Several times I have shared with you my husband's lengthy battle with back pain and the methods he has used to successfully overcome, what used to be, extremely debilitating pain.
Today I want to share with you my own little "pain" story and give you the simple strategies I used to get rid of it within just a few days.
I just recently got back from a wonderful health conference in Washington D.C. The conference was incredible. I met some brilliant health professionals who are doing amazing things in the health industry (Katie Couric and Gabrielle Reece were 2 of the speakers...pretty cool, right?).
After about 2 days of sitting in lectures most of the day followed by walking around the Washington D.C. sites in the evening, my left hip and knee were "killing me." I'm not exaggerating. I can't even say "they hurt" because it was so bad after the 3rd day, I traveled to the airport wearing my most comfortable flip flops along with my winter coat (I'm sure I looked like the epitome of fashion but I didn't care).
The first thing I did, as soon as I got home, was go right to Jesse Cannone's The 7 Day Back Pain Cure book (I have 1 copy at home and 1 copy in my office). You may think it's a bit strange that I would go to a book on back pain when it was my hip and knee that were in pain, but I use Jesse's book as a reference for any and all body aches and pains.
Yes, you read that correctly. Jesse gives these books away for free, and I highly recommend you keep 1 or, even better, 2 copies, handy so you have it available whenever pain strikes. The only thing you pay is for shipping, but I think that's a pretty fair deal, considering it's one of the most valuable books I own, and he gives it away at absolutely no cost.
With Jesse's permission, I'm going to share with you the 6 super simple strategies he gives in Chapter 12 that helped me get a handle on my nagging pain.
Tip #1 Use your body symmetrically
Most of us have a dominant side, so, of course, we tend to use that side most often. What we don't realize is how badly that will throw our bodies out of alignment. Using one side repeatedly will strengthen some muscle while leaving other underdeveloped and weak.
For me, I almost always carry my baby (20 lbs) on my left side so it's no surprise that my left knee and hip that were in so much pain.
My solution: I focused on stretching the muscles of my left lower body and was extremely mindful to either carry the baby more on my right side, or carry him at the center of my body (this makes for the added benefit of great hugs).
Tip #2 Make your work area posture friendly
Here is something I knew I needed to change, but until I was in pain, I kept pushing it off for another day.
If your work day is anything like mine, you sit in front of a computer for several hours each day. Even as I am writing this newsletter, I notice myself slowly falling into a slouched position. It is so important that your computer screen is adjusted to the right height and that you get a quality chair or even an exercise ball to sit on.
My solution: The first thing I did was ensure that my computer screen was at the right height. If you are looking down all day, you are signing yourself for some guaranteed neck pain, which can sometimes lead to back pain. Next, I brought an exercise ball into my office and I alternate sitting in my office chair and sitting on the exercise ball throughout the day. Many offices now encourage employees to do this, so don't be afraid to ask if you can bring in an exercise ball to use while you work.
Tip #3 Use a Telephone Headset
Picture this: 20 pound baby on my left hip while holding the phone between my left ear and shoulder. You would think I was trying to create pain on purpose! With all the fancy and inexpensive head sets on the market today, there is no excuse for this.
My solution: I purchased an inexpensive head set for my cell phone and I more often use speaker phone when I use my land line at home. Speaker phone has also helped me to free my hands more and I can multi task while I catch up with my sister on the phone.
Tip #4 Make your car seat posture friendly
My husband has often made fun of me and tells me I look like I'm in a Rap/Hip Hop video when I drive. If you don't know what I'm talking about, imagine me, one hand on the wheel, seat reclined, with one arm leaning on the window. Super cool, right? Well, not so cool when you're trying to get rid of nagging pain.
My solution I inclined the seat and brought a rolled up towel into the car for my lower back. The rolled up towel helps ensure I am always sitting with good posture while I drive. If you are someone who drives a good bit throughout the day, this is an absolute must!
Tip #5 Use Posture support devices
This does not need to be something expensive or complicated. The best example of a support device is any small pillow you can use to help you sit with a natural arch in your lower back.
My solution: I use one of the small throw pillows from our bed (it's a rectangle that's about 12 inches in length and 6 inches in height) and place it right at my lower back in situations where I'll be sitting for more than 10 minutes at a time. This is an incredibly simple strategy for those who sit in an office chair all day and tend to slouch at any point during the day.
Tip #6 (For Women) Limit the use and height of high heels
Ladies, I know. Some of the best shoes are the ones that resemble walking on stilts. Trust me, when you're barely 5 feet tall like I am, high heels are your friend. This was definitely a huge contributor to my pain after wearing some pretty mega heels in D.C. for 3 days. When I'm at home chasing after my kids or keeping up with my writing projects, it's usually flip flops or sneakers for me, so wearing heels for 3 days definitely threw my body out of alignment.
My solution: Realistically I'm not throwing away some of my favorite high heels, so I pick and choose when and where I wear them. If I know there is going to be a lot of walking, I stick to flats or bring a pair of flats with me so I can change my shoes during the walking part of my day. Ladies, the good news is there are so many pairs of beautiful flat shoes available now that high heels are no longer necessary even for the fanciest occasions.
If you are someone who is currently suffering from any type of shoulder, neck, hip, knee or back pain, I want you to do two very important things:
- Take Jesse Cannone's tips above very seriously and see how you can implement each one into your life.
- Get your own copy of Jesse's book, The 7-Day Back Pain Cure, completely free (just cover the shipping and handling) and keep this book handy at home so you will know how to easily handle any body aches and pains that may come your way.
FREE copy of The 7 Day Back Pain Cure - Get your personal copy here.