THIS IS A MARATHON. NOT A SPRINT.
Restoring correct biomechanics in the spine is a daily thing. Expecting a one shot miracle cure is unrealistic.
The first step, acute phase, is to release tight spinal ligaments. The best way is to start moving the spine. Enroll in a back stretching class, in person or online if available. These include:
- Yoga - Start with the easiest back centric
- Pilates - Reformer is preferred to floor exercises
- Chiropractic - Pain relieve is usually rapid
- Physical Therapy - A referral is generally needed
You must give the first step at least 30 days, with a minimum of every other day. If your pain increases after 2 weeks, switch to another method.
The second step, restoration phase, includes increasing all ranges of motion in the back and neck. This is for a lifetime. Keep the following in mind:
- Be mindful to keep your head aligned over your body (as oppose to in front of your shoulders).
- Lift your chest up
- Roll your shoulders back and down
- Sleep on your back or side, never on your stomach. Avoid using pillows that prop your head forward
The third step, strength phase, is just that. Build muscles to hold your frame. If not done correctly, it can set you back. Please take note of the following:
- Your posterior muscle chain is more important than your anterior chain. That means strengthen your lats more than your pecs; your glutes more than your abs
- Maintain correct posture during all strength training
- Never hire a personal trainer who is not an expert in injury restoration
Living with recurrent or chronic pain is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It limits both the quality and activities of normal life. It is often misunderstood by others, which is discouraging to the spirit.
I have seen, through the course of my career, many patients whose lives were severely altered by injury, by pain. In most cases, through hard work and perseverance, they got their lives back. Some had to learn how to manage their issues.
There is hope for you too!
Keep moving, keep trying, stay positive. One step at a time. Setbacks are inevitable.