I have a lot of experience with back problems. I started having them when I was 15 years old. Yes, 15.
I don’t suppose it helped much that I was doing crazy things like picking up a 10 gallon tub half full of gravel. Or that I was lifting planks in the saw mill that weighed almost as much as I did.
It was this same craziness that got an all-expense paid trip to the hospital to get a hernia fixed when I was 25. That is a story for another time.
Probably the worst thing of all was I grew up in an era when head tackling was being taught. After one such encounter I woke up with my teammates surrounding me looking down at me as if they were in a huddle. I was on the ground looking up. I made the tackle and passed out. Not good.
A trip to the chiropractor and a back X-ray revealed that I have a narrow disk in my lower back, pretty much a prescription for life long issues. I was told to stop head tackling and do exercises to strengthen my core to protect my back. I did those exercises for months and I am still mindful of my core. The Dr. also made sure I knew that if I didn’t take care of myself that sitting in a wheel chair for the rest of my life was a distinct possibility. As you can well imagine, that comment got my attention and has stuck with me.
I still had to work in the saw mill but did my level best to flip the boards into place in a package of lumber instead of picking them up. I became quite skilled at piling boards from one end. It was a skill born out of necessity.
Despite my best efforts I would occasionally find myself in bed unable to move for three to four days after doing something stupid that would send my back into an uproar.
These days I have mostly learned my lesson, working out constantly and being careful to carry things balanced and lifting with my legs. There is nothing worse that carrying one bucket of water. Two buckets is much better to balance the load.
All of this is because I somehow tweaked my back again over the holiday weekend. It might have been the dancing, carrying luggage or maybe even the moon was full. Who knows? The fortunate thing for me is that I got a massage, did some stretching and what could have been days in bed and being hunched over turned into a minor inconvenience.
Now if I could just find some way to not have to sit for so long at my desk at work…. Or maybe not have to go to work at all!