I always pride myself as being very independent. I’ve always been like that, since I entered my adolescent years. But recently I lost that independence – even if it was just for 4 days. It happened so quickly that I’m still not pretty sure what triggered it.
All I can say is – lower back ache or any back ache for that matter is a bitch. There’s really no other way to describe it. And I wish it on nobody.
A twist, a bend, bad posture or a past injury – I just don’t know. Or even the after effects of a spinal block from both my pregnancies which happened years ago. Weird but apparently that can also be a cause.
I was in pain… real pain. The intensity of it impaired my physical functioning. The difficulty to perform simple everyday tasks was the worst. The inability to dress myself – like putting on socks, underwear and pants was hell. Incapable of drying the lower part of my body once stepping out of the shower, saw me losing my dignity during this time. The sheer embarrassment to have your daughters dry you and then dress you afterwards. Of course this was followed with a good laugh on some days and pure agitation on other days. Relief was felt when I lied down but the sharpness of the pain was felt once I got out of bed. Getting out of bed, sitting and walking was an ordeal.
So off I went to the doctor and a couple of test later, turned out I had a strain injury. A strain or sprain injury is an injury to the muscle or tendon or tearing and stretching of the ligaments. Caused by twisting and pulling the muscles with prolonged repetitive movements. The pain was so bad that it radiated to my hips. I was booked off from work and prescribed anti-inflammatory as well as pain medication. Heat therapy by massaging and applying a heat pack brought some short-term relief. Together with a few sessions with a physiotherapist to help ease the pain and restore functionality. Which by the way was another killer.
In a past blog post I wrote about the importance of monitoring your health but it is equally important to take care of your back.
Ways to prevent back ache
- Correct posture
- Stretching exercises
- Proper lifting techniques
- To eat a balanced diet and to drink lots of water
- Stop smoking
See the correct lifting and bending techniques, which might sound like common sense, but how many of us actually follow these techniques.
Proper lifting and bending techniques
- Do not bend forward at the hips as this puts pressure on the back.
- Face forward and do not bend your neck.
- Bend your knees to squat in order to lift something from the ground. Keep your back straight and tighten your stomach muscles.
- Get a good grip of the object, bring it close to your body and slowly lift and straighten your legs.
- Do not turn or twist your body while lifting.
- Do not lift the object higher than your shoulders.
- Squat again at the knees to put the object down.
The good news is, I’m slowly but surely on the mend. I’m wearing a back brace for support and I’m doing some stretching exercises. But on a cold day like today I once again feel a sharp pain in my back. This is because cold weather causes the muscles and ligaments to tighten up.
I’m forever grateful for the help and little patience of my family during this time – even if they were a bit annoyed with me at times.
Have you ever experienced back pain? How did you cope and did you feel that you lost your independence?