A Beginners Guide To Beating OOS
My personal experience of OOS is the reason this web site exists. I've been through GP's, physiotherapists and sports doctors with little effect. This does not mean these methods are completely ineffective, they just didn't work for me.
This page contains the information that, at the time of writing, has almost got me past my experience with tension and OOS, and I hope it can be of service to a lot of other people.
The big lesson I have learned is that there is only one person in control of my body, and only one person that has responsibility for it. I'm accountable, and I decide how I attack my OOS problem, even when someone who I think knows better than me (like a doctor) is advising me.
I eventually worked out that if something wasn't getting results, I need to move on.
This page contains the methods that were effective during my recovery, and I hope they can be just as effective for you.
Start With Your Doctor
The first point of call for any medical condition should always be your doctor. The exception being when you have an existing condition and you already know what it is, or often more importantly, what it isn't.
The big thing to watch out for when trying different methods is to make sure you don't have a condition that could be aggrevated by a particular treatment, BEFORE you try the treatment. Fractured vertebrae and chiropractors may not mix very well.
A visit to your doctor should indentify any such conditions, and if he/she is unable to help with your OOS problem, then find someone that can. This page contains plenty of information to get you started.
Increase Your Self Awareness
You need to be able to notice the build up of tension in an area of your body as soon as possible. Because this build up is usually quite slow, it is not noticed easily, especially when you have your mind on something (like most of us do at work). The sooner you notice this build up, the sooner you can do something about it.
A good awareness of ones self is the first step to a permanent recovery.
See our resources page for information on how to increase your self awareness.
Learn To Relax
Relaxation is the key to preventing the build up of tension. The less tension you build up, the less of a problem you will have with OOS.
You need to relax regularly to stop the build up of tension both at work and at home, this will leave you in a better state at the end of each day. A software timer (like PastTense) can be very useful, it creates interruptions and makes it easier for you to prevent the build up of tension from happening.
Do find more than one method of relaxing. After using one method for a while you may find that it turns into a chore and you get bored with it. It's very difficult to relax when you don't like the method of relaxation you are using.
See our resources page for information on ways to relax.
Learn The Alexander Technique
Take an Alexander Technique course. The Alexander Technique gives you an excellent awareness of what's happening in your body and you are totally empowered to remove the bad habits from the use of your body that are causing the tension.
Taking regular Alexander Technique lessons is an extremely effective way to make a long term impact on your OOS problem. The costs can build up however, but a lot of useful information is also available in books and videos.
See our resources page for more information on the Alexander Technique.
Take A Reiki Course
Find a Reiki practitioner and get a treatment. If you like it, find a Reiki Master and go on a one day Reiki course so that you can treat yourself.
Reiki can be used anywhere and at any time to sooth pain and relieve tension - including at your desk at work. This is the most cost effective form of health care I have ever seen.
See our resources page for information on Reiki.
Make Sure Your Spine Is Straight
See a good osteopath and ensure your spine is straight. A crooked spine (even slightly) effects everything else to some degree.
Your body is extremely good at adapting to abnormal conditions, and if your spine is not straight muscles and ligaments tend to shorten and stretch to make up for it. This causes tension and unbalance.
See our resources page for information on osteopaths.
The Pilates method is a great way to create balance in your body while you work out. It's as hard a work out as you make it and is excellent for self awareness.
See our resources page for information on Pilates.
Search For Alternatives
Not every form of treatment works for every person, so keep looking until you find methods that work for you. Some people will tell you that your condition can't be improved. They say this because they don't know better, don't believe them.
When it comes to treatment providers and teachers, find someone you like. Don't settle for someone you are not comfortable with, remember that they there to serve you!
Look at both conventional and alternative health pages on the web and see what you like the look of. Be aware that not all treatments, conventional or alternative, work for everybody, so try different treatments until you find a few that work for you. Don't stop looking until you find several effect methods you like, the bigger your arsenal, the less chore-like and easier your recovery will be - it's even possible to enjoy some of it!
Read Up On OOS
Knowledge is power, and the more of it you have on this topic, the more able you are to deal with the problem at hand. It's a big world out there and more good advice arrives on-line every day.
See our resources page for more information on OOS.
If you have a treatment routine (e.g. Pilates excercises every morning), work at it consistently. When you feel you can't be bothered with the monotony or effort of your routine, ask yourself if you would rather miss your routine or heal your problem. With this said, listen to your body - if you think it's not up to doing your routine, consider resting instead.
The more committed you are to sticking to your routine, the sooner you'll be in the light at the other end of that tunnel.
Be aware that not all OOS problems need the same effort. Some don't need much help getting better and a lot of the suggestions on this page are not required, others need a couple of hours work every day. Regardless of the amount of effert you need to put into your recovery, do it consistently.
Evaluate Your Progress
Evaluate your progress constantly. You need to know the effect of every new thing you try, and the ongoing effects too. It can be very useful to keep a weekly log of events and the effects they have. As you evaluate, don't be afraid to change things.
The Authors Final Word
It's been a long and hard 2 and a half years of back and neck injury for me. At worst the pain and lack of energy was very close to ending my career in the computer industry, at best I've had constant, consuming discomfort that never, ever goes away.
But I'm glad to have had the injuries and OOS problems I've had.
'What?? Is this guy some kind of sadist?', you ask.
No. I've been made aware of a neck problem that is almost fixed, I now have a desire to stay healthy and fit that will always be with me, and I have discovered ways of relaxing and healing where the trip is as good as the destination.
Oh, yeah, and half of these new ways will help me to boost my performance in sport well beyond my previous best.
I can think of nothing better than to create a collection of the knowledge I've gained during this search so that other people don't have to go through the same thing.
Hmm, ok, maybe the one thing better would be to earn some income at the same time. Please see what you think of PastTense - if you like it tell your friends, if you don't like it tell us!
Good luck with your recovery,
This page is intended as information only, not medical advice. The author can not be responsible for any results or lack of results coming from the use of this information.