What I Learnt about Back Pain

BackI recently hurt my back. Really badly. Well, technically it wasn’t just my back. It was also a muscle in my groin that went “pop” whilst stretching a little too much at the gym. Which then led to a whole fiasco with the psoas muscle and sciatica which resulted in spasms not only down my leg, but also up my back which placed pressure on my diaphragm which resulted in breathing not as optimally as I would like whenever I was sitting down. Not much fun, hey.

What’s an active energiser-bunny girl to do?

After a few weeks of self-pity, self-judgment and jumping down a rabbit hole of craziness, I snapped out of it.

When I got back to being me, I was keen to know how it happened, why it happened, what I could do to fix it, what foods I could eat to support it’s speedy recovery and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Here’s what I discovered.

My local masseuse was and is a rare gem! One session with my trusty masseuse (Michael) and he corrected the alignment of my hips, as one was considerably compensating for what was going on and was waaaaay higher than the other. He also recommended an x-ray and ultrasound to make sure there was nothing more sinister that was going on. So off to the specialists I went. Whilst there was some relief after my first massage the sciatica didn’t go away. But after the second session, I noticed a huge difference.

pranamat_orange_frontThe Pranamat was elevated from a trusty friend to the love of my life! I am beginning to wonder if there is anything that this spiky little accessory can’t help ease. Period pain, tick. Insomnia, tick. Stress, tick. Low energy levels, tick. And now the mother of all back pains and sciatica, tick.

I became addicted to fresh organic turmeric, and grated it on EVERYTHING! Tip: freshly grated organic turmeric on ripe organic tomatoes on toasted essene bread with a spread of unhulled organic tahini and a drizzle of organic virgin cold-pressed olive oil is orgasmic-ly delicious and packs its punch in nutrition for the body. Why my obsession with turmeric right now? Because it is the king of anti-inflammatories.

Posture is everything!  Working on a laptop most days, I am certainly guilty of sitting in all sorts of weird positions. Comfy, yes. Good for the health of my spine, no. So now I’m being mindful not to slouch in chairs and on the couch; sitting in chairs with straight backs or lower-back support; when sitting, relaxing my shoulders, lengthening my spine and raising my head from the crown upwards. When driving, I move the car seat forward so that I can reach the controls without leaning forward. When walking or standing for long periods, I’ll be keeping my shoulders and hips in a straight line, my head up and stomach gently pulled in. And most importantly sleeping on a firm mattress. Well, this is the plan. No doubt I’ll forget some days, but just like any new habit, patience will be important.

My back pain initially started after having a long in-depth conversation with a dear friend who is going through a not-so-fun time in her life right now. Being a sponge for energy, I subconsciously carried the burden of what she is about to go through on my back, and then identified it as mine, which then stuck it within my body, leading to my initial back pain. Compound that with going to see some people that are going through their own stress, and BAM … I pop my groin overstretching. The reason why and how I know this to be true, is because I was chatting with my husband 3 weeks in to the whole fiasco, asking and pondering why it hadn’t got better yet and asking all sorts of questions such as “who does this belong to?” “is it mine?” “is it someone elses?” and as soon as I became aware of the exact point in time when my back first started to ache, and recognised who it actually belonged to, the pain dissipated by about 80%. Amazing huh!

A month later, and after using the trusty tools that I am oh so grateful for having been gifted throughout my life, I’m 90% better and bouncing around like the ‘normal’ happy, healthy, glowing me, that I so love.

** a little note : this is what worked for me. When it comes to what works for you, ALWAYS trust your own awareness and follow what feels right for you. Not what I tell you, not what anyone else tells you to do. Only you know what is best for you **

What about you? What have you found to be helpful with back pain?



Post by Sam Sargent, founder of Be genki 

4 responses to “What I Learnt about Back Pain

  1. Hi Sam,
    I’ve suffered from bulging disc pain for years, due to my years employed as a crane operator. During this time i had numerous flair ups that left me incapacitated for anything from a couple of days to a few weeks.
    I tried physio, pilates and massage but the things that have worked best are getting into an alkalising lifestyle, eating organic and drinking alkaline water.
    This along with fresh tumeric and ginger teas for anti inflamatory purposes.
    Another huge help has been the addition of stand up paddle boarding and power flow yoga to my routine.
    All these things combined have strengthened, stretched and virtually rid my body of inflammation.
    I’m in my happy place now, full of vitality and positivity, having now discovered the perfect lifestyle combination for a healthy back. 🙂 🙂

    • Hey Luke,
      Thanks so much for the alkalising tip. So true!
      I’m just about to get back in to yoga. Have been a bit scared to do anything lately, but it’s now time to get back on that horse.
      Happy to hear you’re in a happy place with a happy back 🙂
      I’ll be adding ginger to my turmeric from now on. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. therapeutic massage

    Hi Sam,

    I have been suffering back pain since college and the most helpful treatment I discovered is therapeutic massage. It relaxes the muscles and loose the muscle tension, also increase blood circulation which relieves the pain.

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