Pain in the Back
It’s just like a pain in the butt, except it renders me helpless when a flare-up decides to occur. Which has been happening more frequently these days.
After I ran my half-marathon back in April, the right side of my lower back started giving me some trouble. Nothing major, but just a little more pain than I was used to. I told myself to toughen up and ignored it. No need to miss a workout when it doesn’t hurt that bad. Most of the time it would only bother me when I woke up in the morning or when I was relaxing to go to sleep, anyway.
Unfortunately, the pain has gotten worse. Last week I did a 30-minute treadmill interval program, then followed it up with Jillian Michaels’ “No More Trouble Zones” DVD.
Later that night, and for the next two days, my back hurt so bad that I couldn’t even bend over to flip my hair upside down and tie it in a ponytail. When I can’t bend so that my body is at a 90-degree angle, you know there’s a problem.
I finally started analyzing everything that I was doing and paid attention to when the flare-ups occurred. Then I called my older brother, Justin, who’s currently in medical school in Philadelphia. Although he obviously can’t diagnose me on the phone, he provided more insight than I had when I dialed his number.
Basically, he thinks that my pelvis is overcompensating for my left knee, which is the knee that had a torn ACL and meniscus back in 2009. The reasons for his diagnosis (from what I understand):
- The right side of my lower back hurts, less than a finger-length away from my spine.
- The pain is centralized and always in one location, rather than spread throughout my whole back or radiating up and down my spine.
- It hurts the most after strength-training, especially when squatting.
I’m sure there are other reasons that I simply don’t understand, but those seem to be the big three. Everything he said to me makes sense, so I’m going to listen to his advice until he gets home on Sunday (yay!) and can actually take a look at me. I must say, it definitely is nice to have a doctor in the family. Beats paying a chiropractor to tell me the same thing!
So for now, I have to take it easy on the strength training. No more squats or lunges (I love squats!) and all upper body work needs to be done while I’m sitting in order to stabilize my back.
He didn’t take running away from me though, so today I headed out for a three-mile hill workout. Whenever I’m running back home, I don’t intend for it to be a hill workout, but it always ends up that way because they are everywhere. Sometimes I wish I was in Florida where it’s always flat. The only thing that gets me through is constantly telling myself I’ll be grateful for it later.
I finished the run a little slower than I would’ve liked, but I think it’s because I was paying close attention to my form. Admittedly, my posture sucked. I could feel my shoulders slumping and my chest leaning forward too far. I tried to push back my shoulders, but whenever I did I felt like I was exerting ten times more energy and quickly released it. Needless to say, it was not my best run.
My back doesn’t usually hurt after a run, so I avoided anything else for the day. Instead, I decided to soak up some vitamin D while breezing through Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks on my Kindle.
The book was pretty good! The ending was cheesy, but you kind of have to expect that when you pick up a Nicholas Sparks novel. However, his writing was much different this time because he went into an in-depth viewpoint — one of the main characters was physically abused by her husband, who was a Boston police officer. Sparks delved into the husband’s point of view and really brought out the constantly changing mindset that these people go through (I’m assuming Sparks did his research). It was an intriguing read and the reason I finished the book in less than 24 hours.
Then I settled down for a nice summer meal with my family.
Not much beats grilled chicken, pasta and potato salads. Yum!
Have you ever trained through an injury? How did you get past it? And how did you spend your holiday weekend?