Monday, May 23, 2011

Back Issues Continued

I am still dealing with pretty much constant back pain and it's going on 4 weeks now.  The sacro wedgy is helping some, although I can't say it's "cured" me in any way.  But it does seem to offer relief, however short lived. 

I am crying out to the Lord all day long for his healing touch. It's really been a challege to take care of my family while feeling so debilitated.  Frequent rests are becoming common.  I would probably see a doctor, holistic preferably, but our finances really don't allow for that right now and often times they can't help anyway. 

I am doing all I can to learn about the back's anatomy and the ligaments and joints that are involved in back pain.  So far, I'm thinking it could be my left sacroilliac joint that might be the trouble.
According to wikipedia: "the ligaments of the sacroiliac joint become loose during pregnancy due to the hormone relaxin; this loosening allows widening of the pelvic joints during the birthing process.

The hormonal changes of menstruation, pregnancy, and lactation can affect the integrity of the ligament support around the SIJ, which is why women often find the days leading up to their period are when the pain is at its worst. During pregnancy, female hormones are released that allow the connective tissues in the body to relax.

The relaxation is necessary so that during delivery, the female pelvis can stretch enough to allow birth. This stretching results in changes to the SIJs, making them hypermobile — extra or overly mobile. Over a period of years, these changes can eventually lead to wear-and-tear arthritis. As would be expected, the more pregnancies a woman has, the higher her chances of SI joint problems. During the pregnancy, micro tears and small gas pockets can appear within the joint.

Muscle imbalance, trauma (e.g. falling on the buttock) and hormonal changes can all lead to SIJ dysfunction. Sacroiliac joint pain may be felt anteriorly, however care must be taken to differentiate this from hip joint pain.

Women are considered more likely to suffer from sacroiliac pain than men, mostly because of structural and hormonal differences between the sexes, but so far no credible evidence exists that confirms this notion. Female anatomy often allows one less sacral segment to lock with the pelvis, and this may increase instability."

This information seems to correlate to the pain I'm having. I am looking into what I can do to rebuild the area. Maybe some progesterone cream to balance my hormones and keeping up with the essential fatty acids supplements I'm taking.

But I also have found that exercise is only good if it's the right kind of exercise.  We ladies must be extra careful as we approach middle age when it comes to exercise (as I am learning the hard way).  I tried Pilates about a year and a half ago and it caused a serious injury to my piriformis muscle which took over a year to heal.  That was THE most painful year of my life.  And I wouldn't be surprised if it also had some influence on my current back trouble. 

My conclusion is that Pilates is not for everyone and should be approached with great caution.  Probably Yoga, too.  Good old walking and light weight lifting is what I am going to stick to and hope that I can recover from the damage done by following the hype of such things.  I think doing the most natural movements that would correlate with just living are the most beneficial.  Taking a half hour walk each day, caring for children and keeping the home are all within the normal bounds of movement. 

Have you ever stopped to notice that our great grandmothers did little more than these "normal" things to maintain good health?  Makes me stop and consider the advent of all modern ideas about exercise.  Is it unnatural to "do aerobics" to a workout video where unnatural movements are repeated over and over?  I'm beginning to think so. Pain can make you sit back and evaluate...just stop and think about what could have led to the predicament.  And that's what I'm doing.  Since I know my own history and body best, my own health care must start there.

But one thing is sure - I praise the Lord in good times, and I'm going to keep praising him in the hard ones, too.

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