Review for Lower Back Pain

  • Age 55+
  • Male
  • 155 lbs
  • 5' 7"
  • corvallis oregon
  • Injury Status Cured
  • What best describes your pain level on average in the past week? No pain
  • Physical activity per week 4-8 hours
  • How much did pain interfere with your day-to-day activities in the past week? Not at all
  • Have you been off work or unemployed due to low-back pain? Yes, under 1 month
  • Have you felt depressed or hopeless in the last 7 days? Sometimes
  • How much did pain interfere with your enjoyment of life in the past week? Not at all
  • Chronicity 18+ Months
  • Back pain interfere with sleep Sometimes
  • Back pain interfere with your personal care (washing, dressing etc) Sometimes
  • Back pain interference with travel Sometimes
  • Marital Status Married
  • Employment Status Employed
  • Tobacco Use No
  • Alcohol Use Moderate
  • Additional Diagnosis/Symptoms Sciatica (pinched nerve, radiculopathy), Muscle Strain, Scoliosis, Herniated disc (bulging disc, disc protrusion)
  • Pain areas Right hand, Left hand, Left hip, Right hip, Left leg, Right leg, Lower back middle

Treatment Ratings

    Walking/Hiking, Gokhale Method, Swimming, Postural Modifications, Strengthening Exercises, Stretching, Rest
    Heat, Chiropractor, Other, Acupuncture, Massage, Physical Therapy, NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs

I'm 61, and have had back issues since I was a kid w/(mild) scoliosis. Mostly, I managed it w/exercise and stretching, but I used to have regular episodes when my back would "go out" for days, sometimes weeks. Then I would run to the chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist, acupuncturist, etc. Such Rx generally helped alleviate pain and made it possible to rest until I could get back to normal activity. I'm self-employed and have a variety of tasks that often take me from fairly heavy physical labor to office work, but I also exercise regularly -- mostly walking, swimming, hiking, and in the past 10 years, Aikido. I was introduced to the Gokhale method book in 2012, made some basic changes, and then took a class in 2014. That year was also the last episode of having my back go out. I think it's very significant that both Aikido and Gokhale refer to ancient practices, and both follow very similar principles for good posture and effective movement. In addition, basic structural mechanics supports the idea that the spine will function best when the muscles can hold the vertebrae in alignment, so as to equalize compressive forces and not over-stress any individual part. Reading about the logic is one thing, but as soon as I started copying the pictures in the Gokhale book, I could feel it. We learn by doing. Other books that have helped me understand include Sitting Kills, Moving heals, and Move your DNA; there are others. I hope that when enough people have had the experience, their example will help return the general population back to those traditional practices which made it possible for our ancestors to survive long enough to produce us. If we abandon that good practice, however, I suspect we'll need ever-increasing "interventions" that can only address the effects of back pain, rather than the causes.

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