Back Pain Elimination Challenge: $^@t Gets Real.
I *still* find it hard to get out of bed most mornings, I *still* reel in pain when I sneeze, I *still* have to hold my weight when I bend over to pick anything up (despite lifting with the knees!). Brush my teeth and wash my face in the morning? I’m leaning on the sink. Don’t tell me that I’m “getting older” and that this is just a part of it, that’s unacceptable. There are people much older than me that are completely pain free.
I have changed my mattress. I adjusted my chair at work so that it’s at the perfect angle – 130 degrees so the weight doesn’t bear down on the si joint all day. I don’t cross my legs, and I don’t lift heavy things. I do yoga everyday focusing on core and back strength, and I run four times a week. I drink 4 litres of water a day religiously. I’ve long since shed my unhealthy raver/party lifestyle, and I eat fresh food at home…80% of the time. I ‘ve had massage, chiro, acupuncture, physio, and more strength and stretch routines than you can shake a stick at.
So what the hell is wrong with me? What is this CHRONIC INFLAMMATION all about? An educated hunch and a few google searches later it’s apparent that I haven’t given enough weight to the types of “healthy” food that can create inflammation. I know inherently you are what you eat, but I don’t live it as much as I let people think. My favorite google find recommends things to avoid: flour, dairy, trans fats, saturated fats, sugar, red meat, and additives. Eliminate all of these to the best of my ability and we’ll see what happens.
When I was 14 a Naturopath told me I had an “intolerance” to dairy and to eggs mixed with fruit within 4 hours of each other. An intolerance (as opposed to an allergy) means that your body sees the food as a toxin, so you aren’t getting any nutritional value from the “food”. At age 14, my mother had us go vegan…My chronic phelgmy cough – for which I was on three medications – magically disappeared within a month…At age 16 I had a piece of cheese pizza and veganism was all over. Moving forward, there were no distinguishable problems with eating dairy. Youth has a way of making you feel invincible – so “I’ll keep doing whatever I damn well please, thank you very much”. This is all fine until the toxins accumulate in your system to a level that makes your immune system kick into higher gear, causing mild inflammation. That festers for a few years, and eventually can lead to things like arthritis…
Over the past 12 years neither doctor nor therapist has suggested food could be contributing to my low back issues. I had forgotten (*cough*have been in denial*cough*) about my dairy intolerance since that slice of pizza. I am now on day 4 of my two week elimination challenge. Let’s just say it’s looking good – I’ve sneezed several times without cringing in pain, and yoga poses that usually give me grief are getting suspiciously easier. And I can put my pants on without sitting on the bed.
I have a beautiful, delicious, brick of brie cheese waiting for me for Valentine’s Day….and some advil.