My Aching Back!

Recently my middle back started hurting. To be honest, I’d probably be a candidate for a spinal transplant if there were such a thing.

Growing up, I rode hunters and jumpers. When a horse stops before a fence, there is no where for the rider to go but forward. So, I can proudly say, I have gone over the head of a horse more times than I can count.

I didn’t think anything of if when I was young. It was almost a badge of honor and it was part of the learning process to make me a better rider. However, in my older years the pain of those falls has come back to haunt me. My neck when xrayed looks like I have had multiple head trauma’s. I have lost the “S” shaped curve to my neck. My middle back, or thoracic area has a small curve to it, or scoliosis, which complicates things greatly. I have two herniated discs in my lumbar, or lower back from lifting things too heavy and not bending my knees.

My lower or lumbar section of my back is an entire topic in itself. When I was 27 years old I fell down a flight of stairs at my apartment complex. It was raining, I was late for work, and I was in heels and my foot slipped. I got up, brushed myself off and on to work I went. It wasn’t until I drove home from work, later that day, that I could not swivel my hips to get out of my car. That injury turned me on to chiropractic care for the first time, and it helped tremendously. But, I was young and quit going after a short while and never went back to a chiropractor for 25 years.

No, I do not live on pain pills. Ocassionaly I will take some ibuprofen and an ice pack if it gets really painful. Chiropractic care works wonders, but it took me 15 years to find a doctor who didn’t pop and crack. Most of my issues are in the connective tissue, the facia, so I respond better to a doctor who manipulates the soft tissue. I drive literally, 2 hours to the Springs to visit my now chiropractor, but it’s worth it. I make the commitment to go at least once a month and sometimes spend the night if I have lots of errands to run while I’m in town.

When my youngest child started college, and I was an empty nester, I was looking for hobbies to fill my time. I found a stretching class and visited my first time. Wow! I was hooked! The long slow holds transformed my body. It allowed my connective tissue to soften, thus allowing my skeletal system to open and expand. You see, as we get older, our connective tissue hardens which compresses our bones, vertebrae, muscles and tendons. When we stretch, it unravels the connective tissue, the largest organ in our body.

Stretching has not only saved me from surgery, but it has saved me from the pain that would be associated with most of my injuries. It has saved my quality of life. I am so very grateful for the healing it has given me and the freedom to move and do the things in life that keep me going.

I probably sound like a broken record to my friends. I’m always preaching the benefits of stretching, but very few, if any, will listen or take my advice. Why is that? Most would rather undergo the knife that take a one hour class? Do you have to quiet your mind, yes. Do you need to take the time to allow the body to release, yes. It requires patience which so many of us a lacking. But it is worth it. It took a long time for my body to become an aching mess, and it takes very little effort to give it the chance to heal itself. If we cut our finger, it heals, on its own, in a matter of days. Stretching helps to take all the stiffness out of our connective tissue and give the body a chance to heal itself in the same way.

I’m going to be teaching a stretching class this summer, beginning May 12th. It will be held once a week at the Cuchara Mountain Mercantile from 11:00-12:00 pm. If you feel stiff, or have trouble doing daily tasks without discomfort, come give it a try. It is a small commitment with a big pay off. It will help give you more flexibility.

Come join the fun and see if perhaps you like it as much as I do! What have you got to lose?

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