My Aching Back
Monday, August 31, 2015
So it had gotten to the point that if I did a long grocery shopping or stood at the kitchen counter to chop veggies, or bake bread, the small of my back started telling me tales of woe and I would have to sit down for a while to quiet it down. I checked with the doctor to make sure I didn't have a kidney infection and I didn't. So I started doing several short shopping trips instead of one long one, stopped making so many meals that require chopping veggies, and stopped baking bread (which will be good for my waist line). I also started sitting a lot more, which is no fun.
So I went on line looking for answers and found the back exercises at Mayo Clinic. They seemed to be a good, gentle way to start working on the problem. After just a few days the small of my back was hurting less often, but soon my upper back started hurting. Apparently the exercises were exasperating a problem there. So I went on line looking for more answers and was brought to the realization that I've started getting a head forward posture and with that a rounded upper back from being on the computer so much . The Mayo Clinic exercises were working that area, which was why it ached. I looked further and found some exercises on physical therapists' sites that specifically target the area, picked out a few less aggressive ones to start with and added them to my routine. The first few days the exercises went fine but by evening my upper back was very achy. It's getting better now but I'm taking the time to lie down absolutely flat as soon as my back starts to complain so the pain can't get bad enough to stop me from being active, which is what was happening before I started exercising.
What surprised me about all this is that the head forward posture with rounded upper back is common among people who exercise regularly. We tend to work our abs, shortening and tightening those muscles but we don't work the corresponding back muscles that much which causes an imbalance and sets us up for this problem. And, of course, we aren't that careful of our posture when we're on the computer or reading. I hear echoes of my mother saying "Sit up straight." and me thinking she's just being bossy.