I must have been misusing my back without realizing it, because one day it just decided to teach me a lesson. I wasn't even doing anything too strenuous at the time, just ambling through the day's chores. I bent to pick up a piece of paper from the floor, and – something shifted somewhere in the region of my hips. It was a really strange feeling; something had decided to happen inside me without my knowledge or permission, and it was just going ahead with it.
Slowly and carefully, I straightened up; I had the feeling that if I moved too fast, or unthinkingly, my top half would detach from my bottom half and fall off.
I didn’t go to the doctor that day, silly as that sounds. There was no pain, and I didn’t quite know what I’d tell him. But at the end of the day, when I found myself taking five minutes (making sure that my toP and bottom halves were moving together!) to cross a room which I used to do in five seconds, I went.
I don’t remember what he said; he did some manipulations and something clicked back into position. I did the exercises he suggested, used my knees instead of my waist to bend, and kept myself reasonably fit.
But it did start me thinking. I’d had no inkling, as I went about my daily life, that I was doing something potentially so harmful to my back.
And that question led me, with many deviations and a lot of sidetracking, to the Alexander Technique.