Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yeah, I'm Gonna Break Something

Any of you who personally know me, already know that I've been having issues with my back. As of now, I think that I have a ruptured disc. I have to be really careful how I move. If I even sneeze wrong, my back bites me to the point that I have severe pain. I liken the pain to that of touching a tooth filling with a piece of metal. The pain is electrical and sharp.Yes, it is that bad. I have been to regular doctors over the past few years when it flares up to get something for the pain, but I have yet to see a specialist. I don't like the idea of someone cutting my spine. I am, therefore, putting it off for as long as I possibly can.

Self- treatment involves exercising the core muscles to keep the spine better aligned. The catch-22 with that is that traditional aerobic exercise (bending, reaching, jumping, etc) puts even more pressure on the spine. Thus, I have been afraid to do much of anything. It isn't that I just don't want to exercise, far from it. I used to teach aerobics and dance years ago and I absolutely loved it. I do miss it and wish I could do the things I used to do.

So what is my game plan? I'm glad you asked. I have found what I think might be a low impact workout that will strengthen the core muscles, thereby helping to reduce the pressure on my lower spine. I have checked into class days, times, and costs. As soon as the next few weeks of planned vacations and outings are over (which should be mid-September), I will be attempting this:

This is why I chose bellydance as a form of exercise:

"Improved posture and muscle toning
Our spinal column contains more bones and ligaments than any other part of the body. Its 33 vertebrae are stacked together in a column joined together by cartilage and ligaments, and almost every movement of the torso depends upon its flexibility and function. Muscle groups that attach to the ligaments and vertebrae create movement in the trunk and pelvis areas. Raks sharki tones these muscles and maintains flexibility in a safe and effective manner.
During the dance, the movements of hip drops, circles, figure eights, and shimmies put the joints and ligaments in the lower back and hip through a full range of gentle, repetitive motion. This movement helps increase the flow of synovial fluid (nature's lubricant) in these joints. When movements are done properly, the pelvis is tipped forward, or tucked somewhat; a neutral position that can help prevent lower back problems. Raks sharki can help relieve stress to the back, counteracting the almost constant compression of the disks that occurs from sitting and a sedentary lifestyle.
These toned muscles improve posture and help prevent back pain that can be caused by the unnatural curving forward of the spine that occurs when muscle groups are weak (lordosis). Small muscle groups deep in the back that are normally under-exercised are used and strengthened. The muscles surrounding the hip, the largest joint in the body, are used and exercised during hip drops, and figure eights, enhancing flexibility and suppleness. Improved hip flexibility can lead to improved balance when walking as well.
Arms and Shoulders are exercised when doing lifts, circles, or the rippling motions of snake arms, toning muscle. This toning effect is often evident early on, since holding the arms aloft are an important element of the dance, even for beginners.
Because a woman is on her feet, moving during the dance, it is considered a weight-bearing exercise. Weight-bearing exercise can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones, and the overall toning can lead to an improved self-image, as the dancer becomes more balanced and poised. Raks sharki is considered a low-impact exercise, meaning the risk of injury is minimal when movements are done correctly. The benefits of belly dance can be enjoyed by women of all ages; men and children are participating in the dance as well, and reaping the same benefits."

This excerpt was taken from HERE

Yeah, I'm gonna break something.


  1. I think that's an EXCELLENT idea!

    I use to blog with a girl (who btw, also lives in VA) and she took belly dancing for the same reason you are (her back). She said it helped tremendously to help strengthen it. She also said it was FUN.

    So you GO, girl!

    I was thinking of you yesterday when I heard about the earthquake. I actually felt it here in Philly. A lot!

    So glad you're safe and okay.

    Have a great day!


  2. Morning, Ron!

    That is exactly what I'm hoping for. If I can get those muscles strengthened, maybe my "blowouts" will happen less often.

    Wasn't the earthquake the freakiest thing? I was at work at my desk and thought someone was shaking the wall in front of me just playing around. Then I noticed other things were shaking as well. The tremor was pretty strong. I have to say that is the first time I've felt one that big in this area. It amazes me that you felt it there too!

    So yes, I'm all safe. Ya can't get rid of me that easily ;)

    Great seeing you!