Oh lower back, why hast thou forsaken me?

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life73 Comments


What I've been reading while laying on my back for the past few days.

I've never been one to suffer from many chronic afflictions.

Okay, maybe I'm not counting the bout of plantar fasciitis from last year that still occasionally rears its ugly foot during my daily comings and goings. And maybe I'm not counting the years of obsessive compulsive behavior I exhibited as a child, turning lights on and off repeatedly and other very annoying little tics and peculiarities that peppered my days from age 9 to about 14. And maybe all those years of smoking cigarettes don't count either.

That said… something went funny in my back over the weekend.

Even so, I managed to get a run in on Saturday morning and a bike ride on Sunday afternoon, and thought, "Oh, no problemo," until a sleepless night of pulsing back pain told me otherwise.

I'm such a baby at times. When some new ailment comes along that I've never experienced before, I imagine any number of horrible things as the probable cause, and usually these are without any merit whatsoever. Still, I find myself wallowing in the possibilities of what it could be.

I do know one thing it's teaching me: count on the unpredictable.

Every time you think you've got a routine signed, sealed and delivered, life will raise its hand to tell you otherwise. Then the question becomes, how will you respond?

I've decided to go with the flow and not freak out that I shouldn't run, or swim, or bike.

I've decided to not sweat it that I drove myselfβ€”in painβ€”to the Burger King for a cheeseburger and fries yesterday.

I've decided that not hitting my goal of running 50 miles this month, the first time I've missed that mark since I started tracking my distance, isn't signaling the end of my running efforts.

I've decided that spending another day on the couch, doing nothing isn't going to kill me.

I've decided to just wait it out, and know that it's very likely going to resolve itself, and then I can get back to the routines I thrive on.

What's your typical response or reaction when something throws a wrench into the works?

Are you a go with the flow type? or the kind who freaks out? or somewhere nicely in the middle?

Now if you'll excuse me I have a date with a couch and the 5th Harry Potter book.



Cathy ZielskeOh lower back, why hast thou forsaken me?

73 Comments on “Oh lower back, why hast thou forsaken me?”

  1. #1

    I feel your pain, literally. A week of studying corporate law and working as a research assistant by day and digi scrapping/blogging at night has given me a neck and shoulders so tense I can barely move them, much less sleep comfortably. Thankfully my final is Friday and I can take a muscle relaxer that night (after I run… well walk/run) a 5K. I would take one before but they turn me into a drooling zombie so I have to suck it up for a few days.

    But, if I had to be on the couch all day, who better to be with than Harry. Book 5 is my favorite of the series!! Get some rest!

  2. #3

    Cathy- I said it on FB, I’ll say it here as well. Get to the chiropractor! Call around and get referrals from folks you know and verify that the insurance company will cover it. (Massage therapy can often be covered as well!) I am in the gym 6 hours a week doing group fitness classes. I bent over on the 4th of July to get a beer out of the cooler and threw out my back. Ay yi yi! I feel for your pain.

    Chiro and natural anti inflammatories! All that Advil is really not good for your body. I hope you feel better and thanks for cutting yourself some slack!

  3. #4
    Lisa Henderson

    I have chronic back pain (have had since I was a tween). Tip #1 (from my physio therapist) – running causes impact on your lower back and knees, so lay off it for a while (until you feel better).
    Tip #2 (from experience) – being in a pool makes you feel weightless. It is the best feeling in the world when your back hurts. I wouldn’t go swimming any great extreme, but a casual, slower paced swim (or just hanging out in the water), usually feels fantastic!
    Hope you feel better soon!

  4. #5

    Sorry to hear that you’re experiencing back pain. In answer to your question, I’m absolutely hopeless when something goes array especially in terms of health – (i) like you said, I start to worry about the worst case scenario and (ii) I think about all those people experiencing the worst case scenario and it all becomes extremely overwhelming. I hope you are feeling much better soon.

  5. #6
    Kendra B

    Yikes! I feel your pain as I have a back that goes out from time to time. I love Tiger Balm which I can go get at a corner drug store so thinking you’d have it out there too . . . I get the actual balm as the patches don’t do anything for me. Then I do lots of stretching to try and work it out. And as far as where I’m at in reactions I tend to freak out and get mad because it usually happens when I’m feeling really motivated!! Then I switch to oh whatever I’ll try to get motivated again when I feel better πŸ™‚ I hope you feel better soon! Enjoy the read!!

  6. #7

    Back pain is no fun, rest and read. After the first few months of a difficult infant I created a mantra “Parenting, don’t make any plans” With my personality it is much easier to go with the flow if there is no plan. Feel better.

  7. #8
    Gina Baj

    WOW!!!! I couldn’t believe this post when I read it. I have been exercising and watching my diet for the last 4 week and although I havent lost alot of kilos, I have lost a total of 30 cm and have been so proud of myself. Finally after many failed attempts I was finally on track and commited. Saturday morning I woke up with a stiff back and ordered to rest by my husband. Whilst he went to pick up some shopping, I let my guilt(my first day of not doing any exercise) get to me and jumped onto my exercise bike to do a mild ride. A few minutes later, My foot went numb and the pain running down my right side was the worst thing I had ever felt. Sciatica!!!!! Apart from giving birth nothing has been more painful. Up to the hospital for me. The moral of this story is…… listen to your body….. give yourself a break… tomorrow is another day. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get going again!!! Fingers crossed. Now all I have to do is work out what to do with the guilt and this feeling of failure.

  8. #9

    go with the flow type?
    ha! no one could accuse me of that.
    i am the one to get up and keep moving…probably to my detriment.
    but that is also the season of my life…five children…the older ones are self sustaining…the youngest is 11 months…this mom does not get a sick day…for now.
    hoping for your swift recovery.

  9. #11

    Burger King? I can definitely say my wrenches do not involve fast food. I’ll sulk, be disappointed for a day or two, then when I feel better or the wrench fixes itself, I set new goals and get going again. I do let myself wallow for a bit. It helps me move on. Wallowing can be good for the soul. But move on is a must. Hope you feel better soon.

  10. #12

    Christy, I guess I always thought chiro was for spinal issues. I did get a recommendation from a friend of where to go. What are some natural anti inflammatories?

  11. #14

    It could be muscle spasms. Don’t mess around with them. Go to the doctor, get the drugs, and relax for a while. I didn’t and I tore my neck up and it took over two years for me to get full rotation back in it. Plus I missed my hockey playoffs when I did it because I hoped it would go away on it’s own. Get checked out and feel better soon!

  12. #16

    Oh, I hate back pain! I had it bad last year for a few months–no running, nothing, just walking and being super depressed. It was a herniated disc. UGH! In fact, when I first met you I was on strict orders from my PT to ease back into running. But I got carried away on our run thru the woods. If you like, I have a fabulous PT in Mpls who I credit with getting me back on my feet, literally. I can give you her info. In the meantime, take care!

  13. #17

    Feeling your pain, literally! Back went out on Monday, leaning over to pick up an empty watering can. Ugh! Have hard time just relaxing, and trying to ease back into work. Thinking about getting some physical therapy to help strengthen my back.

  14. #18
    Amy Wolff

    It may sound counterproductive, but after the first couple days of rest you really should be up and moving. A slow walk is better than laying around and walking in the pool is even better. You need the blood flowing to that area to help it heal. I did the chiro route the second time my back flared up and unfortunately, one of the procedures he did actually made me worse. It could have been that my disc was already herniated, because most people swear by chiropractors. If it doesn’t resolve in a week, or if traditional anti-inflamatories don’t make a dent in your pain level, get to the Dr. You may benefit from physical therapy. I know my core muscles weren’t strong enough, so the back took all the punishment. They can teach you exercises and stretches to prevent it from happening again.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  15. #19
    Theresa S.

    I see a lot of people recommending a chiropractor. Be careful. While a good chiropractor can help, a bad one (and I’ve been to a couple) can make your pain worse. If you decide to see a chiropractor, I agree with the commenter who said to ask around and get referrals from people you know. Don’t just go to anyone. And if the chiropractor isn’t helping, or seems to be making the problem worse–stop the treatment–regardless of how many sessions the chiro thinks you “need” to get better. Just my opinion.

  16. #20
    Janet White

    I have Fibromyalgia – so it’s never really clear each day what I can or can’t do or when my energy will suddenly evaporate. I love routines and stick to them as much as possible. But when FM raises her hand and tells me that plan won’t work, I just head to plan B (or C, or D, etc).

    How do I deal with it? I have probably more projects than I can handle going at once. That way, I always have something else I can work on. Low activity projects. Low brain power needed projects (for days of bad brain fog). High energy projects that can break down into small chunks.

    The goal – enter each day as fully as possible. Do what I can and don’t worry about what I can’t. There’s always something to do.

  17. #21
    Jackie H

    Totally agree with the chiropractor! I have a great one, he does all kinds of painless tests during which he can pinpoint the problem. Mine has a massage therapist too, which is great (sometimes painful, but one of those things that hurts so good!) Usually if you have an injury they do electro stimulation first, which are tiny little pulses that cause your muscles to contract quickly (does not hurt). This then causes them to relax. My chiropractor wouldn’t do an adjustment if you have an injury, just the electro stim, heat pad and then massage. When you do have an adjustment it does not hurt at all, it may just sound weird! If you find one that explains everything to you, you will be much more relaxed about it. Just make sure you have a good recommendation…I went to one guy that was a fast talker and seemed to just be giving rehearsed answers, another guy talked at such a high level that I couldn’t understand him – finally I found someone I really like and trust.

    Good luck, you will feel better!

  18. #22

    yeah, i know it feels like you don’t want to move, but moving will be better in the long run – not running, probably, but being too still can make it worse… and the chiro can help you with alignment and that has a big impact on how your muscles function when pulling against each other. The frame has to be true or the canvas doesn’t stretch properly…(trying to come up with an artistic metaphor)

  19. #23

    Swimming always does wonder on my back. I would have it checked by a chiropractor, last year I had throbbing pain and that was because of the flip flops I was wearing during the summer.
    I hope you feel better soon and stop beating yourself up. You do a wonderful job, you have inspired me to do something about my extra 50 pounds.
    Keep at it girl!

  20. #24

    Hang in there. I don’t adjust well when something that isn’t in my plan comes up. Very frustrating. Don’t have any back advise, but healing with Harry is always a good plan. Love OoP, sets so much up for the last two books. Savor every moment of it.

  21. #25

    Rest but keep moving. I have similar back issues. I think that my weak core (I blame the children!) is to blame for the majority of my issues. Since adding pilates to my routine, my back is significantly better. (touch wood)

  22. #26

    Me again from Comment 1, just wanted to let you know that, thanks to my hubster, I signed up for the self paced version of Design Your Life in BPC and I think it is going to be great! I found out about through and old episode of Roundtable as was bummed to hear you were retiring it, but lo and behold, there is a self-paced version, perfect for me and my schedule right now. As an new paper/digi scrapper I think I am going to learn so much and it will give me something to look forward to while fitting it in between school assignments. Again, feel better and hope you are enjoying OoP!

  23. #27

    At 19 chronic back pain for me occured just a year ago and have been in PT since. It is the most frustrating pain I have ever been in, my foot pain has been more curable or issolated in relevence. Your back is such a part of your every day life, it helps you function in every task which is why I have learned to push through it to have a more complete life. After work do I have to come home and lay down? yes, but I cant not stop living my life during a daily basis.

  24. #29
    Debbie S.

    Be careful…I’d say if you haven’t been to a chiropractor before, wait. It’s not necessarily a benign treatment. Try to determine, in just the way you’re doing, I think, if you have a serious problem or not. Ice, stretching, and Advil, to try to get your back to calm down. Sometimes if a nerve gets turned on, it can be hard to convince it to turn off. Be patient! Frustrating to do, but you will be ok again! Good luck!

  25. #30

    I agree with several of the suggestions to find a good chiropractor – there are some flakes out there (if they start waving bottles of natural supplements over your body and then “prescribe” based on that, it’s time to run – or hobble – away as quickly as possible! That actually happened to me once), but ask around for recommendations. A couple of visits to a good chiropractor can bring amazing results. And a massage wouldn’t hurt, either. You want to stay away from a chiropractor who believes that chiropractic can cure anything, but a good one is great for muscle spasms, back problems, etc.

    Good luck and feel better!

  26. #31

    I have had back problems for years from two rear-end collision accidents so I can relate. If you’re going to lay on the sofa to read, make sure you put a pillow below your knees to take the pressure off your back. It’s a good idea for sleeping too…either below your knees if you’re a back sleeper or between your knees if you’re a side sleeper (stomach sleeping is a no-no for back sufferers!). I LOVE my chiropractor and agree with everyone who said to ask for recommendations. Sometimes you’re just slightly out of alignment and one or two visits will help tremendously. Most chiropractors can recommend the best exercises to do for your back to make it stronger too. Enjoy the book!!!

  27. #32

    I’m in the I-hate-with-a-seething-passion-every-minute-of-being-crippled camp but with an absolutely-determined-to-make-the-best-of-a-bad-situation bent. I’ve had lots of practice with both, with long-standing (oh, that term makes me laugh given how painful standing is) foot issues. That has all paled, however, since herniating my L5-S1 disk 19 wks, 2 days ago. Not that I’m counting. I couldn’t, for instance, tell you that I incurred the feet injuries marathon training 9 years, 6 months, 5 days ago πŸ˜‰ (That’s right. Still painful. That’s right, it eventually led to this wretched disk thing.)

    The take home lesson for me? Never ask God for patience because He’ll just keep giving you the means to LEARN patience. Not so fun.

    I may be the most impatient person ever, but I’m learning the hard way not to push your body when it hurts. That’s when the *really* bad things happen.

    Says the voice of unwanted experience.

  28. #33
    Marina D-K

    Hi Cathy — I just wanted to say thank you for continuing to document your journey of moving more eating less.

    After putting it off for more than three years after having my first child I have finally taking this giant leap. I started working with a personal trainer last week. I just knew that I would never do it on my own and felt that this was an investment worth making. I know have to wake up at 530am twice a week and write down everything I eat…eeek…but feel so much better for it. I have paid upfront for a months worth of three sessions a week to make sure I actually go. I’m such a people pleaser so knowing that there is someone there waiting for me is my biggest motivator (I really do not like letting people down). Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. You’ll be back in the groove in no time. You definitely have to take care of yourself with injuries. You are awesome!

  29. #34

    I came down with a painful left shoulder last week…am still suffering…and have absolutely no idea why. I am getting old. Really hard to put on a bra….or vacuum, or lift laundry, or clean…hmmmm….a forced a vacation…..and I’m complaining, whyyyyy….? At some point I will have to see a doctor. Sadly. Take care of yourself.

  30. #37

    I’m definitely the freak out type of person! And the Internet makes it so much worse. You can look up a symptom and find out all kinds of horrid reasons for the symptoms.

    Last year, my daughter (aged 11) told me she had a lump in her chest area. Lo and behold, she did, just on one side. I, of course, immediately went to worst case scenario mode, while telling her that I was sure it was no big deal. I got on the Internet (after making a doctor’s appointment) and read about all the horrible things that the lump could represent. In the meantime, I told my daughter that I was sure it was nothing.

    The next day, I took her to the doctor. Maintaining a calm demeanor in front of my daughter, I showed the doctor where the lump was located. She took one look at it and said, “Oh, that’s just your daughter developing.” Huh, on one side only? Come to find out, as girls begin to develop, they get these bumps, sometimes on one side at a time, that ultimately form into our lovely chest area. Who knew? Obviously, I didn’t!

  31. #39

    I’ve got hip pain and I’m whining like a baby about it. πŸ™‚ I want to run…I need to run…but today I managed 45 pain-free minutes on the elliptical. Getting off and walking was when my pain made its comeback. Going to try some hip strengthening exercises and hope it gets better really soon. Good luck with your back; I think you’re being smart by resting. πŸ™‚

  32. #40
    Tammy B

    I feel your pain, too. I have had back problems for a number of years. At first it was so bad, I couldn’t even stand up straight or walk. I did go to the chiropractor and it helped, but now it can be hit and miss. I would suggest ice and walking around a bit. Sitting or lying down really can stiffen you up a lot. You could try a chiropractor just to see what they say. After the initial assessment, you don’t have to have any treatment if you are uncomfortable with it. I found out that my hips are totally twisted and uneven, and that has caused my back problems. It was a long time in the making, after having kids, maybe to many compression-type exercises (squats with weight on the shoulders), etc. Just don’t run for a while and see how it goes. Oh, and try sleeping with a pillow underneath or between your legs. Really helps. Hope you feel better soon!

  33. #41
    Karen M.

    After self-diagnosing (and reading internet horror stories) for each and every ache and pain, and after I have worked myself into a pretty good panic state, and after I mentally tearfully (and silently) tell my family goodbye forever, my very patient and gentle husband of 38 years will tell me I probably pulled something or ate something and everything will be all right.

    And he is usually right

  34. #42

    ohhhh nnooooo! This happened to me in March and it is *STILL* lingering around. If I could I’d go to physical therapy twice a week, but as I have to, you know, feed children instead of paying co-pays, I don’t. But if you can swing it you should try a couple of sessions. they’ll take the edge off and make it easier to bear! Also, two really good books (my inner Hermoine must always find a book to help with any situation):

    8 steps to a pain-free back by Esther Gokhale and Foundation by Eric Goodman

    Hope you’re out of pain soon!

  35. #43
    Christine H

    Depends on the wrench….a little freak out usually at first, followed by prayer and then I am usually able to go with the flow….of course, this is at 45….at 25, it was full blown long term freak out all the way, followed by eating of crap. I still eat during my freak outs but I try to stick with veggies and fruits, most of the time. But Dairy Queen vanilla cones are oh so good about this time of the year. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  36. #44
    amanda gibson

    Oh, I’m definitely a freak out type of person. Instantly I will start thinking, “If I miss running today I’ll NEVER RUN. AGAIN.” Then I start thinking – “I’m going to be fat again. I just know it.” This is usually followed by a lot of wallowing in self pity and then maybe some cookies.

    Geez, Irrational much, Amanda?

  37. #47

    Been there, done that. What I learned: Heat helps, even after 48 hours when they tell you to switch to ice. Aleve works better than muscle relaxers, which just make me goofy and don’t help the pain. Move often, even when you don’t want to. Lying there feels good, except when you try to move. Make yourself move at least every 30 minutes, even if it hurts. Don’t sleep on your back. Sleep on your side with a (small!) pilow between your knees. Lie in bed on side and stretch upper leg up straight out in “front” of you. Raise arm over your head as you do this. Stretch and find what works for you. Good luck.

  38. #48

    This very morning when running I tripped and took a spectacular flying leap onto the pavement. Mainly I just scraped myself up, but did manage to hurt my knee and pull an arm muscle as I tried to break my fall. My first reaction is always to cry, then pick myself up and start running again, but this time that was not going to happen. I hobbled home and tried to just let myself be hurt and be ok with it. What I am really not very good at is the time it takes my 40something body to heal–being out of commission for a couple days is not so big a deal, but I know it will take longer than that. SO I will try to relax, breathe, and take care of myself. You do the same!

  39. #49

    I hope you do not mind but I cannot help to comment on this one. Part I – My foot to my knee went numb/burning three weeks ago. 12 days later it was still there. I did not want to tell anyone how worried I was. My husband has had 2 DVT’s. I went to the doctor – had an ultrasound and to my relief no blood clot. Still trying to figure it out but I feel a lot better knowing what it is not. Part II – It was 1994 and I was exercising 6x/week. I lifted a dog over a fence. I travelled w/ my job all over the US. I flew out of town and that night my back hurt. We were in the midst of fertility stuff. I procrastinated and 3 mo. later had major back surgery. Lesson – always listen to your body. Sitting puts 3X the pressure on your back than laying down does. Flying in an airplane is much worse due to air pressure. Part III – I know you have read part of this before but it is what motivates me to not complain too much as I try to be the example for my daughter. http://www.iscnewsroom.com/2011/07/25/daughter-of-imperial-sugar-employee-recognized-as-%e2%80%9clocal-honored-hero%e2%80%9d-by-ccfa/
    Pleas, please take care of your self. Back pain is like no other.

  40. #50
    Pilbara Pink

    Oh Amanda you sound just like me πŸ™‚ If there was an Oscar for irrational drama queens I would have a whole mantlepiece full!! Despite being (usually) a reasonably intelligent woman there are times when I seem to have a pause button on rational thought!

  41. #51

    I’m a go with the flow person, tho I can freak out internally first. I’m pretty much lazy so flow is easier.

    My advice? go to your GP and get a referral for PT. And/or find yourself a JinShinJyutsu practitioner for hands on energy treatment. No needles, no pushing but gentle touch.


    btw, the spine gets does not get overjoyed with the bumping pressure of feet hitting the ground hard over and over. Spines like walking.

  42. #52

    I threw my back out this weekend too. I bowled last night & believe it or not felt much better today. At the start of the night I could barely bend over to pick up the ball. By the end of the night it had loosened up. Unless the pain is unbearable, keep moving.

    Stay away from chiropractors. If the paid persists or it happens again find a neurologist. You will probably have an MRI so they can see what is going on.

  43. #53
    ana roat

    I am in agreement with Amy and Christy. Too long on the couch will do more harm than good. After a day or two you need to move. You may also want to up you water intake and watch your potassium levels to avoid cramping. Start with your PCP and go from there.

    Have you spoken to your doctor about long IT band syndrome? I just finished physical therapy for this and although it didn’t completely alliviate the pain it did help.

    Good luck and good health to all!

  44. #54

    I too feel your pain, as I have a back that goes out periodically and it is such a PITA! πŸ™ Throws a total cramp (literally) in all my plans. Ugh. I know people say you’re supposed to do ice instead of heat, but honestly, what really helps me is the old heating pad, for long sessions, and then (over a few days, with me *trying* not to keep throwing it out again – not easy!) it finally starts behaving again.

    I just had to say that my 7YO and I are cruising through the same HP book (again for the many-th time for me, as have read it to all the older boys) so I was tickled to see it pop up at the top of your blog. How far have you gotten this round? We’re at the part where Harry & crew have just gotten back to school after being at The Burrow over Christmas. Ron is showing signs of tiring of Lavender Brown (’bout time! :P) and Harry’s about to have another “lesson” with Dumbledore.

    Man, I love these books. Never tire of them. πŸ™‚

    Feel better soon!

  45. #55

    So sorry to hear you are having to cope with back pain. :(. I’m of the go-with-the-flow person, with the occasional dollop of whingeing and self-pity till my inner jester takes over and makes fun of me. I echo the comments about a good chiropractor to check it’s not related to a disk, and gentle moving around to keep adjacent muscles flexible – lying flat for long periods is not recommended these days. Over here, cold is recommended at first (ice-packs/small plastic bag frozen peas wrapped in a soft cotton (eg. large hanky or small pillowcase) held/kept in place over most affected area at intervals. Later on, when pain begins to go, warmth for any stiffness. Hope Harry Potter is absorbing!

  46. #58

    I know many people swear by chiropractors, several people in my family being some of those people. I, myself, am a believer in acupuncture. It reduces inflammation and helps with pain relief. Acupuncture was the only thing that got my back on track. Once I was feeling better, regular practice of yoga is the way for me to keep my back healthy and happy.

    As for when life throws a wrench in your plans, I’ve learned that you just have to roll with the punches. You can’t be in control of everything and you’ll be a much happier person when you can accept that and learn to be flexible. I learned that lesson when we were living in Pakistan when 9/11 happened. We didn’t know anything and life was spinning out of control for us because those choices were not ours to make. As tough a lesson as it was, it was a necessary one for me. I don’t get too uptight anymore if things don’t go according to plan and I’m able to make alternative plans that I’m just as happy with.

  47. #59
    tara pollard pakosta

    I hope your back feels better soon!
    It will give you time to reflect on your journey and give you the pep you need later!

    I want to know more about your peculiar tic stage, not because I am being nosey, but my daughter has really developed some things along the way and I am HOPING to goodness she outgrows them by 14 or I will be in the looney bin! how did your mom deal with this? what do you think I should do for her?!
    any insight you can give me?!THANK YOU!

  48. #60

    So sorry to hear your back is hurting. I used to throw my back out every two years or so. Finally figured out that when my back starts to hurt, I need to take two or three Aleeve (makes it a prescription strength) and then heat for 5 minutes, back stretches for 10 minutes or so, then ice for 20 minutes, three or four times a day. When you apply the heat or ice, lay on the floor with your feet on a chair, shins parallel to the floor. That keeps your lower back in a neutral position. I also agree with previous posters, you need to get up and moving after the first day. Also, since I have been going to yoga regularly (two years now) I have not had any issues – knock on wood. My core is MUCH stronger, and my back is much more supple. If you are way out of whack, a chiropractor might be helpful, but they should not try to get you to come in every week, ad nauseum, for adjustments. One or two visits should do the trick! Good luck! Also, just wanted to let you know I love your sense of humor!

  49. #61

    Tara, I hid it from my mom, to the best of my knowledge. I didnt know at the time it was OCD. I just knew I had to do certain things in a certain way or something bad could happen to me. I did outgrow it. By the time I was 14, I realized that what I was doing wasnt really protecting me from anything. Then later, as an adult, I realized that it was a type of OCD behavior.

    Its interesting because I dont have OCD tendencies as an adult, but Ive seen a little of this same kind of behavior in my son, but not to the extent I had it. And we talk about it, so he knows that hes not abnormal per se. For me, I had no one to talk to about it, so I knew something about it wasnt normal, but I had no way of understanding that at the time.

    If anything, you could always talk to your physician about it. : )

  50. #62
    Pamela K.

    Here is yet another comment recommending that you see a chiropractor. My hubby was in a serious car accident five years ago. While the chiropractor was not able to cure him, he has helped him tremendously and we know that my hubby would be much worse off without one. I am with the others in that be sure that you get recommendations for one from family and friends. Don’t just pick one out at random. My hubby also sees a massage therapist and she is wonderful. Massage therapy also helped him out as well. And this can be expensive and most insurance companies will not cover it, but acupuncture can help as well. I wish you the best! Back pain stinks!:-(

    Oh, and as far as making plans go. My plan is to never make plans. It seems whenever I do, they 99% of the time will change. So I just go with the flow.

  51. #63

    i just want to reassure you (as you reassured me) that you are not the only one who imagines all sorts of serious ailments when faced with a new ache, pain or symptom. i know no cure for the imaginative bent that my mind takes. i just tell myself not to worry and then get to the doctor if if does not abate.

  52. #64

    So if you’re ever down on your back again and need an engrossing, entertaining read, check out Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward. Vampires and not-so-Stephenie-Meyer-innocent! (I remember you having complained about that!) Hope you are up and about soon!

  53. #65

    I definitely am a freak out kind of person. I have a chronic illness that involves daily pain so pain in the “normal” places doesn’t bother me. However – give me a cold or the flu or headache and I’m the biggest baby alive. I’m one of those diagnose yourself on the Internet kind of girls – despite having two close family members in the medical profession. I’m a stone-cold mess. Love your blog so much.

  54. #67

    I too feel your pain, Cathy. I tweeked my back in June…rested a couple days and then ran. Felt great. Followed it up by gardening. Woke up the next day unable to move.
    After going to a chiro for weeks, I’m finally going to PT next week.
    I have a huge fear of being “lazy” so I think I over-emphasized the messages to “keep moving”. Wish I could go back to that first week and baby it.
    Ice helps. Sitting kills.
    I’m trying not to freak out about the first race I signed up for (inspired by you) in September. I had just moved from the treadmill to the payment to prepare for the race and think that pounding contributed.
    Hoping to use this time to refocus on what I eat. My husband had me swear off any health-related internet searches years ago and that definitely helps!

  55. #68

    Good luck, Deirdre! Hang in there. Im still on the mend myself. I really dont think my running is why this happened for me personally. I know I just slept funny, but I think that going for a long bike ride on the second day of having a sore back really hurt it.

    Im going back to the chiro on Monday for another treatment. Hope youre feeling stronger soon!

  56. #69

    Hi Cathy, I can empathize with your back issues. Three years ago I had a severe L5-S1 disc herniation which required emergency back surgery, kind of a nightmare. I now have quite a bit of nerve damage in my left leg, and one of the muscles in my calf will likely remain at about 40% function. The cause was not running, but probably lifting the baby carrier, that twisting motion. But I was a runner before and am still a runner after (not exactly fast, before or after mind you). I got clearance to start running again about six weeks after my surgery and at that point my neurosurgeon told me the best thing I could do for my back was to run and focus on building core strength. For me, he did not recommend PT or chiropractic, which unfortunately had exacerbated the herniation in the first place.

    Since that episode I’ve had a couple periods of back pain which resolved over a few weeks. I’ve done quite a bit of reading on the topic, particularly in regard to running. It seems that in a vast majority of cases, running is not the culprit, though it can definitely make it more painful. When I do experience pain, I definitely reduce the intensity, no sprinting, no running on an incline, but I still will jog Or I walk, hills are good for walking. If I have back pain, I stop lifting weights, and switch to body weight exercises instead, and am very careful with anything involving lifting or twisting. But if I don’t keep exercising that is where things get worse. They say that most uncomplicated back pain will resolve on its own after a couple weeks. Patience has been major for me throughout this process.

    I hope your back feels better very soon! Thanks for the continued inspiration. πŸ™‚

  57. #70

    Tina, im definitely feeling that my back is slowly starting to feel more and more normal, though not quite there yet. Still icing, and doing stretches. Walking today as well. And I dont think running was the cause here at all. Just twisted funny upon waking up one morning.

  58. #72
    Jan C.

    My husband and I have both had issues with our lower backs for years. He finds that using our old Torso Trac machine every night keeps his core abs and back muscles fit enough that his back rarely goes out anymore. When it does, he goes to our osteopath for an adjustment. I do yoga, which is great for me because it keeps all of those muscles stretched out. Squatting–just plain old squatting–also works wonders, because it stretches out the lower back muscles and keeps them from getting wrenched in the first place. Don’t try it now, while you’re still having spasms, but once you’re over this, just try squatting for like 30 seconds at a time. The lower your butt goes to the floor, the better. Gradually increase the time until you can hold the position for a couple of minutes. Do that every day. It literally is only minutes out of your day, but it can make a big difference.

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