My motive for writing this blog is personal. I’ve somehow done something to my lower back and I’m finding it hard to straighten up, let alone work. There doesn’t seem to be any specific cause of the discomfort such as a fall or accident. The most comfortable position for me is horizontal on my back. Movement is difficult, my walking is stilted and I’m shuffling.
It’s interesting to experience pain personally because I feel that I am in relatively good condition. We always seem to take our health for granted until the moment has gone. My first inclination was to do nothing and think that, with time and rest, the problem would go away. However, two days later, I am still experiencing pain. I’m also intrigued to note how any sort of pain negatively affects the emotions and has curbed my ability to think logically and take action. Enough self-pity and time to get mobile again. Time to muster my resources.
If it had been any sort of acute injury with swelling and redness, the best course of action would have been to apply an ice pack. The rule is that you would not use heat in the early stages of an injury because there is already inflammation. Anyway, now that I am past the 48-hour time post, I am applying a heating pad, and that brings considerable relief. I think that I have tightened up in other areas of my torso as a way of compensating for the pain and, therefore, I have booked a massage therapy session, which will help restore some circulation, eliminate trigger points and relax tight ropy muscles. In advance of that, I am applying gentle stimulation with the use of a TENS unit.
For self-care at home, I am using a cylindrical hard foam roller to “iron” out some of my back muscles. I don’t concentrate only on the muscles that are in pain but include other surrounding muscle tissue. Gentle stretches to these muscles also helps. The word ‘gentle’ is important because aggressive stretching may aggravate the situation. Learn from the animal kingdom: when a cat stretches before being involved in physical activity, the stretch is always long and languid. You never see a look of pain on the cat’s face.
Other important self-care regarding sleeping position is to put a pillow under my knees if I am in a face-up position, and a pillow between the knees for sleeping in a side-position. For computer work at my home desk, (which I suspect is the cause of my present discomfort) I have replaced the nice comfortable arm-chair with one that has no back. This forces me to keep the back straight.
I plan to be back to peak performance soon.