Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy

Monday, December 12, 2011 Permalink

PaulSmith1I believe I’ve had a whinge in the last couple of weeks about my difficulties in getting out of bed. Whereas just a month or so ago I was bounding out by 6.30am (okay, so not exactly bounding…) to do an hour of blog-writing before the commute into work; over the last 2-3 weeks I haven’t wanted to leave the comfort of my bed. And tiredness has only been part of the reason… mostly it’s been because the moment I move my back has been sore and achey (which I realise also means the same as sore, but I’m adding it for extra impact!).

The first week I put it down to a DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) from a Pump class. But when it continued I thought perhaps my technique on some of the back exercises had been incorrect, causing some minor injury/soreness. I have quite a sway back and have to be extra careful to tuck my backside under on some exercises!

I’d planned to talk to the instructor before my next class and get her to watch my technique; AND take extra care myself when it came to those exercises where I might over-arch my back. But… as it happened I had to skip the Pump class last week for a dinner engagement – and told myself that perhaps it was timely as it would give my back a chance to recover, as it was still achey a week after the class.

But… here’s the thing. It’s STILL sore. Almost two weeks later. AND I’ve realised that the pain isn’t exactly in my lower back (which often gets achey and is usually assisted by some stretching and inadvertent – I swear – back-cracking). Rather the pain is more towards the outer sections of my back and a bit higher than I originally thought… sort of under my ribs.

I HAD been thinking I may have needed a remedial massage for the lower back pain. But now I’m wondering if it’s something more. Don’t worry – though prone to catastrophising in much of my life… I don’t do it about my health. In fact, I’m ridiculously blase about getting to doctors to get things checked out (which – in all honesty – is probably more about apathy than anything else!).

I’ve noted though, that the pain has coincided with the commencement of my C25k ‘learn to run’ program. I don’t know if that means anything. I get some pain in my knees when I run, but don’t think I feel anything in my sides / back. The overanalysing-everything-to-death (and not really trusting myself or my mind) part of me, wonders if I’m ‘projecting’ a bit (ie. thinking the problem is related to the running program because I don’t enjoy it and want to quit) when it is really about something else.

Skelett lehnt sich anI’m not overly angsty yet. But… a couple of years ago (after fat camp and when I started doing A LOT of exercise) I regularly got some pain in one of my hips. After Body Jam (dance) classes it often felt something had moved/was moving around in my hip. I didn’t worry too much, but between that and my ongoing hip-flexor issues SUDDENLY I got to the point where I couldn’t walk properly and spent 10 weeks in physiotherapy. I even had to pull the plug on pilates for a period of time. It played up for ages after that – and even heading into this current weight loss program back in May – I told trainers that I couldn’t run because of my hip. However… although I still get some pain and although I haven’t been brave enough to throw myself into Body Jam classes AND I’m careful on exercise related to my hip-flexors –  it hasn’t bothered me too much at all in recent months.

So, to cut a long story short (one could never accuse me of that!), while I’m not wanting to over-react I’m thinking I need to be a bit careful and wonder if I should see someone. And by that I don’t mean, you know… go on dates (though I do think I should do that at some point in the future). I mean I’m thinking I should see someone who could advise me on the niggling back/sides issue. But here’s where my master plan (for world domination) comes unstuck. Who the f*ck do I go to see?

Do I go to my doctor, who’s good in some situations, but would probably refer me onto someone else anyway (which means taking time off work for TWO appointments; more if I had to have x-rays etc)? Do I go to a physio, who will ask me about specific movements and soreness, which I’m not great at describing? Plus I don’t have a particular physio I see (having lost a lot of faith in them during my hip debacle!) Or do I start with a remedial massage therapist, to make sure it’s just not sore muscles which would benefit from some firm hands (and the like).

Back when my hip didn’t improve significantly after A LOT of expensive physio (dry needling, specific exercises etc), my (then) pilates instructor suggested I try an osteo-something or other. Sadly I didn’t go ahead and make an appointment. In subsequent months I also tried a few alternate physios specialising in different things. Nothing really helped other than NOT exercising… which of course (given that I was in the process of putting on about 20kgs) suited me just fine.

hear no evilAnd finally, quite frankly… it could be said that I’m a tad apathetic with these sort of things. I get the guilts about having to leave work early / come in late for appointments – so tend to put things off. And well, ummm…. I’m the sort of person who sticks their fingers in their ears, sings ‘la la la la la’ and hopes the problem at hand goes away. But, alas, two weeks on and getting out of bed today almost killed me! Once I’m moving about I’m fine, it’s just the leaving the bed that is particularly painful.

So… here’s where I’m at: there’s a part of me happy to wait and hope the injury improves of its own accord; but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want a repeat of the injury which resulted in the great gaining-of-20kg-in-three months debacle of 2009.

I’d welcome any suggestions and love to hear from anyone else who’s in a quandary about medical professionals or who’s suffered some apathy in addressing an injury.
21 Comments
  • Annalisa
    December 12, 2011

    Without a moment’s hesitation…go to an osteopath. NOW! Go on. Make the call. Do it! You won’t regret it. But you don’t want these back issue escalating – you’re too young for that. Whenever I get blase about making an appt, I visualise myself walking around in a zimmer frame! Not going to happen!

    Ax

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      God forbid… NOT THE ZIMMER FRAME! I have to say, until recently I’ve been happy with how lithe and unsore I’ve been feeling. Once upon a time my hips, calves etc hurt and walking down the stairs in the morning (from my bedroom on the top floor, to kitchen on the middle floor) would require me to limp gingerly down the stairs!

      Deb

  • Sandra
    December 12, 2011

    I agree – an Osteopath is what you need. Are you in Sydney? If so, I highly recommend Healthwise in Eastwood or North Sydney…my husband was told a few years ago he wouldn’t be able to run or swim again and three months after seeing this Osteo he was running 15K a week. BTW love your Blog.

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      Thanks for replying Sandra – and for your lovely comments about the blog. Sadly I am in Brisbane, but my pilates instructor did recommend someone good to me (via word of mouth from her other clients). I just never went ahead with the appointment. Will search out the details!

      Deb

  • Runa Martinson (@Lose4Good)
    December 12, 2011

    I would say that you need to see someone soon! I started my running program and my back (which has a herniated disc) started to act up again. My trainer went into detail about how all the muscles started to tighten up again and how important it is with a running program to thoroughly stretch out after running so as not to aggrvate the muscles. Well, I have not been doing that really and this weekend my back was in such pain!! So my trainer really had to stretch me out at our last session. We could hardly do anything. So, yes… so see someone… but I don’t know who to recommend. Do you have massage therapists over there? Or pain clinics that help give you physical therapy exercises? That is where I would go here in the states. Good luck!!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      THanks Runa and I must admit (ARGH!) that I haven’t been stretching after my run (if you can call it that!!!). I do the 5min walking cooldown but then mostly head to the shower, or to the train station if I’m doing a post-work workout.

      I’m always careful to participate in the stretches after the group classes I go to (whether it’s Pump, Zumba, Circuit etc), just slack about doing stretches after my ‘runs’, so that’s a good reminder!

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    December 12, 2011

    You need to come and see ME 🙂 Yes, that’s right – this sort of stuff is my bread and butter – what I do for a living, the clients I see. I can assess you, I can refer you to a physio (if even required) and I can certainly address your pain and overhaul your whole exercise regime so it’s a pleasure, not a pain.

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      Really? It’s just so hard with work…. (excuses, excuses). As I wrote that bit (in the blog post) about feeling guilty about taking time off work I cringed thinking that it sounded ridiculous – my health is more important than that. I have two specialist referrals from my GP that I am yet to pursue… cos I’m too apathetic (and yet one from back in March or April involved a non-problematic lump in my breast!!!).

      I might touch base with you to check your plans over the next few weeks. Christmas coming up is a problem of course (ha! More excuses!).

      Deb

      • Liz@LastChanceTraining
        December 12, 2011

        Not for me as I’m in town and I can do an assessment anywhere 🙂 and coffee afterwards 🙂

  • Erin Lately (@eloquentembrace)
    December 12, 2011

    We are kindred spirits! I’ve been struggling with a sore back and a few other niggles for months (since before Brisbane) but still havn’t been to see anyone about it- even after getting several great referrals from friends and twitter.

    From my understanding Osteopaths are the best to see if you have multiple ‘niggles’ as they often have a more holistic understanding of the body and how one imbalance can throw everything out of whack. I plan to see one… soon.

    In saying that, poor technique in pump (and even some of the tracks themselves) can cause alot of stress on the body, and with squats especially, placing the bar on the back sort of squashes everything together which can be harmful if you aren’t keeping your core tight and sticking your butt out. Getting a instuctor to check your form is a great idea, I had one coach me a few months ago and found it very beneficial.

    See someone asap though! xx

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      Thanks Erin. As you said… it’s just so easy to let stuff like that slide. I keep thinking mine will get better and – bizarrely – it is really only problematic after I’ve been lying in bed all night and have to move. Hmmm… maybe it’s about my mattress (this is like diagnosing by Google!).

      I will get the instructor to check my form no matter what though! Hope you get to see someone soon too!

      Deb

  • Wendy
    December 12, 2011

    Holistic Health in Elizabeth St in the City and also at New Farm have Osteopaths, and the location is great for lunchtime appointments. No excuses required to be late to work or leave early – just say you’re going out for lunch.

    Highly recommend Osteos for a range of niggles as it surprised me how all of mine were actually related, and once we got the source and worked on it consistently – pain free!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      Thanks Wendy. I used to have massages at their Elizabeth St place years ago… I remember a red-headed massage therapist who gave me the most amazing lymphatic drainage massage once… When I tried to see her a few years later she’d moved to their New Farm location. I was impressed she’d stayed with them so long as quite often you find someone you like, only to have them disappear not long after. (Well, that’s what happens at my beauty therapists at Bulimba!)

      Glad you re pain free now!

      Deb

  • Sharmila
    December 12, 2011

    I agree with the others .. You need to see someone. I recommend a physio. I go to Qld Sports Medicine Centre at the Gabba. It’s a one stop shop for physio, remedial massage, podiatrist, etc. They are very good. They work with high level sports players and are very experienced.

  • timetodothis74
    December 12, 2011

    Do you need a new bed mattress? Or new pillows? If it is getting out of bed in the morning that is the problem, maybe it is related to bed. Just a thought (seeing as I know I need new pillows – they only last two years at most!).

  • timetodothis74
    December 12, 2011

    Sorry, just read that you thought about your mattress. I read that after I commented… it is worth a thought though (maybe).

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      You’re right Emma. It wasn’t until I was responding to someone that I wondered… my mattress is pretty old – maybe nearly 10 years, so that might be part of the problem… slightly sore back from exercise exacerbated by the deader-than-dead mattress. It’s probably timely to get a new one (in the New Year) anyway!

      Thanks for your comment!
      Deb

  • Miz
    December 12, 2011

    ahhhh Im there.
    and have been there in a way.
    I think I know my back does better when I PLANKPLANK but am a wee tad apathetic too.

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      I was going to say ‘good to hear’… but only cos it would be nice to know others are equally apathetic as me… But I don’t mean I’m happy to hear about your sore back. Obviously!

  • Karen@WaistingTime
    December 12, 2011

    I wish I knew the answer:( I hope it is nothing serious.

    • rockafellaskank
      December 12, 2011

      I don’t think so Karen. I even worry that I’m making too much of a fuss… cos really it doesn’t hurt constantly!

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