Treating Back Pain at Home

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For a long time now I have suffered from occasional lower back pain.  Lifting heavy loads; twisting; and basic over exertion have all taken their toll on my back.  Sometimes it’s even comical (though still painful).  Like the time I was reaching for the toilet paper and bam, out goes the old man’s back.  Seriously, what sadistic person mounts the roll behind you on the wall at shoulder height?  If your spouse comes to help you in this position, you really know their love will last a lifetime.  So here is how I fix my own back pains at home…

A disclaimer - I am not a doctor; physical therapist; or any kind of medical professional.  Follow this advice at your own risk and considering its free how can you go wrong at this price – right?  First of all you need to assess how bad of a situation you are facing.  Even I have had to make the call to see a chiropractor in some cases.  Cowboy up and face the music if you really need it.  My approaches vary with the degree of pain involved.

AdvilMinor – Just plain physical exertion can stress muscles and cause tightness.  I take Advil right away to help with muscle inflammation and tightness.  Even if you don’t feel it right away consider taking some before going to bed.  Your back will thank you in the morning because it won’t feel like you’ve slept on a board all night.  Also consider simple stretching exercises.  I lie on my back, and pull one knee up to my chest while stretching the other leg out straight.  Then switch legs.  Another option is to bring both knees up to your chest (again while laying on your back); then pull one knee to your chest while pushing the other knee away from you but holding leg pressure against the push.  Then switch legs again. 

inversion table back stretcherModerate – After spending a couple of days once crawling out of bed on my hands and knees; humped over like Quasimodo; and walking like John Wayne with hemorrhoids; I decided something a little stronger was needed.  I bought an inversion table.  Best money I ever spent when dealing with back pain.  Now I gently hang on this table to stretch and relax my back muscles; loosen joints and realign all the vertebrae.  I have literally had situations where you could hear my back popping and cracking, while feeling it too!  Get on it every morning and every evening to keep you standing fully homo-erectus upright.

sombra gelMajor – After going to the chiropractor for one of my worst “just shoot me” episodes, I was advised to use some special gel he sold along with exercises; ice; heat; etc… and of course I received the special magic-hands Gumby chiropractic treatment (which is not covered by my healthcare insurance by the way).  To avoid this as a last resort, I will do everything in combination: Advil; Stretching exercises; Inversion table; and the thermal gel call Sombra.  Just rub this stuff on your lower back (or shoulder or whatever hurts) and it will heat up like mad.  Do not go overboard using this as it will seriously light you up – but in a good way.

back stretcher padP.S. – for those of you who may have an aversion to the inversion table… or are just too cheap.  I found this little inexpensive device which actually does a good job without all the blood rushing to your head.  It called an Arched Back Stretcher and you just lay on it and let your back bend over the curved cushion.  Easy-peasy.

 

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More than Heavy Lifting

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Packing up your daughter’s 1000 “essentials” before moving into college augments freshmen year jitters. When you unpack those “essentials” you also unpack skillfully hidden baggage: fear. Move-in day is a culmination of hopes and daydreams colliding painfully with all those college dropout horror stories.   It is a bipolar wave of high pitched elation, quiet spells of self-doubt, and the first pangs of homesickness. Before handling emotional baggage, literal baggage must be unloaded, unpacked, and arranged. Navigate the blood, sweat, and tears with the following advice:

Tips To Lower Your Homeowners Insurance

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insurance homeowners good hands houseFirst of all, I am not an insurance agent. Never have been and never will be one. I make my money the old fashioned way. But you don't live as long as I have and not learn a thing or two along the way either. So here are my hard learned tips for you to save some money on your homeowners insurance. Just remember, if all else fails you can always just ask your agent for a discount. What's the worst that could happen?

Kids, Cats and the Toilet Paper Roll

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At one point during a party to watch NFL football on TV, one of my over-educated friends pointed out that he had “fixed” the toilet paper roll in our guest bathroom.  Evidently our TP roll was on backwards and (obviously) it should always unroll over the top, etc….  I quickly pointed out that the error of his ways regarding the installation was the simply because he didn’t have any children – or cats.  I’ve already raised my kids and numerous cats along the way too.  Now if your house is like mine, both cats and kids have an uncanny knack for spinning the toilet paper off the roll!

Super Easy Toilet Clog Fix

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toilet boy cute babyAs a follow up to a prior article on unclogging drains, I wanted to share this simple method for clearing plugged toilets. Now I’ve taken a lot of crap over the years about this topic, and I wish somebody had just told me about this fix 20 years ago. From a very early age both of my boys have had “issues” using the toilet. One believes there is no such thing as using too much toilet paper, and the other must have a colon shaped like a Pringles can – OMG. And the only thing that has changed over the years is they are now older, bigger, and still being a pain in the commode. Now on to the easiest fix you’ll ever find…

Blue Ribbons and Good Times

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Shiny blue ribbons, mooing cows, and sweaty summer days seem to epitomize 4-H for many. 4-Hers haul their animals off the family farm and drag them to the county fair where the animals are spiffed up and shown for bragging rights… right? Well, 4-H entails much more; it requires hard work and dedication and provides a time for kids and their parents to work together towards a common goal, whether that is first place for a pig or grand champion on a poster. For a busy dad, 4-H may seem daunting. Surprisingly, it’s not only manageable but truly rewarding.