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Life Lessons

This Pinched Nerve in My Back Can Suck It


About two years ago, I finally had enough and sat down with a friend of mine who is a chiropractor, and we realized after a series of x-rays that I had two pinched nerves. I had a pinched nerve in my lower back and neck. My chiro put me on an 8 week program, and at about 4 weeks I started to feel a whole lot better. My travel work schedule started to pick up again and I quit going. I really wish I had saw it through because now I am really suffering.

Being Mindful Uncovers a Pinched Nerve in My Back

Of my three priorities for 2015, one of them is daily mindful meditation which for me is done most often with yoga. I like to do about an hour of yoga and finish things off with 15 minutes of meditation. My mind is empty. I’m focused on myself. There are no thoughts about work. Just me, my mat, the present moment and my breath. On January 1, I set out my yoga mat, strap and blocks easing myself back into yoga. I was looking forward to my meditation. It’s one of the few times I feel free and completely clear without ideas lingering. It was clear, however that something was wrong because when I tried to lay down on my back on my mat, in corpse pose I experienced numb pain. Normally, I can stretch the pain and make it go away. I tried to do my gentle lower back series like I’ve done in the past even going so far as to focus on opening up my hips. It didn’t get any better and made sitting in lotus uncomfortable. I ended the night with a glass of wine and a heating pad. Lucky me.

Day 2 of 2015, wasn’t any better. I tried a series of poses specifically for my spine (pictured above from FitSugar.com) and even did a couple inversions. It was no help. I was in misery. The pain in my lower back was a symptom of the pinch nerve that wouldn’t go away. Monday I visited the chiropractor to start off 2015.  While this wasn’t the mindful meditation I had in mind, I am listening to my body. My body sent me a message once my mind was quiet I couldn’t ignore. And my body is telling me that it is hurting. It’s also saying, “Fix me, please!”

After getting new x-rays this week, my pinched nerve in my lower back hasn’t gotten any better or worse. Unfortunately, the pinched nerve in my neck is causing my spine near my neck to shift forward which is probably contributing to more of my lower back pain. I’ll be visiting the chiropractor 3 times a week for a total of 8 weeks using a combination of chiropractic and acupuncture. After that, we will reassess. It’s visit 3 and my lower back is extremely sore. I can’t wait to get better and just feel more like me.

Symptoms of a Pinched Nerve

I hate this pinched nerve. The symptoms of back pain and numbness make me feel like an old lady. It’s making me slow down which is definitely not me. To help open up my spine in a way that’s less strenuous than inversions, I’ve pulled out my oversized exercise ball which I’m now using as an office chair. Since my lower back is so uncomfortable, I’m using it for spine stretches until I feel good about doing yoga shoulder and hand stands. Inversions are something I’ve never been good at. Maybe this pinched nerve will give me the practice and patience I’m needing.

Pinched nerves are no fun and in doing more research I’ve realized that the pinched hasn’t helped my ongoing battle with my weight. In better understanding neck problems, I’m certain I’ve had a pinched nerve in my neck or some variation of problems since I was 15 or 16. Back then I attributed it to the time I spent on the computer in journalism class. It improved slightly but only with some ergonomic changes to the way I sit at a desk. I’m also certain this problems contributed to last year’s miscarriage. I’ll never know for certain but I have a feeling. Now that I’m back settled again into my life and home, I’m seeing things more clearly. I need to get this better so I can be more active, healthy and happy.

Outside of yoga, meditation and light exercise, I’m continuing my juicing and trying to focus more on healthy eating. I’m cutting out fast foods, processed foods and sugars for the next 30-60 days and limiting my intake of the Starbucks caramel macchiato. It’s my regular guilty pressure 2-3 times a week. While this pinched nerve sucks, I’m not going down. This pinched nerve can suck it. While it may suck, I’m extremely lucky I have the time, ability and capacity to take care of me.

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