Tag Archives: back pain

Turn the pain into science

So, you have tweaked you back again!  Now your whole day consist’s of finding positions of comfort and seeing what moves hurt.

Don’t think of this as suffering,  Think of this an an experiment. Of course you are the only participant so no drug company can use your results, ( without re validating them) but, its interesting science nevertheless.

if you have been reading this blog you will have had several bracing strategies discussed. You probably ignored them or just skim read them.

Now its time to experiment. Does bracing your abs stop the pain: is sucking you abs in or pushing them out pain relieving. If so, how much in and how much out. Is it mild engagement or hard engagement ? Experiment with the anti shrug. Does pulling your shoulders down help?

Now, if possible get up and walk, swing your arms.

Move.

Does that help?

Do you find that if you lie down or lean against something it helps, but its a bit of a pig to get moving again?

What back movements hurt or help: does moving into flexion hurt, or extension? Can you find a neutral spine? does it help.

Now pay attention to your bum. Does one cheek hurt more than the other. Does it feel dull?   Is one leg sore compared with the other

What movements create pain. if theses are limb movements can you reduce the pain by  bracing your abs more, because, if you can, you could well have discovered, that for example, every time you move your leg, you actually move your back too! Thats a lot of work for your poor back.

Observe, experiment, record.Learn.

Unless your doctor has diagnosed “cancer of the back”, the chances are that the  LBP you suffer from is what 98% of others suffer from. You can fix it!

As always if you cannot find a  position of ease  check out  RED FLAGS , so see your doctor who may want to screen you for other possibilities. but if you simply have LBP, start to sort the issues.

So I screwed my back again

I always like re -injuring my back, as it really helps me cut through the academic and medical bullshit.

Its very common for us to over sympathise with  and “forgive” back pain sufferers .

We should not.

Every single bit of “normal”  back pain  is self inflicted. (m not talking about the weird obscure stuff that effects  a teeny proportion of back sufferers). Im talking about our old friend , the non specific back pain stuff that is now costing the NHS loads of money.

Anyway , today  I pulled my back in gymnastics. Obviously i could go on a campaign: one that bans gymnastics, and  stops gymnasts from holding high office. Gymnasts should be rounded up and shot. Certainly banned from schools,

You will find lots of campaigns like this: Ban Crossfit, ban strength training, Olympic weightlifting . If you come across someone  trying to ban something, look at their personal involvement and see if their conclusion is reasonable. Being knocked down by a car, does not justify a ban on cars: iI may justify a lower speed limit, more education for pedestrians etc.

So, I screwed my back doing gymnastics? Well, actually yes and no. Here is the whole story.

1) over the last month, my focus has slipped. I found myself more and more in my slumping place, slumping. I have done no “good core” enhancing exercise. My hip and shoulder flexibility regimes have wobbled.

2) On wednesday I booked  myself quite a tough day: 3 hours driving ( I rarely drive) and 8 hours standing about ( i was an extra in film set)

3) On thursday, apart from one gymnastic training session ( 1 hour) i slopped around the flat. I slumped and hunched.

4) On thursday night, i had a terrible night: I got up late on Friday, and  after skipping breakfast I went to gymnastics. I did my normal 1 hour session 10  to 11), but as warm up and  planned to start my coached session straight after. I had felt my 1st back twinge at 10.50, but continued  after a quick rest.  At 11.10m, my  coached session began and at 11.20 a slightly wrong back flick, brought the pain flashing up. While I could still move. I stopped.

So here was the story. Id stopped all my recommended exercises and began slumping. In short, i wasn’t building up my back balance as Stuart McGill tells us to do, and I was “spending” back capacity like water. That said, I had still got through my basic “back buck spending” sport. and then, at the end of a terrible week, i thought i should push my luck by adding an extra hour.

I’m a pratt and  I deserve every scrap of pain!!

Get rid of your “slumping place”

Everyone has a happy place: part of your mind that you can go to when you are happy.

Some naughty children have a naughty step: where they are sent to “reflect” after being naughty.

Smokers have  a smoking place.

As someone with repeating back pain ( assuming its not a red flag or something more serious) I can pretty much guarantee that you have a “slumping place”

Its where you sneak off to and slump. The (normally) soft  cushions allow you to collapse your back, for hours as you watch TV or read or surf the internet.  In many cases the cushions have become moulded to  the  flexion based spinal curve that will make your back ache.

You feel it as you lie there ( slump/sit there). You know its bad for you, but, it feels so good.

Here is a picture of my slump place. I try to avoid it like the plague. I try and sit   on my wooden seat if i can , or if I want a nap or a lie down, the hard floor with appropriate lumbar support, but, BUT, if I want to guarantee to make my back hurt, this is where I will slump.

my slumping space
My Slumping Place

 

It used to be one of those reclining seats…. now its this sofa type thing

Maybe like me, you cannot actually throw it out: so be it, Learn to avoid it.

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Do you slump?

I fix the backs of sedentary people and of several elite athletes, also middle range  Crossfit athletes.

One thing Ive notice about those with bad backs is their ability to push themselves beyond the call of duty.  In fact they have the reputation of being hard workers, motivated and always on the go!

The reality is , once the doors are closed, they  can head for the settee and slump. For hours!!!! They can happily stay in bed if allowed, and they can be very , very lazy.

Hard ( some would say obsessive) work can sometimes be matched by back destroying  activity elsewhere.