. Some times ago I bought a little shopping wagon. Since then I don't carry heavy bags anymore when I do grocery shopping. Very consequently I'll use this wagon from now on. It could also be a good idea to hang my camera over my left shoulder every other day.

3. Sean recommended to write a journal to find out what are the triggers for the pain. In my case it's when I sit too long. Perhaps I can find out more when I write a journal. That is I have to stand up and move after 30 min. And as already mentioned I need an appropriate chair.

4. The clerk of the drug store recommended Magnesium (400mg).

5. I also bought and use French brandy for my back.

6. Hot baths can relieve the pain. Next week I'll go swimming and I'll go to the sauna. Wet heat is better than dry heat.

7. I learned a lot of exercises to relief the pain. Good is to know a few of them and to apply them several times of the day as a routine for life.

8. Many recommended exercises resemble asanas. So I see no reason to stop with my yoga practice. Sean warned to do cobra pose. Perhaps I should omit the back bending asanas when in pain. But I'll surely get back to practice back bending.

9. There are different sorts of pain. The stretching discomfort how I prefer to call it is good pain. Also the burning of the muscles when working on gaining strength, yet the back pain is a bad pain that I try to avoid. That is I omit asanas that come with this pain.

10. Staying optimistic supports healing. Many people have a much more unhealthy life style than me and they got rid of the back pain, why not me? It's important to make the life style changes that I described and it's important to stick to them. Correct movement in daily life is so important.

11. To have strong abdomen is useful. I'll engage my bandhas. From now on I'll never forget this during my practice.

Please note: all the above tips are life style changes. It's OK to take pain killers to avoid that the pain becomes chronic. Yet pain killers are not a solution for long as they have side effects. One must eliminate the causes for the pain, not only the pain.

Time to step on my mat. Primary today. I'll omit sun salutations B.

Picture: My mother-in-law, 91 years old, practicing hasta padangusthasana. She rocks.

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