A Good Question about Exercises and Chronic Back Pain

Last night I hosted a Core Exercise Clinic in my office for members of the cycling team that I race for here in Olympia. The question was asked of me whether I ever felt any discomfort on the bike because I do all of these exercises. I wasn’t able to answer her very completely last night, so I thought I would do it here. In the first place, I got into chiropractic as a profession because of some injuries that I had as a child. As a result of a fall from a horse, I have had to deal with chronic lower back pain in some form or another throughout my entire life.

Throughout high school and college, lower back pain limited me in many of my most favorite activities such as biking, hiking, and canoeing. I didn’t even consider sports like kayaking feasible because of the back demands. I spent most of my time stiff and sore. I couldn’t even sit reading for very long without having it drive me crazy. When it came time to channel my energy into a profession, I chose Chiropractic, because it had given me much relief and mobility, personally, over the years.

Now, as a 36 year old, I would honestly say that the past 2-3 years have been my most comfortable. Many things have changed in those few years, too, and here are some of the notables: First, I have lost over 50 pounds that I had accumulated while going to school and starting a practice. I’ll never forget the day that I looked at my scale and saw that I weighed 232 lbs. I was well on my way, at that point, and found it very depressing to be a health care provider who wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle. So, I turned that around with some great advice from my naturopath and by rekindling my love of the sport of cycling. The second thing that happened is that I started taking my own advice and performing many of the exercises that I now give to my patients to take care of their backs. I try to be as consistent as I can with them.

I had all but given up riding my bike after college because of my lower back pain. Now, I’ve spent countless hours and at least 4 thousand miles on my bikes and feel the best that I ever have. I put the (good) blame on a dramatic loss of extra weight, and the exercises that I have put consistent effort into. I can see myself getting better, over time, as well. That’s a good anti-aging type feeling.

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