Friday, April 4, 2014

Back Pain, Diets, and a New Blog

In January, I went back to the gym and within a week, my back started acting up. I have had sporadic chronic back pain, but my chiropractor, Dr. Callahan, was a magician and was always able to resolve issues when they cropped up, but this was different.  The pain was different, it was more intense and when I stood up, it just got progressively worse.  After three sessions, two more than usually needed, I decided to see a spinal specialist.  It turns out my past caught up to me.

You might say I over taxed my body.  In high school, I wrestled in the 115 pound weight class. In my senior year, I entered the AAU's, the 1960's version of the Olympic trials. Part of my prep was practicing bridging.  I used to do it with our heavyweight (250 lbs) sitting on my chest.

In college, I wrestled at 123 pounds at a Division I school.  When we wrestled other Division 1 schools, most of the time it was against state it was against a state champion. Being in the lowest weight class, I the competition was tougher, because high school wrestlers from 98, 106, and 115 were vying for the spot. That meant even when I wrestled a Division II school, I often met state champs.  That resulted in more injuries.  My nickname was Johnson & Johnson.

After college, I coached wrestling and as part of my team building it wasn't unusual for me to wrestle everyone on the varsity squad from 130 lb. on up through heavyweight.  While remaining relatively injury free during coaching, it still took it's toll.

All this is leading up to the obvious medical conclusion as shown on my X-Rays.  I had degenerative disc disease and arthritis in the upper and lower back.  Dr. Ahn, the neuro-spinal specialist prescribed an anti-inflammatory and eight weeks of physical therapy.  He felt that would do the trick and I would be fine as long as I kept it up.

The PT began improving my situation right from the first visit.  I'm going to Access Sports Therapy here in Raymond, NH, and the really know their stuff. On April 1, I had my very first pain free day since the beginning of January, and that's no April Fools joke! 

I also resolved to do all that I could to get better, because sitting on my ass for 14 hours a day was not the quality of life I was seeking. In March, I decided to start a diet to get rid about about 15-20 pounds of belly fat that was not doing my lower back any good.  It's a low carb diet, though not an aggressive one.  For me it was about cutting out processed flour and sugar, junk foods, pastries, and soft drinks.  I'm limiting my carbs to 100g a day.  By doing that, without even counting, my calorie count has DRASTICALLY fallen. The diet is just a few days short of a month long and I have lost 7 pounds!


After a few weeks, I decided to start blogging about the diet to share experiences and recipes.  I considered doing it here, because some of the entries were appropriate for this blog, but I didn't want TLRR to have a narrow focus or become a diet blog.  In line with the low carb diet and my effort to spread the word, I settled on the name of Art's Carb-Orator http://carb-orator.blogspot.com .   

After a month of dieting, I can truthfully say, I am eating healthier than I have ever eaten and feel better than I have in years.  The 100g of carbs a day isn't a starvation diet and I do have hunger pangs once in a while, especially late at night.  However, the results make it well worthwhile, and once I reach my goal weight, I will begin to quest for the carb level needed to maintain my weight. Based on what I'm seeing now, even a 200g a day diet will keep me well under 2000 calories a day, which I know will maintain my weight.

It's really fun looking for and tweaking recipes for my favorite dishes.  I've had stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash, and even brownies, and peanut butter cookies.  If  you have a few extra pounds to shed, check it out.

18 comments:

  1. Chiropractic clinics, health care centers and pilates fitness institutes are nothing less than a boon for victims of lower back pains. Chiropractors, health care experts and pilates instructors avert back problems from getting deteriorated.

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    1. Thanks for this good sharing facts. As I know 90% of people at some stage and just about the most prevalent of all lower back pain causes would be the dreaded slipped disk. As I be aware that Chiropractic care is normally health maintenance on the spinal column, backbone that related nerves in conjunction with bone geometry without drugs or surgical treatment. For review using this type of topic you may even visit:
      http://kidbuxblog.com/common-causes-of-lower-back-pain/

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  2. Great post….Back pain, and with it sciatica, is one of the most common forms of pain affecting our society today. visit our site for good tertments for Back Pain, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Thyroid, chronic pain, sciatica, whiplash, headaches & nutritional disorders. http://www.drbastomski.com/

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  3. You have a pretty active lifestyle, judging on all the activities and sports you’d been through since you were in high school. It’s just disappointing that it has to be the reason for your body pain. Good thing you consulted your chiro immediately, as well as a spinal specialist. You then found the cause and proper treatment for it. Hope you're doing well!

    Sandie Derouin @ U.S. HealthWorks

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    1. Thanks, Sandie. As we get older and lazier, we don't realize how important regular exercise is. I understood on an intellectual level, but didn't fully comprehend until this happened. In many ways, it was a tipping point for me, because it forced me to either fight back or give up. I'm fighting back and made changes that I intend to follow through with as long as I am able.

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  4. Please continue to write more because it’s unusual that someone has something interesting to say about this.
    Will be waiting for more! To get new information visit here
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  5. It's great that you are seizing your problems with pain, and have built a routine around it. Pain management can be protracted, as you won't get instant relief, but at least you are well on your way through it, than letting it worsen. That is a good sign. Take care!

    Jacqueline Hodges @ Dr. Koziol

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  6. Having an immediate diagnosis can be the difference between pain and ease. As for alternative solutions to getting better; there are many options at your disposal to keep you healthy and fit. You just have to find the right one that fits you. Keep it up, and hopefully you won't to deal with pain any more. Good luck!

    Joan Stevens @ Stringer Chiropractic

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  7. Thanks for all the great comment, folks. It has been 6 months since I wrote this entry. I've been going to the gym for an hour 5 days a week and walking outside whenever I can. Each workout starts with back stretching and exercises I learned at rehab. I'm happy to say, I have not had any significant back pain and I'm in the best shape I've been in since I stopped coaching in the mid 90's. I took off my target of 20 pounds and have maintained my weight simply by cutting back on processed food and sugars. It was obvious that I was a junk food junkie and simply avoiding that pitfall has allowed me to maintain my weight.

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  8. Thanks you for sharing your experiences and your tips will definitely help the people who are suffering .

    Thanks
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  9. Hi, Thanks for your great post, there are much nice information that I am sure a huge number of guys and gals don’t know.
    Back Pain Specialist Chicago

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  12. Wow ! Great Information .My brother is using back brace Now he feels comfort . Thanks

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  13. Just love this blog so much! I can relate this during on my exercises habit at the gym. I drunk plenty of water to keep my muscles healthy and flexible since our body is about 70 percent water, and everything, including muscles and the discs in spine, I really needed plenty of water to function properly that time.

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    1. Thanks, Tinactin. Good point about the water. Every time I get a blood test my doctor scolds me for not drinking enough water.

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