16 March 2012

Your Back Hurts? Quit Fucking Whining and Fix It, Part 4

 Read these:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 5 (read this one after you read the current post, in case you cannot count)

This time, my back hurt.  It hurt pretty fucking bad for a while.  I was practicing front squats on a distress (day where you do not strictly follow GM protocol) day and did not stop when I should have.  What started as a manageable tweak, turned into something horrid.  The back pain erupted into something worse.  It was aggravated by sitting down in my work chair.  I would notice that when I stood up after sitting for extended periods, a sharp searing pain radiated from my ass to my foot, and it hurt like hell.  I had never felt this way before, so after a week of not moving, and still hurting, I started to worry.   I opted to use a doctor as a last resort, and in the mean time fucked around with other ideas.

Idea one was simple.  Stop sitting at work.  I did that.  Shit felt better immediately (but still really fucking hurt).

It was my sciatic nerve that was fucked, by the way
Other things that provided temporary relief included anything involving an L-Sit.

This is an L-Sit

This was a good idea, and always tested well.  A problem I was still having however, was that by even doing a bodyweight squat, my left leg felt like it was having an earthquake, and that it couldn't support my body.  This was no good.

I then decided to look into massage therapy.  A good friend of mine, Nyssa Hanger, happens to be someone I trust, and a massage therapist.  I went to her first, because I have known her for several years and as such, I trusted her.  She recommended Structural Energy Therapy, which is a structural realignment based on your current structure.  I was interested, but ultimately didn't give a fuck to learn the details until after I felt better.

Nyssa Hanger, contemplating the infrastructure.
It was pretty interesting, what I learned during the first session.  What was more interesting was the fact that after the first session, I gained a fuck ton of leg strength back and was able to start squatting again.  Yay. No more quaking left leg.  The pain had decreased a lot.  I tested whether I should get another one, and got a green light.  Even less pain the second time around.  Sitting did not hurt as much.  Though, I don't sit at work anymore I still sit on the couch at home or lie down.  During the most intense periods of pain, lying down always helped as did standing.  Now, I am able to front squat, back squat, and safety bar squat again.  A third massage did not test well, but now the pain is a half inch away from non existent.

The massages were only one step to my pain resolution.  Being in the situation forced me to think of other things to do to help the pain.  Bridging, static stretching, using a stairmaster, and asymmetric lifting all tested well.  At one time, static stretching and the stairmaster never tested well.  But this time, stretching the everliving fuck out of my hamstring (by way of a toe touch stretch and downward dog yoga moves) helped me out immensely.  As the pain got better, the amount of stretching decreased.

I have no reason to believe I won't be able to compete at the next powerlifting meet I signed up for, now.  Prior to my resolution, I was deathly afraid I wouldn't lift again.

On a positive note, I didn't lose strength, and could wake up any given day and be ready to compete at 181 with no cutting, so there is a ten pound weight reduction.  I have since decided to compete at 165.

I still stand at work, and have also switched to barefoot shoes--Vibram Five Fingers (because I am a tool) and Merrell Tough Glove barefoot shoes.  Both of these brands are rad to lift in and have helped me keep the better alignment Nyssa helped me achieve.

I will also add that I got a shitload of reading done.  I read Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series (which includes The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  It was fucking awesome.  I also finished the first book of The Hunger Games.  It was also fucking awesome.

I know it sounds like I was whining here, and I probably was.  This is the most hurt I have ever been in my life.  The take home points are several.  First and foremost, unless you're about to break a world record, fucking stop moving if something hurts.  Two, don't do what I did as far as treatment, unless it's right for you. Three, the sciatic nerve, like the Wu-Tang Clan, is nothing to fuck with.  Hopefully, this will help someone out there.  And there you have the first three months of my new year since about my birthday (16 January).