The day Dr. Healy “threw his back out.”
It was Saturday night. I was relaxing, watching Dexter on Nextflix as the snow piled up outside here in Bangor, no big deal. Then I fell asleep on the couch. It was about 2am when I woke up... Realizing that I needed to go to my real bed, I got up from the couch.
Down I went. The spasm was pretty intense… My legs buckled under me and I could barely move. As I tried to get to my feet, a sharp pain started in the right side of my low back and moved down into my right butt cheek. Needless to say, I could hear a extremely annoying version of myself talking to patients day in and day out about how to deal with this type of pain. What they should do to manage it, the things that will help to ease the pain, positions to lay in, etc. Honestly, I really wanted to punch that version of myself during those few painful moments.
Then I realized that I needed to heed my typical advice to people. Before getting into bed I chugged about 16 ounces of water. I got up out of bed every 2 hours and stretched, I slept with a pillow between my knees. Each time I went back to bed I tried to sleep in a different position that I had been in previously.
Sunday was miserable. I was in a lot of pain (Probably 6/10, and that is a lot for me). I tried to continue moving around most of the day. I stretched constantly and made sure that my stretching focused on balancing my muscles with the opposite side. I drank about a gallon of water and stretched some more.
Going to bed I was very nervous that I would not be able to shovel the walk way into the office this morning or even see my patients. What was I going to do? All I could think about was that annoying version of myself telling me to keep working at it, keep stretching, focus on mobility. I needed to break the cycle of dysfunction.
This morning, I woke up a new man. I was 99% recovered from pain and I plan to see my Chiropractor later today. I can tell that my pelvis is not functioning properly which probably led to the spasm and the muscle imbalance that led up to me “throwing my back out.”
I hope you all can see the value in this experience. I could have wallowed in pain, rested on the couch and hoped it would go away. However I chose to push through the discomfort of stretching and made myself hydrate. I know that if I did not take matters into my own hands, I would still be miserable today. Please consider the following things:
- Home care is such an important supplement to any manual therapy or treatment
- Just because I feel better, I know there is still underlying dysfunction that needs to be corrected or it will just happen again.
Thank you for reading this story about the time that I “Threw my back out.”
Patrick Healy, DC MS
Doctor of Chiropractic
Master of Sports Rehabilitation