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LarryD517

How To Heal A Sore Back...

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(Okay, I shamelessly chose that subject line hoping to get eyeballs for this post, but as long as you clicked the link, you might as well read what I have to say)

Full disclosure, I am not a doctor nor a physixal therapist,...anyone experiencing pain should consult with a trained professional. Now that my lawyers are satisfied...

I feel the first step to healing a bad back is to try and find out what is causing the back pain. Eliminating the source or modifying your activity can go a long way to healing.

Case in point, ever since I took up yoga, I've noticed I don't get sore back (mainly muscle pain) as often as I used to, if at all. I've told people that the added strength as a result of the various exercises (locust, bow for strength as well as a ton of twists found in many other poses) greatly contributed. With my new found well being, I had a sore back for a few days a few weeks ago, to the point that I had to take a few Advil before my morning session.

I put my mind into high gear and started to go through the list of possible culprits. Since I have a better physical profile (daily yoga for six months), it can't be due to atrophy. I work out smart, that is, I don't push myself doing stupid things, in fact, I try to do the same sequence daily, slowly working my way from one area to the other.

I realized it wasn't yoga, so I looked at the other aspects of my daily routine. I know sleeping position can cause pain, specifically sleeping on my side with raised knee causes a twisting spine soreness the next morning, so I avoid it.

After going through every activity in my mind, I realized that when I laid on the couch in the den, I'd have a sore back the next day. It's really comfortable, probably too comfortable. As an experiment, I tried sitting up on the couch and remarkably the pain went away. If I want to lay down, I modified the position so I'm not fully down, but support my back on an angle with firm pillows and out my legs up on the couch.

Been totally pain free. As I'm a student of scientific method (control/variable) experiments to eliminate the false positive, I, sadistically, deliberately laid down one night and the next day I could feel some soreness.

Can this cure other people's back issues? Not sure, but if you have periodic lower back soreness, try looking at your redlining position and the support you get from a couch or bed mattress. In some cases this can help.

Along similar lines, my left shoulder blade was in excruciating pain, to the point where it was difficult to drive with two hands on the wheel. I noticed, however, that when I woke up I felt great, albeit a minor dull pain. It only hurt (sharp pain) in the afternoon, typically on the drive home. It never hurt on weekends, either, so I figured it wasn't due to sleep position. I don't hold the phone in the crook of my neck, so that can't be it. Since it was only one side, it wasn't due to any exercise.

So I carefully examined every aspect of my day, specifically my office as it only hurt after work. I realized green tea was the culprit (before you reply that green tea is the healthiest think you can consume...I agree). I drink no less than ten to fifteen cups a day...I reuse the leaves so there's little or no caffeine after the first cup. After a while I'm really drinking hot water with a trace of tea flavoring.

So how did green tea hurt my shoulder, you ask? The hot water dispenser is on the other side of the office, probably a minute walk. Because I'm such a huge tea drinker, friends gave my a large mug, probably 20 ounce capacity (so I can make less trips back and forth to refill). On the way back to my desk, with a full mug, I realized the way I was holding the mug, straight out at a ninety degree angle was causing a lot of torque on my shoulder, specifically the exact location where I get pain later on. It seems laughable, but carrying almost three pounds (full mug) on one side of the body ten or more times a day for a minute or more every day of the year, for years, takes its toll. I changed the way I hold the mug, I hold it down at my side, palming it like a basketball. Within days I could feel the dullness of the pain subside. After a week or two, the pain was gone completely. To complete the scientific method, I tried holding it out like I formerly did and within a few seconds, I felt the strain on my shoulder in the exact area where I used to get the pain.

I went from not being able to hold my arm up to grab the steering wheel...to completely pain free in the matter of a few weeks.

I wonder how many tens of thousands of dollars of medical costs I'd have incurred had I went to a doctor, orthopedist, massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist. I'd probably have wasted hours and hours going to appointments trying to cure something that was as a simple as changing the way I held a tea mug.

Please don't infer that I think you should avoid the doctor, quite the opposite, I think trained professionals should be one of your first considerations, but also, try and figure out if there's something in your daily routine that is causing the discomfort.

I'm not saying that this will work for everyone, but I am 100% convinced that I elimnated two nagging pain issues simply by making a few modification.

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