Disclaimer: So this post is going to be a a bit more of a diary entry rather than the tradition posts you’ll find on here…
Here’s a rundown of my injury (this year). Firstly – to give you a bit of background, my back has been giving me grief on and off for the past 10 years. I first hurt it playing night tennis (when I was uni back in 2006 I think), then have hurt it every couple of years since then (running, repetitive movements – eg. stair sprints daily while preparing for a fitness model competition , crossfit and more running). I’ve seen chiro’s, physio’s and now recently an Osteo. In the past my physio in Darwin was the closest to giving me a proper answer… But it wasn’t until recently I found out exactly what was happening – and this is the reason I wanted to share this story with you…
Dealing with injury & fitness: why it’s important to find a health care “team” to get you through your sore days and push you when you’re feeling amazing.
Back to earlier this year….
I was working out doing weights consistently (four days a week), and a little running too for the first half of this year – and I was loving it. Although my back didn’t seem to agree with that style of training, and heading into Run for the Kids (back in early April), I knew I hadn’t trained nearly enough for the 14.6km course. But I did it anyway, I enjoyed it, running with my mate and having a great day (despite the rain) and running a decent time. The pay-off – having a mighty stiff back at the end of the day – and pulling up not well at all.
I then took a trip to the Osteo, a few times actually and then continued on training. Cutting back on the running and just focusing on weights. My back felt better, a little stiff at times but nothing some stretching and foam rolling couldn’t fix. I kept training, and feeling decent.
But then it came to June long weekend… I’d just come off a new program at my gym. Quite a high volume (lots of reps/sets) one. I was feeling good, albeit tired all week – but again, nothing too ridiculous or out of the ordinary. My back wasn’t any more sore than it was any other week. Until I slept on a futon bed that weekend while away from home in Melbourne. Yes you read that right – a futon.
That’s what hurt my back AGAIN. The third time since October 2016 (the third time in 9 months). It wasn’t until I got back to Melbourne on the Sunday night after a long drive, and two nights on a futon and I was crying, in pain – and hardly able to walk. It was the worst my back had been in a very long time, and I was genuinely scared. Why was this happening? Why again? I was just feeling stronger at the gym, feeling like I was finally getting back on track – and then I was hit by a freight train – at full speed!
For a week I was on painkillers, rotating heat packs, trying to get out of bed without crying in pain, trying to stand up straight without crying. There was one day and I was outside in the garden while my partner was mowing the lawn, and he was physically trying to push my back up straight against a wall – I was hunched over like a little old lady! So I went back Gaby at St Kilda Osteo, the Osteo I saw late in 2016 when I was asked to go see what Osteopathy was all about. Turns out I made a good decision to go back.
Long story short, after weekly visits, then fortnightly, monthly and now “whenever” I’ve figured out that it was my Sacroiliac Joint causing the pain – with the reason I was getting this same “injury” over and over again – I had a weak glute medius (the but muscle running down the side of your butt). Which explains why I’ve been told in the past I’ve had “inflamed disc” problems etc – but the pain/symptoms are similar.
But…. ;) Get the pun there – since I’ve been back seeing Gaby, doing my exercises and persisting in finding out not only where my pain was coming from, but also the reason why – I could finally now work towards fixing this problem – for good! So, I did something quite ‘radical’ for me – I stopped seeing my PT (which was hard enough – it was like breaking up with a boyfriend… if you’re reading this Kristy, I still miss training with you!), stopped running and just rested for a bit. I went for daily walks (my dog kept me sane!) and enjoyed some time recovering for once – and took my time. What this time has taught me is to enjoy the fact that I CAN MOVE – I can walk, and sometimes it’s nice just to do that!
From there, I started going to weekly reformer pilates sessions – getting a recommendation from Gaby, and signing up for pilates at my work too. Reformer pilates has taught me that you don’t always have to move fast, or hard, or feel weights in your hands to feel strong/fit. Pilates has taught me to slow down, breathe and focus on myself – healing myself from the inside out.
My best piece of advice I can give you here – is if you have an injury, get your medical practitioner to chat to your PT/ fitness instructor – that way they each know what is happening with your body – and can work together to come up with a solution to get you and your body back to wellness.
So with a ‘team’ around me, and working on doing my exercises to strengthen my butt, pilates for my core and walking. I was feeling great. Lately I’ve slowly been adding in a few runs here and there (once a week) and I’ve been feeling great.
I hope this little post provides you with some comfort that help is out there, and sometimes it just takes a while to find it. Persistence pays off. xx