Back Health is Like a Flywheel

I’ve been having some increased pain issues the past few days. This is more or less an entirely predictable thing to have had happen. Before it started, I was spending a lot of time on the computer, and keeping up with only some of the exercises I need to be doing.

Knowing what you need to do always seems simpler than keeping up with it. I need an analogy for this, but I haven’t got one yet.

Anyway, a few days ago, the sitting and such caught up with me, pain-wise, and I’ve been doing somewhat better with the exercises the past few days, but I’m still having issues. I’ve had sort of an epiphany about the process, though.

One of the frustrating things about pain is how it’s hard to tie increases and decreases in pain to specific events. With so many different factors playing into pain levels, it’s never easy to know what’s making it better or worse. Aside from that, even the exercises that I know that seem to generally reliably make it better sometimes don’t work right away. And the things that make it worse don’t always make it worse right away, which is why I was able to neglect things for a bit before having serious repercussions.

The epiphany is an analogy: pain isn’t something that always immediately responds to good or bad things. It isn’t as simple as a syndrome that response immediately to pulling Good Levers and Bad Levers. It’s like a flywheel. A pain problem can take time to build momentum, and the amelioration of a problem can also. When you keep up with exercises for a good period of time, you build up some anti-pain momentum. You may not see an improvement right away, but often after a while, you will. When you neglect the exercises for a while, you also may not see an increase in pain immediately, but if you let the momentum build up, you get a pain problem that’s spinning like a motherfucker and it takes some work and time to bring it back down again.

Food for thought.