Hey everyone, I’m Nate and I have been battling chronic lower back pain for the past fifteen years.
If you’re like me, the pain never really goes away and trying to explain your pain to someone else usually falls short. Whether I am trying to enjoy a relaxing night out at the movies or just driving my car across town, the pain is there. After consuming countless amounts of pain pills, undergoing ultra sound therapy more times than I can count, and seeing the chiropractor monthly, the pain persisted. I take that back…it was getting worse!
After a while I started to just accept the fact that I would never be free from the pain my lower back caused me and began to live my life in silent tolerance, never really knowing what it was like to move by body around as freely as I did before all of this started.
Just as I thought there was no way I was ever going to be free from the pain, I found yoga. And before you start saying to yourself, “I don’t want to do yoga, I’ll look stupid!” or “Only girls do yoga,” ask yourself this question, as I asked myself when I first began,
“When I’m 80 years old and look back on my life can I say that I did everything that I could have done to live the happiest life possible?”
I knew that if I didn’t try everything in my power to rid myself of the pain it would eat at me every single day, and I’m sure I would never even have a chance at making it to 80 years old.
So, who am I?
I am currently 30 years old and I still have lower back pain.
“What?! I thought you were supposed to help me get RID of my back pain!”
I’ll tell you this from what I’ve learned along the way – anything that you have repetitively done to your body over an extended period of time is going to hugely affect it either good or bad for a long time afterwards.
For me, I’ve been putting a pounding on my body ever since I could walk. I started playing competitive sports when I was 5 years old and didn’t stop until I went to college.
The Internet started to become widely used when I was a teenager which allowed me to use my athletic abilities that I started to train since I was 5 by sitting in a computer chair for countless hours playing video games. I’m talking stretches of sitting down and not moving around (except for food and the restroom of course, I’m not a robot, yet…) for periods of 24 hours or more at a time.
Also, my back doctor informed me that I have a sixth lumbar in my lower spine (opposed to the normal amount that people have of five) which he said probably shouldn’t have too much effect on my lower back health but add to everything else a desk job right out of college and I had myself a full blown lower back pain cocktail!
Fast Forward 10 Years…
…and I am asking myself what 80 year old me would think about allowing the pain to get so bad (80 year old me was pissed!).
After 10 years of minimal exercise, poor diet, and sitting down for the majority of the day (let’s add a sprinkle of substance abuse in there for good measure), I realized the pain couldn’t get much worse so I decided I could either make a change or get used to living my life at the lowest level on the happiness scale. So the next day I went to my first yoga class and haven’t looked back since.
I had known about “yoga” for as long as I can remember but I never really understood what the word actually represented or how its practice could positively affect my life. I always just viewed yoga how society portrayed it, as something that men don’t do and I would just be making a fool out of myself if I tried.
I have never been able to touch my toes for longer than the second it takes to force my body to spring forward and have always had the balance of a baby deer trying to stand up on ice.
Once I started consistently doing yoga, day after day, week after week, month after month, I started to notice my body changing. It was very subtle at first – a pop somewhere I’ve never been able to pop before or a toe that I’ve never been able to touch before – but once I started to notice the changes in my body and listen to them, the pain was still there, but I noticed it wasn’t getting worse anymore. It actually started to feel better!
On The Path To A Life Without Pain
Now, over a year after starting my yoga journey, I am starting to be able to see the long-term effects of my practice. Pains that I have felt constantly for years are gone and as I advance in my practice I am able to stretch parts of my lower back that I didn’t even know needed to be stretched.
Fifteen year old pains have now started to surface in my lower back, fighting to retain their hold on my body, but each day that I show up to my mat I regain control. My lower back feels the best it has felt since I was a teenager and it only continues to feel better.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my story and welcome to you Stick With It Yoga! Remember, everyone is different so some of the things that have worked for me might not work as well for you, and that is okay!
My goal is to provide you with as much information that I can from my own experiences and research to give you the opportunity to begin taking your life back (no pun intended, but seriously) and as long as you stick with it, you can do it.
If you need any feedback or support along the way to a pain free life, I would be happy to connect with you if you just leave a comment on any of my posts. I will be updating the site regularly so hopefully I am able to provide you with some insight or advice on how to start getting rid of low back pain as soon as possible!
Stick With It!
Founder of Stick With It Yoga