I hurt my back.
Many of you might have the opinion that because I am a chiropractor, I should never get back pain. Even I have that opinion. So this post was hard to write. The truth is, part of the reason I have become a chiropractor is because I’ve been seeing a chiropractor since I was about 14 years old, for various pains and ailments, but also for wellness care.
This most recent injury occurred in Mexico, while we were on vacation. It seemed pretty innocuous at the time, nothing I hadn’t dealt with before. Here’s what happened:
I was exercising on my set of gymnastics rings. I was doing a move where I was inverting myself in a tucked position. On that move, after an appropriate warm up of course, I felt something twinge in my lower back. Sort of a deep achy twinge, nothing too sharp. For the rest of that day, I couldn’t quite get comfortable in there. It just didn’t quite want to work right. I have felt that before, and I can typically work through it to the point where it feels better the next day.
It did not. It felt about the same. That morning, a larger muscle group on the right side went to a spasm so complete and powerful that I could no longer sit without pain. I could walk, sort of, but the most comfortable position was lying down. So I did.
For five days I had back pain.
I got adjusted that first day, and there really wasn’t much to do there. That is, there wasn’t much to adjust. So I just lay there.
It was rather annoying. I read three 600 page novels, watched at least 5 movies, finished a series on Netflix, and bemoaned my lot in life.
Here’s what I think happened:
I had been working out very hard, and doing a lot of handstand walking, which requires a lot of core strength and stability. The last workout I did before leaving for Mexico was literally a football field of handstand walking, and squat cleans that went up to about 90% of my best ever effort. I completed that workout with absolutely no problems or pains.
But then I got on a couple of planes which had me sitting for about 6 hours. Sitting is actually one of the toughest things on the spine. It puts more pressure on the discs than standing does. It also allowed a lot more tension through muscles that were already somewhat stressed from my workouts. But none of that hurt.
Then we got to the resort, which ahd a bed that was somewhat uncomfortable. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t my bed. Then we got into a car a day later that drove us 4 hours south to where we’d be staying the rest of the time.
Along that drive, my back started to ache somewhat. I noticed it, tried to move to mitigate it and was somewhat successful. The next day, I took it easy, recognizing this stress. It felt fine.
The day after that is when I finally injured it.
So it wasn’t just the workout that did it, it was all of the stuff leading up to it that finally did me in.
I could only lie down, and any attempt to use my back resulted in powerful muscle spasms that took my breath away. I actually succumbed to the lure of ibuprofen, but that did nothing.
I believe that I weakened the soft tissue structures of my spine so that when I did my inverted tuck move, I tore a deep muscle of my spine. Then the next day, when it finally said, “I’ve had enough!” the bigger muscles of my spine spasmed to protect it.
It’s now been over a month since my injury. 5 weeks and a couple of days. I’m back in the gym and doing the things. I’ve done some handstand walking. I healed! And you can too. I’ve been through so much in my life with regards to back pain, and I’m still here, still crossfitting, still squatting, all of it. I believe I can help anyone through back pain.
You deserve a brilliant life, let it shine.