Tag Archives: chronic back pain

As Your Fear Grows, So Too Will Your Pain

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.


Climbing Therapy for Low Back Pain

climbing for back painChronic Low Back Pain has been said to improve after climbing therapy, compared with non-climbing, standard exercise, a new study claims. May 15’s issue of Spine journal, published that Munich, Germany’s Technical University’s Kai Engbert, Ph.D. and Michaela Weber, tested the effects of therapeutic climbing, and they assessed how it compared to other types of exercise for chronic lower back pain sufferers.

Twenty-eight patients were tested over 4 weeks with a therapeutic climbing and standard exercise program. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires before and after the excercise, which assessed their physical and psychological well-being.

The authors state; “This finding demonstrates that therapeutic climbing is equivalent and partly superior to standard exercise therapy for patients with chronic low back pain.”

I know that climbing involves much more intensive toning exercise than regular exercise, and has been proven to improve strength in the upper body, thighs and buttocks; all of which support and take some of the load from the back. I’m certain 4 weeks was more than enough time to confirm these results.

I would not recommended however that beginners to exercise  rush out and start climbing to instantly treat their back pain. I’m sure the participants in this study were all at relatively good fitness levels. After all, extremely fit athletes can still suffer from chronic pain.

But once people have built up considerable strength in their core muscles; arms, legs, abs and buttocks,  more intesive toning exercise (such as climbing) is certainly recommended to further increase the rate of improvement.

Photo by Twistermc on Flickr

Callanetics for Chronic Back Pain

Callanetics for back painI have been doing my Beginner’s Callanetics for years, which is an hour long video of special intensive exercises devised by Callan Pinckney. I would not recommend them without a warm-up beforehand. Just do the Mom-Dancing for a week or two before doing any Callanetics.

Callan Pinckney is somewhat of a miracle lady. She was a disabled child with curvature of the spine, but that didn’t stop her completely banishing her disability, traveling the world and becoming a fitness instructor with top selling books and videos.

But again, everyone who complains that Callanetics doesn’t work for bad backs, has overdone it the first or first few times. It is so easy to overdo it in the beginning. And it’s basic psychology. It takes so much mental effort just to get started, that once we have started, we tend to think “Well I’m up now – might as well carry on.”


And please start with the beginners DVD. Sounds obvious, but some people I know have thought the beginner ones are only for the first few weeks, and attempted the advanced ones before they were ready. I still use the Beginner one after many years I still have the VHS in fact! But also now the DVD. And I missed out the exercises I couldn’t do for several months.

Also, don’t make the mistake of doing Callanetics more than twice a week. I did them every day for nine days to begin with (especially after I saw those photos showing how much the butt had tightened after only 19 hours of exercise!), soldiering on through the pain, but Callan Pinkney herself says only 2 – 3 times a week is needed for optimum improvement. She was right. I ended in up in too much pain and then wouldn’t do them again for several weeks. Totally stupid.

But used correctly Callanetics is a fantastic set of exercises. I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to touch my toes with ease if it wasn’t for Callanetics. The perfect tool to have in your arsenal against pain.