Monday, July 30, 2012

Spine Time Monday

A few weeks ago I was doing squats in the gym, heavy loading my legs..probably not using the best form..probably too much weight (145lbs)...and I did "something" to my back.
Side note: Ever since high school and having to do my fair share of lines, holding passing position for minutes at a time, shuffles, and shuffles under a loose net (yes, picture a 5'10" girl doing shuffles for 2 minutes under a 3 ft net). I'm not resentful about it at all...but since then I've had quite the struggle with my back. I've always told myself, when and if I ever coach there are certain drills I will NEVER do, and shuffles under a loose net is one of those.

After my workout I went back to class, and realized I could barely sit down and had the hardest time getting out of my chair. I knew something was wrong. I am a chiropractic student, so I assumed the worst: a herniated disc. Trying to be rationale, I thought strained muscle--until I sneezed and then screamed because of the pain. Anything that increases pressure in your body (sneezing, coughing, laughing...etc) can cause a patient horrific pain in their lower back if there is a disc injury. That's when I  knew this situation was no bueno. About a week later (after resting, icing, heating) I tried to do a light cardio sesh, and that was an epic fail. I was right back to square one, and on my way to my chiropractor. Through various orthopedic tests and muscle tests and confirmation that every time I would sneeze, cough or laugh I was in excruciating pain, he determined lateral disc protrustion. I also have shooting pain into my left leg, if I lean to the right or sit to the right it feels better. In addition to all of this I have crazy muscle cramps in my feet and legs.
Side note: Yes, you do need an MRI to confirm disc protrusion, but since 1. I'm a student and 2. All signs were pointing to disc protrusion, there was no need to order an MRI unless my symptoms got worse. This is MY chiropractor's opinion...your chiropractor may think differently, and that is ok!

I am now week 2 after the diagnosis, and doing leaps and bound better. Hopefully I can start swimming for exercise next week....hopefully light weights in 2 more weeks. But point of the story--don't rush a disc injury. It's hard for all of us to limit activity. I've had to adjust patients will a protruded disc, and it was extremely hard and painful.

Here's what you can do if you have a low back injury, or low back pain after activity:
1. Rest

2. Ice (Ice to decrease inflammation (swelling))

3. Heat (if you wish--this is good for the muscles)

4. Water--lots and LOTS of water. With a disc injury, depending on severity it's still possible to rehydrate the disc.

5. Chiropractor

Here's what you can do after the injury is better:
1. Core Stabilization exercises- like planks (body resistance stabilization)..not 1,000,000 sit-ups
side note: we think "sit-ups" for core stabilization= in reality, those work our hip flexors more instead of our abs.

2. The Posture Pod; I call it "Spine Time": I've included the picture below. An instructor of mine created this routine, it helps A LOT with posture--and good posture does wonders for the body. I challenge you to do this 2x a day for 1 week and let me know how you feel after a week. I guarantee you will notice results..

Until then...have a great week. Don't lift heavy things.. and do the posture pod :)