We can all dream of the imaginary pill, but only last week I realised I wasn’t in pain anymore and no pill had been taken! After years of suffering I made a choice to adjust my movements and lifestyle with the intention of prevention! Thankfully I have reaped the rewards and have made these changes part of my routine. I want to bring you on this journey with me, sharing my top tips and ideas to a pain free future.
After the first of three car accidents and having tried chiropractors, acupuncturists and massages I started listening to my body. Any twinges here or there I noted, and I would back-track on when the pain began and if I could see any patterns. I, like most people with back-pain, found getting in and out of the car problematic. I gently altered my movements and positions and realised I needed to sit down in the car seat, as I would a normal chair with my legs together, swinging my legs into the footwell. Even now, I still use this movement to position myself into the car as I know it works for me and my back.
Fitness is a big deal for my physical and mental wellbeing, but with back pain, running and aerobic exercise does not work for me. I opted for the gentler, core-based activities like Pilates and yoga – plus I have real passion for these practices which helps! Walking has been great for my back and I have set myself challenges with buying a Fitbit and sacking off the bus or car to walk instead which does take some planning. A good rucksack is essential for this and to even out the weight on my back.
Going somewhere new can bring challenges like awkward chairs or standing for too long or sitting on a beach with no support. I have been suffering with back pain for many years now, which can bring irritability and anger into everyday life, I have realised it is ok to ask for another chair or cushion or a seat. Yes, back pain may be invisible, but it is still a pain (boom, boom!) and we all have a right to ask.
I have become so much more aware of how technology can really help. I have invested in a ‘robot hoover’ which hoovers independently; they are very expensive and not for everyone. If you do invest in a new hoover a cheaper alternative would need to be a light, upright one which is more back-friendly. Writing has caused me problems, so having an ‘Alexa’ has eased my pain, plus it makes great lists! Steaming food in my vegetable steamer is super healthy, keeping all the nutrients and flavour in, but is also a great tool to soften vegetables ready for chopping up. Finally, the best investment I made was a good bed, personally I would recommend a memory foam mattress.
Remember our back and core are the epicentre of movement for our bodies so even the simplest of jobs such as getting in and out of the car or cutting vegetables can impact how our back feels.
I would love to know what changes you have made to your movement and lifestyle to prevent back pain? Could you let me know so I can share it? Maybe this is the first time you have thought about it and if so, fear not, you are not alone. I am here to help with new ideas and can offer you support and encouragement.
Start this journey with me by signing up to my top tips to a pain free back.