Back health is important to everyone, but it wasn’t until I suffered for years with sciatica, that I realized just how important back health is. I shared my sciatica saga here on the blog. Fortunately, however, it’s been eight years since I’ve had a flareup. I owe the lack of sciatica pain to 1) awareness and 2) my healthy back protocol.
Back Pain and Awareness
As simple as awareness sounds, I wasn’t truly aware of what I was doing to cause my sciatic condition. The biggest culprit was sitting at the computer for hours a day. Back then I was operating several blogs and spent an inordinate amount of time writing.
Throughout the school day (my kids were young and in school) I sat and I wrote, only getting up for bathroom breaks. I even ate at the desk, because I knew my writing time was limited to the hours the kids were in school and the hours they were asleep. There was much to accomplish in those hours so I sat for long periods of time.
That long-term sitting was setting me up for pain. I am now aware of how sitting too long affects my back, joints and muscles. I’m almost obsessive about getting up and stretching if I sit in one place for too long.
Healthy Back Protocol
I’ve outlined my anti-sciatica protocol in another post. However, now that I’m not in the acute phase of back pain, I’ve modified my daily back routine. It’s much less intense. It basically involves using a back roller (as recommended by my chiropractor) and stretching daily.
On occasion, if I find my back is tight, I use the back massager. It’s a neat little device that massages and applies heat to the affected area.
Additionally, when I do things like lift heavy objects, shovel snow, rake leaves or dig dirt in the garden, I’m aware of the pressure I place on my lower back. I take precautions to protect my back with simple things like proper lifting procedures. When I shovel, rake or dig I make sure to switch sides to evenly distribute the workload.
If my muscles start to give me the hint that I’m doing too much. I stop. Gone are the days of “powering through.” I’m older and wiser now.
Learn from Mistakes
Pain is a great teacher. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way how important it is to take the necessary steps to maintain a healthy back. It’s a lesson that is etched in my mind and in my daily habits. As a result, my chiropractic visits are few and far between.
I’ve found that the best remedy for back pain is prevention.
Here’s a video showing the tools I use: