Sunday, December 13, 2009


I saw ben yesterday. He currently has a serious back problem which,
apart from being very painful, is hindering his writing. But he
perseveres! Ben thanks you all for your interest and is reading the
latest batch of your comments that I sent to him. And he can't believe
that people failed to get his "meat" joke...


  1. Get well soon, Ben.

    On a more serious note, I feel that in future, posts which are intended to be humorous should be labelled as such, so that we know how we are meant to respond. I for one would find this helpful.


  2. In what seems paradoxical when in the throes of back pain, the only proven therapy is exercise. This should be aimed to strengthen the muscles that hold the back together thus preventing either the vertebrae slipping and trapping nerves or the muscles themselves giving up the struggle painfully.

    I used to suffer back pain to the extent of getting myself so locked up I couldn't stand, couldn't sit, couldn't lie down and only had some relief by kneeling upright.

    After my last attack several years ago when it had subsided I dug the front garden in stages over several days and by the end it was much better. I then gave up being sedentary and took up and sustained an exercise program. I appreciate that this is problematic in a prison environment.

    There is a strain in society that says those devoted to a life of the mind cannot or should not partake of physical activity. The two are mutually exclusive. I find when out running that I get treated as though I were a working man which is quite different from when I am in my social signalling clothes that more closely ally with my academic status.

    Just recently a paper showed evidence that the fitter you are the better your brain works, so being fit is actually an aide to a life of the mind.

    So get well soon Ben, then get some work done. I find pressups are good for the one between my shoulder blades and situps/body crunches are good for the lumbar one. Both achievable in a cell. Oh and stretch your hamstrings too, tight hamstrings pull on the lower back.

  3. One cure for back pain is don't bend down so much in the shower :-)

  4. Ouch! Back pain is not fun. I find Valerian suppliment helps me (if that's permitted in prison).

    Oh, I caught the meat joke just fine and was adding a little mischief of my own ;-).

  5. Get fit soon.

    A prisoner friend of mine had a bad back and asked the doctor if he could have a 'comfy' chair instead of a wooden one. The doctor said he hadn't had a bad back long enough to get a comfortable chaire - he has had the bad back for 25 years - four of them in prison. What hope is there?