As a graduate from chiropractic college 25 years ago, and after many years in private practice as a chiropractic physician, I've had much experience imparting knowledge to my patients about how lifestyle and work environments impacted their back pain and overall health. I spent my 11 years in practice integrating ergonomic and self-care innovations into patient treatment programs with great success.
However, 14 years ago I underwent an ironic career change induced by an auto accident. I found myself in a debacle. I was a back doctor with a severely comprised, herniated and extruded disk, resulting in worse back pain than that endured by most of my patients. My perplexing situation and current inability to practice turned my attention to applying my health care interests to the world of business, whereby I began customizing concepts and products to fit the needs of those suffering pain or enduring stress.
Inspired by a book about the "Information
Superhighway," I expended much perspiration pioneering retail on the
internet in 1994, with one of the first 100 internet businesses. The
combined store/internet business known as BackBeNimble specialized
in back, body and ergonomic products and was voted the first successful
Houston-based business on the internet (1996).
From that time on, I was turning into an internet guru and spent a great deal of time answering questions about back pain. I found myself asking for my inquiring customers to compose a diary of a week in their life. I encouraged them to divide it up into a daily calendar of how they spent their time.
It reminded me of what I had often noticed during my practice. That is that the health conditions or pains we experience are often related to what we do every day. Do we have more pain when we sleep, when we drive or when we just stand at the kitchen sink washing dishes? Is it a problem that is worsened by bending, stooping, lifting or simply sitting at the computer in a less than supportive office chair? Is our disk cartilage becoming brittle because we don't drink enough water?
Sometimes back pain that began with an accident or injury would have healed up already if it wasn't for the fact we're not facilitating healing and we exacerbate the condition with our everyday lifestyle. We have to remain aware of what bothers us and the feedback provided by our own body. Is our pain worse in the morning when we wake up? What are the odds that our sleep position or mattress is just not right for us? How about that chair at work? Does it accommodate all our needs or is it forcing us to work in an uncomfortable position?
These questions and the answers we came up with, led to a great catalog of back pain relief products and methods that seem to make a big difference in the outcome of treating back pain and other orthopedic, joint or muscular conditions.
During all this I often turned the magnifying glass inward and began looking at ways to help my own back pain. I was in horrible shape when I woke up in the morning, so I tossed the old coil spring mattress in exchange for a very supportive Tempurpedic memory foam mattresses.
At BackBeNimble, we created the idea of combining one of these foam mattresses with an electric adjustable bed, which became one of our greatest selling products and even changed the product offerings of companies like Tempur-Pedic who later added adjustable beds to their mattress concept.
I now found myself on the internet all the time and the chair was becoming a tool of my trade. We acquired and promoted a line of ergonomic executive chairs. I found such invaluable and so did many of our customers. I found myself addressing my own needs and then incorporating new ideas in to product offerings for our customers.
Exercise in a systematic controlled manner became a large component of my method of self help. I was re-building my strength, endurance, and most importantly, my core and postural muscles. The idea of strengthening the core muscles inspired BackBeNimble to be the first company to import and offer those large rubber physio-gymnastic exercise balls on a retail basis. They are now seen in virtually every physical therapy clinic, health club and sporting goods store in the nation.
We later gained insight into the importance of supplements and nutrients that would help the body heal various muscles, joint, arthritic and other orthopedic conditions. Most people do not eat well enough to heal and require additional forms of sulfur, fatty acids, trace minerals and proper acid-base balance. Water and sulfur containing supplements like glucosamine sulfate and MSM were crucial to the integrity of my own lumbar disks.
Although, I still have pain, I am much better and my current stable state is owed the body's great capacity to heal itself if given the opportunity. I never succumbed to surgery and my back is strong enough to exercise, hike and experience a lifestyle I enjoy.
It takes a lot of desire and effort, but you too can overcome a multitude of back pain related conditions. To offer more insight into what our customers have experienced and shared, as well as to offer useful posts about various health conditions we recently added a blog to the BackBeNimble agenda.
- Dr. Brad Lustick