My Secret — 33 Hours of Travel With No Back Pain

What is my secret to 33 hours of straight travelling-airplanes, trains, etc. with no back pain? The answer is not exciting or dramatic or pills. It is just simply doing the right exercises to keep my back strong and the muscles around my back, hips and legs as flexible as possible. Many years ago I was running the stadium steps, doing hard Cross-fit, playing soccer, doing very advanced yoga postures and never hurt my back. However, the simple, mundane action of reaching into the trunk of my car to pick up something- that twisted my back. This caused an injury to my disk that was a slight tear and bulge to the disk. The doctors said it should have been asymptomatic, but it was excruciating. It affected my walking and even getting up from a chair. I saw doctor after doctor and specialist after specialist. And then I figured it out myself.

What was the solution? It is that I commit daily to over 35 minutes of simple strength exercises and stretching. If I do not do them, I hurt. If I do them, I have no pain. I do not take any pain killers of any kind-not even Advil. As long as my core muscles are strong, everything works beautifully. Is it always exciting to do this daily routine? Nope. Do I do it no matter what? Yep. I do it on trips in the airport, during hikes, before games, after hard sprints and routinely. Do you have low back pain? Do you have a plan to prevent it, and prevent it for good?

This photo was taken in South Africa right after a long flight. It was time to re-strengthen my back, abs and hips. I do this anywhere and anytime. This trip also involved hours of bumpy off road driving during animal safaris, and I had no back issues the entire two weeks of travelling.

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