I've had chronic lower back pain for over 10 years. This past week it flared up so badly that I couldn't stand, sit, or walk for quite a few days without significant pain. But this incident has reminded me of a phenomenon…

Everybody's an expert when it comes to non-specific, common, chronic ailments. If they haven't had it themselves, they've got a spouse, parent, uncle, friend, or neighbor who has, and they will definitely share with me what worked for them. Advice I've gotten in the last week includes:

  • Ice it
  • Heat it
  • Stretch it
  • Don't stretch it, gotta let it heal
  • Exercise
  • Don't exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Don't massage
  • Lie with your feet elevated
  • Don't elevate your feet
  • Surgery
  • Whatever you do, don't get surgery

So thank you for all your sympathy and suggestions. But despite it all coming from a very genuine desire to help, it looks like I'm going to be winging this recovery process on my gut as opposed to following the kind but schizophrenic of all these experts.