Tag Archives: rehab

Not Back(ing) Out

On Thursday I woke up to my 430am alarm as usual and hopped out of bed. No crying, no swearing, and no pillow punching. I should have known something was wrong. My 3 kilometer walk to work was normal; a half asleep attempt at speed walking in the morning darkness. It wasn’t until I reached work that I realised how achy my back was. But as far as my normal goes, that is pretty much normal.

Time turned this ache into a soreness, then a stiffness, then immobility. And pain. And constriction. And an inability to do anything except lean awkwardly on whatever sturdy object was close by. A few (long) hours later, I was wincing in pain, seeing spots, and experiencing shooting pains in my spine. It felt like morphing into Larry King’s posture with the fluidity of a creaky robot. And not the good kind of robot like on the dance floor.

By the time I got home, I couldn’t get my shoes off or change my clothes so I just laid down on the floor. Not as graceful or simple as I made that sound, either. Picture it like I was being magnetically drawn to the floor but resisting it the whole way. Or one of those dancing inflatable attractions being deflated in slow motion. That is as best as I can describe it considering I had my eyes closed and was trying to hit the floor with my necessities as close to me as possible.

So living alone has its pros and cons. Con: My text response time was drastically reduced. My phone mocked me as it lay 6″ from my fingers. Pro: It wasn’t awkward when I did my ugly cry in a pile of cramped muscle on the floor.

Luckily for everyone involved, the desire to not pee my pants was the motivation I needed to get me vertical. I had spent nearly 6 hours on my back like a turtle that had flipped over, and to express the seriousness of the situation, I did not voluntarily or involuntarily nap at all. My love for sleep is borderline narcolepsy so that is saying a lot. My attempts to stand mimicked a professional women’s tennis match where each muscle contraction was a high pitched, over- enthused scream. I hope my neighbours thought it was tennis anyways.

I actually could not figure what caused this, and trust me I had a lot of time to think. Could it have been my back workout from the previous day? Or could it have been something I did in my sleep? It is sad when you can’t differentiate the two in intensity. I got in to see an RMT the next morning who was surprised I was still walking. I’ve heard that enough times that it is essentially meaningless to me now and my reflex response is something like a mindless,  “oh thanks, you too”. Basically, my asymmetries had built up so much that the muscles doing all the hard work cramped up, and once one seized, all the other ones joined the party. My “quick fix” is three sessions of deep tissue massage and a slap across the face to my rehab program. Not quick at all.

I was told this was bound to happen at some point considering what shape I was in, but may I suggest to everyone not to get injured right before a long weekend. It is really terrible timing if you would like medical treatment. I did singlehandedly make a large contribution to the company that makes Rub A535, as I spent several days in a cocoon of muscle relaxant which really helped. The amount of rum and cokes I had could also be an argument for my recovery too. Since I can’t be sure, I will keep up with both.

This was another setback to my journey, but what is a comeback if there is no challenge?! This was a learning experience for me anyways: being an RMT is now a requirement to date me, and I probably enjoy the smell of Rub A535 too much. I have so much sympathy and respect for anyone with chronic back pain but that being said, I don’t want to be one of them.

So here we go again. I have added another medical professional to my team and I’m back in business.

Cheesy puns come standard.

Larry-King-1

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The Start of Something Good

To rebuild something implies that you want to replicate what existed before. I am not rebuilding but I am recreating. An upgraded model you could say.

Too many injuries ago, I would rehab the problem and pick up right where I left off. My life plan once involved getting into rehabilitation but after many years of physio for chronic issues and a brief stint working in rehab, I changed my mind. Or rehab changed my mind for me.

Too much emphasis is placed on the injury, and yes you read that right. The underlying issue of a knee pain is rarely a knee problem, but instead an issue with the hip, IT band, or maybe misalignment. Or maybe the ankle. Or could be the back and something overcompensates and the pain pops up in the knee. Too many aspects of rehab have blinders on. So if you have chronic pain, there is hope for you: try something else. If you haven’t looked further than the source of pain, then you haven’t even started.

Although my most recent injuries to rehab were not my fault (for once), I am starting from square one and overhauling this mess I’ve got going on. During my last workout another trainer asked me what I was working on and without hesitation or smile I said “my back- but just the right side”. He laughed and walked away probably to go flex at his reflection. I actually meant what I said though.

As a long time model for scoliosis, my back never looked like an anatomy textbook. It looked like I got hit by an SUV. Then I did get hit by an SUV. Flexing the muscles in my back are great as a party trick or maybe for a booth in a traveling circus but for promoting myself as a personal trainer not so much. (I would post a photo but I rated this blog as PG). This imbalance feeds into all my other problems so I will focus here and build on that. Upgrade in progress.

If something isn’t working then stop and try something else. There is nothing wrong with learning through trial and error particularly with our bodies. You just need to trust your body will tell you what it likes and doesn’t like and you need to listen and respond. Building a strong base for your fitness is most important (literally and figuratively) and this will reduce injuries and keep you hard at work in the gym.

So tomorrow is another (right side) back day. A big shout out to all my asymmetrical friends putting in a workout tomorrow too!

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The Start

Part of me wishes I had started this blog earlier but I know myself well enough to know that all of my initial posts would have been me feeling sorry for myself and probably posting weird pictures of my temporarily warped body.

Here is a quick recap. I come from an athletic family- you could say I was bred rather than just born. I always thought I was a natural but it turns out I was just always conditioned for high intensity exercise (that was an exhausting lesson). I worked in fitness for many years before getting into training, and I have been working in Toronto as a trainer for the past year and a half. Running has been my main source of fitness but my heart has a soft spot for squats, deadlifts and everything else that makes the juice heads in the gym give me that face that says “That girl knows how to do that?!”

After being hit by an SUV, I have had one surgery and I am at 10 months of rehab. I am lucky to have a degree in Kinesiology as well as a brilliant network of kind and giving individuals. Let’s just say I needed a printing press for all the I.O.U.’s that I was writing. It is extremely rewarding to rebuild a body through corrective exercises, and it restored my wonder in the amazing intricacies of the human body.

So as much progress as this blog omits, there has been a lot and there will be a lot more. Let’s leave it at that.  I am moving forward and so is this blog! 🙂

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