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Back Pain

During my lifetime, I injured my back big time on two occasions due to improper lifting. There were, of course, some re-injuries as well. The first time I injured my lower back and the second time I injured my upper back. My last injury happened over a decade ago. I have no back pain today.

Each time, my back required about five years to heal. And, during that time, each injury had a major detrimental impact on the quality of my life.

After about five years, each time, the pain went away. And I would experience back pain only if I lifted something especially heavy. There's one key to understanding typical back pain that most people don't realize—and doctors usually don't tell you: The pain is there for a purpose.

The pain exists to stabilize the joint so the injury can heal. So the pain, as bad as it feels, is a good thing.

Here are some keys to getting rid of back pain.

  • Lift correctly—do your best not to re-injure your back.
  • Avoid employment situations where lifting is required—and you feel rushed, stressed, nervous or depressed. This is when back injuries often occur.
  • If you have to do work that requires lifting, remember, in particular, this Scripture: "Do not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6 NIV)."
  • Avoid lifting, as much as possible, while you are experiencing anxiety and/or depression. These impair your judgement and make injuries more likely.
  • Take care of your physical health. And do eat a healthy diet.
  • Don't give too much credence to gloomy forecasts. When I consulted with an orthopaedic doctor about my upper back injury, he told me I had a "herniated disc." He showed me an ex-ray that showed a narrowed distance between two of my upper vertebras. I left the office with the distinct impression that I had an incurable condition and would be in pain for the rest of my life.
  • Do not take any pain medication for your back. Back pain is the only way your body can heal itself. Whenever you take pain medication, your body has to start healing all over again. Medications can also be addictive. If the pain is so bad that you absolutely need a break once in a while, ask your orthopaedic doctor if he will order a back brace for you. When I had lower back pain, it sure was nice to have something that instantly made the pain go away for periods of time. I never use a back brace today.
  • As a general rule, don't have back surgery. Just about everyone I know who has had back surgery still has back pain. And there is no end in sight.

As I said, my injuries happened well over a decade ago. And today I have no back pain whatsoever. Recently, I lifted a 90# bag of cement. This resulted in no discomfort whatsoever.

Notes: 1) I am not a doctor. Discuss your individual situation with a doctor before making any decisions. 2) If you are considering surgery, always get a second medical opinion. 3) This article refers only to typical back pain caused by improper lifting. And it assumes you have never had back surgery.

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