We receive this question at least once a week! So, Ruby Hooping has invited hoop dance instructor and speaker Missy Cooke to write a guest blog post for this topic! So can you hula hoop with a back injury? The answer is YES! Read on to find out more…
*** Only you can decide what level of movement you are comfortable with, and sometimes that’s best discussed with your doctor. If you’re unsure, ask.
Can I Hula Hoop With A Back Injury?
As a hoop dance instructor, one of the biggest fears new students express, is that hooping will exacerbate an old back injury. After years of pain management treatment plans, and gingerly going through life trying to avoid a flare-up, many students are reluctant to start yet another exercise program that they’ll just have to give up due to back pain, injury, and related discomfort.
I understand their concerns because I have lived with chronic back pain for over 15 years. It started just after high school, with shooting pangs down my left leg, muscle weakness, and an unsteadiness in my gait. After 3 years of physical therapy and chiropractic care, the pain was getting worse and nothing seemed to help.
At 21 years old I opted to have an L5S1 discectomy (lower back surgery) performed. The last disc before my sacrum was herniated and pushing on my sciatic nerve. Surgery brought immediate relief. But as badly as I wanted things to be the same, I never regained my full strength.
The excruciating pain was gone, but at times it felt like my spine was made of paper mache. When I was 28 and pregnant with my first daughter, it came back in full force. Seething pain shot down the back of my legs with every step. For a week I laid on my living room floor, not moving from the time my husband left for work until the time he got home at night. Turning to the side caused white blindness and tears to form. An MRI revealed the same disc was herniated a second time.
After my daughter was born, the unmanageable pain subsided, but I still lived with chronic medium to low-grade back pain. Not joining in activities due to the pain was normal and I started to accept it as my fate….or worse, as getting older.
But then I found something that completely reversed the tenderness in my back.
Yes You Can Hula Hoop With a Back Injury
Over the course of a few months, I was amazed to find that I no longer had:
- pain and weakness when waking in the morning
- debilitating pre-menstrual back pain and cramping
- a limp when walking
Additionally, I noticed increased:
- flexibility in my lower back and hips
- steadiness in my gait
- balance after sleeping and sitting
- lower and upper back and core strength
How to Cure Your Back Pain With Hula Hooping
Hoop dance completely changed my life.
The first time I picked up (the right size) hula hoop, I knew right away it would help my back problems. Even though I was unsteady and weak, something about the hoop was calming and the rhythmic motion eased the tightness in my lower back and hips.
I used to be terrified of getting older. At 30 years of age I regularly had trouble walking after sleeping or sitting for long periods. What would the prognosis be at 50, 60, or 70 years?
As many longtime sufferers will attest, chronic back pain makes you feel prematurely old, like you can’t trust your body to do what you need it to do. Fearful, you withdraw from the things and people you love because participating feels dangerous.
But hooping stops that.
As you learn to control the hoop, the strength and mobility in your back will return. And before you know it, you’ll have gone a few days without feeling bad. And then a few more. And a few more after that. And then one day you’ll wake up, and you won’t remember the last time your back hurt.
But it starts with today. With the belief that you really can hoop, and that nothing, especially not back pain, is going to steal your confidence.
Missy is a hoop dance instructor, entrepreneur, and speaker who helps women relax, let loose, and smile more by getting up, getting out, and starting something new. To see what she’s up to, or have her speak at your event, go to missycooke.com. Or, follow her on Youtube for access to free hoop dance tips and tutorials.