It’s been over 25 years now, but I can still picture it as clear as day: my Dad lying down on the living room floor every single night performing a series of exercises that a local physician told him would strengthen his back and relieve his ongoing back pain.
One of the more visually memorable ones involved him pulling his legs up to his chest and holding them there for several minutes, so if I walked in the room at just the right time and angle my Dad’s pajama-ed patoot would be the first thing I’d see.
My poor Dad. In spite of the daily routine of exercises his lower back pain never went away. Another doctor told him to take up swimming, which he tried to no avail. It seemed he was always looking for a solution to and relief from the chronic lower back pain. By the time I was a young adult he seemed almost resigned that the pain would never go away and he would have to learn to live with it.
In addition to his constant backache, my Dad also seemed to be pretty depressed a lot of the time. When I was younger I didn’t understand what was bothering him but now that I’m older I know that he was profoundly unhappy in his marriage, dealing with a nasty mother (she was a wonderful Grandma to me but a pain in the rear to him), and stressed out at work. These issues, combined with what I believe is his inherent way of seeing life as “half empty” probably caused his sadness. And interestingly, they also may have caused his back problems.
From what I have been reading, my Grandma was probably more of a pain in the back to my Dad than a pain in the rear. My Dad is now getting up in years, and has been divorced for some time from my Mom. He is long retired so job stress is gone, and sadly, my Grandma passed away about a dozen years ago. And guess what? He no longer complains of back pain like he used to.
According to Prescription for Nutritional Healing, a fantastic book filled with natural remedies for just about every ailment you can think of, “most cases of back pain also have an important psychological component, usually a deep-seated emotional or stress-related problem.” Isn’t that something?