Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back, Back, Back It Up

Well, after about 10 days I finally have at least a pretty good idea of what's going on with my body! Hooray! My brilliant and generous physical therapist friend Heidi helped me out with an exam and thinks I have a herniated disc. I thought I was too young for back problems (wishful thinking), but apparently they are rather common for people my age.

Heidi helped me understand more about the problem and how to start reducing the pain. She pointed out that flexion (bending forward) exacerbates the issue and showed me that I should bend from the hips with a neutral spine--every time I bend!

What not to do!

Just in the few hours since I saw her, I'm realizing exactly how much I lean forward and how tough it's going to be to change my habit of rounding my back. And of course, sitting with poor posture (especially in my low back) is also part of the problem.

So now I'm working on bending from the hips with a neutral spine and using a small support behind my lower back when I sit. I'm also going to continue taking it easy on exercise--especially strength training--until I'm feeling significantly better. I'm so grateful to Heidi for her help, and already I feel more informed about small ways to avoid this pain in the future.

One potential obstacle for pain management in the coming weeks will be the amount of traveling we have planned. Tomorrow Terry and I will drive up to see my parents for a few days, and the following week I'll be flying to Upstate New York, where Terry will be staying for a business trip. The long car rides and plane rides will certainly be a challenge, but hopefully Heidi's tips will help.

Meanwhile, this week has been all about packing, preparing, cleaning, and getting excited for the trip(s)! My parents are moving out of their current home, which makes me a little sad but mostly excited for them. They get to design their dream home, and I already can't wait to enjoy many years and family milestones there! While I'm up north, I'm sure I'll get to help with packing, sorting through 27 years of boxes and clothes and closets, and cleaning. Lots of good memories to pack up!

Happy Friday to you!


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