Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Bone and joint health


1. Gut health 

2. Musculoskeletal health - This blog

3. Neurological health

This started about 6 years ago, with a lower back pain that caused significant disruption in my day-to-day life.

Upon getting an x-ray done, I was told my spinal discs were thinning. That's when I started looking for non-medical options. What I found was that ignoring lumbar support over the years needed to be reversed, and whenever the front of my spine was compressed, it would cause not only pain, but also lightheadedness and panic attacks. My findings below and actions taken in red.



- Use it or lose it- The more you use your muscles and bones, the better off you are. Perform heavy osteogenic loading workouts.


Use lumbar support- it's very important to maintain the curve of the spine. Not only to protect the backbone, but also the nerves inside that carry signals for voluntary/reflex motions and sensations.

Avoiding posture that cause the nerves to be pinched.  

Avoid work that stresses the spine.


- I am not a doctor. These are my personal observations. Everyone's body is different and responds to chemicals differently. use your own judgement and take individual situation into consideration before applying any of the following in your life.

- I have no monetary interest in this blog. I am not selling any course, books, supplements or programs. This is my own experiences that anyone can benefit from.  



Use it or lose it - As is evident in bedridden patients, reduced physical activity not only results in reduced muscle mass, but also lowered bone density. Those who are active usually retain better posture, muscle and are less prone to osteoporosis in later parts of life. If you want your bones and muscle to be strong and available when needed, use them more often. I have changed my lifestyle to be active as much as possible. Resting on couch is probably the worst thing one can so for one's long-term health. 

            About 3 years ago when my company started alternate weeks in office to reduce traffic in COVID times, I had this revelation that sitting in couch wreaked havoc on my back. The week I was in office, I felt much better. I was walking around more, and even though it made me tired, it improved my joint and spine health. Since then, I have made it a point to keep active all the time.

             I Make sure that I am active as far as possible. Given a choice, I work in the yard, fix things in house, build stuff in garage, literally anything to keep me off the couch. Which explains why I have finished more household projects in last 3 years than any time in past.

This can also explain the negative correlation between OCD (the clinical type, not the fashionable OCD) patients and BMI. Most psychiatric conditions are positively associated with BMI, except OCD.  When someone is always eager to keep things straight and tidy, it's actually beneficial for their musculoskeletal system. Of course, it's more complicated than that, but a good starting point for discussion.



1.  Using lumbar support - I am very conscious about keeping my spine straight and the back curved to maintain the shape. I have lumbar supports at any place where I spend significant amount of time. Couch, car seat etc. 

2. Avoiding bad posture - Avoid any posture that cause the nerves in the front of the spine to be pinched. In addition to lumbar support, sleeping posture had to be adjusted. I found that the worst position for me was the fetal position causing most back pain in morning.

3.  Avoiding work that stresses the spine - I found that work that required me to bend forward, yardwork, woodwork etc. also caused these symptoms to worsen. So anytime I need to access a lower position, I find a chair or stool to do it instead of hunching down.


Workouts- I do following things in addition to the items above.

1. Stretch in morning. I use an app called back stretches. And have tailored a routine specific to myself, removing any exercises that may conflict with my goals above. First 20 minutes as soon as I get up are spent on this.

2. Osteogenic exercises. Exercises that stress your bones cause increased calcium deposits. In addition to running, I use punching and kicking on a free-standing punching bag. and heavy kettle bag lifts, commonly referred as farmers workout.


The power surfing project

  01-Apr-2023: Sometime ago I had posted a video of a 400w trolling motor on my paddle board. It's a good option for a leisurely stroll ...