By Craig Hysell
Anywhere from 60%-80% of adults in the U.S. suffer from low back pain according to this University of Maryland Medical Center report. That’s not a problem, that’s an epidemic.
It can also be easily preventable for most of us!
Strategies on optimal exercise, improved diet, good posture and getting out of the evil chair as much as possible abound. You can also shore up your hamstring, hip and thoracic mobility and fix those weak booties. Gyms like CTF can help guide you tremendously.
But… what if you do all those things and you STILL have low back pain?
Well… me too. And this simple fix has been a huge game changer for me. I didn’t invent it, but I listened to people smarter than me and eventually applied it. I wish I would’ve done this a very long time ago.
Take a few minutes to watch these 2 videos and then keep reading to see the strategies I used to apply it and fix my back.
Now that you’ve watched the videos (and I’m sure you have, because you’re amazing) you understand that knowledge is power. But knowledge (power) is useless without implementation (use your powers for good not evil.)
Breaking yourself from poor sleeping habits is challenging at first. People are always telling me “I can’t sleep like that.” Sorry, but unless you have a medical condition, that’s bullshit. It just takes training: desire coupled with planned (mild) discomfort (and, in this case, only in the beginning!) to achieve a goal.
1. Start small. If you are sleeping in poor positions, start by paying attention to how you lay on the couch. Practice the right positions. This video might also help. Be mindful of your body position before going to bed. Be mindful of your body position when you wake up. If you become aware of poor positions, make adjustments.
2. Keep the phone out of the room. There should be no blue light in your room. Thirty minutes before bed, set an alarm to turn all electronics off. Lay in bed in the proper position and read a book or magazine (yes, something actually made from paper) you like. You are setting yourself up for sound, peaceful performance-rest (permformanrest? TM) AND teaching your body how to relax in positions that aid in recovery and next day performance.
3. Keep a spare pillow next to your bed. I keep a spare pillow resting on the floor next to my bed. (It’s propped up on the bed near my head for easy reach AND out of the way as a trip hazard if I have to get up in the middle of the night.) If I feel myself roll over to my side, I grab the pillow and put it between my knees to protect my back and eliminate the poor position Kelly talks about in Video 2 that I was guilty of. This takes some getting used to and experimenting with pillow size and firmness or softness.
4. Be patient. I cannot tell you how angry I see people get when they don’t get something right away. It takes time. Chill out. Just play with the practice. Assess how you feel in the mornings comparative to your sleeping position. If you do this, you are using 7-8 hours in the day to practice at being more awesome with your eyes closed. BOOM!
Live with Conviction.