Sunday, June 12, 2016

Update: Injury

Been quiet because I’ve been dealing with an injury that has kept me from training until now. Injuries happen and I probably should have seen the signs. At the end of my workout on 5/12/2016, while lifting my Stone of Steel, something shifted in my back. I was still able to lift a PR weight for another two sets after it and I had thought the pain would go away after some rest. But it was not to be. My back had been a bit wonky this training cycle with it acting up after a couple workouts but the pain went away eventually with those with ibuprofen and Icy Hot. I had been pushing myself to the brink day in and day out. Hell, I threw up during a workout the week before which is not something I’ve ever done before. Many days (10 at least) of taking 1,600mgs of ibuprofen and things hadn’t improved. I hurt my back to stand for too long or to bend over. Laying down for too long also hurt. Usually I can just sleep and recover but sleeping in made the pain worse upon waking. I couldn’t go for a long walk like I usually do for low intensity cardio and to relax/clear my head. Only position that didn’t bother me was sitting at a desk in a chair. I was on a bit of short fuse so I avoided being around people as much as I could so that I didn’t flip on anyone. I stopped taking the ibuprofen and the pain got worse so I relented and went to see the orthopedic doctor on 5/29/2016. I had been trying to delay it as it meant I would be x-rayed, probably have a talking too about the dangers of lifting and be given corticosteroids and muscle relaxers. Had been almost 2.5 years since the last lower back injury. No talking to about lifting so that was something. 12 day taper of Prednisone and 10 days of muscle relaxers (last time I had been given a muscle rub that I had to get from a local apothecary). Not the best combo as my head felt heavy and then I started to feel anxious (a side effect) on the last three days. They also gave me a booklet of stretches and exercises to do and I started doing them daily and started to add some of my own. Definitely an improvement but still stiffness and tightness in my left side of the lumbar and SI joint area. Follow up appointment with the orthopedic is 6/14/2016.

Since my injury, I’ve done soft tissue work, traction, icing and stretches to alleviate tension and pain as well as met with a chiropractor for ten adjustments and had deep tissue massage therapy twice. I also realized during this time off from training (28 days) how bored I get. I read two novels totaling 1,585 pages and watched 147 episodes of tv shows on my computer. Just tried to bury myself in my work as best as I could. It has been frustrating with minimal progress and I had to set some kind of deadline for being able to put a good foot forward for Nationals. One of the things that I usually have to fight immediately after injury (acute phase) is the first thoughts that come into my head. Those first thoughts were to just quit the whole thing and sell off all my equipment. I knew this wasn’t what I wanted or needed and that I had to give time for myself to calm down. After about a week, set a deadline for the middle of July to return to proper training or I will have to call this year’s Nationals a bust. I’ve dealt with this kind of injury before and I have to learn from that experience. I actually looked back through my training logs to see the time frame of recovery. I had a lower back injury that kept me from training for about a month and I had to do rehab stuff for about a month after that I managed to come back to hitting PRs (with bumps along that way) and be able to do my best at a Pro/Am contest four months after I returned to training. Looking at it this is how things compare:

Last time
Injured 12/13/13
OIP visit 1/2/14 (given Prednisone) (20 days after injury)
OIP follow up visit 1/10/14 (28 days after injury)
Workouts started 1/21/14 (39 days after injury)
Heavy normal lower body started 2/20/14 (69 days after injury)

This time
Injured 5/12/16
OIP visit 5/29/16 (given Prednisone) (17 days after injury)
Workouts started (6/11/16) (29 days after injury)
OIP follow up visit 6/14/16 (32 days after injury)

With how things were going, I had thought this was slower, taking longer. I think that having not been able to go for walks (I went for two mile walks Saturday and Sunday last week) and having a deadline (July) to know if I could be able to go for Nationals made me feel like it was taking longer. Based on where I am at, I’m ahead of schedule for recovery. Got to keep building on the positive and let the frustration just roll off. Trust me, it was building. Seeing other people hitting PRs on deadlifts and overhead lifts and being asked daily by people if my back was better was driving me mad. I think the thing that eventually got me back on the right frame of mind was finding this article: while researching training and pain management (I had a lot of free time). It seemed to be just right and the time frame would work for the time I needed to be able to hit the goal of decent lower body lifting with no pain by the middle of July. I’m stubborn and I have to give it a try.

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