Three things all fathers with back pain should know
Before he retired from the U.S. Army, Major General Price was already on a new mission to find relief from his chronic back pain. He could no longer run with his soldiers, wear his combat gear or even tie his shoes. But what hurt the most was losing memorable moments with his son.
“I traveled a lot in my job, and the greatest reward was coming home, having that little fellow run into my arms and picking him up over my head,” said General Price. “I couldn’t do that because my spinal condition was so severe.”
Being a father is a tough job, and with the added side effects of back pain, being the dad you want to be may seem impossible. If you’re a father living with chronic neck or back pain, remember these three tips on the tough days:
Remember to relax
Stretching and breathing exercises can help reduce neck or back pain. These techniques can slow your heart rate, improve circulation and even ease the effects of chronic pain on mental health. “I wasn’t happy with myself,” said General Price. “I was there for my son emotionally and spiritually, but he’s a boy — he wants to wrestle. I couldn’t do that.” When you find relaxation techniques that work for you, have your kids join to create a new activity that can help to relieve your pain and allows you to spend more time together.
Don’t beat yourself up
Living with chronic spine pain doesn’t make you less of a parent. Without his physical ability to bond with his son over their usual basketball games and wrestling matches, General Price couldn’t help but feel like he was letting him down as a role model. “I really want to model for my son the dad that I hope he’ll be someday — the interaction that he’ll have with his kids,” General Price said. “But everything in my life is reflected in his eyes. My words, my actions, my example, how I treat people and how I interact with his mom, my wife.” Remember that being there for your children is more than actively playing with them. Communication and listening can go a long way in strengthening your relationship.
Explore new options
No two spine conditions are exactly alike. Everyone has unique symptoms, experiences and effective treatment methods. There are plenty of conservative care options that may relieve symptoms while your spine condition heals. Your doctor should be able to recommend a few. But don’t get discouraged if you’ve tried treatments like chiropractic care or hot/cold therapy with little to no relief. “I’ve had acupuncture, nerve ablations, physical therapy and tried core-strengthening exercises,” said General Price. “Then I came down to Laser Spine Institute.”
If you’ve been missing time with your family due to chronic neck or back pain, contact Laser Spine Institute for your free MRI review,* just like General Price did. “For my son and I, Laser Spine Institute significantly changed my life,” said General Price. “Get yourself fixed so you can be fully present for your kids.”