Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back to Normal

For at least 15 years I have lived with intermittent back pain, usually occurring after standing in one place for long periods of time, or after sleeping on a soft bed (a waterbed is like a torture chamber device for me).  Recently the pain has gotten more frequent, to the point that there would be around an hour or two spread out throughout the day where my back did NOT hurt.  Finally I broke down and scheduled a doctor's appointment.    The straw that broke the camel's back was when I was shopping at Target, slowly shuffling along, leaning on the cart to try and relieve the intense pain, and thinking "wow, this is what it feels like to be 80".  I actually got passed by a guy in a motorized cart.

Let me go back a step.  First I broke down and prayed to God for some healing for my back.  Then I followed up with a doctor's appointment the next morning (my personal belief is that while God has the power and sometimes does heal miraculously, more often than not he uses the more mundane means around us to affect his good graces.  Since I don't know which (if either) method he will use, I feel it is my role to trust in him while taking whatever measures are prudent as well).

The doctor gave me a good looking over, had me lay on my back, grabbed my ankles and pulled me a foot down the examining table.  He told me that my back muscles were much tighter on one side than the other, making one leg about an inch shorter than its mate. Then he had me bend my knees and he leaned into my legs while I provided resistance for  a few seconds, then relaxed and repeated, slowly moving them closer to my chest.  This, he said would cause the muscles in my lower back to fire and relieve some of the tension, which it most certainly did.  Finally, he made me an appointment with the Physical Therapist.

The Physical Therapist looked me over and gave me some stretches for my hamstring and hip flexors, then let me know that the reason my back makes me feel like an old man is because I stand like an old man - knees flexed, slightly hunched over.  Thanks Doc!  He also let me know I have the tightest hamstrings he has ever seen.  It's always good to be #1 at something, right?  Since then I've been trying to walk taller and sit straighter and do my stretches daily, and it has worked splendidly.  I feel like a new man, and although I hate stretching, it is definitely worth it.  That medical care was an answered prayer, and I'm thankful for it every day!