So I hurt my back this week. You know, the normal way, lifting something unusually heavy several times this weekend followed by toting an insanely heavy bag all over the coworking facility in high heels. Twice. Then lifting said bag at lunch, from the floor, twisting. #ouch #andtherewenttheback
The trouble with the back is that it’s connected to freaking everything. You can’t prop your back up while you work. You can’t wrap it with an ace bandage so tight you can’t move it. You can’t lie down and hope it feels better (clue: lying flat hurt *worse*). And toilets are inconveniently located for people with back problems. Sad truth.
So, I spent most of Wednesday afternoon curled up under a heating blanket in the fetal position, doing research on pain tolerance and back pain for some future book as yet unnamed. Thursday was moderately better, if mincing around the house in a slightly-bent posture with funny faces is better. Friday and Saturday were delightful, because we’d hit the point where ibuprofen worked–for real. During the two-hour window of ibuprofen awesomeness I could get up and down from a chair again and even pick up (one or two) things from the floor. Sunday and today I have full range of motion back, if still a little sore and still on meds.
I have learned several important things from this experience:
1. Writing full time is poor preparation for heavy lifting. Experts should be hired, or weight slowly built to, not just randomly picked up like I can handle it (I can’t, apparently, even if it seems okay at the time).
2. Back pain is distracting. Like, really distracting.
3. My back recovers from *everything* much slower in my thirties than it did in my twenties. I should plan accordingly.
4. They make laptop bags / mobile offices with wheels and a handle. For under $100. I’ve bought one and thinking about a second.
5. High heels are not my friend, at least not at this weight. Oh, look, they make lots of pretty flats.
6. Pain is very motivating.
What about you guys? Have any interesting stories from back or shoulder injuries you want to share?
Monica T. Rodriguez says
That’s sounds awful, Alex! At least it’s getting better. And you’re right, writing full time doesn’t do a body good. You know, sitting is the new smoking, and all.
I have constant back pain, to varying degrees, and have for years. It’s not the usual lower back stuff, though. It’s more in the middle of my back and always feels more like a muscular ache than something more dire. So, it hurts, but I can usually deal with it. I am a frequent user of heating pads, and do lots of stretching in the mornings. I think it’s connected to my sitting, though, and days that I spend mostly writing are usually followed by a day with a more achy back. Sitting at my desk is the best place for me, but the couch is so much more comfortable… I should know better!
Hope you are pain-free soon! I suppose we should expect some back pain in Adam’s future, huh? (It *is* great research – I can’t wait to use my concussion from a car accident years ago!)
Oh, thank you! So sorry to hear about your back issues too. Stretching really does seem to help after sit-time. Yoga is a lifesaver for me when I’m not injured. But, sigh.
Here’s hoping we both get to No Pain soon 🙂
Monica T. Rodriguez says
Thanks! These days, I try to keep my sitting sessions shorter. I even set a timer on my phone to remind me to get up. Hope you’re feeling better!
Justin Marquez says
Alex, Before I retired, I found that the computer chair was my friend only after careful adjustment. I also found that getting up and walking helped. Being still seems good until you do that too long. Be well,