Huh! What do you know? The docs were right. My tendinitis did resolve itself over time. It healed so gradually I didn’t really think about it until today when I felt the first pulls along my forearms as I supported my swaddled 7-week old. Right now, I’m shaking it off because now I know it will go away and I’ll just endure. Considering the crippling back pain of last year, I’ll take the tendinitis. This is part update for my previous post, Tilt, Swivel, and Pop: Wrist Malady Gone Serial, and a decision to encourage healthy individuals to increased self-awareness.
My oldest son cried, having hurt himself, and I knelt to pick him up like always because of the immediate soothing effect as some would kiss a ‘boo-boo,’ or place a bandage over the nose no matter where the injury occurred (true from another mom’s experience). I shifted to stand and debilitating is the most encompassing description of the pain. My body refused to cooperate for the intense shock of piercing discomfort. How many adjectives and the like might convince you how it left me crawling toward the dining table for my phone? I stammered across the connection to my significant other who was at work, couldn’t explain what was going on. I had no frigging idea! Finally, I got out, “There’s something wrong with my back.” He left work, intent on hopping the next bus. Now what was I to do?
Finding some way to distract and occupy aforementioned child, I decide my condition wasn’t life-threatening and considered urgent care, however, chose to attempt my primary care physician (PCP) first, because that budget-conscious lobe of my brain continued to operate, as long as I didn’t move. And as an aside, if you do plan on having a never before, ever, ever, back injury, make sure you wear a better outfit. I was in grungy sweats and some baggy shirt with paint stains, probably. Later, I’d attempt a joke with the nurse about how I’d have dressed for the occasion if I knew I’d be going out.
Anyway, I ended up on steroids and had physical therapy scheduled for the following days. In the meantime, they assigned me homework in the form of stretches slash exercises.
Image reproduced from: The Best Exercises for Herniated Discs that Relieve Pain Quickly
What I want to express here is I’ll never be the same, never have unknown, unacknowledged confidence in the capabilities of my back. The number one thing I would like to emphasize to those who lift is to think one word when you do it–Brace. Think about engaging those abdominal muscles right before you take the weight. Is your back straight and lifted? That’s one helluva start. Will it prevent herniated discs? Perhaps, I’d like to think so or else why am I writing this?
After my Cesarean, I returned to core-strengthening exercises ASAP by doc’s permission. Consider the bird-dog, standard plank, side plank, bridge, knee-lift, and prone press. The prone press is key for getting the padding between your vertebrae squished back into place so it stops pinging your spinal nerves. Can I say ouch?
We could work it from the other angle and say keep up on good posture, but that is too darn (parent cussing is so weak. :/) difficult, feels strenuous. Think brace and that’ll straighten you out briefly, but those core exercises will leave you standing and sitting a bit taller with hardly any awareness from you. Please keep it up though, at least every other day with 10-15 reps of each exercise at 2 sets per session. Good example for the ever active toddler as well who wishes to emulate his parents with every move.
Any exercise, I’ve learned, can leave you feeling energized. If your another parent with a toddler, you sure as heck could use the boost. 😉 I’d been in automotive parts for years and never had back issues. I’d never lifted anything like a toddler fifteen times a day every day either. Plus, I had weekends and nights off when working parts.
Please take from this what you will, if only a comical anecdote of how life can tilt on its axis in a moment. At least I’ve got another post on my blog after months! Yay. High five, fist bump, and handshake. I’m getting my toddler accustomed to all, but I wonder what will be the next celebratory gesture for his generation. Hey, the mom brain is always in action if sometimes the thought train jumps the rails.
My arms still feel funky and will do so for months but at least it will pass. Just brace yourself when lifting, trust me, so you can always trust your back.