You’ve sustained an injury to your back with a herniation of one or more of your discs. You’ve endured the pain that comes along with it, you’ve sought out natural remedies to heal yourself, and after months of dedicated exercise you’ve strengthened your core muscles. It’s now summer, and your friend asks you to play a game of tennis. Are you ready?
Be it tennis, horseback riding, jogging, or even gardening, ultimately only you will know when you’re ready. The obvious answer is you’re ready when you’re no longer in pain. More specifically though, you’re ready when you’re able to bend over, flex, extend and twist your back in a controlled manner without pain or discomfort; you’re ready when you’re aware of your core naturally engaging when doing the aforementioned motions; you’re ready when you can honestly say to yourself you’ve diligently been doing your core strengthening exercises for at least a few months in order to strengthen your core, and you continue to do so.
Remember that pain is simply the symptom of an underlying cause. In the case of a herniated disc, the cause may have been a weak core. As I’ve addressed above, diligently doing core exercises will strengthen this area and protect you from future injury. Lower back injury may also be the manifestation of a psychological challenge you’re dealing with, as discussed in the book You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, as well as in the eBooks Back In Shape Naturally and Guidebook to Healing Visualizations available at www.HowToHealMyBack.com. Even if the physical pain is gone it is imperative that you uncover and address the underlying cause in order for you to be ‘healed’.
If you’ve been pain free for a while, there’s no reason why you can’t get back out there and do activities. The key is to start off very slow, light, and controlled, always being aware of your core muscles. For activities such as tennis or golf which create a lot of torque on the spine, I’d suggest going to the gym for a month or more beforehand and doing core rotation exercises using cables. Start off with very light resistance and as long as no pain is felt you can gradually increase your speed and resistance.
It’s possible you’ll feel some fatigue the day after using your back for lifting or for a sport. This doesn’t need to be cause for concern as long as the pain is modest and goes away in a day or two. The fact is you’ve undergone an injury to your back, and even though you’ve healed, your body will never fully be at 100%. With the awareness of proper spinal alignment and core engagement however, I’d encourage you to challenge yourself and try the activities that call to you.
I herniated both my L4-L5 and L5-S1 discs, and I subsequently healed myself naturally. Within 2 years of my injury, contrary to what doctors said I could do, and even to an extent contrary to what I myself thought I could do again, I’d been: back in the gym power-lifting, paragliding, surfing, playing tennis, combat fighting and doing martial arts, extreme mountain hiking, horseback riding, zip-lining, landscaping, and performance level dancing….all pain free! It’s YOUR turn!
Many people give up on their physical passions simply because of a limiting belief that they can’t do those activities anymore. If your pain is gone however, it’s time to get back out there and start thriving again. Start off slowly and go from there…you might just surprise yourself with what you can do and how much you’ve healed. It’s TIME!
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