Back Pain and arthritis are probably the two primary health problems that cause people to give up manual trades and even renovating or repairing their own homes. Back pain in particular can step in while people are quite young.
It doesn't have to be so.
I have always had a peculiar problem with my own back in that I could work on a construction site all day long doing heavy labour, but if I set into one position for just a few minutes, the pain in my back forced me to use both hands just to straighten up. Then if I started moving again, I could work again. I finally had to give up bench work that I couldn't do sitting down -- while I could still carry things all over a construction site. That was true even when I was only 20 years old.
Doctors told me there was nothing wrong with me and chiropractors told me to mortgage my house and sign up for weekly maintenance treatment for the rest of my life. I am quite a proponent of natural health and good blood circulation, so I just kept moving.
It was after I turned 60 that my sister sent me a book -- one of those glossy full of photograph types of books that promised miracles with simple exercises and learning to stand and move as our ancestors did. By the way, it turns out that our ancestors and many populations in third world countries simply don't have chronic back problems. So whether I believed it or not, I felt it was worth a little bit of work for 3 months to plough through the book.
Actually there was one illustration in the book showing two spines -- the illustration above -- that convinced me to try. Gokhale wrote in her book: "The spine on the left is from an anatomy book published in 1911 and shows what was considered normal then. The spine on the right is copied from an anatomy book published in 1990 and shows what is considered normal spinal curvature today. Notice the marked shift in the degree of curvature throughout the spine and especially in the low back (lumbar) area."
Doctors have adapted the spine distorted by modern society as the "norm" - and with it decided that back pain was normal as well; more treatment, more drugs.
Without totally getting the whole book right the first time around:
I would get out of bed in the morning and stride into my day, rather than crawling from the bed to the espresso machine;
I could work comfortably at my shop bench for more than hour without pain or freezing up in 5 minutes;
I grew half an inch taller;
My wife declared that I was 10 years younger!
A year later the author from San Francisco gave a weekend seminar in my town in Québec -- which allowed me to fine tune what I had learned - and it got that much better again!
Learning new "old fashioned" posture; doing spine stretching exercises during my daily activities whether sitting, lying down or even walking; learning a totally new way to settle into my pelvis and bend over without curving has become a delightful way of life for me. After having this book I would not recommend that any young person invest in a chiropractic career. Back pain need not be one of our number one afflictions. We are destroying ourselves without knowing it.
So, as I love to share with you techniques for saving your house, let me share with you a resource that can save your back and let you work on your house: 8 Steps To A Pain Free Back by Esther Gokhale - www.GokhaleMethod.com