Back to Basics
Posted January 25, 2009on:
About 12 years ago, I was working at a movie theatre. I was carrying some paper towels from the back to the front and slipped on a patch of grease on the floor. I went down on my ass. The next day, I phoned my dad’s physiotherapist and made an appointment (he kept my dad working and walking for years until he had back surgery). I went in, he adjusted my back, advised me to rest and said there wasn’t much he could do.
(I suspect he was actually trained as a chiropractor, but being British his credentials didn’t transfer over)
About 7 years ago (give or take) I was teaching aquafit at a pool, demonstrating a cross country move with a jump on deck and came down on a straight knee (left). It didn’t feel too good, but I finished the class and then filled out the necessary paperwork. Worker’s Compensation referred me to a sports medicine specialist who said that I only needed to strengthen the muscles around the knee. The next day, I had an MRI – I don’t think the specialist ever saw it because I know that WCB never forwarded it to my GP. At any rate, I hired a trainer, went back to work and things were okay.
Over the next few years, I had various lower back twinges, knee pain, but nothing that a little advil (or losing 30lbs) didn’t help.
About 6 years ago, my knee and the left side of my back were excruciating. I could barely walk most days. WCB refused to give me a new claim or reopen the new one. So I went back on limited duties, dipped into savings and suffered.
About 5 years ago I started a desk job and finally had the cash to go see a physio. The evil little Chinese woman physio identified the problem with my knee: my iliotibial band (that connects your hip to your knee) was so tight it was pulling my kneecap sideways. She showed me how to stretch it and basically fixed me. I still do those stretches to this day.
Note, I also carry things on my left side only. I am inherently right-handed so any fine muscle movements (e.g. – fumbling with keys, writing, etc) need to be done with my right hand.
Back around December 20, I was putting a stainless steel bowl away in a lower cupboard when my lower back muscles spasmed to the point that my legs collapsed. Darren heard me cursing and swearing in the kitchen and heard the bowl drop and came running in to find me on the floor. I sat there for a minute, then he helped me to my feet and I walked around feeling bruised for a few days and having problems going from sitting to standing. My hips hurt. But the pain did go away.
What this boils down to is that I’m used to a bit of pain on my left side until I stretch – generally I feel a pop as the IT band relaxes and everything’s good after that. Until I started getting a pregnancy belly, I could still pop my lower back too, and would do that every day.
Until last Thursday. I ended up getting up about an hour early because my left hip was hurting so much. Stretching was painful. So I bit the bullet and phoned a chiro when I got to work. They worked me in as the last appointment of the day at 7:30pm. He poked and prodded my back and hit all the spots that hurt the most which ended up being halfway up my back (?!!!)
He is alarmed, to say the least. My left side (shoulder and hip) sit higher than my right. More alarmingly, my lower back muscles are so tight that they’re not letting the bones in my pelvic girdle separate the way they need to. Or rather, the way they will need to in May to allow my daughter to come out. I don’t even want to think about what that will feel like because I am (a) a wuss to begin with and (b) generally a chickenshit when it comes to sudden pain.
I have an appointment at 4 on Tuesday.
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