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Control Lower Back Pain and Arthritis

I am inquisitive by nature and I love learning new things. I enjoy family, health, pets, feng shui, fashion, and relationships.


As I get older, I moderate what I eat regarding arthritis triggers. I also know my body pretty well because I pay close attention to it. Growing up, I ate just as much junk as anyone else. Now I am older, much wiser, and I know what my body can tolerate.

I am no different than anyone else. I still eat all the junk, but very small controlled amounts. Instead of 5 cookies, limit yourself to one. If you do not overindulge, you can still enjoy. You won't feel cheated, but I know you find this hard to believe. The only way to know is to eliminate items and to record the foods that trigger your pain. My body learned the difference.

Foods That Can Trigger Inflammation:

  • chips
  • french fries
  • all sweets
  • pizza (the tomato sauce)
  • fast food burgers, restaurant burgers (any burger not made from grass-fed beef)
  • anything deep fried like fried, buffalo wings, potatoes skins
  • cheese
  • milk

Everyone's body reacts after eating certain foods. Most people do not pay attention to their bodies. Remember, no one knows your body better than you! The doctor you visit doesn't know your body in a 10 minute visit. You have to know yourself so that you can tell the doctor your symptoms for a better diagnosis.

When You Look Young but Your Bones Feel Old

I discovered that arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that runs in my family. It snuck up on me in my late 30s. I had some lower back pain, but nothing that would wake me up at night. Fast forward 16 years later to the beginning of piriformis syndrome which started with burning in my buttocks and lower spine. After physical therapy, chiropractors, and acupuncture, the doctor told me I had spinal stenosis. There is no cure. It just gets worse due to aging.

The irony of arthritis in combination with spinal stenosis is that you can look young, but your body makes you feel like 90. I hate the idea of feeling old. The only way to combat some of it is to pamper my body so that I hurt less. You know that stiff, achy feeling you get when you rise from bed or from sitting in a chair? I use to think only old people got this. Now, this is degeneration in the spine and it is very painful all times of the day. I have a high tolerance for pain, so the only thing I can do is change my diet, do slow/gentle moving exercises to keep the area from getting too stiff, and also maintain good circulation. I do not want to cause more inflammation doing anything too strenuous.

Tai Chi Taught at Wellesley College In MA.

Tai Chi Modern and Old Style

Exercises like tai chi, stretching, breathing, and waist bends, are helpful. I found videos to illustrate these exercises. I play them on my laptop and follow along. You can go to your local recreation center of your town or city to enroll in tai chi. Tai chi is not for just old people, it is for everyone young and old. Actually, if you start young, your body and mind will really benefit. In my opinion, any style of tai chi is good. "Just keep breathing and moving," is my motto. Tai chi is extremely beneficial to the body, mind, joints, circulatory system and digestion.

Tai Chi, Old Syle

Other Gentle Stretching You Can Do

I enjoy doing the stretching and floor exercises in the morning and night. When I am at work, I am trying to stand, walk, and do some waist bends and stretch just to avoid computer eye-strain and to get my blood moving. Every little bit helps arthritic joints, stiff backs, and back pain.

Foods That Lower Inflammation

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Edamame
  • Salmon
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
  • Blueberries
  • Tumeric
  • Kelp
  • Shitaki Mushroom
  • Green tea

Pamper Your Joints

  1. Soak in a tub with hot water and add a cup of Epsom salt. The salt relaxes the muscles, and the heat makes your spine feel good.
  2. You can use Icy Hot patches or roll-on to ease some of the pain once a week.
  3. Use a heating pad for 15 minutes while reading a good book.
  4. In the winter while driving, turn on the heated seat button, that helps your lower spine.
  5. Treat yourself to a massage. Get a referral to see who is licensed and who is good.

Avoiding Surgery

Surgery is not for everyone. I am not going under the knife if I can improve my condition naturally. Only you and your doctor can determine what is best for you. When you go under the knife, it is a 50/ 50 chance you will feel better. I am not willing to take that chance. For those of you who must, I wish you luck.

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Information About Piroformis Sydrome

  • Piriformis Syndrome Treatment
    Piriformis syndrome is a condition of pain in the buttocks. Piriformis syndrome is thought to be due to an irritation of the sciatic nerve as it crosses the piriformis muscle tendon behind the hip joint. Treatment of this condition can be a difficult

Exercises for Sciatica and Spinal Stenosis

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Herniated disc pain relief on May 09, 2013:

I do so agree with your comments about diet. It will definitely help me a lot. Thanks for posting.

Mae Williams (author) from USA on January 05, 2012:

I don't think we think about diet until our bodies break down. It makes us re-evaluate. Thanks for stopping by

Bronwen Scott-Branagan from Victoria, Australia on January 05, 2012:

I do so agree with your comments about diet. We need to find what foods cause problems for us, personally, as everyone's body is different. Then we have to learn to do without them, there are plenty of other things that we can enjoy eating. I like St. Paul's advice to 'use moderation in all things.' If we over-indulge, we'll probably suffer for it.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on January 05, 2012:

Your informative hub has motivated me to learn Tai Chi. I enjoyed the videos. Voted up!


BlissfulWriter on January 04, 2012:

I agree with the health benefits of Tai Chi. I plan on learning it someday when I have more time.

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