Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘back stress’

Rolled Out My Back Pain

Posted by terrepruitt on April 10, 2014

If you have read almost any of my posts you have heard me say that I use my blog as a recipe book and my reminder for things. So today I am writing myself a post about the foam roller. I know I have talked before about using tennis balls to roll out a muscle issue in my back. I actually used a different type of ball – like a huge super ball – because I don’t have any tennis balls, but it helped a lot.  This time it was not a muscle issue. And I am not necessarily recommending this as something you should do. I was a little nervous doing it myself, but I really was getting to the point where I couldn’t tolerate the pain any longer. I couldn’t move my head. Driving to teach my Nia class this morning I was doing the full torso twist as I changed lanes . . . I had to lift away from the seat and turn my whole torso because I could not comfortably turn my head. So I used my foam roller to roll out my back.

I believe sometimes stress is held in the body. I think that there is a little stress going on right now.  Ya think?  And I believe I am holding my stress of late in my back.  Normally, as I somewhat alluded too above, I might have stress held in the muscles, but this time it was more in my spine. I am more brave when it comes to muscles or connective tissue issues, but a little leery of trying to adjust my spine, but as I said, it was needed. So I laid down on the foam roller so that I could roll it down the length of my spine.

Now I want you to know that if you have back pain you should see a professional. A professional as in a doctor, a chiropractor, an osteopathic physician , etc. Someone that can treat you and your back. If you are familiar with your back issues and you feel comfortable doing this, that is up to you.

So I used it on my back as I did on my hamstrings in my post Roll Out The Hamstring.  But on my back I gingerly rolled on the roller. I started about mid-back,then rolled up, then down. I used my arms to support my weight a bit. Ahhhh, it was fantastic. I moved freely the rest of the day, which was great because I had a Gentle Yoga class to teach tonight.  I also did the vertical stretch shown in my first post about foam rollers, Foam Rollers are COOL!

Well, this might be something that might help you, again, I caution you.  But I know it will help me, but now I just have to remember and that is why I am posting it.  I definitely need a reminder for something occurring during this period of time.

Have you ever used a foam roller?  What do you use them for?  Do they help with massaging your muscles?

Posted in Foam Rollers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Once You Go To A Chiropractor You Always Have To Go

Posted by terrepruitt on March 17, 2012

When I was younger I remember many people saying that “once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go”. Maybe you have heard that. I still hear people say that. Back when I was young I don’t think a lot of thought was given to that statement. I know I didn’t think about it much, I just had heard it so often I believed it was true. At one point in my life back then I considered myself to “have a bad back”. Being in so much pain once I found myself at a chiropractor. This was all a very long time ago so I don’t remember all the details. I guess they did SOMETHING to make me feel better because I left and must have felt ok. But before I left he prescribed something outrageous like I would need to visit him three or four times a week in order to take care of it. Again, fuzzy on the details, but I know I never went back to that guy. I do remember having medical insurance at the time that would pay for a portion of my visits if I visited a doctor on their list. So, I found one, I believe he was on the verge of retiring and was not interested in seeing people more than he really felt was necessary and he did not think I needed to be seen more than once a week. But I do remember that by the time my next appointment came around I was ready. I think my issue was, and still is, stress or tension.  I don’t have a “bad back”. I hold my stress in my upper back. Well, after I had seen a chiropractor I came to believe the saying “once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go” is true. It is because that once you go and you get relief then you always want to feel that good so you “have to go”. But now I also know that there are a lot of things we can do ourselves to either bring relief or make sure we don’t get in a state where we need it in the first place.

One of the things I was doing back then was holding the phone in the crook of my neck and shoulder when talking on the phone.  I worked in the mortgage business and like many businesses when you get a phone call you don’t stop working, you keep working because you are having to look at information while talking. After I had been to the doctor I decided I was not going to hold the phone like that any longer and every place I worked after that I got a headset. Ever since then I’ve had had headsets for my home phone, too.  That ONE thing alone brought HUGE changes in my back.  I never hold the phone in the crook of my neck and shoulder.

But occasionally I still allow the tension to rest in my back. I have been fortunate enough to have someone help me with my back when she is available, but she is not always available and so I try to work on it myself. As I said, I believe a lot of it is making sure we don’t allow our bodies to get into a state where it needs work, but that is not always possible, but there are still things we can do. If you have read a few of my posts you know I have a tendency to scrunch my shoulders up towards my ears. That is a major thing that causes my back to hurt, so I really work on keeping my shoulders down. Also, I work at sitting up straight, which is not easy for me because I like to sit on a leg folded under me.

Aside from plain ol’ not doing things that cause issues I have been doing some things that tend to help my back by keeping the muscles loose and the vertebrae lengthened and relaxed. Often the floorplay in Nia helps with keeping my back loose, but the Nia routine that I have been doing the past few weeks does not have that type of floorplay in it so I am doing other things.  My old friend the Downward Facing Dog is a great help for opening the back and releasing the spine. Doing the Downward Facing Dog at least a dozen times as part of a sequence is a great help in keeping my back loose.

Also the Pyramid Pose/Intense Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana), which I mentioned in my Muscles Used In Nia During Yoga-like Sequence post. When stretching the crown of the head out and over it really does a great job of creating space in the spine. Since my discomfort seems to manifest in my upper back, moves or poses that have me hanging over do a fantastic job of opening my cervical and thoracic spine.

Another “hanging” pose that I feel does a nice job of relaxing my joints and muscles is the simple fold. Just folding over and letting the body hang. Either the ragdoll or the forward fold. Doing both types of hangs, with a relaxed back and a straight back, works to create the sensation that I want – space, space, space, and more space in my spine. The space in my spine helps to relax the muscles that hold the tension.

As I was doing some side bends today, I actually heard my back crack. On each side I heard it crack. While I am not a fan of hearing my body snap, crackle, and pop, I take my back making that noise as the vertebrae getting back into place. When I can move my bones back into place and not have someone else do it, that makes me happy. It is what I have come to think of as self-healing. One of the side bends I have been doing consist of bending to the side while holding my arms over my head with my hands clasps. The other is holding my wrist as I bend.

So I am excited that I am working on my back myself. I have to say that I have not had back pain, tension, or even discomfort in the last two weeks. Yay. I know that I am not the only one that holds stress and tension in the back. So I was hoping sharing some of the things I have been doing to give me relief might help you too.

Do you have issues with your back? Do you hold stress in your back? What do you do to bring yourself and your back relief from your discomfort?

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »