The old back trouble is back
May 15, 2017
by Ivan Raconteur

I was working around the bachelor estate on a recent Saturday morning, and I had the television on.

One of those animal programs caught my attention. It had a couple women talking about sloths at a zoo.

The sloth with which they were working was a strange creature. Its movements were slow and deliberate, and it appeared to be a creature incapable of hurrying, no matter what the provocation.

I thought the way this animal moved was funny at the time, but I have been forced to reconsider this.

The way I have been moving lately, especially when I have been trying to get out of bed, has not been much different than that of the sloth.

The situation is not nearly as bad as it was last year at this time when I was afflicted with acute back trouble, but I have a healthy respect for back pain and I am not taking any chances.

This forces me to move extremely carefully when I feel the first twinges of a muscle spasm.

I move carefully and deliberately, and use support wherever possible.

There are no sudden movements under these conditions.

That sloth doesn’t seem quite so funny now, although if I had to go through life at this speed, I would go quite mad.

I suspect this recurring back trouble is an affirmation of what doctors have been telling us for years. The human body was simply not designed for spending 12 hours per day sitting in front of a computer.

Among the negative consequences of this behavior is the deterioration of muscles that are intended to keep us upright.

When we lose this protection, perhaps we are more susceptible to back trouble.

If that is the case, I am prepared to do something about it. The prospect of going through this kind of back misery every spring is not a happy one.

The experts in these matters say we should get up and move around at least once per hour.

I suppose I could start doing that, but I will have to remember to set an alarm to remind me to do it.

Unless I can develop the habit, my odds of success will not be good.

I have also considered using some form of standing desk part of the time.

There are a lot of options available, from very simple to very complex.

It seems not everyone is convinced about the benefits of using a standing desk, but I am willing to give it a chance. I know what sitting all day has done for me, and I have nothing to lose by trying something different.

I suspect exercise, even walking more, would help tone the muscles that help to protect the back, but I don’t want to fly off the handle and change too many things at once.

There don’t seem to be many perks to getting older. One thing is certain – with each passing year, we have to work harder to achieve even a faint approximation of the health we took for granted when we were younger.

I wonder if old sloths have this kind of trouble when they reach a certain age. It will probably remain a mystery. I’m not sure we’d be able to tell they were slowing down even if they were.

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