>I read the BlogHer Good Health-a-thon post about New Year’s Resolution vs. SMART goals. It reminded me a lot of writing Individual Education Plans for special needs students, where we write their goals for the academic year. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. With those thoughts in mind, here I go.
Back pain was a major issue in 2007. The problems have been developing gradually for a few years, but the doctor finally said “No more muscle relaxants. We need to deal with the root cause of this,” in 2007. So I started physical therapy.
The short version: it worked. Or more accurately, it’s working. PT loosened up muscles I hadn’t used properly in years, revealed some bad habits that were causing more pain, and started me on a long-term stretching and strengthening regimen that can only help. Now, instead of being stiff most of the time and in excruciating pain now and then, I’m feeling sore all the time. But it is much less severe pain than I had pre-PT.
My objective: deal with the back problem to strengthen the area and lessen the pain.
Specific: Continue exercise regimen. Practice good posture, replace bending with sitting or squatting. Use lumbar pillow when at the computer or at my desk.
Measurable: Exercise daily (as possible), evaluate pain level on 1-10 scale at least once a week.
Realistic: Take anti-inflammatories when pain is worse. Ask for help with heavy or awkward details at school (this will be difficult for me). Bring small lumbar pillow to school for desk chair.
Timely: Start now. Continue at least five days a week with a goal of 7 whenever possible, and contact doctor if progress is slow.
There are a few items I need to put in place to make success more likely. I need a new, better quality heating pad. Mine is about to give up. A smaller, more usable lumbar pillow will be good, too. Maybe even a new pillow for the bed; if it helps my spinal alignment, it’ll help minimize the back pain. Pillow shopping, here I go!
Since Husband doesn’t have to travel to Phoenix after all (Sniff, Sob), at least I won’t have to shovel or run the snowblower. Darn it.