Teacher Discovers New Twist To Easing Chronic Back Pain

By Harry Jackson
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


Carly Richmeyer, 32, can move again without her back torturing her to be still. More than that, she’s back to exercising, standing more than she sits and making plans for her June wedding.

Richmeyer as recently as six months ago had debilitating lower back pain, a common affliction. About 80 percent of Americans will have some degree of non-specific lower back pain over the course of their lives.

She said she started noticing lower back pain around age 25. “I’ve always been really active, fitness oriented; when I would do certain things, it would hurt, even day-to-day things,” she said.

She had difficulty exercising, wrestling with her pets or even teaching her middle school classes at Holy Cross Academy in Webster Groves, Mo.

“I’d started teaching sitting down,” she said. Her middle school students pushed her around her classroom in a chair.

“I didn’t go to the doctor, because one day it would be OK, then it would start again,” she said.

In July 2013, she returned from a vacation almost bedridden.

She went to a chiropractor who said her right leg was shorter than her left. “I went through all of this, physical therapy and adjustment and insoles for my shoes, and I still had back pain.

“I was very depressed. I’m a fitness-oriented person, and for me not to be able to work out … I couldn’t do anything. I put on a good 20-30 pounds. I wanted to be able to lift my kids, play with them, when I have kids. And I wanted to be that active mom. This was like taking it away.”

In March, she saw a television spot about a Washington University study aimed at relieving lower back pain and qualified for it.
The study is run out of the program for physical therapy at the university.

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