How a Reader Stopped Recurring Pain, Got Stronger, and Said Aha!
Liz from New Zealand left a comment on the post Surfer's Myelopathy,
"Short history, I have hurt my lower back and neck several times previously through poor lifting technique and bad posture. My chiropractor did help, but it kept happening. I used to sit at a computer most of the day at work, then drive home, then go for a 30min walk with minimum stretching.
"Last year, when my back was ok, I decided to try riding my bike to work, three days a week, for the environment, the money, and for my fitness and weight. Each way is 12 kms, very hilly too in Auckland (New Zealand). After one week, my lower back was very badly hurt. I thought I'd never be able to ride to work again, that I'd have to get dressed sitting down for the rest of my life and I could barely walk. I felt like an old arthritic lady and I was only 38.
"I searched every book and website I could find, I had the idea it was my posture but I didn't know what to do about it. I found some information, but often what they recommended I couldn't do, they were too extreme or hurt me more or made no difference.
"Then I found your website www.drbookspan.com. Aha! I thought-this sounds good. And it was.
"I bought your book "Fix your own pain" and learn't more and got stronger and healthier, following your advice.
"But still my back hurt a bit, I would forget to tuck my pelvis, then it hurt and I'd remember. I would get up and move around more, I adjusted my chair and computer to help my posture at my desk, but would forget and slump and my back or neck would hurt and I'd then I'd remember.
"I can't believe how long it took me to "Click." When you say it's for every time you bend, you mean Every Single Time! Keep your pelvis gently tucked All The Time. Keep your back straight, heels down and knees over your ankles Every Single Time you bend.
"Then I started to remember alot more, and my back only hurt a little bit. Then just recently I decided to try cycling again.
"And my lower back hurt again. I went back to your book and read some more and thought. I read about the hip stretches and read your blog and thought.
"And I tried two stretches I hadn't tried before, the sitting figure-4 stretch and the stretch on your blog where you lay on your back to do the figure-4 stretch and gently lean to the side your foot is facing.
"What a difference they have made. I have to tell you just those two stretches have changed my life. Now I walk (pelvis gently tucked) with no pain, I sit (small lower back arch, chin in, relaxed) with no pain. Any little twinge and I do the seated figure-4 stretch and it's gone. After my bike ride I get down on the ground (in the changing rooms!) and do the stretch on my back.
"I found that I needed to lift my foot well up from the floor, keeping my hips level, and move both legs, still in the figure-4, over to the side my foot was facing, helped by holding my crossed ankle with my hands and keeping this stretch for about 30 seconds. This increased the stretch and felt sooooo gooood. And continued to feel good after the stretch.
"This is the first time I've added a comment to a blog, but I just had to let you know how grateful I am to you and your generosity in sharing your knowledge and I wanted to share with your readers about the increased stretch, I've learnt so much from reading their stories and your replies, I wanted to contribute a little bit too."
Many many thanks, Liz
Auckland, New Zealand"
Liz, thank you for great work applying the concepts, rather than just doing treatments and exercises, and taking time to write to inspire and teach other readers. Send updates and photos when you can.
Going to a chiropractor does not solve the cause of the pain. Something may be tight or "out" but that is the result, not the cause. Save a lot of money and time by spotting the cause and making simple changes to stop it from happening again, yourself:
- When Liz says "tuck the hip" it means straighten the lower spine to neutral position, not to round the back. Rounding is tucking too much. There is a difference. Here is a post with descriptions and drawings - Prevent Main Factor in Back Pain After Running and Walking
- Quick movie of how to tuck a too large curve to neutral - Friday Fast Fitness - Neutral Spine in 5 Seconds
- Good bending for legs with neutral spine - Free Exercise and Free Back and Knee Pain Prevention - Healthy Bending
- Aha! When to use good bending for legs and spine - How Often Should You Be Healthy?
- Watch for this common mistake when stretching - Better Hip Stretch - Check Your Ankles
- Reader Mike demonstrates the seated figure 4 in A Whole Big Fix
- Fast Fitness - Great Hip, Side, Leg, and I.T. Stretch
- Increase your hip stretch (carefully) with Fast Fitness - Balance, Strength, Stretch, and Socks
- Ivy's story - Getting More From a Hip Stretch
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