August 25, 2004

Unused back muscles switch themselves off. Monkeys with bad backs might consider yoga.
  • homunculus, you are timely as always. Mister shinything has been suffering some fierce lower back pain lately. I sent him your article. More ammunition to get us both doing yoga. Thanks!
  • poor mr shinything! I have suffered from lower back issues for years, as has mr medusa. shiny, I am a big fan of yoga & excercise in general, as a cure & preventive for back problems, but please be gentle!!! even yoga, if done too vigorously, can inflame old injuries and weaknesses (yes, I speak from the experience of 8 months of bikram last year & 3 injuries!)
  • Yow! That sounds painful, Medusa. I will heed your words of caution. Do you find that one yoga style is better than another for back strength?
  • I hear that Iron Crotch Qigong is great for the pelvic and lower back muscles.
  • Monkeys with bad backs should get MRIs in case they have a herniated disk. Stretching's cool and all, but a blown disk's a blown disk.
  • boo_radley is correct, of course, if you have severe back pain. As far as yoga goes, it's best to try different styles oneself. I'd say Ashtanga and Power Yoga are best for strengthening the back while Iyengar and Viniyoga are better for relaxation and quicker pain relief. I've know about Bikram because I've never tried it. Also helpful: the Alexander Technique.
  • well i can say from experience that a herniated disk (even a partially hernaited disk, such as my L4/L5 intermediary - the bastard) can hurt like a motherfuck. but being told that you need major backj surgery to fix it? suddenyl i was able to deal with it. well, hey guess i proved to myself the power of suggestion there. it's gone from excruciating on a daily basis to a minor (occasionally painful) annoyance. doesn't stop me from skiing, jetskiing, biking, or any other "major physical exercise" (wink wink) i've tried. in my experience i've found that fixing your posture can help lots. i started paying a lot more attention to my posture after the injury, and it helps. plus i don't slouch any more. i get complements on how nice my posture is while sitting. ('cause it frickin' hurts to slouch, of course.)
  • Sex and more sex. Then sleep. I'll mail you the bill.
  • If you have a herniated disc, taking ibuprofen before you exercise is hugely helpful in reducing the inflammation that causes the pain. And yes, posture posture posture! What kind of lunatic would volunteer to spend eight weeks lying flat in bed? Yikes.
  • spackle, depends on what kind of comfort that volunteer might have. wink, wink. Lying flat in bed doesn't have to be a bad thing.
  • I find it hard to sustain an erection when my open bedsores are being rubbed back and forth against the mattress. I am getting on a bit, though.
  • I knew a guy who had a similar experience, caution live frogs. He had a herniated disc and was told to get surgery, but instead he started studying the Alexander Technique and eventually got rid of all the pain. Here are some Alexander Technique resources. This is a pretty good introduction.
  • "Resources" should have gone here.
  • Wait . . . what was that about the sex? Oh and the best part of Yoga is when the instructor says "if it hurts, don't do it" Hell yeah!
  • As one who toughed it out for nearly 18 months before finally having surgery, if your doc says do it, and you trust his judgement, DO IT. I've got my life back again. But YES, do your exercises. Walking is great, my doc said, and yogi will keep me from having to be on the table again. My posture still sucks. Those who don't have such bad habits, do what mom told you, and STAND UP STRAIGHT!
  • do what mom told you, and STAND UP STRAIGHT! Easier said than done.
  • Yes, chronic pain can alter the brain. So can medititation, I've read.