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Time takes its toll
	
Exercises can be handy

Back pain

  In my late forties, I developed low back pain, which soon
became chronic. A colleague of mine (a fellow sufferer), on
hearing, seemed very amused, almost pleased. "Aha! You've got that for
always, now, believe me!" After a number of years, during one particularly
severe bout, my doctor prescribed some powerful pain killers.  He explained
that when a back muscle gets strained and torn, it remains permanently tense,
ready for any further demand beyond its strength, leading to the typical
continuous backpain.  I decided that the answer must be to strengthen my
back muscles, to the point where they no longer got torn by an awkward but
apparently innocuous movement  -  "Ouch! My back just went.

  I devised a daily exercise, starting gently and working up to my
current regular regime.  I later added another type of exercise, and then
another, and these three exercises keep me free from backpain, at the cost of a
couple of  minutes or so of my time, each morning.  The back muscles
would become weak again if I never did the exercises, but this cannot happen
overnight. In fact, a fortnight's holiday (usually fairly energetic) with no
exercises, poses no problem. I have found these exercises suitable for me, but
cannot say whether they will be suitable for you.
  Before trying them, you should consult your doctor.
  To view the exercises and indicate that you have noted this warning, click I AGREE

Supra-spinatus tendonitis
  This came on later, in my mid fifties, around 1990.  The
worst symptom was severe pain in my arm at nights, making sleep
impossible.  Treatment under the NHS - ultrasound and exercises - effected
little if any improvement.  Fortunately, at that time I was still employed,
and my firm's group health insurance scheme was available.  A consultation
(90.00 for a few minutes of the consultant's time, and a cortisone injection,
fortunately I wasn't paying) determined that I was suffering from acute supra-spinatus
tendonitis in my right arm.  Being right-handed, a dodgy right arm is
not a good idea.  The cortisone did no good, but a subsequent course of
private treatment, involving manipulation and infra-red laser therapy, did the
trick, resulting if not in a complete cure, at least a solution of the sleep problem.
  The supra-spinatus tendonitis is no longer a problem, but would
come back if I did not keep it at bay with some more daily exercises I devised.
The infra-red laser equipment used by the physiotherapist, mentioned
above,  had an output of only 5mW, although much higher power equipment is
now available.  I developed my own infra-red source for treating supra-spinatus
tendonitis, and use it occasionally to put things right, if the arm is starting
to get a little uncomfortable at night.  The design was published in
Electronics World as "A look at light", June 1997 pp. 466-471, and
republished in Ian Hickman's "Analog Circuits Cookbook" 2nd Edition
1999, ISBN 0 7506 4234 3, Newnes Butterworth-Heinemann.
 These exercise for the supraspinatus tendonitis, take about a minute or so.
I have found these exercises suitable for me, but cannot say
whether they will be suitable for you.
Before trying them, you should consult your doctor.
To view the exercises and indicate that you have noted this warning, click I AGREE 
 The exercises for supraspinatus tendonitis, together with those against
back pain, occupy about three minutes of my time each day, a small price to pay
for a normal, pain-free life.

Useful tip
Keep your leg muscles in good shape!
  Just recently I noticed that I was walking upstairs like an old man, whereas I always used to bound up them two at a time. So I vowed to
go back to doing just that - difficult at first, but it soon came back to me, as the muscles regained their tone. So why not do the same,
and keep your legs active.  If you are going upstairs anyway, this exercise takes no extra time at all, indeed, you will actually save a 
little time every time you go upstairs!

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