Mind & Motion

Dealing with Back Pain

Posted in Health, Personal Essays by Meghan Pickrell on October 7, 2012

Wedding photo by Nancy Neil

As some you may already know even though I’m a professional body worker and teacher… I am also human (strange, I know). This means that I also deal with a host of body-related issues. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at a young age and since then I’ve had flare ups with my back throughout the years. Ballet helped tremendously as a teen (I was sans back pain for around 5 years straight while dancing). Pilates saved me again in my 20s. I’ve also found a few body-workers who have eased the pain throughout the years. For the past year my right hip and low back have not quite been right and 2 weeks before my wedding I went for a light jog and my back went out. It actually wasn’t sooo bad at first and usually when such an event occurs it takes about a week and then I’m back on my feet. This time was different. I went to the osteopath who I had been seeing for the past few months. Twice. I went the chiropractor. I went to the PT. Nothing was easing my stiff, sore back and I was approaching one of the biggest days in my life. F*&%!

The wedding came after 2 advils and I was OK for the celebration. It was an amazing experience to have all of your friends and family in one place. That I will always cherish. I ate, drank, laughed and danced. It was a truly remarkable day.

The wedding was Saturday and Monday Carlos and I were to fly off to Spain for 2 weeks, a honeymoon we had been planning for months. Sunday I realized that I just didn’t have it in me. My body was sore and I was exhausted. I had been planning the wedding and honeymoon for nearly 6 months, running a new business and dealing with a huge transition in my life. Sometimes it’s important to know our limitations and I had just hit the wall.

One of the most amazing qualities about my husband is that he really believes in me. He believes strongly that the human body has the ability to heal itself and that I have the power to get better. I know this as well but it sure is helpful to have a partner reflect that back to me. The first part on my journey toward healing was to relax. We decided to post-pone Spain and head up to Ojai for a mini-moon. 🙂

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa

Ojai was just what I needed; pure relaxation. The first day I indulged in a foot reflexology massage. This definitely calmed my sympathetic nervous system. The body cannot begin the healing process when under distress which is why my back was not getting better before the wedding. Sad, I know. I wish I could have been a zen bride, if there is such a thing. The second day I indulged in an ayruvedic wrap. This was definitely worth the hefty price tag. I became so relaxed that I started day dreaming. It was a bit of bliss. My appetite came back and my back started easing up slowly.

At dinner in SF

On the second part of our mini-moon Carlos and I ventured to San Francisco so that I could work with Carole, my mentor. Carole is one of the only practitioners who really corrects my alignment and movement patterns. I couldn’t do “pilates” per se but she did have me lean into the leg spring with my foot, finding assistance from the apparatus in order to help organize my hip. After seeing Carole I could finally sit without back pain. This was extremely helpful for the plane ride home.

I’m still in the process of crawling out of this hole. My alignment has finally gone back to a more balanced place. I’ve been investing myself in the healing process from a variety of angles. In the coming weeks I will continue to document my experience and observations about chronic back pain. I will leave you with this. If you are reading this and you are in chronic muscular skeletal pain I believe there is a way to feel better. Hopefully my journey can offer some insight. To be continued…

3 Responses

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  1. mom said, on October 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Meghan…You were so beautiful is body, mind and spirit at the wedding. Carlos is such a dear man. i am so glad you are sharing your experience with everyone on your blog about the wedding and your back issues. This will all be good. Love Mom

  2. cnotemaker said, on October 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Oh I love the wedding picture! Glad to hear you are springing back and the pain has eased.

  3. Carole Amend said, on October 25, 2012 at 5:44 am

    You and Carlos were radiant. It was wonderful to witness such love and joy! Relaxation is just what your nervous system needed! So glad you are feeling better! xo Love, Carole

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