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asha wagner

Hardcore Healing

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by , 05-10-2010 at 09:53 PM (13136 Views)
The last time I did this to my back, it took a year to heal. This time it took one week.

First off, let me say the standard disclaimers in that I am not a doctor or a physical therapist or certified in rehab in any way. I'm simply someone who's had my fair share of injuries, aches and pains. Since I tend to go a lil stir crazy when I'm sidelined with an injury, the following reflects a whole lot of research and trial and error in an effort to figure out what works best for me. Consult a doctor before starting any rehab program.

The first time I strained my back was 9 years ago in the fire academy when I didn't have the balance point quite right on the 20' roof ladder. It swung around as I was lowering it, straining my low back left side. I don't remember how long it took to heal that time. I was 25 at the time and was far more concerned with keeping my job and making it through the academy.

The second time was while helping to lift a 350 lb patient around a corner in a narrow hallway. This is where most of my trial and error and research took place.

There was a lot of error that resulted in more than a few set backs. The first of which was trying to stretch out the muscle spasm with my spine curved in flexion touching my toes. This made my back very unhappy and caused the muscles to spasm even worse than before. The second was along the same lines. I got a great deep tissue massage. My back felt much better afterwards. Only problem was I felt so relaxed that I fell asleep on my couch for an hour or two. When I woke, my back again was even worse off than it had been before. It was around this time that I learned that most back injuries don't happen during exercise, but afterwards during the cool down phase. The muscles become warm and loosened during the activity. Then, once the activity is over and the athlete slouches with poor posture, the muscles cool in this position, resulting in spasms and pain.

The second lesson I learned was through accident. At work, I had begun drinking 3-6 quarts of water each shift, noting that hydration vastly improved my ability to wake up for the night calls. It also made my back feel much better, almost as if I could feel the muscles relaxing the more hydrated I became.

The third lesson came more as a result of a partial achilles tear I had last year. I became curious about the effects of nutrition on healing and came across this great article. Be forewarned, there are some pretty graphic pics.

[url=http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/injuries_nutrition_and_recovery]TMUSCLE.com | Injuries: Nutrition and Recovery[/url]

I was back to full duty in 6 weeks.

So back to the present day. I was rushing to get to treasure island and hit a mess of traffic. I should have guessed with this being the first sunny weekend after all of this el nino rain we're getting. As I arrived late, I didn't have time to do my full joint mobility warm-up. I tweaked my back on my first carry of the game. I grabbed the ball and ran. As people began to tackle me, my instinct was to fight through it. Once I had about three people trying to pull me down and my forward progress was stopped, I heard my teammates yell for me to go down. As I did, I remembered to get the ball back towards my side. Problem was, I twisted to get the ball back over my shoulder as I was being tackled to the ground. Yup, instant spasm. I was still able to continue playing through the first half. First game giddiness kept me going. Afterwards though, I threw everything I could think of at my back to try and get it better.

Once I was subbed out for the second half, I started downing pedialite and water to get my muscles as hydrated, plump and happy as possible. I also started doing back bridges and upward facing dog or seal stretch. This was to reinforce good posture and squeeze everything back in place. It also to a page from "Relax into Stretch." That book states that one way to get a muscle to relax is by knocking out it's drive, through forcing it to contract even harder.

Thirdly, I rubbed a whole bunch of arnica cream into the muscle. Arnica is a homeopathic medicine that helps to relieve trauma, bruises, swelling and pain. Later, a friend give me a back rub with the arnica cream. This time I immediately followed the massage with a few back bridges.

Before I went to sleep that first night I put a heating pad on my back for 20 minutes and then iced it for another 20 minutes. Then I made sure to sleep on my back, to keep my back in proper alignment.

The fourth part of this is diet and nutrition. I cycled back onto the Warrior Diet to promote cleansing and rebuilding within the body. I also increased my intake of niacin to promote circulation, amino acids to rebuild muscles, arnica tablets, vitamin D to build muscles, Omega 3s for healthy cells, as well as Hammer Nutrition's Tissue Rejuvenator containing glucosamine, chrondroitin, msm, collagen, and tumeric which helps to reduce inflamation.

Lastly, I did about 15-20 minutes of joint mobility in the mornings. This was to increase blood flow to the tissues and slowly increase my pain free range of motion.

Since my back was becoming progressively more tight that first day as the evening went on, I fully expected to have to log rol myself out of bed in the morning. Instead, I found my pain had decreased by half when I woke up, and went from being sharp and midline in my back, to more diffuse and left lateral. The next day, it decreased by half again. By the following Saturday my back felt as good as it did before the injury. Good thing too, because sevens season is coming up soon.
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    Updated 02-25-2020 at 07:22 AM by Kerralianna
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