I have many friends who have had back issues and I’m sure each one will say how tough it is to deal with.
In the past, I’ve pulled my back before. But either a trip to the chiropractor or some meds have helped fix things up and I’ve moved on.
My mistake, I believe, is not worrying about “maintenance” checks with my chiropractor. You see, it turns out it’s not bad to visit them when you are feeling good so … well, so that you keep feeling good.
This past February, about two or three weeks before I left for spring training (post on that coming soon), I was out doing what a lot of people in the Northeast do during the winter months — shoveling snow.
This was a snow that I should have been using the snow blower for, but I had been getting really active and sometimes shoveling felt like a better workout.
Well, except when you are near the driveway and the plows have been through, and there’s some water mixed in …
… if you live in a snow area, you probably know where this was going.
I scooped up a shovel full and turned to throw it and … ohhh that isn’t good. That tweak hurt a bit. And then I continued. After, I went inside, took a shower, grabbed three Advil and went to work.
The pain started to get a bit worse, so I called the doctor. He gave me some thoughts and said to call him again if it got worse.
So I went in to see him. He looked things over and eventually got me an XRay. Nothing showed there really.
This is when it all kind of started to mix together, so let me just give the cliff notes version.
I got in to see an orthopedic guy, who thought maybe I had some sciatica in there and said I needed to let nature take its course. He prescribed some meds that were supposed to help.
They might have some, but not a lot.
I also went to an acupuncturist in hopes of a quick fix … nothing doing.
Do you notice the one thing I haven’t mentioned here? Yeah … I am sure you have.
Then came the spring training trip. Flying wasn’t too bad as it wasn’t a super-long flight. But getting around spring training was awful. My back was killing me. I couldn’t walk too far without having to go into a catcher’s crouch to try and relieve the pain. I am sure I got many looks with that.
After the trip, back to the Northeast I went. This time, I got an MRI (and for those of you who’ve had to go into that tube for things like this… ugh. Talk about not fun. I don’t do well when in those situations), which didn’t really show anything.
That’s a good thing because the doctor never mentioned surgery.
Meanwhile, there’s a massage therapist who volunteers at one of the places I work. She works with some students with things for PT and such. A staff member knew this person and brought her to see me. I explained the whole situation and she had me do a few stretches and movements to see how I reacted.
In the end, she said she could work with me if I wanted, but what I really needed was a chiropractor.
It seems chiropractors aren’t usually something some orthopedic doctors will send you to, so I did it on my own. Though it cost me a few hundred bucks in appointments, it was the best move I made. Within a couple of weeks, I started feeling better. It kept improving.
Heck, when I went to the orthopedic guy and he checked me out and I told him what I was doing, he basically said “Good for you and keep it up so you feel better.” The nurse who tended to me that day told me it had probably been a wise choice and even she went to chiropractors sometimes.
Now, I’m much better. I go once a month for maintenance and I plan on keeping that up. I’m still not where I was before this all happened — and I know I need to because being active helps because I can lose some weight, which helps with the back as well — but I know I will get there.
I’ve learned backs aren’t something to mess with. This was several months of pain — sometimes severe so much where I slept on a recliner for several weeks — that I could have reduced by just getting to the chiropractor earlier.
Backs are an important part of a body. Take care of them the best you can!