Oh My Achy, Breaky, Back
My back and shoulders could be considered the bang of my existence. I know I am all about self-love and loving your body for what it is, but my back just needs to take an attitude adjustment or a hike. Whichever fixes it first.
I say this all in just kind of. If I was being conceited I would say my back is one of my best features, muscle definition strength and all. When backs were en vogue a few years ago. I celebrated and then I winced and hobbled like an old lady.
Blame it on my skater girl days.
Throwing my body into the air like a gymnast except I had blades strapped to my feet. Sharp blades. And I wasn’t landing on cushioned mats, but ice. Hard not gonna give an inch ice.
To say I beat my body up would be an understatement. It was like a UFC match every day and then some.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved it. Every sweaty, bloody moment of it.
But my body did not. Thus at the ripe ole age of fifteen began a decades long argument with my back. Talk about holding a grudge.
While I would love to think we have come to a mutual understanding the truth is, she is a stubborn ole Bastard and refuses to cave in. Nope it is I who have to cry uncle every once in awhile. and when I do it is a doozy.
To appease that pesky old back in her very old age I do a variety of things:
First and foremost manipulation and massage: For an athlete, this is probably the best thing you can do. Not just for your back, but your whole body. Let’s face it, we work our bodies hard. When they start acting up, it is because they want some TLC and Spa days. Massage is its own kind of work out, releasing the muscles and letting them relax, while manipulation also known as going to a chiropractor will work out the kinks in joints, bones, and muscles. If he wasn’t about sixty and already married, I would marry my chiro in a heartbeat.
Epsom salts: When I went through teacher training, I cried because I didn’t have a bath tub to soak. It is partly why I chose my current apartment. It could have been fifty square feet, but my square tub, that is as big as an at home jacuzzi – which is literally unheard of in NYC unless you are Beyonce – sold me. Epsom salts have some serious wizard magic I am convinced! When I am sore, I just pour them into a bath (sometimes the whole bag oops) and let them work their Harry Potter wizardry.
Light stretching: While I have been known to stupidly attend a yoga class when I have thrown my back out (emphasis on the stupid, do what I say, not as I do) stretching does help. With in reason. You do not want to go into full Sun Salutation B mode. Take it from someone who knows, you may not get up and end up like the Life Star commercial. That said, stretches like laying down spinal twist, child’s pose, stretching your ham strings (if you can in fact bend over which in some cases I can not) Happy Baby, and of course corpse pose, a.k.a. savasana because when you screw your back up, you just want to be a corpse until it feels better.
Last but not least: Respect your limits. I willingly admit to being a Type A idiot where I have made injuries worse, because I power through the pain and if I am delightfully oblivious, it will go away. It won’t.
If all else fails, see a medical expert. I am in tight with my orthopedist, which is a good thing since she knows how incredibly intelligent I can be when I have an injury. Which is not at all.
What are some of your go to remedies when injured?