Back pain chronicles: nerve flossing

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My Mondays are always a bit more painful than my weekends. First, I move a lot on the weekends, whether it be a trip to the store, multiple trips or (historically) a long walk or run. And then I see the chiropractor three times during the week, and I’m a bit better by Thursday.

As of May 18, the doc has me doing one set of exercises, something called nerve flossing. According to Medical News Today, nerve flossing is:

Nerve flossing targets conditions that involve irritation of the nerves, such as sciatica and piriformis syndrome. Nerve flossing gently mobilizes compressed or irritated nerves through a set of simple exercises.

In this case, I lie on my back and lift my right leg to 90 degrees. It’s important that I don’t bend my knee all the way back. I need to stop at 90 degrees. And then I push my leg outward with my toes bent back as much as they can go until my leg is straight.

It’s not important that I do it quickly, just that I fight through the pain until the end.

And then I twist my foot to the left with the toes still bent back. Twist back to center and bring my leg back to 90 degrees.

Repeat 10 times or until the nerve gets irritated, which it will. I think I’ve read a number of articles that suggests you should only do this 3-5 times per session. Yesterday I was able to do all 10 at once, although it was first thing in the morning, when my back and nerve haven’t had the chance to get angry.

Today after a long Sunday of ‘Ryaning,’ I was only able to do six.

I went most of the weekend with very little pain, and Monday it’s been a 4-5 at worst. This is major progress, but I have to keep pushing myself.

Moving the needle. One floss at a time.

I wasn’t able to find an exact video duplication of the flossing I’m doing, but this guy’s demonstration isn’t too far off.

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