Virtual Surgery 4

Now that my back had finally healed its scabs, and I had birthed triplettes, I was left with a very weak and physically smaller body. This past year felt like my inaugural “maternity leave”, the one I had not yet taken in this life. I was lucky to be at a point in my career that I was already into my 3rd year as an entrepreneur working my own consulting business in health and ergonomics - very timely because I had the BEST boss ever! Lol! This new way of working allowed me to work when it came and sloth, heal and live for the rest of the year of 2018. I won the work/live lottery! My health benefits plan was credit and man am I worth it!

Lighter body, how did that happen? Nerve pain was so bad, that eating was not my favourite thing to do. Organic bananas and grapes and small grazing of food lovingly delivered daily from my awesome tribe became my new norm. Months of this and I had lost close to 20 lbs.- what left my body was inflammation, some fat, a lot of muscle and 3 disc bulges (Faith, Hope and Grace).

I had to learn and trust to walk again and redevelop my core strength as the main start. Gone went my old workout habits of going to the gym to listen to grunting bodybuilders in hopes of getting in and out 40 minutes flat. Gone is the gym guilt of not going enough to validate my membership fees. WooHoo!

I have learned a new, efficient functional, safe and fun home strengthening routine that is getting me stronger everyday. I have also learned to stop my old habits of risky back bending and have incorporated new ways to do things, because I am never going back to that state again. Did you know it takes 21 days to change a habit? Life is so much better, because I am living and moving smarter “smrt”. Oh, and I am being kinder to myself.

Still pain free, December 28!

Stay tuned!

#lowback #sitting #driving #MSD #discbulge #health #ergonomics #ONKin #movement #hurdabouthealth #surgery #virtualsurgery


Virtual Surgery 3

My “virtual surgery” event finally ended in the spring of this year and I can joyfully say I have had zero pain since then!

The theories of disc bulges describe how during the acute phase we feel unbelievable pain through one or both legs for weeks and sometimes months. Virtual surgery involves choosing to not have surgery by a surgeon, choosing to do 20-50 back extension exercises per day everyday and not bending at all costs, until the scab heals. I know, right? WTF. We all know what happens if we cut our finger at the moveable joint, where we like to bend it, if we keep ignoring the healing of the scab and continue to move and ignore it, the wound will just keep opening and the pain (body voice per se) will keep talking. Same analogy with disc anatomy and healing. This virtual surgery choice essentially allows the “dis- ordered” discs to gradually be pushed back into the spine and allowing the scab to heal. Seems so smart and simple…..ah but enter the human and behaviour, including me. Again, this virtual home program must be with close consult of a great practitioner, physiotherapist (PT)and a thoughtful chosen dream team. Lucky Ducky me.

In theory, while we allow the scabs to heal, the disc bulge pressure lessens on the sciatic nerves. This healing starts to slowly alleviate the pain, gradually starting to move from your feet to groin to butt - to low back...then POOF, the pain disappears. Really. It did. Thank the Gods!

This daily practice can take many weeks, mine took just over 2 months. At the end, I felt the worst pain in my low back for 3 days - I guess it has to get much worse before it gets better - and it did. I almost forgot about this last important factoid cause pain does change you in every way. Truth. For those last 3 days, I lost all rational processes and thought I would never get better. I could actually picture myself as clients/patients whom I had treated and assessed who were physically limping with a cane, all joy drained out of their faces. But not this time, not today! On the 3rd day the pain just went away POOF! Textbook theory - done! O M G! Jo Hurd was back.

I can now stand, saunter, urban walk, dance, sit, drive, put on my socks, spit toothpaste in the sink etc. without pain - but in a new mindful gentle way! Lesson learned. I have not had pain since May, knock knock knocking on wood. This grande experiment worked! Phew! The disc bulge “scab” was able to heal, and my controlled experiment concluded that it takes way more than 6 weeks to properly heal this type of life/work disorder. And yes, support, attitude and hope are also a key ingredients.

What were some of the functional and weird survival tips I learned? Stay tuned!

#lowback #sitting #driving #MSD #discbulge #health #ergonomics #ONKin #movement #hurdabouthealth #surgery #virtualsurgery


Virtual Surgery 2

I chose "virtual surgery".  A very scary and unknown concept personally, but I knew I did not want the "cutting surgery" .  I had to try another option.  I had nothing to lose at this point.  What I had seen and read in terms of outcome and prognosis for the typical surgery,  I knew that I could not go there.  Not everyone may have the freedom and support system to choose this option but the planets were aligned for me last winter of 2018. 

Choosing virtual surgery only works with the following practical tips: you must call on your friends, tribe, family, neighbours, spouse or partner to help and do the daily life tasks such as buying food, feeding your pet, doing your laundry, dishes, shovelling, basically all life tasks and skills. 

You need good listeners.  Short, task-oriented visits because you must not move and expend any unnecessary energy .  You are basically growing a new back and body.  You must sleep like a sloth - sleep is your new sport.  Only deep REM (Repetitive Eye Movement) sleep can actually heal your tissue (ligaments, muscles, discs, nerves, brain tissue). Baic physiology factoid. Go to bed!

Take the medication you are do need it.  Don't try to be a hero.  During my 2 months of going silent and still...I felt “cat-like” I don't have 10 cats, but I do have 1 awesome Maine Coon.  I went "cat-like" in that I needed to hide, keep quiet and sleep ~ 18 hours/day.  Nerve pain is not like any other pain I have ever felt.  This pain changes you if you don't commit to healing it.  I now have even more sympathy and empathy for those I have treated and continue to treat as an Ergonomic/Health Specialist.  Nerve pain magnifies your sensitivity to foods, noise, light and people lol....truly.    

On a larger scale, the pharmaceutical world pushes medication for everything we feel, a cold, headache etc.  These drugs actually stop us from doing what the body needs to do...feel it and heal it!  Am I repeating myself?...that too comes with nerve pain, oh and swearing.   Our bodies are amazing if we listen to them, the body never lies.  Embrace pharma during the acute stages and don't move, a much better plan.  We should not live on vitamin "I" aka ibuprofen.

#lowback #sitting #driving #MSD #discbulge #health #ergonomics #ONKin #movement #hurdabouthealth #surgery #virtualsurgery

 Talk to you soon, pain free still,




Why not me?

Great question....WTHell!.  As someone who is so passionate about anatomy, biomechanics, human movement....blah blah the hell did I catch this?  Family and friends were as confused as was I.  Some asking "Jo you are a Kinesiologist who has been trying to prevent this for over 30 years, WTH?"   "Hell then, there is no hope for me”.  I realized as a Registered Kinesiologist and practicing Ergonomics, I would be held up on some sort of pedestal and labelled as being immuned, how I wish.  Busted!!  Aren't titles funny?  I too am only human.

Being in "cat mode" for over 4 months allowed me to think about this, alot!  When the body has stopped, the mind gets to play more.  All I know is that no one is exempt from back disorders, ego in check. Laugh, cry, anger, quiet, all part of the process.

What have I learned in my little Kin world?  There is no immunity idol (survivor!).  It is a cocktail of life movements really.  Genetics, life demands, sports demands, work demands, lifestyle, just plain living.  I know this may not answer the question.  I can honestly say now that I know I am wiser for it and that my next posture choices are going to be that much better for me, for the next 40 years.  Thankful, shitty but powerful lesson.   

An inert life choice of always seeking better health (mental, physical, spiritual) seemed to help get me out of this "Everest".  Tissue was able to heal, I did a lot of deep breathing, medication  and meditation.  Eventually the pain left and hasn't come back

Physiology factoid: 

Ageing tissue has a lower tissue tolerance for our daily chosen physical demands.  I know right?  That magic age is ~ 48 years - no control over that.  If we do not change our mindset and lower our physical demands in life and work...our tissue - musculoskeletal tissue will TALK and balk!.  I now have assessed and lowered my physical and mental demands to get me to my next chapter.  New, fun life choices.

#lowback #sitting #driving #MSD #discbulge #health #ergonomics #ONKin #movement #hurdabouthealth #surgery #virtualsurgery

Talk to you soon,



Virtual Surgery 1

The journey to going Virtual

My ~7 year low back disorder "Everest" of feeling a lot of pain at certain times, incidents and moments -  getting some medication, getting some physical therapy, getting stronger, changing things up, and returning back to work and life ASAP - I believe held those triplettes (3 disc bulges- Faith, Hope and Grace) at bay until they could not sit tight anymore.  My choices of fitness, health, nutrition, ergonomics, physical demands reduction and a passion for Kinesiology were ultimately tested.  I truly feel that my ever ingrained health choices prolonged the disorder for years and also on the more conclusive, helped my body's ability to finally heal.  I am now pain free still - I can honestly say it was all worth it, what a great learning experience, cup ever half full.  I can now objectively say there is hope to fully recovering from disc bulges and extreme sciatica, without the help of a surgeon.  If you choose to embark on this journey.  There is always hope, as I am living fresh proof, have you Hurd About Health? 

Nerve pain (sciatica) in both feet, so bad, is a whole other stimulus dimension.  This did happen to me in the winter of 2018 and ultimately stopped me from any movement.  The body never lies and will eventually get what it needs.  Pain really is a good thing - if you can sit in it and move through it - not jump around it with self medication and other distractions.   At this point I felt that I had to get quiet, shut-down literally and allow the ever picked "scabs" to heal.  I chose "Virtual Surgery".  I had exhausted all other options other than the typical surgery option.  Virtual Surgery is not the surgery we know, but a mental and physical approach to commit to not moving and acting as if you just had surgery, literally - picture a "back cast" or scars.  Wear it, live it virtually until the scab has healed, and this could mean months commitment.  This is what I chose not knowing if this experiment would work as I had never heard of this option being actually done.  With a lot of help from friends and family to do my daily tasks, I committed myself.  The Stigma of low back disorders and mental disorders for that matter, is that we don't see scars, blood or a cast.  I learned that during this time, I had to gently remind myself and others that I had just had "virtual surgery" and still couldn't move.  As someone looking at me, you would think I was fine, but I wasn't yet healed from within.  Very cool and very scary.

I also committed to physically pushing the 3 disc bulges back into my spine where they belonged - ouch!  Virtual Surgery meant no bending forward for anything.  Think about how many daily tasks involve bending forward....brushing your teeth - spitting into the sink, putting on shoes, socks, sitting, doing dishes, driving...and so the adventure began..

#lowback #sitting #driving #MSD #discbulge #health #ergonomics #ONKin #movement #hurdabouthealth #surgery #virtualsurgery

Talk to you soon,


An Extreme case of Low Back Disorder (LBD)

Life is never boring.  In my passion for health and prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD) aka pains and strains...I am surviving and dare I say thriving through recovery of  3 yes 3 low spine disc bulges.  I knowwwww, right? 

My life choice and experience working as a Registered Kinesiologist and living  a full extreme active life has allowed me to follow career choices that PREVENT or fix these disorders from happening.  My knowledge of disc bulges has been 1 disc bulge.  As my sister-in-law replied  "Jo, you are such an overachiever".  Talk about facing your fears.  Ain't Life Grand!! 

Stay tuned, I will be sharing what I have learned through this crazy horrible winter of 2018, and yes, there is much hope and beauty that did come out.  Of course.  If you have a history of a disc bulge or know someone,   I hope this blog will help you discover that there is another choice besides surgery, from living breathing fresh proof.

#lowback #health #discbulges #HurdAboutHealth #ergonomics #sitting #virtualsurgery #surgery

Tragically it's Back

As a seasoned and passionate Kinesiologist, I have tried very hard to help prevent the painful yet real classic low back disorder, both professionally and personally.  And isn't ironic, don't you think (Alanis Morissette)  It's like bulging discs when you try to keep fit.  I too have fallen recently to the lowest of low events for my back body journey.  One thing for sure is that I am more humbled and more the wiser for this "research" into musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).  My reality today is to saunter around my block to begin to learn to walk again.  My daily body scan decides whether or not I will challenge myself to shower AND wash my hair, thank the gods for stylish toques and Buff's. 

Rebuilding my strength and endurance and healing properly takes self care and time, this I now make time for as an entrepreneur.  I have learned that creating a healing space with less stress and no timelines are the ticket to healthy regrowth.  I have had a great 4x4 life and I plan to have another great one in this new chapter, because the body does regrow and heal itself if we allow it to.

#lowback #MSD #discbulge #health #ergonomics #ONKin #movement #hurdabouthealth #surgery #virtualsurgery

Talk to you soon,




Wrist Braces at work

It has come to mind again how important health and ergonomics awareness is...for the worker and business.  If ever I am on-site, doing my ergo walkabout, and if I see a worker wearing a wrist brace or back Kinesthetic senses fire up!  Why you ask?  There is a work space place for a wrist or back brace, but this is only very short term.

Have you Hurd About Health..let's chat.

Jo Hurd


Prevention can be sexy

In all my years in Occupational Health & Safety - whether I was working on the injured as a Clinical Kinesiologist, became injured through sports and life, or worked in prevention as an Ergonomic Health Specialist....I still believe prevention is the true effective strategy.  There was a time when corporations actually budgeted for injury claims - those were the hay days....not anymore.  Save money, save jobs, save bodies...this is the right thing to do!

Sciatica Sciatica - Exercise Science - Kinesiology

Sciatica Sciatica - Exercise Science - Kinesiology

Sciatica care

Keep that piriformis muscle loose to allow healthy space for your sciatic nerve.  Here is how:

Sit on a chair cross your legs (ankle on opposite knee), keep a tall posture, move your chest forward until you fee a stretch in the buttocks area, hold for at least 20 s.  Same pose in lying down - see picture. 

Happy Sciatica!

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