For the better part of a decade, I’ve been in chronic pain. I know, I know, right outta the gate with the chuckles.

I have a fifty eight degree curvature in my spine, which sounds like a lot, because it is.

Most people don’t realize I have scoliosis at all. Typical curvatures are isolated to the lower or upper spine, whereas mine is a long curve that leaves only a couple vertebrae unaffected. The end result is I don’t look like Quasimodo, but my muscular system is, in the parlance of back specialists, all jacked up. And as a touring musician, every day consists of all the things you’re 100% not supposed to do with a back like mine. Over and over and over again.

It’s been rough. I hide it as best I can, but when you’re in mild, irritating, or excruciating discomfort 24/7, your life starts to fold in on itself.

So, when I got home from this recent Allen Stone run, I finally decided to ditch my bed in favor of a Japanese futon (here’s the one I bought).

I was skeptical at first, but several specialists assured me this would improve my alignment and provide better support than a conventional super-duper-ultra firm mattress. It was also significantly cheaper, which, as all professional musicians will echo, is a welcome thing.

I’m almost a month in, and woke up today, for the first time in a long time, with zero back pain. None. Floor sleeping, combined with 20 mins of yoga in the morning and ditching free weights for body weight exercises, and I’m a new human. I almost can’t believe it.

I’m not completely out of the woods - I’m at about 75%, and chronic conditions never truly “heal” - but in four weeks I’ve reversed the course of something I’d essentially reconciled to controlling my life.