chiropracter

First Trip to the ER!

Do I get a badge or something?

So Saturday morning Michael and I went for a hike (I’ll post photos of that later). My back was little tight when I woke up that morning but I didn’t think too much about that because my back has been great all summer long. We drove about an hour to Mt. Hood, back was feeling a little tighter, and then went for a hike. By the time we got back to the car my back was not great at all!

We got home and I immediately went to bed and stayed there for the rest of the day, in pain. It hurt to move, it was hard to find a comfortable position. But I thought maybe I’d be okay with just some rest. Took a muscle relaxer, used an ice pack and a heating pad, and used the TENS device on my back.

Then the spasms started. I’ve never had back spasms before and they are excruciating! I was screaming in pain and NO position kept the spasms at bay. It was agony just to get out of bed and try to walk to the bathroom.

Didn’t sleep very Saturday night and woke up early Sunday morning to the most horrendous spasms that I was screaming. We called the advice nurse and because of my pain level she wanted me to go to the hospital right away. Thankfully we were a 5 minute drive from the ER.

It was 6am and the ER was empty. Everything moved pretty quickly and despite it being an ER and a horrible experience, overall everything went well. The doctor did an exam and was worried about a few things and wanted to get me a room and run a bunch of tests.

They took me to ultrasound and I had an ultrasound looking for kidney stones, uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts, bladder infections, they checked my appendix and did a bunch of lab work. Everything came back normal and okay. Verdict: it was my back. Which I guess was good news??

They put me in a room in the ER and hooked me up to saline and a low dose of morphine and anti-nausea medication. I was reluctant to take the meds but I was in so much pain I just did it. I’ve never had morphine before. It works pretty much immediately and then all of a sudden you can’t feel your arms and legs. It was low dose though, and thankfully the morphine doesn’t stay in your system very long.

We were there for a few hours. I basically slept. We got tests results back and he sent my home with a prescription for Oxy and anti-nausea meds. Went home and I stuck with OTC meds and muscle relaxers. I slept on and off most of Sunday. I took one Oxy Sunday night to sleep and haven’t taken any since then (I just don’t want to take that stuff).

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Monday I was feeling a lot better. I could move around more, the spasms had subsided and it was just a dull ache with tight muscles in my back. But I was able to walk around the house okay. Michael went into work late and I spent the day resting. The critters were extra attentive to me. But I think Bella was anxious (she wasn’t eating her food) about me being in pain.

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Monday afternoon I went to the chiropractor. He was able to do light adjustments but not much–I was too tight. I did feel a lot better on Monday. After dinner we took Bella for a 1 mile walk in the neighborhood and I was able to go the whole way, which was good. I think moving is helping.

I’m off to the doctor again today and then I have a massage scheduled this afternoon. Hopefully this helps. Michael (the expert at back injuries because he’s had so many) keeps insisting that I’m healing really fast and that I’m moving well, so that’s good I guess! It sure is bad timing! I doubt I will be running my 5k this weekend. 🙁

 

 

A Break

Whomp whomp. New injury alert! Lucky me.

So remember when I said I’d been having foot pain? The doctor determined that I had somehow bruised the bones in my feet. She recommended I get some good inserts that have arch support. I usually walk around in old running shoes that I’ve retired from running in. They have a lot of support and cushion (I get new running shoes 2x a year–they recommend you replace your running shoes every 500 miles, which I don’t usually run before switching but 2x a year seems to work well for me).

I ordered a pair of fairly expensive inserts for my shoes per the doctor. I gave them a try for almost a week and hated them. Next, I decided to give a Dr. Scholl’s cheaper option a try and it worked so much better for me. I got the ones that are specifically for athletic shoes. They feel so comfortable and give me much better support and were so much better than the first thing I tried.

The foot issue seemed to get better, unfortunately my back was out of whack. I have no idea why or what happened. It’s not like I did something weird in the gym and felt an instant “oh shit, that hurt” injury. It just kind of happened. It’s entirely possible that having weird foot pain for a month and a half lead me to walk in a weird way and that threw things off. I’ve never really had back pain before, just the usually “I lifted heavy in the gym and I’m tight and sore” so I didn’t really know what to do.

I saw my doc, again, and she said it was inflammation in my sacrum. In the photo below where it’s red, that’s exactly where it hurts on my body. It’s the muscle, though, not the bones/joint. In the beginning it felt like a giant lump.

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Thankfully it’s not effecting my hips or legs. Just my very low back/glutes. It’s odd–I have no idea why it’s inflammed and cranky but it freakin’ hurts. She recommended ibuprofen, icing it and physical therapy. She said I could do whatever I wanted in the gym, as long as it didn’t hurt. I’d told her that certain poses in yoga hurt really bad (downward dog specifically) but everything else seemed ok.

I took it easy. I stopped weight lifting for about a week. I stuck with swimming and the elliptical. Then I added some weight lifting back in–mostly upper body stuff like bicep curls, shoulder presses, etc. Nothing lower body. Seemed ok. Then I added running back in and that was okay.

The next week I was feeling a little better. It was still there but I could move around without pain–it mostly just annoying and uncomfortable. I added back more weight lifting and flared it up again. It was bad. I can’t pinpoint which activity aggravated it because I took it pretty easy and was trying to be gentle with my body.

Either way, it’s time to rest. I have a physical therapy appointment coming up and I decided to give chiro a try. I’ve never been a huge advocate for it. I tried it a few times years ago after a car accident and always left feeling worse than when I went in. In terms of healing an injury I lean more towards massage, maybe acupuncture, yoga and physical therapy exercises. But I was feeling desperate and wanted to try it again. Maybe the experience would be better this time around. After watching Michael suffer in excruciating back pain for years, I was freaking out and wanted stay on top of this before it became chronic.

  • I decided to take a week off from the gym and let my body rest and heal.
  • I’ve been taking ibuprofen like crazy (was previously taking prescription strength, which helped my back a lot but I had a bad reaction to the meds so back to OTC).
  • I’ve been icing my back throughout the day and then at night I’m alternating heat and ice.
  • I’ve been doing yoga stretches that feel good on my back (cat/cow, child’s pose, and a spinal twist that I don’t know the name of). I’ve been avoiding downward dog.

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  • I went to the chiropractor.

I think resting and icing is going to be my best bet and I’m crossing my fingers it’s a short lived injury.

Chiro

I went to the guy that Michael goes to and has recommended to me before all this. He did an exam to test my spine and see what was going on. He determined it was the SI joint and L4, which are apparently connected and it’s common when one is inflamed the other is.

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Next he had me spend some time on a massaging table. They hooked up my back to the TENS device and I laid down on a heating pad then they turned the massage table on that rolled up and down my spine. It felt magnificent! I want one of these things at home. 🙂 I think I was on the table for about 20-25 minutes. Then he put me on this chair face down that moved up and down, bending my body in a slow, methodical way as he massaged the area. Finally, he adjusted me. It was a little scary and creepy at first but I felt a little better as soon as it was done.

I have to say I didn’t really enjoy hearing my spine pop. It felt good way down below near the pain, but higher up the spine and the neck? Creepy! He said it would probably take 3-4 visits for me to get better but he was optimistic.

The next day I felt a lot better but not “cured”. The pain was a little different than it was previously. I’d slept really well and didn’t have back pain when I tossed and turned in bed like I had been experiencing for the last two weeks. That alone was improvement! I was still sore and tight though.

He said that I could do some exercising, he said swimming would be the best thing, elliptical second best. He suggested I skip yoga for a few weeks and give running a break for a few days (because of the impact). He said I could lift weights, basically if it doesn’t hurt it’s ok. I wanted to give my back a break the weights, though, so I was okay with not doing that. He said that just laying on the couch while I heal is not the best idea, so that was good!