Research tells us that at least 80% of the American population will have some type of back problem during their life. Complaints of uncomfortable back pain are the most common musculoskeletal issues brought to physicians.
Does this resonate with you? Have you had back pain, tightness, has your back felt weird? Do you have an existing chronic back issue? Have you seen a Doctor, Chiropractor, Physical Therapist or Masseuse for your back, or any combination of these practitioners?
I have had a “BAD BACK” for quite some time. Many years ago after the birth of my first child, he’s 33, and before the birth of my second, she’s 29, I threw my back out for the first time. Now I know that “Threw My Back Out” is not actually what happened but that’s what it felt like. I was teaching a high impact aerobics class, remember those days? One minute I was doing jumping jacks and high kicks and the next I was on the floor in agony. I could not move without excruciating pain. Not only was I in pain but I felt fragile and physically vulnerable.
Now, I have been somewhat of an athlete all my life. I have had confidence in my physical being. So, the feeling of fragility was new and very scary to me.
My class participants tried to help but I couldn’t even handle them touching me. Eventually, by totally admonishing myself I was able to crawl to the stairs and inch my way down. My husband had been called and due to the advice of others I went first to a Chiropractor. That turned out to be a huge mistake as the person I saw treated me without doing an X-ray and made the problem much worse.
Aside here: this is not the practice of most Chiropractors, especially today 32 years later. Most Chiropractors are very knowledgeable and safe.
Moving on, I healed fairly quickly and continued my not so safe work-out: racquetball and lots of high impact cardio, aerobics, and running.
I threw my back out again and a few years later again. This was just not good. I was also told I would have to be adjusted weekly for the rest of my life.
On Christmas Day about 15 years ago, I did it again. There I was crawling to my bed with my grown son crawling with me. He wanted to pick me up but that just wasn’t happening. I made a decision that day to learn more about backs in general and my back specifically. I read everything I could get my hands on and changed my own work-out considerably.
Bottom line was I had to take control. I learned so much about a balanced work-out and CORE, CORE, CORE work.
I still have a bad back and I still have days with pain. I have not had a major episode though in a long time and I work daily to be sure to not ever have one again. It has been a journey.
MaryAnn Smith, AVAC’s Wellness Director, and I will be presenting “Better Back Basics” on June 7th at AVAC’s Absolute Family Fun Day. This work-shop is free and I would love to help you learn more about your back. From my experience, the more you know about your body, the better it will work for you.
AVAC Group Activities Director