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Behaviors>Exercise

You need to change your behaviors for long lasting relief.

Why this matters:

I recently worked with a 60+ year old man who was complaining of sciatica pain. His pain got worse with standing and got better with sitting. Clinically, this is considered spinal stenosis. I completely flipped his world upside down as I showed him what “standing tall” really meant. For 50 years or more, he was puffing up his chest to stand tall. This resulted in a huge arch in his low back, resulting in pinching his nerves. The simple trick of pulling the rib cage down got rid of his pain. But he asked me “how can I do this all the time?”

As with any new skill, we need to practice it every day so it becomes second nature. He was so used to puffing up his chest that it resulted in pain. We had to overcome years of standing and walking a certain way. But it is never too late.

This may be one of the reasons why your pain is taking a little longer to resolve, even when you find the right activities to relieve the pain. We are changing your behaviors and how you got about doing things. But be patient, because if you know what provides you relief, you are one step closer to recovery.

Action steps:

Look into your day. What behaviors are promoting recovery and what is irritating your pain? You may need to really think about how you go about performing those painful activities for a couple weeks before it becomes second nature. So be patient with yourself and give yourself some time to adjust and make those behavior changes.

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