When I recently saw my back doc to tell him about continuing pain, he said the vertebrae had indeed healed. He also informed me there was an accumulation of arthritis in my lower back -- the culprit now. He said exercise could help, and prescribed two physical therapy sessions a week for four weeks. So far, I've had three PT sessions and have concluded that they focus primarily on standard back pain exercises that are easily found on the web and done at home. See for example. Additional clinic-based exercises are added... I think mainly to "justify the visit." Unfortunately, during my last visit, one of those add-ons did more harm than good.
So far, the best exercise advice from the doctor has been "just walk through the pain." I wish I'd forced myself to follow this suggestion. But since the pain occurs only when I stand and walk, it's easy to find excuses to stay put in the easy chair... or in bed.
My family celebrated the holiday this year on Christmas Eve, so Christmas Day and Monday's holiday were event-free on my calendar. The sunny, mild weather created an incentive to get out there and explore my beloved Palisades neighborhood.
Christmas Day Walk
Only on Christmas Day would you find the streets this deserted during afternoon "rush-hour" time:
Kids and parents checked out new gift bikes and basketballs at the "recreation center":
Others got a headstart on the spring baseball season: