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15 September 2009

Put Your Back Into It

I've had the unfortunate privilege of developing lower back problems over the past 2-3 years.

I've thrown it out completely two times, had an MRI and I'm on my second round of physical therapy.

Official diagnosis: Protruding disc (which sounds very close to a Herniated Disc).

Symptoms: Basically, my back always feels weak. I have a hard time sitting, standing and walking for long periods of time. One leg goes numb or tingles while the other can have pain going from back to my calf. Then there is the possibility of throwing my back out by simply bending over to pick something up...

Treatment: A Physical Therapy regimen of bending and stretching to keep the protruding part of the disc from being irritated and allow it to move back into place. Supposedly in time the disc will shrink and normal activity will be possible without any pain or discomfort in the back.

When the World Gives You Lemons...
One positive about the whole thing is I'm finally learning just how inappropriate my posture was. Everything from the way I sat, to the way I stood to the way I picked things up. Hopefully in time I'll be able to avoid this behavior without even thinking.

It also made me think about our websites and if there are stupid things we do on a regular basis without thinking about the long term damage. Things like making our visitors jump through hoops, making things difficult to find and throwing too much content at them.

But what if there was someone (like my physical therapist) that could point these things out and get us back on the right track? Someone who may have already made some of those mistakes and learned from them.

Well maybe there is. Join us for the Untangling the WEB Workshop in November. Kem Meyer helps us identify some of those damaging things and correct them on our websites.

If you're serious about doing Web sites right, put your back into it this November.