Saturday, July 16, 2011

Proper Form is Important - Or OUCH my aching back!

A few days ago I was at the end of a really good workout that included a 20 minute kettle ball routine. with only 15 seconds left in the final movement with the kettle ball I suddenly felt my back strain. The pain started at the waist and went to the mid thighs and it included every inch of space between - front and back.  It was an incredibly intense stabbing pain that immediately stopped the split second it took for me to change position. I could still feel the strain after I halted from using the kettle ball but it was not anywhere near as painful. The rest of the day it felt tender and I was careful of my movements. During the night pain woke me up every time I changed position in bed. The next two mornings I was able to walk/run 4.5 miles on the treadmill. There was no pain during the workout but it hurts like hell to lower into a sitting position and get up again. Today is my no-exercise day, which is good because and it hurt like heck walking around a few stores this afternoon. 
This was caused by my own poor form during that final part of the kettle ball routine. I wasn't holding in my abdomen and I did not take care of protect my back. It is a good (but painful) reminder of the importance of proper form all through a workout. In my case the workout was almost over and I got sloppy. I think I have learned this lesson. Hopefully the nerves will not remain inflamed and my back pain will let up soon. 

I have had this happen before, as often as every month, from various other activities, when I was much heavier. When I was morbidly obese I rested from a few days to 2 weeks, until the pain went away. I usually spent a great deal of time in a recliner because it was a position that got get the stress off my back. Once I lost the weight we got rid of the recliner. After I lost a couple of hundred pounds I found that the best thing to do when my back felt this way was to wear pants that are tight in the hips, buttocks and upper thighs. Tight fitting pants give support to all the redundant skin so the excess pull from my own skin on the affected muscles and nerves is diminished. This helps me to sit at my desk and work and walk around the house without being hunched over like the proverbial crooked man. For the past two days I have been wearing dresses because I forgot about the tight pants treatment. This shows me how long it has been since my back has been in pain. 

I am okay scaling back the intensity of my workouts until my back is better. I am grateful I can do small things so that I can remain functional. Most importantly I am grateful that I have no desire to eat with abandon. You have no idea how much ice cream I consumed while nursing my back on a recliner back in the days before I was keeping the pounds off. I do know this: ice cream never took away the pain in my back and it will not help me today. Neither will pizza, or Chinese take out, or freshly baked anything. 
My back will feel better soon because I am not adding to the problem with more inflammation, more pounds and more excuses.

Do you have any back recovery stories to share? Any natural remedies for the pain you want to pass along? Please share!