Suspended in Motion
Lifestyle Wellness

Have Your Own Back

I’m back to talk about backs!

For those readers that have been with me since the beginning, I really appreciate your keeping in touch with Suspended in Motion and having a rekindled interest in everything new and shiny that I’ll be pumping out over the next few months.

This is my first blog entry following a minor disappearance and I’m here to talk to you guys about something very important and directly related to my recent silent mode on social media… BACK PAIN – FUN!

As some of you know, I was grounded due to a pretty bad herniation of a disc in my thoracic vertebrae –
that shit hurt

It was awful! I had trouble even walking on my own for the first few weeks and I’m still receiving regular treatment to get back to normal today, almost 4 months later.

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This kind of injury is no joke.

But do you want to hear the worst part of it all?
My doctor, when handing me over a diagnosis, finishes it off with
“…but this was totally preventable.”

…..wait, what? I didn’t have to go through the pain of a thousand suns breaking ground on a new universe in my lower back?
I didn’t have to be out for months and set back on so many of my personal goals?


Key phrase incoming…. Preventative maintenance. We’ll get back to this invaluable component to physical health in just a minute!

Until then, more on misery:

Back pain is one of the most frequent complaints of people in all walks of life – from active athletes that push the limits of their body to sedentary office workers that let gravity and bad posture literally pull them down.


“The Institute of Medicine has estimated that chronic pain affects approximately 100 million adults in the United States, with an estimated annual cost of up to $635 billion. In the United States, low-back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work” – (Chronic Low-Back Pain, 2014)


The term “back pain”, itself, is a broad term over several different possible injuries, diseases, or states of degeneration.
It’s all relative to lifestyle, posture, exercise routine, and general MAINTENANCE. There’s that word again!!

So what exactly does maintenance for your back entail??

We should probably begin by understanding some of the structures of the back and how they are susceptible to damage..

Who wants a little anatomy lesson for the day?! Here we go!


  • Superficial – Associated with shoulder movement. Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Levator Scapulae, Rhomboids.
  • Intermediate – Associated with the movement of the thoracic cage. Serratus Posterior Inferior and Superior.
  • Intrinsic (Deep) – Associated with the movement of the spinal column. Semispinalis, Multifidus, Rotatores, and additional minor muscles. (Jones, 2017)

Muscles can suffer many injuries including bruises from blunt impact, pulls, strains, or tears along the tissue itself or where it is attached to tendons.

These injuries can be caused by daily activities, lifting heavy objects, sudden stress or pressure (such as falling), poor posture over time, or sports injuries (especially those involving twisting or large forces of impact) (Peloza, 2017).

Tendons and Ligaments:

Fibrous connective tissue with limited blood supply. Due to this limited supply, tendons and ligaments are slower to heal and can be a more serious injury than experienced in a muscle.

While tendons connect muscle to bone, ligaments connect bone to bone. In the back, there are ligaments that hold together each individual vertebrae (intrasegmental system) and those that hold multiple vertebrae together (intersegmental system) (Eidelson, 2012).

Each of these ligaments is subject to deterioration (due to age or disease), injury, or stress. When a ligament is stressed or over-stretched, it is called a sprain.


“Your spine is a complex arrangement of bones connected by facet joints and separated by discs, which absorb shock from the changing weight loads applied to the spine from excessive; as well as normal activities such as walking, running, lifting and so on. The spine’s four natural curves also help to evenly distribute these loads, while providing structural support and stability” (Garfin, 2017).

The curvature of the spine separates the 33 vertebrae located along the column into 5 distinct groups –


Any deviation of this natural structure can cause some pretty severe pain, changes in gait, a decline in posture, and has even been known to cause headaches due to the tension placed on the shoulders and neck.

This is where preventative maintenance comes in…

Keep in mind, some injuries and pains are unavoidable (like if you were to say fall off of a skateboard and break your tailbone – please don’t do this – or if you were to develop some sort of degenerative disease).

However, there are ways to protect your body from a lot of the other, more common causes.

For example!

Low back pain

  • Causes –
    • Incorrect lifting or lifting items that are too heavy.
    • Bad posture.
    • Muscle stiffness.
    • Twisting.
  • Prevention –
    • Prepare to lift; use your legs!
    • Visualize good posture – shoulders down and back; back straight; core tight and supportive.
    • Regular stretching.
    • Be aware of your own limitations.
    • Go get a massage! You deserve it!

Neck pain

  • Causes –
    • Poor posture.
      • Sitting with your head tilted downward (at a computer, phone, television, etc).
      • Over time, poor posture can actually change your skeletal structure and how your spine articulates.
    • Tension and tight muscles in the neck and shoulders.
      • Idk about you guys, but I hold every bit of stress in my shoulders and I can most definitely feel that shit – haha
  • Prevention –
    • Stretching!
    • Finding ways to alleviate stress.
      • Stress is typically the most damaging thing we do to our bodies, from the inside out.
      • Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and finding people to talk to are great places to start!
    • Chiropractic care.
      • Proper alignment over time.
      • XRays to determine the underlying cause of pain or as a way to stay informed and prevent any future pain.
      • See below for suggestions on finding the right chiropractor for you.


Shoulder/Arm pain

  • Causes
    • Failing to warm up before an activity.
    • Pushing limits or over-stretching.
      • Common in this area.
      • This can cause tendonitis in the joint.
    • Shoulder joint disability.
      • This joint can be super unstable naturally, which can cause injury very easily or prolonged pain in the area.
    • Poor posture – AGAIN! This one is big, you guys.
      • Unfortunately, not many people truly understand proper posture at all
  • Prevention –
    • Make sure to do a dynamic warm-up before activity
      • Dynamic means you’re moving, static stretching is for after, when your muscles are very warm and pliable.
    • Strengthen shoulder muscles!
    • Research proper form and shoulder positioning.


Remember, accidents happen and preventative efforts do not guarantee that you will not be injured at some point in your life. Any sudden, or acute, injuries should be treated immediately and an evaluation for their underlying cause should be done by a medical professional.


Tips and Tricks

Now that you know WHAT you should be doing, let’s make the HOW part a little easier.

Get home equipment – Promotes good form, takes away the need to go out of the home.
This can include : Yoga bundle – Mat, blocks, straps. Check out
Journey Junkie for equipment and training videos.
Aerial Yoga Sling – Try for $1 Here
Free Weights – Be careful of any pain.

Look up instructional videos – They are all over the internet! YouTube is an incredible tool and can teach                                                                 you pretty much anything.

Make a routine – Morning stretches/meditation.
Add a warm-up or cool-down to your work-out routine.
Find a chiropractor!
Get regular massages, take care of your muscles!

And my personal favorite : Enlist your friends to help you, and improve themselves along the way.


NOTE – Finding the Right Chiropractor For You

Step 1 – If you have insurance, find out what kind of chiropractic coverage you have.

Step 2 – Search Chiropractors in your area that fall under our insurance plan. If you don’t have insurance, no worries, they will work with you based on your symptoms and financial ability.

Step 3 – RESEARCH THESE PEOPLE! For the love of all things holy, do your due diligence and make sure these people are worth a damn! Look up reviews, find ratings, and make sure they have what you need.

Step 4 – Make an appointment. Make sure they do XRays for first time patients, <u>especially</u> if you have an injury. No chiropractor should put any kind of force on your body until they look at what is going on from the inside.

Step 5 – ENJOY! The first few visits may be a little uncomfortable, as your musculature and skeletal structure are literally being realigned, however, the benefits are not far behind so keep it up! Remember, chiropractic care is long-term and true results only happen from consistency.


Holy Shit, you made it!!

While I know that back pain isn’t the most glamorous topic to read about – and I appreciate you making it to the end – it is a very important thing to recognize and take steps to prevent, at all ages.

My back decided to try and kill me at age 27; Idk about you but that’s pretty sad and I have thought every moment since then about how easy all of this maintenance really is and the absolute hell it would have saved me from, if only I had listened.

Now I pass it on to you!

Good luck, guys!

Be happy, be healthy, and I’ll see you on the next one.





References –
Eidelson, Stewert G. Spinal Ligaments and Tendons. 2012.
Garfin, Steven R. Use Good Body Mechanics to Help Keep Your Spine Safe. 2017, February 23.
Jones, Oliver. Muscles of the back. 2017, December 22. Teach Me
Peloza, John. Causes of Lower Back Pain. Spine-health.
Chronic Low-Back Pain Research Standards Announced by NIH Task Force. 2014, December 11. National
Institutes of Health: U.S. Department of Health 
and Human Services.

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