In 2014 I broke my tailbone skiing. As most folks know, there is nothing that can be done for this type of injury. Rest is the only remedy. While the bone eventually healed, an ever present pain in my sacrum developed from that point forward. I tried everything I could think of to relieve it, from anti-inflammatory supplements to physical therapy. Some things worked for a while but eventually the pain would return. This created an added level of difficulty to every area of my life, especially desk work, which I am required to do for a living.
Every year, 36 million Americans go to the doctor for chronic pain issues and over half of those complaints are associated with the lower back. Incredibly, almost twenty-percent of emergency room visits are for low back pain and one hundred million work days are lost each year to the condition. While the root cause varies widely from person to person, there is clearly a huge need here for preventative and palliative care. Most importantly, it is critical that we offer our society a form of pain management that is not addictive or further harming.
From a holistic perspective, most of these chronic issues can be addressed by managing systemic, long-term inflammation with nutritious foods, herbs and the appropriate body-work. My go-to remedy is a combination of CBD, acupuncture, an anti-inflammatory diet and Pilates. In this two part series, we will explore each of these modalities and how they might be put to work for you. Let’s start with the physical body –
Pilates has been shown to be one of the most effective physical remedies for low back pain because of its targeted focus on strengthening the core muscles and its use of eccentric (strengthening a muscle as it lengthens) and concentric (strengthening a muscle as it shortens) movements. Joseph Pilates, the namesake of the method itself, used to teach specially created resistance exercises to WW1 soldiers trapped in hospital beds. His techniques allowed people with advanced injuries to regain range of motion and dexterity in badly wounded limbs, often allowing them to walk again. I have been practicing Pilates for the last seven months and this is the first time in over eight years I have been pain free with full mobility.
Sara Slifko is a friend and local business owner of Western Slope Pilates in New Castle, CO. Her full service studio caters to all types of bodies and ailments, especially those with low back pain. Her teaching style is gentle, powerfully effective and all-inclusive. If you are looking for a low-impact exercise regimen to help with chronic pain, consider booking a class. Use code PILATES10 for 10% off of your first purchase and visit https://www.westernslopepilates.com/pilates for more information.
Acupuncture, a major component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is one of the oldest forms of physical therapy on the planet, dating back over three thousand years. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles along meridians. Meridians are energy pathways that correlate with every organ system in the body and their activation helps Qi flow, bringing back a state of balance. Acupuncture also stimulates the central nervous system, which causes the release of beneficial chemicals like endorphins and serotonin. There is abundant, peer-reviewed evidence that Acupuncture is one of the most effective remedies for all types of chronic pain but it is especially helpful for issues related to the low back.
Heather Douglas is a friend and business owner of Infinite Wellness Acupuncture in Glenwood Springs, CO. Her clinic offers sliding scale treatment plans to fit everyone’s budget and her work as a practitioner is safe, intuitive and incredibly healing. If you are looking for a powerful way to reduce pain and regain balance, consider booking an appointment at http://www.infinitewellnessacu.com/.