I have pulled something in my lower back—early this morning I couldn’t hardly even walk, but it’s been getting better throughout the day. I wanted to share what I’m doing to get better as well as why it happened. Save yourselves.
What is hurt
I’ve strained my erector spinae, a muscle the runs off to the left side of my spine and into my butt. This makes walking, bending and a whole bunch of activities difficult. My husband helped me put on socks today and I asked if this is what our late-lives would be like. It was dramatic and funny and also a good reminder to be grateful for the health you have and to continue to work to improve/maintain healthy.
How I Hurt It
It was feeling a little weak before I went on vacation, just a slight ache and I just sort of ignored it.
Then we went on vacation for a couple weeks (see ya later gym, hello beach!) and it started to hurt a little more. Oh, I just haven’t been to the gym lately and need to stretch a little and keep my core activated more. Yeah, I thought it but then I ate another fish taco and went to play in the ocean.
Then the 6 hour flight home in the most uncomfortable seat ever kind of crunched it all a little more.
Then we ran sprints at the gym, which was actually really fun that morning, but it also over worked my hamstrings since I’d been out for a couple weeks. No big deal. It happens. I’ll stretch later.
See, the thing is, everything is super connected. We forget this, we’ve all sung the song about the leg bone connected to something or other, but we forget (see?). I can tell you with a pulled lower back muscle that I’m intimately aware that my neck muscles are connected to my butt right now. Look down, butt hurts. So when my hamstrings were tight/pulling I was over compensating with my lower back muscles and didn’t think about it.
And then, to continue on my theme of not listening to what my body is saying, I did kettle bell swings at the gym. I absolutely knew better when I was doing them. I dropped weight, but I should have swapped out the exercise because it hurt every time I did it. That was really dumb of me. There is a different between positive/building pain (this is a discomfort, not a pain) and negative/tearing down pain. I was experience the latter, trying to pretend like I was working through the former.
This is actually the most valuable lesson of this article and why I decided to write this in the first place. Listen to your body. We all forget this sometimes, but you are in charge of you and you need to listen. If i’d stretched and done some core work when I first started to feel this I could have alleviated it. If I’d paid attention to how I was moving when my hamstrings were tight I could have prevented it.
What I’m doing To Heal
This is partly a time thing, it just takes time for muscles to heal. Time I hardly have, but whatever, you don’t get to choose. These are the other things I’m doing to heal:
- No more sitting. I set a timer on my phone and I stand for 45 minutes and then I stretch, roll out the muscles and lay on the floor for 15 minutes.
- Aleve. That stuff helps, not a miracle drug, but it does help.
- Icy Hot Patch. So sexy, but seems to be helping.
- All manner of stretching using the yoga hammock. I feel a billion times better as soon as I do some different stretches and hang upside down in the hammock.
- Take it slow. Just need to slow it all down to heal quicker.
- I’m also going to rotate in an epsom salt bath and then I may do some ice.
To help ensure this doesn’t happen again I’m going to put together a 10 minute yoga routine with the stretches that I need to do (the core strength and other work takes care of itself at the gym). I’m going to commit to doing this 3 days a week and see if I can add more days.