Re: back pain and aikido
Here's my experience. I was having some chronic back pain that osteopathic adjustments, and OTC pain relievers wasn't getting rid of. I had it checked out and it turns out I had stress fractures in my 4th lumbar verterbra.
Off to physical therapy I went. The first thing the PT does is check my posture and finds I have a forward rotated pelvis (I've got a belly). This is causing too much lordosis in the lumbar spine. After a few weeks of exercises and stretching my back pain was mostly gone. I continued with the program on my own (and still do) and haven't had a recurrence. My Dr. also put me on a daily anti-inflammatory used for arthritis pain.
Core strength and proper pelvic position is extremely important. I had to do a lot of ab and low back work to achieve a muscular balance to allow the pelvis to sit in the correct spot. I still have to be conscious about it or I find I'll get lazy and let it drop forward but it's getting more and more natural to be in the correct position.
If I get lazy for a couple of days and don't do the exercises or stretches like I should I can feel the dull ache start to come back and I jump right back on the wagon. But if I keep on the program I'm fine.
While this was going on I was taken off of ukemi. But now I've been cleared for any activity I want to do with the admonition to listen to my body and to realize that if I'm hittin' the mat hard and heavy I'm probably going to be sore the next day.