Friday, November 14, 2008

Bad Morning

It first hit yesterday as I was scrambling to get out the door: a couple of big muscles in my mid-lower back knotted up.  By the time I got to work, it was bad enough I thought I was going to lose my breakfast.  I maxxed out on ibuprofen and gritted my teeth; by lunchtime, it was down to a manageable level and at day's end, I hardly noticed it.

     This morning my alarm went off and I discovered I could not sit up.  What?  Rolled on my side-- or tried to, anyway: my back lit up like an old-fashioned jukebox.  BingbingbingBING! Rolled onto my back and attempted to just sit right up: waves of pain and little mental fireworks.  Now there's no comfortable position and I am thoroughly annoyed.  I reached back, grabbed the headboard, dug in my heels and levered myself up by main force, groaning, and was able to turn, drop feet over the edge and stand up.  Hurts less standing.  From the hallway I hear:
     "Are you all right in there?"
     "[incoherent mutterings] --freakin' back.  Ow."
     "Do you need the ibuprofen?"
     My tummy voted no thanks and I admitted as much.
     "Well, I'm making coffee!"

     After some minor chores (T: "Hey, don't do that." R: "[mulish mumblings]"), half a cup, three OC pain pills and a bowl of oatmeal later, the back pain's down to a dull roar.  I don't know what brought it on, possibly 40 crunches of a new and trying type two mornings ago, but I'm not enjoyin' it.  Tonight: heat pad.  Liniment.  Grrrr.  This is not how it's supposed to be.


Anonymous said...

Martial arts folks have seen this, there can be a few causes.

Muscle relaxing drugs are normally prescribed first.

Most serious cause is a herniated disk. A doctor can check this out with an x-ray.

Less serious: Muscles work in sets. Like the bicep and triceps. One contracts, the other extends. Similar for abdominal and back muscles. Way too many folk work on 6-pack abs, and forget the back muscles. Real strong abs can overpower your spina erecta muscles - in beef, it's the tender loin - causing pain.

Carefully stretch the back muscles. The old touch your toes exercise works well here. You can exercise and strengthen the spina erecta from this position with LIGHT weights: from here, the toe-touching exercise, by adding a pair of 2 pound dumbbells. Slowly work your way up in weight. Swear at creaky joints.

Least serious, your mattress can be worn out. How to test? Couple of ways, the most fun is during sex. The lady going squeaky, squeaky, squeal means all is functioning well. :) If the mattress/boxspring is doing the squeaking, it needs replacing, depending on level of squeaking.

Best of luck.

Crucis said...

I was going to say something about spinal arthritis and weather, but after JEG's posting, I think I'll just move along...




Matt G said...

Roberta? Treat that OC like a pet rattlesnake, okay?

It can bite the phuq out of you, real quick, when you try to put it away.

Heath J said...

A [s]Bonecracker[/s] Chiropractor visit might be in order too...

I see mine whenever the ol' back starts giving me grief and he always puts it right.

just my $.02


BobG said...

My sympathies. As someone with four bad disks in my lower back, I'm very familiar with your symptoms.

Word verification: ferts

Turk Turon said...

I'm with JEG: give those antagonist muscles in your back a light workout.

Captcha: unskin

Anonymous said...

ouch. feel better soon!

Anonymous said...

I empathize-injured my back working a car wreck years ago (car was upside down and smoking-kinda had to get in there). Mostly it doesn't bother me, but when it does, it mirrors your symptoms. I am trying some exercises to strengthen back and abs.

Anonymous said...

OTC pain relievers, darn it. O T C. --Thoug OC would take my mind off my back. For awhile.

Mattress, okay, box springs: don use 'em. I have a platform bed and still stuck with A Real Mattress from when I was nearly wedlocked; prior to then, I had a futon on it and will probably go back to them. (What I'd like would be about 3" of firm foam -- I cannot abide a soft bed).

Captcha: "nosesse." Which is what you get if your mattress is too firm.

rremington said...

As somebody with a chronic creaky back, this time of year I get a lot of help from those Thermacare heat wraps!

Take care

Anonymous said...

OTC can bitecha too, though not in the addictive way- as a person for whom stress tends to go straight to the acid-producing bits of their stomach, I know all too well.

JEG is correct about the muscles in your lower back- yer core is yer core, frontside and rear. What he describes works, but like there are many hidden exercises for the abs, there are many for the lower back. If "important stabilizer for the deadlift" (your abs will get surprisingly sore for squats) doesn't blow your hair back, do what he describes, or look up "supermans", or find something you can anchor your ankles with and do a back extension for every crunch and situp. Your posterior chain, not to mention your posture, will thank you for it.

Matt G said...

Glad to hear that OTC still stops the pain, and that you know it.

For me, I've been very careful not to take even OTC until I really need it, so that when I have mornings like yours, I have gratifying results from a triplet or even a quartet of Ibuprofen with my coffee. I'm not afraid of Ibupro... but I *am* afraid of it not working when I desperately need it.

My last bad backache, I couldn't get the muscle to stop spasming, so I went to the local doc for some muscle relaxants for the first time ever. "I just need enough to stop the spasms and let my spine straighten back up," I said.

"How many do you want?" she asked.

"I don't feel like having to ask again if it happens in six months... give me a month's worth," I said.

Six months later, I've still got 28 days' worth. They do what you need. But they demand respect, too.

J.R.Shirley said...

Back pain's no fun. Hope you're better soon.