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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


My back hurts.  Now don't everyone start groaning that this blog is going to be a geriatric rant of every ailment in my body.  Even though if I did, who could blame me.  If you saw the title of the blog, you can guess what happened to me today.  For all of you teenage checkers at IGA, DO NOT ask people if they get the discount.  All that is going to happen is if a man is 20 years under it, you are going to piss him off and if a woman is 20 seconds under it, you are going to hurt her feelings.  SO JUST DON'T DO IT!  We will tell you if we get it.

Anyways, my back problems started about a month ago.  I took the kids to State Farm Park to swim.  Well,  I decided to do a trick dive that I used to do in my youth where I face backwards and spin around in the air and enter the water forward.  Well, I nailed it.  As I was under the water working my way to the top, I was sure I was going to come up to thunderous applause and lifeguards lining up to have me show them how to do it.  In reality I got a "That looked pretty good" from my 9 year old son's friend and a shooting pain down the center of my back.  People commented "Why did you do that?  You aren't a young man anymore."  I wasn't jackhammering out a sidewalk, I was diving off a board.  I toughed out the pain and it slowly got better.

Eventually, I forgot about that little incident and about a week ago was swimming in our pool.  The kids decided to have a chicken fight.  A couple of beers into it, I decided that this was a really good idea.  I loaded the 13 year old on my shoulders and the games began.  Unfortunately, so did my upper back problems again.  I tried to reason to myself that it was worth it because we won.  After all, 10 years from now, no one would remember who came in 2nd place in the chicken fight in Corey's pool.  It's hard to believe that a 2  1/2 second chicken fight could completely immobilize my head and make me almost wet myself when I sneeze.  Again, people commented "Why did you do that?  You aren't a young man anymore."  I was doing a chicken fight with elementary schoolers, not spotting the heavyweight Russian bench press team.

The only thing that could give me relief was to grab my head at the top part of the back of my neck and pull up.  With lower back pain, I liked to hang from things.  With upper, I figured out this.  The idea came from this thing my mom had used when she had a slipped disc.  She had a contraption that hung over a door.  You put your head in a harness, sat in a chair, and a counter weight lifted up on your head.  I tried it even though my back didn't hurt and it felt amazing.  So I highly recommend getting people to pull on your head.  But you might want to frame it up for them first so you aren't just some weirdo asking people to pull on your head.  Anyways, the device looked like this.

Now to the average non-chiropractor type walking up on this, you might think someone was choosing to leave this miserable life.  Or at the very least, you would just back silently out of the room smiling sheepishly.  Well,  my mother was watching my daughter when she was very little.   She snuck away for a little peace and slipped her head into the harness.  This was her view when she shut her eyes.

Aaaah.  Eyes closed.  Just relax for a few minutes and slip off into your own little world.  Embrace the darkness and enjoy the little bit of relief.

Okay, time is up.  Time to slowly open your eyes and rejoin the world.

And this was her view when she opened her eyes.  Well, luckily my daughter was too young to think the worst.   However, we get a pretty good chuckle wondering what in the world her little brain thought she was witnessing while Grandma sat there with her eyes closed.

Now, onto the whole point of this blog.  Pulling up on your head feels great for upper back pain or just in general.  In fact, I bet when they still used to do hangings that for a minute, the "hangees" forgot their circumstances.  The floor was probably dropped beneath them and for a few seconds they said, "Hey, this feels great.  I can move my arm again.  I feel 20 years younger. Thank you.  Wait . . . . Oh shit."

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