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Pain makes me grouchy - MegaZone's Safety Valve
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
Pain makes me grouchy
A couple of years ago, at the Shamrock House, I was carrying a 21" monitor up the stairs and I stumbled. I caught myself, but I kind of jammed my left leg out to do so and something in my lower back, on the left, went *sproing* in an unpleasant manner. It actually felt like something went 'pop' in my back - hard to describe. It hurt a lot for a while, but faded over time so I wrote it off as a pulled muscle or something. But ever since then my back has hurt from time to time. This July when I was in Anaheim I was walking around Disneyland a lot, and on my walk to the park, kind of before I'd 'warmed up', that same spot on my back would first start to 'burn', and would eventually bloom into a searing pain. I have a high pain threshhold, so I would walk through it and it'd usually fad a bit. But I had a couple of bouts in the park when I *had* to sit down *right now* because I was about to collapse. The pain got bad enough that it was shooting down my leg and I couldn't feel any sensation but pain from that area. So I went to a doctor...

No, that's what I should've done. But I was on vacation and it passed if I rested, so no, I didn't. When I came back I was immediately drowned in work and forgot about the doc. This weekend I decided to try to clean up my apartment for the first time since I moved in. Which means unpacking things to get rid of the boxes, and putting some things back into different boxes, etc. Many of these things are books. Which means heavy boxes. Last night I was tossing a bunch of boxes around and my back went *sproing* again in exactly the same place. Not the physical popping feeling this time, but I was lifting a box and *stab*. I still hurt this morning, and it still hurts now. I'm walking with a bit of a limp - funnily when my weight is on my right foot the left side of my back hurts the most. Must be something in how the weight is cross-braced in my back. Even sitting for too long in one position starts a kind of burning feeling in my back.

I have a doctors appointment for next Monday. I figure the worst I did was damage a disc, and maybe I'll need surgery. But if it were very serious I'd kind of expect it to have been a constant thing.

I am: pained
Current Media: office buzz

From: iwascaite Date: September 2nd, 2003 06:18 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
ouch. Sorry about that. Let us know what you find out?

After I moved 6 100-pound bookcases, I had problems sitting for months. I still get twinges if I lift something too heavy or sit wrong. I started doing more stretching and exercises designed to build up back and chest and abdominal muscles and they have helped somewhat, at least with the reaching aspect. I can get a glass from the cabinet now.

I don't think my response will help you, sympathy rarely does.

I have to stand on my toes and stretch hard to get a glass. If you did that you could probably change lightbulbs in the ceiling light. When you're feeling better I'll be envious.
milknut From: milknut Date: September 2nd, 2003 09:12 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Sorry to hear you have recurring pain like this. It sounds to me like the muscle that lifts your hip toward your ribs. When you put your weight on the right leg, that muscle is working to lift your hip so that your left leg can take a step. It's called Quadratus Lumborum and is a frequent and common source of lower back pain. None of this will make you feel better, but man, you'll be extra smart :)

Stretching is your best bet for getting this muscle out of trouble, and for keeping it out of trouble in the long run. I will see you Saturday if you're still planning to go to Purgatory, so I can bring some pictures of stretches that you can hang on to. I may also bring my massage chair if the weather is ok. If you want me to describe some stretches for you before then, drop me an email and I can mail you back.

Hang in there...
profesor From: profesor Date: September 3rd, 2003 05:19 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Gaaah! Good luck with it. At least, it doesn't sound as sudden & as bad as what happened to me; though even if you do need surgery it's not horrible and I can recommend a good surgeon. From what you've said, I suspect you're looking at physical therapy for a while, but in any case just do what the good doc says.
tyoshida From: tyoshida Date: September 3rd, 2003 12:10 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Back in my high school days, I worked at a furniture store and something similar happened to me. I went to the doctor and all they did was give me pain-killers. They weren't helping me so I went to see a chiropractor. They told me that my lower back was out of alignment and because of that, some nerves were getting pinched causing the pain that shot down my leg. After a few sessions of getting my back adjusted. Since then I've been fine. I still go in every 3 months or so, and more often if I'm feeling some pain, but it's been pretty good overall. My suggestions is, before you go see a doctor about surgery and such, go see a chiropractor.