I must make a confession. Me, a physical therapist, hurt my back last weekend. Unlike what some may think, people in the healthcare field are not immune to aches, pains, and even diseases.
I know exactly what I did wrong. Just like many of you, I have been doing some more work on the computer and at home. This past weekend, I took to the internet and was doing some online education. In my house, there is currently a 3-year old and 6-month old twins. There are just not a lot of spaces to hide in. My once office with a nice big desk has turned into a playroom with the desk doubling as a storage space for crayons, markers, and an assortment of different types/colors of paper.
In an attempt to seclude me from the busy-ness of the household, I took my laptop to my room and locked myself in there. The master is very basic; a bed and a bench seat. Although I attempted to sit on the bench with the laptop on the bed, it just was not working for me. The next best place: the floor.
I took the laptop and placed it on the floor. Then, I grabbed my pillow to throw under my hips and two more to throw under my chest. I laid there for hours at a time. Let me tell you, there is nothing in this world that makes you feel older than you truly are than trying to get up from the floor after laying there for a long time.
About halfway through my weekend, I started to notice a “pinch” in my low back, primarily on the left side. The “pinch” quickly turned into pain when I tried getting up/down from the floor, going up/down the stairs, and even when trying to walk a little bit.
That’s not all. The pain started traveling down the back and outside of my leg to my calf. I’ve never had such referral pain, but many of my clients have told me about it. I don’t think the descriptions that people use will ever prepare you for the time that you actually get the pain.
The worst part about this pain came when I was changing the diapers of my twins while on the floor. I tried to sit back on my heels and whammy, the pain was excruciating in my calf.
That story is probably similar to something you have experienced. Back pain that crept up on you because of a sudden change in being sedentary or active. I hear this story so often…
BUT, here is where I am different than most of my clients.
I know MOVEMENT AS MEDICINE.
All my years of training, continuous learning, client experiences, and having my own bout of pain, I know the best medicine in the world is MOVEMENT.
What most of my clients do is just rest, bring out the anti-inflammatories/pain medications, put some heat or ice on it, and just wait it out.
If that doesn’t work, then they go see their doctor who gives them even more pills to take.
Sound familiar yet?
Then, their family or friend tells them they should try a massage therapist, chiropractor, or an acupuncturist. All good until the pain either doesn’t change or you finally start to feel the pain relief and decide to “give it a few more days on the couch”.
Does that sound like you yet?
The biggest component missing is the active recovery. Movement is medicine! It is what helps you get back to ENJOYING your active life.
We aren’t meant to lay around and watch television just because we have some back pain. Do you think your ancestors who were the hunter-gatherers were able to take time to just lay around if they had back pain?
I hope you can take one of the biggest lessons I have learned since joining the medical field. The best medicine we have, shown time-and-time again, is MOVEMENT.
If you need help with the prescription of your movement, feel free to send a quick email here.
Just let us know what are you having trouble doing. And, more importantly, how do you see yourself when you get rid of this back pain!
Not ready for our help and you want to try and do it on your own? I wrote a quick, downloadable, guide to get rid of back pain. Check it out here and download it for free.