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A couple of reading recommendations

Posted by Dorothy on 12/05/04 at 01:38 (165209)

A couple of reading recommendations for those in pain, whether back pain or other. The first is specifically directed at back pain, but the underlying principles and philosophy would seem to have other application as well, such as PF. We have discussed here in the past year or so the research done with people who have severe back pain from all causes whose therapy was specific, prescribed vigorous exercise and most especially weight training. The article cited here is from a popular press publication called 'health' and was in the March 2004 issue: 'A New Twist for Aching Backs' by Linda Marsa beginning on page 130 with epigraph: 'A raft of research suggests that a good, hard workout - heavy on weight lifting and designed by an M.D. - may be the best therapy for back pain that just won't go away.' I intuitively believe this, but I honestly don't know how someone proceeds with this while hurting severely, but thought it might be worth looking for if you're interested. The link that someone posted here about the research itself that had appeared in the Washington Post, as I recall, was very interesting, too. As for PF, we've had some interesting discussions here about whether rest, exercise, etc. etc. are best - and this back research makes one wonder...

The second recommendation actually came indirectly from another poster here and I wish I could remember who - because she deserves another thanks. She referred us to a website of Darlen Cohen's and through that, I learned of her writing. I've been reading her book 'Turning Suffering Inside Out - A Zen Approach to Living with Physical and Emotional Pain' (she has had rheumatoid arthritis since a young woman) (sorry I can't underline or do italics with these postings). Jon Kabat Zinn, Ph.D. wrote about this book: 'Quirky, humorous, utterly serious, and ultimately wise and healing, this book will be extremely valuable for people who suffer from chronic pain.' Maybe it will be. I'm finding it worth reading, although I'm early in my reading. The back cover says: '....Cohen shows us how we can lead a satisfying - and even joyful - life in the midst of pain.'

Re: A couple of reading recommendations

Julie on 12/05/04 at 02:10 (165212)

Thanks for these, Dorothy. Re Linda Marsa, I'm sure that it depends on exactly what the problem is. Like you, I intuitively believe it, but I also (like you) intuitively know my body and, mostly, what is good and not good for it. Weight training develops strength, essential for backs, but I wouldn't like to see anyone with a serious spinal problem (as distinct from 'backache' which can be anything from unserious muscle pain to serious mis-alignment of vertebrae or damaged intervertebral discs) to embark on a heavy weights programme without a spot-on diagnosis and advice from a practitioner who knows what s/he is doing. Or without supervision.

With PF exercise is essential to develop and maintain muscle strength and avoid atrophy through too much rest. The difficulty lies in choosing exercise that won't worsen the PF.

Thanks for the reminder about Darlene Cohen A Zen approach to pain is just what I need - and what I am trying for, so far pretty successfully I think. We talked several days ago about taking it a day at a time, and you said 'an hour, or a half hour at a time'. For me it's a breath at a time. If it weren't for breath awareness I would be whimpering and screaming by now. I'm not promising not to be if this goes on much longer - but for the moment I'm more or less on an even keel (though I wouldn't say joyful). I will scout around for Darlene Cohen's book: thanks again.

Totally sleepless night for me, but it's morning now - what about you?
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