Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back Injury Recovery Resources

I was literally crippled from sciatica pain down my left leg and was unable to even stand or sit for the best part of a year. After making a full recovery without surgery, I wanted to share the resources that helped me.

Many of my friends have suffered and continue to suffer from back pain and sciatica. In my experience, if you stop doing the things that are causing the pain, and start doing things that help, you will get better.

These are the resources that helped me so if you want to get better and stay active, browse through them and change your life!

An excellent article on preventing and recovering from disc pain and sciatica:

I used this simple and inexpensive device to speed up my recovery:
30 minutes of stretching twice a day over a period of about 4 weeks significantly reduced my pain and continuing to stretch regularly has helped me to make a full recovery.

Although most doctors I have met in the USA recommend ice and physical therapy to promote recovery, I found lying still and using heat to be far more effective. I used this heat lamp on my lower back for 30 minutes twice a day after the spinal stretch to promote healing: TDP Heat Lamp

I'm pretty confident that cycling with poor posture contributed to my back injury. If you want to cycle and avoid injury, this article is the best I have found on the subject: Bike Posture
One nice side affect of good posture is you can go faster while expending less energy so there are many benefits.

I also feel confident that rowing with poor posture messed up my back, causing crippling sciatica pain. This article explains how to maintain a neutral spine while rowing to avoid injury: Rowing Posture

Improving your posture during active sports like cycling, rowing and lifting weights it obviously a good thing, but the majority of us spend most of our days sitting in front of some sort of screen, so sitting with good posture is critical. This article on the Bookspan site explain how to sit in a healthy posture and avoid injury: Sitting Posture

Certain types of exercises, stretches and yoga positions can be really bad for the back and neck and I feel confident that bad exercises contributed to my injury. This article, again on the Bookspan site, explains which exercises cause injury and what you can do instead to avoid hurting yourself while staying strong: Bad Exercises

There is a lot of other great information on this site, including a book which I highly recommend: Health and Fitness Book

Bradley Wiggins is a great cyclist and many people feel his posture and style on the bike is about as close to perfect as you can get. This article provide some excellent advice on bike posture and setup: Ride Like Bradley

This article from the same site has some great advice on developing an efficient and safe cycling posture: Aero Bike Position