Do you associate a particular activity with back pain? Or other chronic pain?
Perhaps every time you walk, you have pain. Or when you sit or stand.
I found an interesting site by Eddie who does yoga. He has also discovered that the mind is responsible for a lot of your pain and for making it worse. His teacher told him that the mind always wants to make a big drama out of everything.
In another post The Turning Point, he talks about Dr John Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain, and says that after he read the part about associating a particluar activity with pain, he was able to take measures to prevent it happening in the future. The activity that triggered his pain was sitting. He had spent days avoiding sitting! Imagine how hard that must have been.
But the turning point of the title was when he used affirmations and communicated to his unconscious mind the way Sarno suggests, and it worked. He told himself he was well, and had nothing to fear. He reminded himself by putting up notes all over his house!
Now, that is the sort of stuff you should be doing! – Not complaining about the pain and reaffirming to yourself that you are unwell. Remember, the body cannot heal itself when it is under stress. Don’t add to the stress by telling yourself you are in pain and never going to get better.
It is possible to get better, and these change in attitude and behavior are the first step.
There are many difficulties that back pain sufferers face on a daily basis. It’s not just backache people have to contend with. There are many frequent practical and social issues that arise as a result of having back pain. I just found this comedy video that I think sums up one of them.
I often used to have the problem the guy in this video has (no, not his massage therapist’s unorthodox techniques). Sometimes it seems the world is in such a hurry, and full of impatient people.
A few years ago, I was still battling to control my back pain and although I had found a few things that worked, I still suffered with the pain quite a bit, so when I had the opportunity to go to an evangelist healer’s meeting, I was more than curious and felt I had to go along, if only for the experience. I had heard about the claims from people having been “cured” of various ailments and wondered how it was done. I also felt I had nothing to lose.
Now I’m not very religious and don’t go to church, but I am not one of those annoyingly arrogant atheists who tell innocent people like Deepak Chopra on Twitter that they peddle “tosh”, like SOME people!
(I mean if you are going to have a go at someone, it might as well be someone who is actually hurting others, don’t you think?)
I have an open mind and while I don’t believe a lot of stuff in the bible I respect that Christians and other religions believe in God in order to become better human beings, and that can only be a good thing in my opinion.
But I was aware that in order to go along to this evangelist healing meeting, I was going to have to pretend I was something I was not, and I wasn’t entirely comfortable with that. But I thought “Hey it COULD cure my back pain!”
So I went along, and sang a few hymns, and then queued in a long line of people wanting to be healed. The guy had a microphone and was praising the lord, just like you see on TV. Above the loud music (the whole thing was very LOUD!) he was stating to everyone what condition each person had, and how long they had had it for. He then appeared to bless the person and then quite abruptly push them backward into someone catching them, to stop them falling.
I remember getting quite nervous at that bit, as I thought “What if the guy behind me gets distracted by something and forgets to catch me?”
I got more nervous the nearer I got to the front, especially when the lady a few people in front of me also had a “bad back” and the minister and his helpers rocked her back and forth like she was a rag doll!
I had taken my painkillers that morning, so I wasn’t worried. If they hurt me I’ll just ask them to stop, right?
The evangelist preacher continued to heal the people in the queue; each one claiming their pain was instantly gone. Some people were crying with joy, they were so overwhelmed.
Then it was my turn. The guy told everyone my name, my condition and the length of time I’d had the back pain. “Paula has had back pain for SEVENTEEN YEARS!” he shouted excitedly. He then asked me a couple more questions and then I got the same treatment as the other lady with back pain. And they weren’t gentle either! I felt like one of those 1970s drinking birds! (below).
I tensed up and thought “this is gonna hurt tomorrow” as that’s what I was conditioned to believe, so I asked them to stop, and they did and he said I should go and sit down.
“It’s not for everyone” he said and quickly moved on to the next person without shouting the outcome for all to hear.
So I wasn’t healed, but then I didn’t give him a chance did I? I got scared and gave up. The rocking back and forth did not hurt my back though. Not then, nor the next day.
But I did learn what I believed to be a valuable lesson. One of the questions he asked me before he started “healing” me, was; “Do you believe this is going to work?”
I have to be honest. The true answer was “I don’t know” or “No, not really”. But what I said was “Yes!” as I reckoned that was the correct answer in his mind. He nodded to the others and they continued to do the old drinking bird routine on me while shouting stuff I don’t remember.
So there was my answer: You have to believe it’s going to work, or you have no chance of it doing so. Now some people reading this will think that’s a load of rubbish, but don’t under-estimate the power of the mind.
I once knew an elderly couple who were driving down the motorway (freeway) at night and saw an accident on the opposite side. The man who was driving was partially disabled and could hardly walk without severe pain, but when he saw a car plough into the back of a huge stationary truck, and saw that there were no other cars about to report the accident, he stopped his car and ran – yes, RAN – across the lanes, and jumped over the central divide to get to the victims.
I heard this story from his wife, and she said if he was claiming disability money (which he wasn’t) the authorities would be convinced he was on the fiddle if they had seen him in action on that night. Yet she knew how much he suffered every day. But the body and brain behave very differently in life and death situations. For a start, he would have been filled with adrenalin, which is an amazing pain killer. And he was on a mission to help the injured people. The last thing on his mind was his own problems.
I have heard of many similar situations where extraordinary circumstances enable us to do things we never thought we could.
My mother adopted me because she thought she couldn’t conceive. It took nearly two years to adopt me, but three months after I was adopted, guess who got pregnant? And when I tell people this, they always say that this is a common phenomenon. The same happens to men who have been told they’re unlikely to father a child, then they get a less stressful job – and Bingo!
I met a woman who read a book stating that human childbirth is done totally wrong; that we should all squat to give birth like apes do, then we would have little to no pain. She totally embraced this idea and had zero painkillers for her next child’s birth which was a great pain-free success.
In the last two examples the pressure was off, so the person was able to relax. Perhaps our bodies can only truly behave correctly (be healthy) when we are totally relaxed.
And then there’s hypnosis. Few would deny the existence of hypnosis, and how amazing things can be achieved by deceiving or manipulating the mind, and yet plenty of people still cannot accept that the mind can achieve some pretty amazing things on its own.
Now I don’t want to reject the idea that Jesus or God healed those people around me that day. But my personal belief is that they healed themselves, simply by believing they would be healed. And if so, then I guess it doesn’t matter who or what was responsible. Those people became pain free, or healed.
Even if you can’t fully believe the concept, maybe this post will help you have a more open mind. Go on – have faith!
Do you know of a story where extraordinary circumstances or faith has enabled someone to do something they didn’t think they could?
There is a lot of controversy about the use of embrionic stem cells to treat a miriad of diseases, but now patients are being treated with their own stem cells and a recent case invlolves a Dallas man having been treated for back pain.
As reported on WFAA.com (WFAA-TV), Neurosurgeon Rob Dickerman of Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas has carried out a procedure on firefighter Chris Youngman that takes cells from the hip and uses them to grow more bone tissue in place of degenerated discs in the spine.
Now Chris can work out again and return to work, thanks to the pioneering treatment.
Traditional spine surgery to treat backpain has an extremely poor success rate and has often left patients in a worse condition than before, but this type of surgery claims to be much more effective, and a lot less evasive.
Though I still think surgery should be a last resort, for people in manual jobs who don’t respond to any other treatments, this could be suitable for them.
Have you noticed you get more neck pain than you used to? Or more headaches than you used to?
One of the most common culprits for causing neck pain, upper back pain and headaches is Forward Head Posture or Forward Head Position (FHP).
Forward Head Posture can also increase insomnia and breathing problems. It’s a completely abnormal position for our heads to be in. The head should always be positioned directly over the body so that your neck is aligned with your back. Your back and neck is designed to support the head, but only when it is directly above it!
When you lean your head forward, you are demanding more work of your neck and back muscles. And as they are not used to this movement, they will ache. You are also actually producing the equivalent of adding more weight to your back and neck , in the same way that holding a heavy object with outstretched arms will seem a lot heavier than holding it close to your chest.
There are no prizes for guessing what the biggest culprit is, in making our heads universally want to move forward! Yup. Our computer screens.
So how do we get rid of this pain?
Well, the first thing is to stop our bad habits, and refrain from leaning forward. People with headrests on their office chairs are a lot less likely to be guilty of holding their heads forward. When you have a headrest, you can lean your head back against it, and even recline back a bit. This is mostly how I sit in my marvellous Kinnarps 6000+ chair.
One thing you could try is to move your monitor closer to you. How much space do you actually need between you and the monitor anyway?
I know some people have their keyboards in between, but really, it’s better to have the keyboard on a shelf lower than the desk, so your arms are in the correct position. If you have that luxury, then bring your monitor closer to the front of your desk. There! –You’ve just increased your monitor size in two seconds – for free!
Also, most browsers let you increase the size of the text, by pressing Control and + together. Make sure you have just the text set to increase; not the pics too, or they’ll all be poor quality. You can change this in View > Zoom > Text Only in Firefox.
People laugh when they see the size of my screen text, and ask me if I’m half blind, but although I have 20/20 vision, I think why should I have to squint or move my head forward to read people’s miniscule online text? I work online all day – I might as well make the experience as comfortable as possible. Also, it ensures I get fewer headaches.
But what if you’ve got into the habit of having your neck forward the whole time, or for a lot of the time?
One great way to stop it, is to set an hourly timer. I have a stopwatch that bleeps on the hour every hour. And when I hear it, I check my posture, and re-adjust it if I’m not sitting straight, and I check my To Dos to make sure I haven’t got distracted. Trust me the hourly chime does wonders!
If you use this technique you’ll get out of the habit of poking your head forward pretty quickly.
I actually set up a video camera to record me for an hour on the PC a few months back. I was aware that I wasn’t aware (!) of my posture while I’m in the moment and concentrating on my work. I’m happy to report, I only lurched forward once, and that was when I saw a shocking headline, and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I took a closer look! (like him in the pic above!) But the rest of the time, my posture was pretty good.
So to prevent FHP and minimize the chance of getting back pain, neck pain and headaches:
Move your monitor closer to you
Increase text size
Use an hourly chime to check your posture regularly
If possible, get a ergonomics chair with a head rest (and arm rests)
“No good deed goes unpunished”
So don’t stick your neck out – it’ll hurt!
The best chronic back pain treatment from a fellow former sufferer