Yeah, the Mom-Dancing thing. You know the type; the sort you see every female at a wedding do (apart from the bride). Just gently bobbing up and down, moving your feet only tiny steps in front of you, alternately. Doing that for just three minutes to a suitable song on the radio every morning significantly reduced my pain after only a few days. (Some men dance like that too, but Dad-Dancing is often entirely different, as Dad’s sometimes like to show off!)
After a week or so I added the same method in the evening, and now twice a day is the minimum I do the mom-dancing (on an average day). I also do it in the afternoon before the dog’s teatime walk, but only if working on the PC has left me feeling a bit stiff.
But, and this is very important – the first time you attempt it, just do it for 60 seconds, especially if you have not done any exercise for a while. Sometimes when chronic pain sufferers do any kind of exercise after rarely doing any at all, they think “Oh great – this doesn’t hurt!” For example, if you are surprised to find you are not in pain, and dancing seems easy, you might be tempted to dance to a few songs, especially if those golden oldies come on; the ones you used to pogo to in the 80s, yeah I know. Don’t do that.
Don’t be fooled!
Your back is plotting its revenge. It will make you pay a little later, or the next day. And then what’s going to happen? You’re never going to do any kind of dancing or exercise again, for fear of being in more pain than you already are.
So ease it in gently. Only a minute the first time, then two, then three, but just leave it at that. Just one song every morning, that’s all. You could just do a week of dancing only one minute a day to begin with. Nothing wrong with that. At least you will have started.
And it can’t be just any song either. Try to stick to around 100 beats per minute. Faster than that will be too strenuous. I have been doing this chronic-pain trick for five years and even now I still stick to around 100 beats per minute, which is a lot of pop songs.
“Well, how am I supposed to know what 100 bpm sounds like?” I hear you cry.
Just think of “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen, the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” or better still; “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.
And if the song on the radio is about the same tempo, then you’re on the right track (s’cuse the pun).
So how does it work, then?
By warming the body up in a low-impact and fun way. And hopefully it will distract you from the pain you are used to, enough to get into a routine of doing this every day. Then you will begin to see improvements. Don’t underestimate this super little trick. It works best when used in conjunction with other tricks too, but is probably the best way to start off.
Stick around for tons more great pain-beating strategies to make an even bigger difference.
And do let me know how you get on!
Image by David Boyle on Flickr