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Suicide is Painless ... 
31st-Oct-2007 07:51 pm
And, now, so is my back!

For the first time in my adult life, I have spent an entire day free of pain in my back.

Whoooooooo Hoooooooooo!!!

I had forgotten how good life could be!

After three attempts at physical therapy, I finally found someone who had the key to the solution -- the correct shoes.  Turns out that I greatly over pronate on the left foot, which throws my knee right, which throws my hips all over the place.  Then, to keep my balance, I lock my knees, making the lower spine and the sacrum take the entire brunt of walking, standing, etc.  With the right shoes, my knees soften, my posture corrects itself naturally, and I have a spring in my step.

Yes, I'm happy.

Today, for the first time since we met him, I was able to hold a long conversation with Erik (our builder) outside, without needing to sit, weave or grit my teeth.  It's amazing how much more effective one can be when one is out of pain!

Now, if we can get my left shoulder back into painless shape, just watch what all I accomplish!
1st-Nov-2007 12:05 am (UTC)
Oh my oh my. I do know the intense pleasure of realizing there is no pain! Congratulations!

It's entirely possible that taking the stress off your back will help your shoulder, too. When I had a massive spasm in my neck, it was caused by a problem in my lower back.
1st-Nov-2007 03:46 am (UTC)
That is what I'm hoping. At the very least, my neck is much less tense than usual, but I don't think that's from the fix on the lower back. Rather, I think all the PT on my left rotator cuff has finally started to train my shoulder blades down, so I'm no longer shrugging all the time.

But hey, I'm happy with the progress.

Good luck with your hunt for pain-relief. What you've been going through does not sound fun!
1st-Nov-2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
WONDERFUL! May things continue to improve.
1st-Nov-2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
Yay for pain-free-ness! What are the magic shoes? Surely not ruby slippers!
2nd-Nov-2007 02:23 am (UTC)

No, they are very solid, black leather sports shoes. They have a little over 1.5 inches worth of support under the heel, sloping down to 1 inch at the ball of the foot. All that support is bouncy, shock-absorbing. That alone takes a lot of the compression off my lower back.

The shoes also provide extra support to the arch, keeping my foot from over-pronating, essentially through sheer force. Right now, my foot fatigues easily, and I have to do some exercises to stretch foot muscles I've not been using for decades. But, once I've accomplished that, I should be completely pain free when I walk and stand.

The specific brand is "Brooks," but lots of really *good* sport shoe manufacturers have similar things -- New Balance, for example. This was the one the expert at the store thought would fit my therapist's prescription the best.

I'm sure they do come in red, though. I know they come in lavender. I'm thinking of either the lavender or pure white for my gym shoes (which have to be reserved for gym use, only.)

Technology can be a beautiful thing, sometimes.
25th-Nov-2007 05:40 pm (UTC) - floor plans and your back
Carol, I cannot seem to find your floor plans and was wondering if you could link them here OR send me a link.

I am so glad your back is feeling better. My podiatrist told me that almost all skeletal problems are created by foot issues! What kind of shoes did you get?

25th-Nov-2007 05:48 pm (UTC) - Re: floor plans and your back
oops...I just saw your shoe info!

I have had bad feet for 50 years so I sure can *feel* for you. LOL

Other good shoes for bad feet are SAS, ECCO, Saucony running shoes (even tho I never run) and, believe it or not, CrocsRX (designed by podiatrists and only available online at the Crocs website). I wear my Crocs around the house like slippers. Love 'em. Keen is another great brand and many of the Clark's shoes are also good for bad feet.
27th-Nov-2007 06:02 pm (UTC) - Re: floor plans and your back

At the moment, I don't have my house plans in digital format. I'm a luddite when it comes to getting pictures up on the Internet.

However, as soon as I clear some of the work backlog, I'm going to sit down with my camera and figure out how to do it.

Stay tuned!
9th-Dec-2007 11:03 pm (UTC) - back pain
Hi, Carol,

This is trudy from the nytimes blog. What I have found helpful for back pain and tendonitis is a health food store topical thing called Boswellin Cream. Various places on the web carry it. That and a heating pad...

The Boswellin cream contains anti-inflammatory and anti-pain stuff - capsesin (sp? the stuff in hot peppers), oil of wintergreen, and frankincense. I think I like it just because of the frankincense, how cool is that :-)

10th-Dec-2007 05:35 pm (UTC) - Re: back pain
Not only cool, but topical (yes, pun intended) as well!

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