4 days ago
Monday, October 29, 2012
I have been putting off this post that I promised a while ago regarding hip and back pain as I was really hoping for better end results. Then it dawned on me, I am 73, I am never going to regain the body I had as a 50 year old. Improvement is also a form of success and I shouldn't be greedy.
So I decided to tell you how I found help for this Septuagenarian body. You whippersnappers will probably get better results than I did or perhaps even keep these pains from ever happening to you.
Several of you expressed interest in my experiment so this is what happened. I have had back and hip pain for about 20 years that was pretty much controlled by glocosamine/chondroin supplements. Those OTC meds kept me fairly mobile and with out severe pain for a long time with only occasional back flair ups.
Recently those meds seemed to suddenly quit working. My back was killing me and my hips were stiff and sore most of the time. Walking, especially up hill or on stairs, was brutal. Part of the reason I quit blogging was that it was just too uncomfortable to sit or even stand in front of the computer.
Pollyanna Patti was getting the blues. As I am my own caregiver, I was envisioning replacement parts, a Hoveround or even worse, nursing home options. Then I got mad. I have mentioned before that I do believe a lot of our ailments are caused by either what we do, have done, or don't do to our bodies via lifestyle, activity or diet.
In my heart, I believe there is a simple answer for a lot of things, if we can only find it. Now obviously "simple" won't solve all medical problems but it will help enough of them to keep me trying.
So a hunting I went. One thing I found in many places on the Net that intrigued me about relieving pain was not medicine but proper posture. There are so many articles regarding posture and pain. This are some helpful sites I found.
Sadly, I will admit to previously judging persons with great posture as being up-tight and rigid sorts. Maybe they are a little but I bet they have few problems with their backs or hips.
Anyway, having nothing to lose and the price was right, I pulled up my body as tall as possible, stuck out my now pain free boobies (thanks to iodine from last post) and tightened my stomach muscles.
I uncurled my legs from around the chair legs and actually used the backs of chairs for the purpose they were designed, support. Elbows dropped to my side instead of supporting my hunched over frame in front of the computer. Feet were planted flat on floor and no longer were slung up on the coffee table to watch TV. I walked proud and tall--well taller.
I noticed I formerly subconsciously and repeatedly leaned to the left and slumped forward when sitting. I even drove my vehicle leaning my elbow on the door rest,slumping to my left side, and putting most of my weight on my left hip. Driving usually caused the most pain and stiffness in my hips. Hum, I wonder if that "left" leaning was politically motivated or structural?
I have gone from poster child for slouch to almost military correct. Guess what? This is not a simple answer for it takes intense concentration and constant monitoring to keep from returning to the ole comfy slump.
This is harder a habit to break than cigarettes. Cigarettes are a conscious thing, slumping is reflexive. I mentally bitch slap myself 50 times a day to "sit and stand up straight".
I have at least 30 years of bad habits to break. I now often lurch through Walmart as I go from habitual slumping while resting elbows on the cart handle, to posture perfect then unconsciously reverting back to slumping. I am sure some observers think I might be on the bottle or have a neurological disorder.
It is a constant battle but one I am gaining on. Slumping may be easier but correct posture in the long run hurts much less. Not much to debate about here.
So what can I tell you about Practically Posture Perfect Patti now. The pain decreased dramatically and quickly. I was noticeably better in ONE day of total concentration. I won't kid you, that first day was exhausting and a struggle.
Pain that before was not even dented by handfuls of NSAIDS, now can be completely alleviated by one Ibuprofen in the AM and one in the evening. Many days I need nothing for a pain tolerable life. Ha, take that titanium hips, Hoveround and nursing home. I am keeping this body in motion a bit longer with out you.
My wore out hips are 80% better. I can still feel slight discomfort on hills and stairs but inclines are now doable though I still prefer flatlands and homes with one level. I am hoping that will keep improving.
While the posture adjustment was dramatic, I got even additional relief with a new mattress and shoes. If your mattress is 10 years old, get a new one and don't wear your shoes beyond their useful days. Shoes lose their support long before their looks. The shoe change and new bed came after the posture thingy so I was able to tell which change did what.
Will this make your life all better if you have these problems?? I have no idea as one size seldom fits all. We all have different reasons for our skeletal problems.
I can only tell you that I have a herniated disk in my back, osteoarthritis, a crushed coccyx and have spent the majority of my life working on my feet. This change has worked quite well for me.
Correct posture costs nothing and one guaranteed side effect is that you will become taller, breathe easier and look better. I had to adjust my car mirrors quite a bit.
Our mothers and teachers were all correct telling us to "Sit up straight." They should have added "stand up straight" to that.
I sure hope this helps someone out there as it has me. Let me know.
This is the end of my public service announcements. Hopefully if I can think of something to post about in the future, it will be much shorter and in a lighter vein.
To all of you in the path of Sandy, please stay safe. This is one monster storm.
at 5:23 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti