Looking for a solution to texting thumb? Tennis elbow? It's within you! I’ve been writing about my personal experience with back pain, neck & shoulder pain, Lyme disease, stress, and chronic illness for over 3 years. Lately I’ve been learning how to better listen to my body and wanted to share my daily routine for keeping my body pain-free.
The human body can endure large amounts of trauma and pain. Think about the people you know who have walked away from car accidents, survived the impossible. Think about professional cage fighters. Your body is capable of taking a beating. I think about this while I do my stretches: I start with the basic stretches outlined below, but I’m always mixing it up and chaining things together. Imagine getting in a car accident with no seatbelt on and bouncing around the car, off the dashboard, into the backseat, etc. Your joints don’t stretch that direction following normal physical therapy exercises!
Consider the muscles in your neck between your head and right shoulder.
I’ve been using this visualization technique to help me with stretching my neck, shoulders, back, lower back, and hips. I’ve found that I am better able to “click” things back into position, like I’m my own chiropractor. I imagine that all of the muscles in my body are a series of rubber bands. Sometimes, the rubber band ties itself in a knot, or slips out of position. A common one is in your neck / shoulder area, when a particular muscle should be on top or side of your shoulder socket and switches to the opposite.
You may have already found my previous articles discussing stretches and exercises for lower back pain, and the follow-up article after I started seeing a GOOD chiropractor. For me, the neck exercises were helpful after my lower back issues were straightened out. My worst pain was in the L4 / L5 disc, which the chiropractor popped back into place after 4 adjustments. This was the first step in my recovery. Now, I'm trying to re-train my muscles such that my posture is correct.
I am writing this post as a follow-up to my previous post about stretches and exercises to help manage lower back pain. I’ve been using these stretches and exercises to manage my lower back pain for over 5 years, but now that I’ve been to a chiropractor, it’s time to share my new perspective and thoughts:
Instead, I went to my family doctor, an orthopedic specialist, a physical therapist, and a spinal (injection) specialist. Oops! All of these people I visited offered advice on how to “manage” the pinched nerve and bulged disc. The chiropractor’s objective is to actually fix the underlying cause of the pain. My first chiropractic visit lasted almost 2 hours and the initial adjustment took place in the last 5 or 10 minutes of that visit.
I find it ironic that humans are the only animal ‘lucky’ enough to walk upright, when so many suffer from lower back pain. I’ve got a slightly bulged disc in my lower back that was diagnosed in 2007. I've been through the whole process: X-Ray, MRI, pain medication, and physical therapy.
Some people suffer from lower back pain due to an injury or accident, I believe mine is mainly due to bad posture and lack of exercise. I seem to go through cycles; one week, I’m doing push-ups and sit-ups, my back feels great, and I start slacking on the exercise. I get lazy. Then the pain comes back and I start doing push-ups again. Rinse, lather, repeat.
– Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)