How Teri Deals with Back Pain

Some asked for a blog post about dealing with the challenges of aging, particularly considering my back pain.

My schedule helped me consistently exercise throughout my adult years, usually walking. I think that allowed me to remain active as I move through my 60’s.

My back pain requires daily management, but I was quite encouraged by the PT I visited this summer who said my back-management routine has kept me from surgery, pain meds, and greater levels of pain.

I do 15 to 30 minutes of back exercises most days. I have tried lots and lots of back exercise routinesthose a PT gave me, some I have found in books, and some from Internet DVD programs. I currently use the exercises I feel are the most beneficial, plus the ones from the most recent PT.

I don’t know for sure, but I am guessing that those back exercises have helped me maintain mobility that allows me to get on the floor and play outside with my grandchildren.

I also use a device called a posture pump (Titus2’s affiliate link to Amazon: see our Privacy Policy if you want). Because poor posture has played a role in my back pain, I am continually working on my posture. A chiropractor recommended this device because I had lost the curve in my neck. According to more recent x-rays, that curve has been nicely restored.

Finally, I have worked to maintain my weight, and I think being a normal weight allows me more stamina, energy, and mobility.

As far as mountain climbing, I simply love to do that so I push my physical limits for those hikes. Actually my back does better up a mountain with a backpack than it does leaned over a sink washing dishes for the same amount of time. Steve and I enjoy our conditioning walks togethertalking and praying and getting in as good shape as possible in flat Kansas to hike Colorado mountains.

Trusting in Jesus,

“The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found
in the way of righteousness.”
(Proverbs 16:31)

30 thoughts on “How Teri Deals with Back Pain”

    1. It depends on what else is going on in our lives and what other exercise we are doing. Anywhere from 1 to 3 miles. Right now it is 1 mile plus a kettlebell workout afterwards.

      1. I would love to see a post about how to get started with kettlebells. I have never tried them, but am interested in doing so. Thanks!

  1. You are most wise, Teri. I have dome just the opposite and at 61 am paying for it. Thank you for sharing. Go Teri!

  2. I have two herniated discs at the L-4 and L-5 vertebrae of my back, and twice weekly yoga has made the difference between having to have surgery or deal with pain and not having to have either at all. I am so thankful for my instructor who is trained and is very thoughtful to teach me how to master each pose and make modifications when necessary. My doctor told me that making a bed, leaning over a sink, cleaning the bathtub, and vacuuming are the worst chores we do when managing back issues. Thank you for sharing what helps you, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

    In Christ,


    1. So glad you have found a way to manage your back and pain without surgery. Sounds like our daily life chores are not so great for our backs. That makes it very important for young mommies to counteract that with good posture and other back management. I encourage my sons who spend so much time in front of the computer to move at least every hour. Some have gone to standup desks. One of my chiropractors really encouraged using the foam roller. I forgot to write about that when I wrote the blog post. I roll on my foam roller several times a day. It is to help with vertebrae mobility and also with hydrating the discs. Thank you. We are looking forward to Thanksgiving!

  3. Thank you for your advice. As a youngish mom (I’m 30), this is a good reminder that I need to begin a more healthy lifestyle so that I may see benefits as I begin to age. Could you please give some advice on how you scheduled in daily exercise when your children were little? Thanks so much!

    1. Oh yes, I think it is very important for young moms to maintain their health. When my children were little, I got up early and exercised in the morning before they were awake.

  4. Teri, thank you SO MUCH!! I have mild scoliosis which affects everything about the spine, posture, shoulders, back, etc. This post is so encouraging to hear, (and also reminds me I must be diligent to maintain that place in my daily life and schedule for taking care of my body’s mobility). I really appreciate your willingness to share all kinds of wise advice with us moms. Thank you! 🙂

    1. Oh yes, Margaret. When the PT told me all the benefits I had gained from what I had been doing for my back through the years, I was very encouraged. When I told him the various things I did, he would look at me and say, “Who told you to do that?” I really didn’t know if he approved of what I was doing or not until he summed it up with – keep doing what you have been doing and that is what has kept you from being my patient after surgery and from being on pain meds. You keep doing what is healthy for your back even if you aren’t totally pain free, it does help!

  5. Great exercises! The back is so important and it’s easy to take a healthy strong back for granted, until you don’t have that anymore. I realized that when I developed severe sciatica with my second child. Mobility is easy to take for granted too, and suddenly I was unable to put weight on my feet and walk around. Temporary thankfully, once he was born I quickly recovered. Glad these exercises help you, Teri! A good PT back then helped me quite a bit as well, and the exercises she had me do.

    Nice big bedroom by the way, is that your guest room perhaps?

  6. Teri, thank you for posts like this. I have to schedule more exercises for my back. What a good reminder to stay on the schedule to care for myself so I can care for my family.
    Blessings from oversea

    1. I really think having the back exercises as part of my schedule has helped me make them part of my daily habit and then, of course, gain the benefits from them.

  7. I wonder if I should see a physical therapist. I also deal with back pain and I’m only 30. I’ve tried a chiropractor, but then I moved and can’t find one in my new town. I actually have my first appointment with an acupuncturist this week to see if that helps. Have you ever tried acupuncture for back pain?

    1. No, I have never tried acupuncture. My back pain started after my first baby was born over 40 years ago. Back exercises have only consistently been part of my life the last 20 years or so. I mostly pursued the back exercises on my own at first, searching for solutions for my pain that didn’t involve pain medication. The doctors and chiropractors I saw back then didn’t suggest PT or exercises. Now that seems a little odd, but for some reason it didn’t back then.

      I have liked working with physical therapists. They give me exercises targeted to my particular needs.

  8. I have had back pain since I was pregnant with my first child. There’s a small muscle in my lower back that gets pinched easily and it takes quite a bit to get it unpinched. I see a physical therapist, too, when I have flair ups (pregnancy does it!). They have me do exercises, as well, but mainly exercises while lying down. I need to try some similar to what you do here, as my PT says I need to work on improving my overall strength.

    Is this your bedroom you exercise in? It’s so spacious! My bedroom is really small so I have to do my exercises in the living room, which is a bit difficult with two rambunctious little ones running about.

    1. The room I currently do my back exercises in is a guest room, originally used for music practice. It is big, but my exercises don’t take much space. I could do them in the bus, but I did have to have room to lie down.

  9. Thank you for this Teri! Very inspiring. Your consistency and dedication with your schedule, daily quiet time, walking and exercise is such an encouragement.

    I don’t enjoy exercise, and therefore I’m not consistent with it. I really need to exercise as I have a couple of chronic health issues and it would be very beneficial to lose some weight and become healthier, more flexible. My husband has asked me several times to exercise as he’s concerned about my health. I owe it to him to begin to exercise regularly!!

    I’d love to see a “Day in the Life” post from you, along the lines of what Sarah has done previously. I’ve gotten to the stage in life where I’m no longer schooling my children, and I’d love to see how you schedule your day now that you no longer homeschool.

    My days vary greatly…it’s hard for me to figure out how I’d use a schedule at this time in my life. We did when the kids were younger and our days flowed the same week by week. Now my days are anything but consisent!

    Thanks again for this! Great information.

    1. I have the wonderful benefit of being able to exercise with Steve. That certainly helps me be consistent. We get up early (5 a.m.) to be able to do that plus personal Bible time together before the day really takes off. Maybe there is a way you and your husband could exercise together – motivational for you and time to be with each other. Sarah has talked about a “Day in the Life” post about me so I think it is on the horizon. My schedule is different, too, from what it was when I was homeschooling.

  10. As a personal trainer, I can’t stress enough the importance of preventative measures for overall physical pain. Like reading God’s Word and maintaining a relationship with Him for our mental, physical, and spiritual health, we need to discipline ourselves and moderate our daily activities/personal habits in order to be as pain-free and active as we can.

    The book Pain-Free by Egoscue is one that is always nearby in our home. It is full of therapeutic alignment moves geared toward specific areas of pain in the different planes of movement that most people experience.

    Teri, you are setting a great example for your friends and family.


    1. That’s great encouragement, Camy, and a wonderful analogy. I worked with an Egoscue PT for almost a year. I still use some of the Egoscue exercises, and I would do more of them if I had more time to invest in back exercises.

  11. I recently bought the Lo Bak Trax online from Amazon. It helped my back trouble from the first use. I use it every night before bed. I feel wonderful now! Just like when I was younger! Maybe it will help some of you too. It’s easy to use and inexpensive. God bless you all!

  12. Teri…I thought of another couple of questions…

    Do you do anything dietary for your health/pain? Do you follow a certain diet, such as an anti-inflammatory diet, to help with your pain? Have you eliminated anything from your diet to help with pain?

    Do you use any supplements for pain relief? Have you tried a naturopathic approach to pain management? Do you ever use essential oils?

    These things have all been mentioned to me numerous times as possible helps for my pain. Just curious if you have tried any!


    1. I have tried an anti-inflammatory diet and also some supplements that were recommended. There was no difference from them. No, I haven’t tried a naturopathic approach or essential oils.

  13. Thank you, Teri, for the nudge, the great example of good balance for the long view and all the love it takes to share your personal practice with humility. God bless you! God has placed you well in my life to speak to my needs!! XO

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