Welcome to the straight and unconfused path to getting out of back pain and getting back to a healthy and athletic life. If you are reading this, then you have taken the first step to getting out of pain and back to your kids, friends, sports, and fun. Back to your life.
I used to suffer from terrible back pain and even had surgery that didn’t fix my pain. Through a lot of trial and error, I have found the principles necessary to get out of pain. Now, I’m sharing.
What follows are the key mistakes I have found both with myself and from interviewing other sufferers of back pain. Check these out and make sure you stay well out out the mistake zone!
Mistake #1 – Not getting help
By far, the biggest mistake that back pain sufferers make is to try and go it alone. For some reason, asking for help is just not in the cannon. For some reason, people will think they can solve it on their own. Rather than looking for someone who can help, they will try stretches and then wonder why in the world this horrid pain has been bestowed upon them. The best thing you can do is to go and get checked out by a doctor and not a very confident but incorrect friend.
Mistake #2 – Not getting educated about the back
This is huge. People do not seek out information about how the back works and what treatments are available. When you know nothing about what might be going on in the back, then whatever treatment that is finally pursued is based on “feel”. People don’t know what treatments are most effective. As a result, people effectively guess what might work and then try that for a few wasted months. Enter your name and email on the right to get educated.
Mistake #3 – Not being proactive
When you have chronic pain, it can be very hard to do something about it. The pain is very limiting and all encompassing. Quickly the victim mentality can set in. This is very understandable because the pain can wreak havoc on your mental state. They key here is to channel that sadness into an aggressive desire for relief. It is completely possible to get that relief and you must drive towards it with positive aggression not accepting what won’t work. Get proactive.
Mistake #4 – Doing the same ineffective thing over and over
This is a tough one. You’ve been seeing your back person and doing the scheduled follow ups but you are not getting any better. If this is happening, then the treatment is not effective and you need to stop and find another option. However, see mistake #1 and #2 above. Not knowing what the issue is will again lead to another guess on what might work. Take stock of where you are and if you are making progress. Cut out what’s not working and get educated.
Mistake #5 – Accepting weak and injured as an identity
For people who have back pain that is chronic and severe, it’s awful. Terrible. Awful. It can destroy your mental and emotional state because the pain wears you down. If there is no relief from the pain and it goes on for days or even weeks, it’s hell. Part of that is the idea that you can’t do anything about it. This is completely untrue. It’s a mindset that has grown from the pain. You can switch that mindset to one of overcoming the pain and drive energy towards that outcome. Do it now!
Mistake #6 – Stretching incorrectly after sitting
If your low back is hurting, forward bends are likely to make it worse. If there is a kyphosis of the lower spine accompanied by pain from long periods of sitting, then a forward bend is going to multiply the pain by intensity and time. Don’t do it. Get educated about the hips and do movements and stretches that will activate the neuromuscular motor units in the right musculature…in this case the muscles of the anterior hip joint. An iliopsoas stretch may be the right one to employ.
Mistake #7 – Being inactive
The more you are inactive during pain, the longer the pain will last. The movement pathway in the nervous system is the same as the pain pathway. While you really should take it easy if there is an injury and you need to keep that area immobile to heal, often with chronic back pain there isn’t an injury from a particular incident or the major healing has already taken place.
Once the severe pain period is over, doctor approved light everyday activity needs to happen. Blood flow to the area will help it feel better. Movement will help it feel better. Often the common prescription from doctors is to take acetaminophen and stay active. This is often the least followed advice but the most effective.
Mistake #8 – Believing there is no exercise you can do
When you are immobile, there are other areas of the body that can be exercised. If you can’t lift something, you can probably do leg extensions or a chest press or a pull down in a gym. You can ride a stationary bike or you can swim. There is movement you can do and that movement will help you get out of pain and heal. Find movements that you can do. Email me if you need help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mistake #9 – Overlooking a huge thing you can control – diet
If you can’t get up because of back pain or you can only walk to the bathroom, then one very powerful thing you can work on is your diet. You can skip bread, crackers, cookies, sweets (including fruit), and anything starchy and eat vegetables, nuts and seeds. This is a very simple thing in concept you can do to lose weight while you are inactive. The most effective way to lose weight is with diet changes switching to lower energy or lower-glycemic foods. It also happens to be something that is very easily done when you are unable to be active. It’s just a decision and then chewing.
That’s it! These are the 9 common mistakes of back pain. Do the opposite! Be the person who doesn’t make these mistakes. Commit to getting help and getting educated. Don’t waste another minute of your life believing you can’t do anything about your back pain and take action. Learn the right movements and stretches that will help you. Get active and stay active to prevent back pain. Remove starchy sugary foods and eat healthy vegetables so you can improve whether you are in pain or not!
Your partner in ending back pain,