Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: back pain

Chiropractor verdict – you’re like a pregnant woman

It’s been a while since I posted a running dad update and that’s for one simple reason, I haven’t run for 6 weeks. I’ve thought about it. A lot. But as I described here I managed to tweak my back pretty badly so am now in the recovery phase.

In the week following hurting my back I was happy just to get walking again let alone running, strong painkillers helped, having a 4 month old baby at home didn’t. I also learned 2 pretty important things in the week after ‘the incident’. 

  1. Pain killers do not agree with me, sure they helped with the pain, but they very quickly made me very negative verging on depressed. I am an eternal optimist, a glass half full kind of guy. I don’t get upset very often or very angry and whenever I do I very quickly shake it off. But when taking these painkillers I quite honestly was not fun to be around. Thankfully I identified this myself (well maybe with a few hints) and despite still being in pain took myself off them after 6 days.
  2. If I don’t run I get depressed very quickly, I need exercising at least every other day. Nothing extreme, doesn’t need to be a marathon or anything, but enough to get my heart going and release some of those wonderful endorphins. Given this you can imagine how I feel now 6 weeks later and still not being able to run. No doubt I have started to annoy the lady of the manor with my fidgeting. Thankfully I can manage the exercise bike and that’s my saving grace.

All in all this fool has not been in a happy place for a while, but I have started to have treatment from a chiropractor which appears to be helping. The plane I’m currently sat on for 10 hours is probably undoing that goodness though. I have to say I really didn’t know what to expect from a chiropractor and the bending and prodding from the first session was much like the episode of Friends where Ross does a massage when Phoebe isn’t around and ends up using kitchen utensils. I didn’t have that but there was a deep tissue electric massager, an activator and various wedges to re-arrange my spine. There was also a significant amount of bending and cracking of bones, a first class demonstration of no pain, no gain.

And the verdict from this first treatment? I am essentially being treated as though I have just given birth. Yes that’s right I have the same symptoms as a woman who has just had a baby. I have a twisted pelvis and a weak pelvic floor. Now I know I have written in the past about men’s bodies showing signs of being sympathetic to their pregnant wives but surely this is taking things too far? 

Whatever the reason I am now doing pelvic floor exercises at every opportunity (using the lady of the manors birthing ball!) and about to start doing Pilates. Hopefully soon I will be able to start running in some form but will continue to get my endorphin fix through the exercise bike and swimming until that’s possible. 

This also means that my aim to run the endurance life trail series is on hold, the first event is in November so if I’m back running by October I will probably give it a go. If not then I’ll just have to find some other crazy race to do. I CANNOT WAIT.

Brokeback dad

It’s 11.30pm on Monday night and I’m lying on the lounge floor trying not to move and debating whether to have a drink of water, knowing that if I do then the trip to the toilet will come sooner rather than later.

Then I begin surveying the pint glass I’m drinking out of, perhaps I can use that instead of going to the toilet? Anything to avoid having to move, let alone try to stand up.

But no, I NEED to go to the toilet and knowing how long it will take to get there, I need to go NOW. So it begins, the slow and tortuous crawl from the lounge through the dining room and kitchen to the toilet. The dog watching me the whole way with a look to say ‘has he gone mental or what?’.

It takes 5 minutes to make the trip of no more than 30 metres,  5 minutes of puffing, panting, moans and groans. But the worst is yet to come. Now I need to somehow get off the floor and onto the toilet. Arms on the toilet seat, gradually lift one leg off the floor and slowly push up. Hands quickly grab the radiator and I’m up. A bit of swaying, a little breather and I’m ready to try lowering back down again. A considerable amount of pain later I’m done and begin the process in reverse to get back to my spot on the lounge floor.

And this is pretty much how I spent the 24 hours after putting my back out on Monday evening. Disappointingly no alcohol or sex involved in obtaining the injury, but rather what turned out to be the very dangerous activity of playing with the dog. I’ve never known pain like it, shooting through my back with one wrong movement or another spasm from holding a position too long. The strongest pain killers available off the shelf didn’t touch it, so it was with much anticipation that I awaited a home visit from the Doctor on Tuesday (which took much persuasion – ‘you’re 29 and you want a home visit?’). He obliged and some strong drugs were mine. 3 days later and I am now able to walk around the house, even if it is a bit of a hobble sometimes.

But I need to recover and recover quite quickly, at the end of August I’m flying to California for a week for work. Then the following week we go to New Zealand for 3 weeks and on return from that trip I have another California trip for work in mid October. An achy back is not what I need and I shall be visiting the doctor next week to start getting some treatment whatever that consists of.

Bracken did make up for it though by keeping me company in my spot on the floor.