Fixing my #backpain – When slouch = ouch

wooden figure slumped over with back painI finally figured this out. My back and shoulders have been killing me for over a week, now, and I haven’t been able to get much relief. My spouse has been putting analgesic cream on it, which has helped, and I found some stretches that help. But still, not as much progress as I was needing.

Then I took a step back and thought about how my shoulders and back and legs are all connected, and it occurred to me that tightness in one area is pulling my back out of alignment. I started stretching my legs and lower back, as well as keeping my posture straight.

Lo and behold, that gave me relief. I’ve been slouching too much while working, for the past couple of weeks. And I’ve been driving a lot. So, my posture is out of whack. And that’s pulling my whole back out of alignment and causing the pain. I haven’t been able to lift weights, and I haven’t been able to sleep well, and that’s never good.

So, I’ve been keeping my posture straight, not slouching, keeping my lower back arched the way it should be. I do it while sitting, while driving, while standing, while exercising. And it gives me huge relief.

Now I need to strengthen my body overall to hold that posture. Tone myself up and make sure I have the structural support I need.

This is doable. Very much so. I’m just glad I figured this out before I did permanent damage to myself.

Onward.

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Rest day – sort of

Chill
My right shoulder has been giving me some trouble, lately, so I didn’t lift today. I stretched. Amazing how tight my shoulder is. It feels better now – I think I just haven’t been stretching it enough, and the muscles are pulling everything out of whack.

So, I stretched. And I need to do more of that during the course of my days. It doesn’t take much. I just need to remember to do it. Sitting in front of a computer all day tends to be hard on the body.

I’ve got an appointment with my neuropsych this afternoon. Today we’re going to talk more about my eventful childhood in hopes of better understanding some of the gut reactions that slow me down and make my life more difficult than it has to be. My history of pediatric TBI “loaded me up” with a bunch of experiences that have burdened me for many years, and my rigid thinking kind of cemented some self-perceptions in place.

Now I have a chance to turn that around. I don’t want pity, and I don’t want to get too overwrought over things. My NP tends to be good about not riling me up, and when I do get bent out of shape, they’re pretty good about backing off.

Except when they’re not.

But that’s another story.

Anyway, I am asking for help at work with some things I’ve fallen behind on, and that’s a sign of progress. I just realized that this morning — it’s progress, not a sign of failure. Everybody needs help now and then. What makes me so different?

Anyway, I’m trying to get to work at a decent time today. I don’t want to run late like I did yesterday — it gets my day off to a bad start. I’m off to a better start today, than yesterday. I got 5-1/2 hours of sleep last night – up from the 4-1/2 on Sunday night. The relatives coming to visit over the weekend really got me unbalanced, with regard to my schedule and my nervous system, and some things happened last night with my spouse that also got me riled. Not terrible things, just upsetting stories about what happened on their business trip.

So, I’m pretty tired today. And I see my NP this afternoon… and then I have a late meeting at 7:30 p.m. with some colleagues overseas. Fortunately there’s a “quiet room” at work where I can lie down and take a nap if I need one. I did that yesterday, and I woke up feeling 100% better. Well, 85% better… but that’s a hell of a lot better than when I decided I needed a nap.

More progress — I took myself to the quiet room and got 20 minutes of rest, instead of driving myself with caffeine and sugar.

Anyway, time to get going. More to come.

Onward.