Walking Back Pain Relief

Since injuring my lower back I have had lower left back pain and sciatica like pain in my left leg. Walking back pain is something that takes a bit of getting used to, fortunately my back pain when standing and walking is eased.

Types of Back Pains

I had several ruptured discs, a disc I am led to believe is like a shock absorber for your vertebrae.

When it herniates, it’s like cutting a hole in the side of a tube of toothpaste and the protective shock absorber is squeezed out. A herniated disc often pinches nerves and compresses the spine.

So I have been living with severe lower back pain on an off since 2003. Living with pain in the lower back you kind of adapt your life.

Gone are the days of vigorous exercise and more ‘sedate’ options such as swimming (I bloody hate swimming!) and walking come to the fore.

What to Do for Back Pain

I have found though that as much as I dislike swimming, if the pain in lower back is severe, the feeling of weightlessness in the swimming pool does provide some relief.

I have tried various back pain remedies over the years, but the biggest and actually the easiest way I’ve found how to relieve back pain is by losing weight!

Seems simple, especially for those with lower back pain, but a good way that I have found out how to relieve back pain is good old fashioned weight loss.

This was a bitter pill to swallow and took a good while for me to accept, but once I started walking I found that the walking provided back pain relief in several ways.

Firstly the exercise meant I was more mobile and less generally stiff in the back. It is common for those of us with bad backs to get in a comfortable position and then not move from that position come hell or high water.

But believe me, my lower left back pain has improved the more I exercise.

Devices for Back Pain Relief

Unfortunately more recently I have developed neck and shoulder pain. I have had this neck and shoulder pain for a few years and the symptoms range from severe upper back pain with shooting pains down my arms, to a general dull neck and shoulder pain on ‘good’ days.

I have since discovered that I also have a herniated disc in my neck that is causing this neck and shoulder pain. Unfortunately a by product of this neck and shoulder pain is that I find it painful to hold the dog’s lead when out walking.

This has meant that I have had to discover and adapt some equipment that means I can still take the dog for a walk, without increasing the neck and shoulder pain caused by her pulling on the lead.

I have been told of a contraption that joggers use who want to go running with their dogs. They have a lead on a bungee attached to a belt that they wear around their waist whilst running.

The dog has freedom and the bungee acts a method of shock absorbing the dogs movements – so there’s no sudden pulls travelling up the arm and neck as the dog is controlled at your waist.

I purchased one of these dog bungee leads and upgraded the belt to a ‘Tough Built’ workman’s belt that comes with lumber support. This means that my lower back pain is also ‘eased’ as I walk. The lumber support providing lower back pain relief.

Check the image to see what my lumber support dog lead looks like. For more details see;

‘Tough Built’ workman’s belt

and

This page that has loads of dog bungee‘s on it.

Posted by Tim Love - July 12, 2016 at 10:34 am

Categories: Walking   Tags:

Walking In LOWA Mountain GTX Boots | lowa mountain boots

Top Notch Walking Boots By Lowa

Since being discharged from hospital I have been encouraged by the Dr to continue exercising. Walking is basically the main form of exercise that I do, as I already had previous lower back injuries that means that most other sports are out of the question.

Even golf, which I admit does involve a fair bit of walking is out of the question, due to the ‘swinging action’ – ooo-err! that one must do to actually hit a ball. The very thought of twisting my trunk in such a manner brings tears to the eyes in anticipation of the sciatica type pain it would inflict on me! Lol!

Walking With A Walking Boot

Anyways, back to walking… I walk in a variety of footwear but I need a decent pair of walking boots and these walking boots are like nothing I have ever experienced when walking with a walking boot before. You actually have to get used to walking in these walking boots. You feel like you are slightly taller and are walking on a cushion of air.

Lowa GTX Hiking Boots

I’ve so far loved walking in my new Lowa Mountain Boots as kindly supplied for me to test, blog and generally ‘slut myself about with’ in a product placement kind of way… Ha!

So this week I have worn the Lowa Mountain Boots a fair bit. I’ve heard a good deal about Lowa Boots and how they are supposed to be the most comfortable boots and fit like slippers etc, but the proof of the pudding comes in the eating, and I am glad to report that they are not over hyped.

Distance Covered In Lowa Mountain Expert GTX Boots

Looking at my fitness folder in swanky new iphone, it’s telling me that I’ve walked approx 25KM in these Lowa Mountain Boots this last week.

I’ve done several big dog walks, covering various terrain and conditions. We’ve had a fair amount of rain in Surrey this last week, and so a fair amount of walking that I’ve done with the dog has been in ‘muddy’ conditions, around lakes and national trust paths, as well as country roads and residential areas.

I also wore these Lowa Mountain Boots to a concert at Wembley Stadium. This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Coldplay concert – it was a birthday present from my wife.

The travel in to Wembley from Redhill is a fair hike and according to the step counter for the day, I walked the same number of steps that day as on days that I’ve done 6km dog walks on. So those steps include journey to and from Wembley on train, then underground and then the long walk from Wembley Park Tube station along Wembley way.

The walk along Wembley Way is long and now pretty ‘sterile’. It is basically a wide thorough fair that fans are sheparded to and from the stadium along. I much prefer the journey to Wembley Central, you can then mooch along the high st and go in restaurants and pubs to your hearts content – but who am I to complain eh?

Anyway, we walked along Wembley Way and then visited the designer village that has popped up there and had a meal at one of the restaurants, before making our way to the stadium and the Coldplay concert itself.

Maintaining Lowa Mountain GTX Boots

So as you can see in the image, I have just given my Lowa Mountain GTX boots a good clean, polish and wax. They certainly didn’t need any wearing in, and just as described they felt like slippers when on.

They have definitely started to mould to the shape of my foot now. Lowa are renowned for the quality and craftsmanship that goes in to the manufacture of their walking boots, and these boots are a perfect example of that.

The maintenance booklet that came with these Lowa mountain boots advised to if practicable have two pairs of Lowa Mountain Boots that are rotated between uses. This of course if probably a big ask for most people because cheap Lowa boots are hard to come by. The quality and the fact that they can be resoled make them excellent value for money.

The maintenance booklet included with these Lowa Mountain Boots also suggested cleaning and polishing the boots regularly. Also it suggested waxing them or applying other water proofing to them, so I have applied one coat of wax and will continue waxing and polishing them as I use them.

Buy Lowa Mountain GTX Boot at Patrol Store

So if you are looking to buy a pair of Lowa Mountain GTX Boots, check out Patrol Store’s offerings. The boots I have been given as a test can be seen in the image.

I have polished them and treated them with a wax as I intend to put these Lowa Mountain Boots through their paces over the next few months and have plenty of walks planned for them in the future.

Walking In LOWA Mountain GTX Boots

Posted by Tim Love - June 18, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Categories: Walking   Tags:

Walking The Walk!

Walking is a big part of my life and I’ve just come back off of a walk. I’ve created a walking category on my blog and I suppose I’m just doing a walking post as a ‘filler’ for now.

I’ll be writing about my walking antics pretty soon, plus I’ve got my new Lowa Mountain GTX Boots to try, and to write about as well.

Lowa Mountain GTX Boots are supposed to be perfect for walkers and feel like ‘slippers’, so I can’t wait to get back to you on that!

Do you walk the walk? Walking the walk might scare the life out of you! Don’t worry, I’m not some Bible belt preacher asking you whether everything in your life is on the ‘straight and narrow’!

“Are you son, walking the walk?!”

Nor is it code, the code, or the way of the walk…

Ha! Now I’m just playing with you and some buzz words that may have some of you sitting bolt upright at the moment.

But seriously, I do like to walk!

Since suffering lower back injuries, my main source of fitness has been through walking.

Now I realise that many of my friends on Facebook may find this hard to believe, because I have only recently become ‘vocal’ about walking, but I have walked as my primary form of exercise on and off since being medically retired in 2003.

I am a walker – not to be confused with another word almost similar and highly amusing when said by Hugh Grant, in films in which he basically plays himself!

I have become very vocal recently on Facebook about walking and an app that I use on my phone called MapMyWalk.

You can use the walking app on MapMyWalk pretty well as a free member – basically some of the functions are limited and you see advertising on your screen whilst you walk if you check etc. So as long as you can put up with these ads whilst walking, stick with the free version.

I have been using MapMyWalk for a while and liked it so much that I became a ‘full’ member. Not that you can’t use it without paying. The app is free to use and provided by UnderArmour.

Admittedly there have been times that I have walked more than others. When Walking wasn’t my focus really at all. Going for a walk was far from my mind. Haribo Gold Bears and beer and crisps, that was probably on my mind back then.

At one time, my weight ballooned up to nearly 18 stone and I had a 40″ waist. That weight kind of crept up on me, walking and watching what I ate / drank worked it off. I had no choice of physical activity to burn the calories other than walking.

I’m now back to around 13 stone and am back in 32″ Levis. Walking has done that for me. Albeit sometimes slowly and with a funny gait!

Why walking? Well basically with my lower back injuries – I have spinal disc compression from L4 to S1. I had surgery and they did a discectomy at L4 / L5 level, so basically ‘contact’ sports are out!

The swing of a golf club ‘kills’ my back – although admittedly if you play golf, you do also get a good walk!

Any other ‘jerky kind of sports are off the menu – this includes racket sports, although I’m still up for the odd game of ping pong when challenged.

So basically for calorie burning I’m left with walking or swimming. I can swim and have swum, but I hate swimming. I am not a natural ‘swimmer’.

In a past life I played a lot of rugby and worked out in the gym. My physique doesn’t seem to be designed for swimming, but walking, don’t get me talking about walking, I simply love to walk!

Like what running was to Forrest Gump in the movie of the same name, walking is to me!

“Walk Timmy Walk!” Lol!

I’m taking the pee out of myself here a little bit. It wasn’t that long ago that I wouldn’t have considered ‘walking’ to actually be a fitness activity. That was until a wise old sod (in the old bill) that I had the pleasure to serve with, said one day that a man’s ability to walk was his ‘true’ measure of fitness.

He said it was so and had been so, ever since we had become a ‘fighting nation’ and ventured out into the world from our green and pleasant island. A persons ability to ‘tab’ or quick march faster than anyone else, meant ultimately the Generals of old could gather their men at the required place quicker than the enemy, and so had won the day.

I may have paraphrased that a little, this wise old sod did sometimes like to ‘swing the lamp’ a bit, but it did make me stop and think about walking in a different way.

This wise old sod used to walk everywhere. He was ex-military of the kind who didn’t talk about their previous service and when he bothered to impart advice, usually people took it.

As a side note, at the time I was recovering from a rather unfortunate leg break, that meant I was on ‘light duties’. The manner in which the leg became broken is a story for another day – but it does involve a fair amount of high jinx and skulduggery.

The scene begins in a bar room game of rugby between a police and naval team… Say no more Timothy, say no more!

Anyway, I thought I’d better give you fair warning that if I am to start writing this blog again, a fair bit of it may be about walking! It may take the form of list of benefits of walking, it may be a walking to lose weight schedule, I may give you 20 benefits of walking that kind of stuff.

As a disabled walker I can sure get a fair lick of pace going and if you want look into creating a walking chart to lose weight with you?

Either way it will be fun filled you can be sure and of course it will be about… You guessed it!

Did you get that? Walking, walkers and walkees?

Posted by Tim Love - June 7, 2016 at 12:35 am

Categories: Walking   Tags:

Tim’s To Do List / Bucket List

Do you have a ‘To Do List’ or a ‘Bucket List’?

Strange question to ask I suppose, but until a few weeks ago I didn’t.

The ‘To Do List’ in the image is actually a photo taken of a whiteboard in my home office.

I say home office, but it is a cabin down the end of the garden that is affectionately known as ‘The Naughty Shed’!

Not that anything ‘naughty’ goes on down there, oh no, it’s just a play on words.

The kids sometimes get sent to the ‘naughty step’ to think over their misdemeanors. Dad gets sent to the ‘Naughty Shed’.

The first item on the list is ‘Sort Cabin’ – The Naughty shed.

Not that The Naughty Shed is without it’s own home comforts. It has light, heating – both electric and wood burning stove, it has a means of making hot beverages – at a push one could also put a pan on the pot-belly stove and cook a meal on it, the cabin has several comfy chairs, a sofa and currently being built is a ‘sensory deprivation room’.

Whilst having a ‘sensory deprivation room’ may sound like torture to some, it will actually be a place that if needs be I can find solace and sleep!

Set up to be totally enclosed and virtually sound proof, with a sleeping platform and all mod cons. Imagine the ‘sleeping pods’ that we hear about being so popular in South East Asia, just a little more homely!

Ever since being injured on duty and damaging my back, I have suffered from insomnia / struggled to sleep for extended periods. The idea of being able to retire to my own ‘sleeping pod’ appeals to me. The most noise one usually hears when down the Naughty Shed is – bird song!

The ultimate aim is that the cabin will become more ‘homely’ and more of a ‘man shed’.

I have plans for a book shelf to house a vast collection of books that I cannot currently easily store and or display in the house to go on one wall, which I will totally dedicate as a book shelf.  Reading is a pleasure for me, so I would like to ‘display’ the books that I decide to keep and not ‘up-cycle’!

I plan to install a nice new flat screen high definition largish television, that I plan to have mounted on another wall. This television will be connected via free view box for keeping up with current affairs and such. It will also be used for the purposes of screening games from a PS4 console!

It will continue to have the ‘L shaped’ workspace that can accommodate a couple of chairs. Instead of working on my computer and looking down the garden (if set up on the long sweep of the L) my computer system is now on the shorter end of the L and is under the whiteboard and corkboard.

Pride of place on the long sweep of the L will be a new drawing board / artistic station. Also on another bucket list of mine is ‘Start Calligraphy Again’ and I need a workspace for that which will be inspirational.

The long sweep of the ‘L’ means I have desk space directly under the main window of the cabin. The ability to look down the garden back to the house is inspirational.

I will be looking back to the house and at ‘nature’, past several bird feeders – several bushes in our garden currently have nesting birds in them and I like to watch the mama and papa birds swooping in and out with food for their chicks, as well as all of what the best of British back yard nature can bring.

But don’t get me started about those pesky squirrels that seem to be back with a vengeance this year!

Various uses of The Cabin aka known as The Naughty Shed or Man Shed

Over the years The Naughty Shed has had many guises, it’s been a home office, it’s been a store room and shop front for a successful online business, it’s been a man den, it’s been a home office again and now it’s turning back into a home office / man den type naughty shed.

You see there is a reason that top of my ‘to do list’ in this particular image is ‘Sort Cabin’ aka The Naughty Shed.

In order for many of the other ‘activities’ on this particular ‘to do list’ to be fulfilled, they hinge on the The Naughty Shed returning to the state of being a ‘man den / home office’ type space.

Unfortunately the naughty shed over the last couple of years appears to have taken on the mantle of general dumping ground of camping and leisure equipment, plus handy space for the wife to store things she can’t quite bring herself to chuck away.

Plus a place for other associated odds and sods that really should be in the loft but can’t be bothered to be dumped. Oh and also tucked in an ever decreasing corner is my ‘workspace’!

So actually the first thing that needs to be done is for the naughty shed to be emptied of associated ‘essential’ junk and clutter and new homes be found for these items to be stored.

Therefore I find myself building (with the help of my parents) another shed in the garden to house the associated essential junk cluttering up the naughty shed.

They say a man can never have too many sheds.

I now have three ‘common’ or ‘garden sheds’, and one ‘log cabin’ affectionately known as The Naughty Shed.

Today I finished painting the new shed. It is been a long old process, the shed was bought as a ‘two for one’ offer at our local garden centre, we built the one that we actually needed at the time, and then kind of stacked the other down the side of a shed (!) and forgot about it.

We forgot until I had my latest medical relapse and hospital stay. Long story short, to match my lower back injuries, I now have a monster bulge in the neck at C4 / C5 and my lower back has come out in sympathy.

So whilst spending some time in hospital I wrote out a list of hobbies that I had given up that I would like to restart, a few general and some urgent jobs around the house that needed doing, a few new things that I would like to try, I also decided the time had come to get a new dog and stop grieving over my little mate.

Once this list got going I continued adding to it and ticking things off as I did them or started to do them etc. I even restarted having business ideas again. Those are the areas wiped off with a white on the image – sorry, but I’m not ready to share them with you yet!

I have found the whole process to be kind of a cleansing process. It started with a list and today the first hurdle was crossed and I finished building and painting a new shed to house the clutter that is going to be removed from the naughty shed.

Once that is done, all the rest on my ‘to do list’ that remain unticked can be embarked upon.

I also have other bucket lists and to do lists, but those are personal to me. but please keep me on the straight and narrow on the following;

1/ Sort Cabin

2/ Sell Figaro

3/ Sort Front Of House / Garden

4/ Sort Back Of House / Garden

5/ Sort Wifi Connection / Supplier

6/ Get Walking Sticks

7/ Get Walking

8/ Get Blogging

9/ Get A New Dog

10/ Research Family Tree

11/ Learn Sign Language

12/ Start To Play The Guitar Again

So there you have it, that’s my ‘bucket list’ or ‘to do list’ that I have in the cabin, what would yours look like?

Tim’s To Do List / Bucket List

Posted by Tim Love - June 5, 2016 at 11:26 pm

Categories: Random Stuff   Tags:

It’s been a while… Knock Knock I’m back again!

It seems like an age since I posted on my personal blog, looking at the date it was around the 25th February 2015, when I posted a tribute to my little mate Pip who had recently ‘crossed to the other side’.

Since then I had for a brief while ‘gone back to work’, but unfortunately the injuries I received in what I now feel as almost a ‘past life’, mean that I am pretty unreliable in the normal ‘working’ sense!

I can’t guarantee that on any given day I’ll be able to make it into an ‘office environment’, so I went back to being a ‘stay at home’ Dad, who sometimes ‘dabbles’ in working in online marketing from the comfort of his home office.

When I say home office, it’s actually a cabin down the end of the garden, that I affectionately have christened; ‘The Naughty Shed’.

Unfortunately my ‘admin’ has also gotten a little out of control, I am slowly catching up with URLs I own and have done nothing with over the months, I’m deciding in a kind of cold hearted way as to whether I am ever going to do anything with these URLs and if not, I am incrementally selling them.

If I deem the URL of value, but don’t consider I have the time to do anything with it, I sell it. Or more often than not, I’m just letting the URLs run off naturally –  failing to renew the ones that I seem to have bought in a fit of pique and interest!

Sometimes I am impulsive and buy URLs around an idea I have, then do nothing with them and only later to think, ‘you fool!’ when someone else comes up with the ‘same’ idea later on and makes decent ‘headway’ with it.

I am a firm believer that a ‘good idea’ not acted on is only yours for a short while. If you fail to act, then God, Lady Luck, The Internet Fairy or whoever passes the idea to someone else who does act, you then end up kicking yourself and vowing ‘never again’!

In my case I’ve done this so many times, that my arse is black and blue from the amount I have had to kick myself! I’m stubborn and my pride is one thing I certainly another thing I need to control – we all have our faults eh? Some times it’s recognising them and learning to work with them.

To that end, I have decided to become my own ‘best customer’ once again.

Online marketing for me seems to include giving a little of my ‘heart and soul’ to whatever project I am working on, so when I have done it for others in the past, I seem to feel like I ‘give too much of myself away’.

Perhaps I’m looking too much in to it, but that’s the way it has to be – for the time being at least!

Since the last post I made back in February 2015 many things have changed. My interest in ‘facial hair’ has not changed and I have grown (and later lost) a huge beard, become a Bearded Villain UK Chapter member – an organisation for bearded men that organises them to basically ‘do good’.

It may sound ridiculous to those without an interest in beards and the like, but the brotherhood of beards runs deep and some marvellous acts of kindness are being conducted by Bearded Villains Worldwide.

The loss of the beard was caused by a ‘flare up’ of possibly an old injury, originally sustained possibly through playing rugby, or perhaps from the assault I sustained whilst working for the ’emergency services’ back in 2001/2.

Either way it turns out I have a pretty horrific disc bulge at the C4 / C5 area of my neck (not lower back this time… Phew!) and the rest of the neck doesn’t look too pretty.

I am currently on some pretty strong painkillers that have meant I am under a driving ‘self-disqualification’. Many of the painkillers I am on come with warnings of not to drive until one has become accustomed to them – ‘levelled out’ I suppose like an alcoholic on them. Many give the same kind of feelings as having had one too many beers!

They also warn not to drive whilst taking them if you feel ‘sleepy’, again this I think in general is good advice all round, but especially as one or two of them have the sole purpose of knocking me out and allowing sleep – I historically suffer from insomnia due the neck and back ache, I think for me in particular it is good advice!

So what is going to happen on this blog I do not know, I am just going to allow it to develop. It needs some parts updating and the ‘back end’ wordpress and template could do with some fiddling with.

I am going to become my own writing material – if these posts takes a back / neck pain, political or even back to the original intention of the site, a SEO slant I do not know, it may depend on how I am feeling at any given time day to day.

I have been back posting regularly on Facebook, Instagram, and more recently as I try to get myself fit in preparation for possible surgery on MapMyWalk, which is a great little app that you can download on your iphone or smartphone.

MapMyWalk records whatever fitness you do, walking (in my case), running, biking and general fitness. I urge you to download it and friend me up. Look for a Tim Love with a photo on the profile wearing a white hat and a big beard – you might have to scroll down a few pages to find me, but I am on there I promise and will accept and encourage all of my friends on MapMyWalk, as I am sure you will do for me?!

So that’s about it for now, for a first post in a while I don’t think it was too bad, but then again I may be biased!

It’s been a while… Knock Knock I’m back again!

Posted by Tim Love - June 5, 2016 at 2:53 am

Categories: Random Stuff, Working From Home   Tags:

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