I can’t think of much.
Maybe you saw my post about how I herniated a disc two weeks ago playing hockey. Well it has been a journey.
Still rehabbing and recovering and crying….
Having to care for the kids. Pick Jayla up out of her crib and keep up with laundry and dishes and picking up the house while you have back pain straight up stinks. All those chores above can really delay the healing time with low back pain.
That is truly why having PT is a non-negotiable.
I have had 6 PT appointments in the span of the two weeks. At one point I got the disc to go back in but then I was over confident in feeling so much better that I overdid it. And back to square one or worse it went.
Regardless if you have a disc issue, sciatica, low back pain, sacroiliac joint pain. It is so hard to function.
The pain has led to anger and snapping way more than I normally do. Needless to say, I haven’t been the most pleasant person.
But for many my short lived situation is a daily experience for many moms. And for many who herniate a disc they typically end up at the ER or their doctor, hoping for an MRI but not getting one but instead they get muscle relaxers and pain pills (used to be oxy but now a high dose anti inflammatory) gabapentin and or a steroid.
They may get a referral to PT or massage or just look up exercises on YouTube. But that can be a bit scary especially if you start doing the wrong exercises that feel good at the time but actually make it worse later.
FYI I’m still breastfeeding and still have quite a bit of instability. Meaning I probably shouldn’t have been playing hockey.
I needed to have warmed my muscles up better prior to skating.
So fast forward once I herniated a disc it was so painful that each shift in bed would give me a catching pain. I couldn’t tolerate sitting while I had to drive the kids to different places. Going from a sitting to standing position would hurt so I would shift all my weight to the good leg. This creates many compensations….
For one it can create a sciatica in the opposite leg due to the over use by the funny ways we try to unload the side of the back injury.
If this is happening to you, you should see a pelvic expert PT right away.
So like I have said I’m grateful to know what to do and I have helped patients through this thousands of times.
The funny part about this is both my parents have said. Do you need to see a doctor and get an MRI? To that I say no. It is so kind that they want to make sure I am on the road to recovery and offering advice like seeking an MRI is the only thing they know how to suggest to get me “healed”. I think its so important for people to know, MRIs are great for sure. But most the time for backs, shoulders, hips ect. They are not needed. They are expensive doses of radiation that aren’t going to fix your problem. I say put all your resources and time into treatment that is actually going to help reslove that issue. A very skilled physical therapist can do this for you. Especially when it comes to the low back, hip and pelvis. A pelvic expert PT should be the first on your list to get in with.
So here are real tactical things that I have done to get my back better.
- Physical Therapy with a Pelvic Expert at Body Motion PT
- Movement: safe movement. For me this is working on lumbar extension and avoiding lumbar flexion (so bending forward) until my disc has reduced some. Most disc will take 6-12 weeks to scar down. So even once I am feeling better I have to respect this time line to prevent it from herniating again.
- Swimming and floating
- Sauna and hot tub
- Red light therapy
- Core and hip strengthening daily
- Hip stretches daily.
- Shockwave Therapy
- KT tape
I am so irritated that I am throwing the kitchen sink at my back to get it better. I am annoyed I haven’t been able to ride my peloton or lift weights in 2 weeks. I am annoyed that I cringe every time I have to pick up my toddler. And I have to think out each movement to make sure I don’t “Tweak the disc”
I do realize how lucky I am to have all the knowledge and tools I have to fix my back.
Here’s what it looks like to have a comprehensive and holistic approach to healing your back with a pelvic PT.
- Examination of posture, pelvic alignment, movement, walking patterns, hip mobility and spine mobility
- Examination of strength
- Healing of abdominal tissue: visceral motility, psoas and iliacus muscles, obliques and rectus muscles.
- Healing of the Pelvic floor muscle to balance the pulls on the inside of the pelvis that it places on the low back.
- Healing of the hip and glute muscles to balance the pulls on the low back from the hip joints.
- Healing scar tissue in the abdomen that can place significant pulls on the vertebrae and the SI joint
- Creating a comprehensive and safe flexibility and strength program to support healing the injury.
- Continued maintenance PT session to balance compensations that will predispose you to having this injury happen again.
I am on the road to recovery, 2 weeks later and am so grateful to have some hope that I will be back on the ice soon. Even more grateful to be able to move in bed without wincing.
If you are experiencing pain in your back/ pelvis, its soooooo hard to be the best version of ourselves. WE have to feel good in order to show up good in this world. I truly hope that you know we exist to help you get out of this back and or pelvic or hip pain. You do not have to live with your pain controlling your life, controlling every movement and every plan you make.
Here’s a picture of me with my dad (he’s on my team) and my kids crashing the locker room after the game.