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Old 07-27-2009, 12:05 PM   #11
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Many years ago my back would bother me if I was standing too long, sitting too long, lying too long, well... you get the picture. I tried EVERYthing and went to a number of medical professionals and naturopaths to try to find relief. There was nothing structurally wrong with my back and all attempts to "cure" me were useless. I thought I was doomed to a life of chronic back pain. One day, my Osteopath asked if I had ever considered acupuncture. I was skeptical, thinking that maybe it was something that you had to BELIEVE IN for it to work. He said that the treatment has been around for centuries and many people show significant improvement for a wide range of ailments, including back pain. I was willing to try anything, so I scheduled a visit.

On the first visit, the Acupuncturist spoke to me and explained how the treatment works. She told me that people "store" their life stress in different parts of their bodies... that some people get frequent headaches, some have chronic lower back pain, and who DOESN'T know someone who seems to have extremely tight and painful shoulder muscles? Anyhow... she began placing the tiny needles into my back at precise locations. I have to tell you I felt better than I had in a very long time after ONE treatment. I went back for more maybe eight or so more treatments over the next couple of months and have felt great ever since (that was over 10 years ago now). Sometimes I get temporary pain when I am moving furniture or working on some task on the floor for extended periods, but it is temporary.

Acupuncture might be something to consider. I swear by it and highly recommend it.

As far as your sink dilemma... I'm a little over 6'1" and, if I have a time consuming task at the kitchen counter, sometimes I spread my feet a little further apart to lower my trunk. I also try to multi-task where possible so I'm not stuck in one position, bent over, for extended periods of time.
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:29 PM   #12
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My back actually only aches from washing up and that's not an excuse to not wash-up because I always clean up behind me:)
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Many years ago my back would bother me if I was standing too long, sitting too long, lying too long, well... you get the picture. I tried EVERYthing and went to a number of medical professionals and naturopaths to try to find relief. There was nothing structurally wrong with my back and all attempts to "cure" me were useless. I thought I was doomed to a life of chronic back pain. One day, my Osteopath asked if I had ever considered acupuncture. I was skeptical, thinking that maybe it was something that you had to BELIEVE IN for it to work. He said that the treatment has been around for centuries and many people show significant improvement for a wide range of ailments, including back pain. I was willing to try anything, so I scheduled a visit.

On the first visit, the Acupuncturist spoke to me and explained how the treatment works. She told me that people "store" their life stress in different parts of their bodies... that some people get frequent headaches, some have chronic lower back pain, and who DOESN'T know someone who seems to have extremely tight and painful shoulder muscles? Anyhow... she began placing the tiny needles into my back at precise locations. I have to tell you I felt better than I had in a very long time after ONE treatment. I went back for more maybe eight or so more treatments over the next couple of months and have felt great ever since (that was over 10 years ago now). Sometimes I get temporary pain when I am moving furniture or working on some task on the floor for extended periods, but it is temporary.

Acupuncture might be something to consider. I swear by it and highly recommend it.

As far as your sink dilemma... I'm a little over 6'1" and, if I have a time consuming task at the kitchen counter, sometimes I spread my feet a little further apart to lower my trunk. I also try to multi-task where possible so I'm not stuck in one position, bent over, for extended periods of time.
I do the same thing with the foot-spreading technique. I call it my "Ramones" pose ;)
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:04 PM   #14
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I do the same thing with the foot-spreading technique. I call it my "Ramones" pose ;)
Too funny!
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Old 07-27-2009, 02:42 PM   #15
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I have an old spinal fracture (from a nice dramatic throw from a horse) that makes most ordinary chores involving long bouts of standing or bending very painful. I find my best friend (besides Advil) is a Professional Sportsman's Back Brace. Velcro in front; thick semi-stiff foam pad in back; back & sides reinforced with springy flexible metal strips. I wear it for housework, gardening - virtually anything where my back will be at risk.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:35 PM   #16
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Claire

I agree w/freefalling about the extra thick cutting board. I know Boos makes different thickness and the one that I have is about 3" thick. It really helps w/cutting chores. And I also agree w/Breezy about the brace. I had surgery on my lower back when I was in my 20's and I became addicted to my brace. It really will help w/the pain. Plus, my orthopedic doc told me (oddly enough) that just plain ol' walking is the easiest way for someone w/chronic pain to strengthen their core muscles, which in turn supports your back. I'm so sorry for your pain. I hope some, or even one of the suggestions given on this thread will help. You never know how much you use your back until you hurt it. Good luck!
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:05 PM   #17
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This probably isn't applicable to all with back pain, but....

About 6 months ago I started doing leg and back stretching exercises twice a day.
My goal was to be able to touch the ground with straight legs, which I hadn't been
able to do since, well, like 35 years ago.

I can now!

AND... my chronic back pain (muscle, not nerve or bone) has pretty much disappeared. Strong muscles are happy muscles.

(As a 6' 2" guy, I too have developed the "sink squat" when doing dishes, LOL)
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:08 PM   #18
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In my real life I'm a cabinet maker and woodworker. I find more and more people want specific heights these days and not just the normal 36" counter height. In days past especially bathroom cabinetry was way too low. Bathroom counters are now being done at 36" which is more comfortable for a wash sink. In doing different jobs I've found 38 inches to be good for me for a kitchen height personally. Didn't mean to get off track but it kinda sorta goes with this thread
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:55 PM   #19
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I agree about strengthening one's muscles (the average person without medical conditions causing the pain). if you want a strong back, gotta have a strong front. Pilates is great for strengthening the core.
Careful with the braces, one doesn't want it to become a crutch, so to speak. They can be good, but they can be overused, doing the work one's muscles ought to do. Take the advice of your health care professional on that.
The best advice I saw here for those of you that are tall... raise the height of your workspace via a thicker cutting board, or a prep island that is high enough. Of course, that doesn't help with the sink.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:24 AM   #20
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I personally do Pilates, which I truly believe has helped. Unlike some of you, and my own mother, this isn't as serious a problem as it could be. I do have a short stool (4" I think) that I prop the sciatica side foot on when it is a sciatica problem. My husband does do most of the clean up, most of the time. I think my kitchen was more or less built in 1901, give or take, and the average woman at that time was probably 5', maybe a little taller. But I think the counters are normal height, put in during the 40s or so. They don't seem any higher or lower than those in other homes where I've lived. I just happen to be a taller-than-most woman, and my husband is the same height. I actually think sitting to do more of the work is the answer. There is no reason I can't do that, just habit, what I was raised doing. Raised, I might add, by a 5'2" mother. The counters/sink always fit HER.
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