Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Back's Kinda Back

It happened around 3 weeks ago.

I had just  gotten up was preparing some tea in my kitchen. My son came running and I bent down for the customary 'Good Morning darling' and 'Attack'. I got this sharp feeling in my lower back. A sort of jammed effect. I tried straightening and an electric jolt went shooting up my spine.

The doctor gave me some pain killers and I expected that I would be back to normal in a couple of days and that I would be dancing like Prabhu Deva. But after completing the entire course of medicine, there was no effect and I was still moving around in close similarity to the poor elephants in the circus when they walk on just two legs.

Sitting on the couch was impossible and the floor was not much of a help either.The worst part was, when I tried to get up after sitting for an hour at a stretch. There was no way I could stand straight leave alone walk. If I lay down flat on my back it was not so bad. Getting up from that position was again as easy as mountain climbing!

All my activities right from looking after my son, to my office work got impacted and I was feeling miserable. Blogging got affected two fold. Sitting at the computer was tough and my brain went on an indefinite strike refusing to give ideas or words.

People who saw me thought I had fractured my leg or something as I was limping. Who does not like attention? I wasted no opportunity in explaining that I had sprained my back and was having a bad time moving around.

In this information era , the internet and other modes of communication have given us a lot of exposure to all the illnesses that exist on this planet. Complete knowledge would make you a doctor. Total Ignorance gives you a sort of innocence like the poor illiterate people in some parts of our country.These folks would not try to figure out anything by themselves and would religiously follow the words of the doctor and would trust every word of his. There is one category in between these two.  People like me who harrass their drained intellects in figuring out what could possibly be wrong, with the limited knowledge it has. 'Hmm, May be the bone has degenrated or something, whats that called? Or a muscle tear? Or one of those diseases we are scared of uttering the name? Oh my God! Let me check ' and there, the usual http://www.google.com/ and some random searches trying to fathom the reason for all the discomfort.

The XRay center took three whole days to send a two word report to my doctor. Wondering how they managed to achieve that amazing speed.

I looked at the XRay under the tubelight. If I knew what it was showing, instead of sitting here and typing this at this moment, I would probably be mending the bones of some poor kid that cracked them after falling from a mango tree.

The doctor pointed to the section between two of the spinal discs and said that the cartilage has slightly thinned, what they called as mild spondylosis. 'Thats very normal. Nothing to worry. Its due to aging'

What an evil statement to tell me when I was already depressed about my thirty first birthday that was around the corner.

'Aging? I am just thirty'I groaned.

'Well, medically you start aging at 20' he declared . Blatant Flinging Of Horrible Facts! I hate doctors!

I was directed to a physiotherapist. This gentleman ended up being my guardian angel.


After more than two weeks of no change in my condition, I had no expectations. My mood was in its worst best. I was sporting the expression  of Narasimha Rao in his saddest hour. In fact, I was a teeny weeny bit scared.

After examining me, he uttered a sentence 'Nothing wrong in your XRay. It would be the same for anyone in your age.What you have is some weakness in the muscle and that can be corrected with some exercises'. To me that was SP Balasubramaniam singing to A.R.Rahman's tunes . I was almost dancing like Prabhudeva , Almost!

He did some physiotherapy twist and massage, put me on traction and taught me some exercises to be done everyday. It was magic.

Within two to three days my pain went down considerably and for the first time in three weeks I was able to stand straight and carry on with my  routine without turning to all those ointments and balms that bring instant relief ONLY in television ads.

We do not take enough care of our bodies when they continue to adjust with all the roughness and  toughness we subject them to. When the body finally cannot take it anymore, it begins to show and then only we realize how important it is to stay healthy. This is my take-back from this experience.

I had carried some really heavy weights after shopping one day which seems to have caused this.

My request to all those reading this - Please respect your physique and take very good care of it. Do not take it for granted. Have a healthy and balanced diet, exercise as much as possible , and find ways to destress. It is very very important, if not for your own selves, for your loved ones atleast.

Well, since the entire length of this post is about the back, I would like to share some tips that I was given
  1. Do not lift heavy weights. If its necessary hold them close to the torso. A backpack is anytime better than a one sided bag in case you are carrying a laptop.
  2. Regulary do some exercises that stretch your back muscles.
  3. When you need to bend to pick something, do not do so with your legs straight. Bend at your knees to go down and then pick it up.
  4. Do not remain seated for long. Take a break once in a while and walk a little bit like to the washroom or to drink some water.
  5. Try to maintain good postures while sitting, sleeping etc.
I wanted to blog about something as it has been more than ten days since my last post. This bad-back episode had taken entire control  and no other ideas seem to appear in my head when I sit down to write. Words are also not flowing like usual, kind of like a clogged pipe!

Even now, when I get up, there is this slightly knotted feeling in my back. Hope to be completely okay before the next physiotherapy appointment. Take Care Folks!

69 comments:

  1. Jaish, good that your back is back to normal :)
    Enjoyed the read. Well, my dear you should try to dance like Madhuri Dixit not Prabhu deva :)

    Thank you for those tips. Take care

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  2. Oh yeah Mak . For now it's ek do theen time but with all those exercises ha ha :) I love madhuri dixit's dancing . She is too good .

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  3. Mmm! Tell me about it:) Had this lower back catch 3 days before a strenuous trek to Ombattugudde. What worked for me was diclofenac ointments and hot towels:) (could not resist that!! after all, when you visit someone suffering from an ailment it is customary to tell her all about your own:):) )

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    1. I agree, that's infectious :) trekking with a back catch ? Ouch ! How on earth did u manage ? I would have demanded a helicopter to the rescue ha ha

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  4. even i have back problem. but whenever i have any physical discomfort, all i do is search the entire internet and then tell myself - 'hmmm, nothing serious.' i don't take medicine, i don't visit doctors.

    nice to see a post here :)

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    1. Hmm . It was a little too unbearable deb, had to go to the doc . Thanks for reading and leaving behind your comments :) Do go to the doc if u don't feel well . If we don't, how will the poor fellows make a living ? :)

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  5. Good Lord. Great that you are back to normal Jayashree.

    It was nice how you've depicted your experience during those days.

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    1. Thanks Anupam . Seriously it feels so good to carry on with my normal tasks without oohs and aahs :)

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  6. I understand back pains.... we dentists get that time to time... Just take care that you don't over strain you back.... Glad to hear you are fine!

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    1. Oh so it does not spare even doctors ? Blame it on today's hectic lifestyle :( Thanks for stepping in :)

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  7. hahaha....don't get mad at me for laughing...I am not laughing at the back ache okay? am laughing at the post. :) good that you are feeling better now. I know, we don't take proper care of our health. I am one of those who is lazy to exercise and pamper my body way too much..:) I have the back ache pblm too..:(

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    1. No worries ha ha...If those lines made you laugh, I guess its not that bad a post as I thought :) Thanks for stepping in :) ANd laughing is good for you anytime :)

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  8. Take care, Jaish! That spine thing can be moody. It would be best if you kept it in good humour. Those are fine tips you have suggested. May God bless our spines!

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    1. Yes Umashankar. At the moment I need some blessings dedicated to my spine :)

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  9. ..good to see you back Jaish:) ..really great of you to have waived off the pain and trauma through those fun filled sentences:) Take care and get well soon:)

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  10. Wish you a speedy recovery :) Welcome back to the blog-world :) and thanks for those tips :)

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    1. Thanks Divya. Do remember those tips. Back Pain is a real pain!! Seriously! :)

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  11. aw get well soon.... don't strain your back at all.... take care girl!

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  12. Replies
    1. Most of us will end up with it at some point or the other I guess Ghazala! :)

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  13. Take care and beware of these doctors - sometimes they make you have tablets for no reason. You should do some power yoga or pranayam :)

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    1. Hi Haricharan

      Thanks for the piece of caution. The doctor here at Singapore did not do that. On the contrary he asked me to stop taking pain killers and sent me to the physiotherapist who has taught me some exercises which are kind of similar to Yoga :) Thanks again.

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  14. Great to know that alls well on the way to speedy recovery!!

    Cheers!!

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    1. Thanks magiceye . Feels great to see such well wishing comments :)

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  15. Let me add to the list : do back strengthening exercises. I have slip disc rather had the attack about 6 years back (nowhere near ageing) and remained on bed rest for a month. It is the exercises that has saved me. Hope you take care of your back.

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    1. The exercises I was told are back strengthening ones . Thanks :) and u take care of yourself too :)

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  16. Take care. And 30 is young! I am a decade older at least :D

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    1. Ha ha ... Thanks for stepping in Mridula :)

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  17. take care ! thanks for the tips ...thankfully my back has not given me any trouble until now ...but then you never know

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  18. Take care. I am suffering from lower back problem for past four years. Only regular exercise will help.

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    1. My pain is also in the lower back Rajesh . Trying to do the exercises regularly :)

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  19. Jaish you have given good advice at the end...as Rajesh has said & i have also experienced,exercise is best...but let me add one more point to your list-do not shop more than you can hold !!!

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    1. Yeah Indu . I learnt that the hard way ha ha . Thought very few would be that stupid like me and so did not add it in the list ha ha :D

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  20. I can empathize with your pain Jaish, I hope that all will be well by your next physiotherapy session and I wish you are completely free from all the pain. I have also been suffering from major health issues since the past 4 to 5 months, it still hurts when I walk. As you rightly pointed out in the end about doing regular exercises, will surely help. Take good care. :)

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    1. Thanks a ton Akshay . I am aware of your health issues from your posts and believe me I did think of u as I was typing this post . You have had a worse time . This back pain is nothing I suppose . Here goes a silent prayer to bless us all with a sound health :)

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  21. Nice tips. You are reminding me of Suborup. Take care.

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    1. :) Thanks TF.May be because you just finished reviewing his blog :)

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  22. Was wondering where you were since so many days.

    Indeed, since you women lift heavy stuff, balance the home & work front (commendably), take care of clothes, children, cleanliness, work, etc. this is an issue. My mom goes through it too.

    Take care... Get well soon :)

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    1. Hi Vishal

      Thanks ....True, women are likely to get it but unlike the ads on TV, the pain does not disappear in a flash to move from ooh to Aa-ha! ha ha :)

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  23. Back pain is something very dicey. And though your post is humorous, I know how much you must have suffered. Yes, follow those tips. Have you tried yoga? It is pretty good for backache. But, do consult your doctor beforehand. Take care then.

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    1. Hi Rachna

      I have done a course in Yoga and practice sometimes(Not at all regular, I confess)

      The exercises the doc taught are quite similar to Yoga.

      Thanks :)

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  24. Good god, if at thirty you've aged.. I have become a fossil now...LOL
    Take care, my dear. Women are more prone to this back-ache problems.Follow the tips diligently...xoxo

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    1. Fossil ? Lol ! Thank you For the kind words :)

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  25. 'Well, medically you start aging at 20' he declared . Blatant Flinging Of Horrible Facts! I hate doctors!

    Ah the blasphemy!!!

    "And Narasimha Rao in his saddest moment" Too Good

    LoL... Nice Read...

    Rock on!

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  26. squat instead of bend...a simple remedy to avoid backache...and a thinning disc? its pretty normal for everyone...everyday wear and tear..cant do much about it...anyway glad you recovered soon...have fun dancing..

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    1. 'pretty normal for everyone' Good to hear it from a doc, doc:) Thanks :)

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  27. Oh this is sad. But if you exercise carefully and regularly one can make the back strong. This is normal. I used to have lower back pain but with regular exercises and even proper weight lifting my back has become strong. Stretching is very important. Stay Fit and healthy :) Take care :)

    love
    http://www.meghasarin.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Megha. Yeah, exercises are important.Pity we dont realize till our battered body begins to react!

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  28. Agree with what Megha says, Jaishree! Exercising regularly can keep the back aches at bay:)TC!

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    1. Thanks Rahul. I am trying to be regular with that :)

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  29. Thank you for those tips. I could use them.
    Take care of that back, girl. :)

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    1. Thanks Divya...Yeah, remember those tips! :)

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  30. Really sad to hear all the pain you had to go through. I know spondylosis can be very troublesome. I got it once when I was playing a lot of tennis and I got the same reaction from the doctor: It happens with ageing. Reading this was like deja vu. :) But really happy to hear that physiotherapy has worked for you.

    I really like the way you have taken it in your stride and have written about it so humorously. And those tips you have given are really useful in maintaining a healthy mind and a healthy body. Very nice post.

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    1. Thanks a lot Raj. It is indeed troublesome. Kind of like a thorn that gets stuck to your feet. Wont stop all your activities. But will keep nagging you!

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  31. Hey Jayasree

    Few people can empathise with you like I can - been a victim of back-pain for well over 20 years (No! Don't even start asking; let me just say that the doc was joking when he said 30 is old.)

    I have Sciatica, a complaint related to nerves - and an incident like the one you mentioned can start it off; bending to pick something or picking up something heavy without maintaining the right posture.

    Yes, rest and physio are main relief measures - traction and even surgery are prescribed for more acute forms; Ayurveda can help too in case of mild attacks.

    Even as I write this I am recovering from a really bad spell - went to Delhi on some work (that couldn't be postponed) and was hobbling around, bent like an old man. It was great fun for the viewers.

    To add to it I acted like a Macho man and didn't consider asking for a wheel chair (when it was available) and hurt myself some more - walked almost a kilometre from the aircraft to the baggage pick-up point at Terminal-3; saw some stars that the astronomers have not discovered yet. (Must write to them about it.)

    This is a useful message ... and I hope you are better already.

    Remembering to maintain right posture and not acting smart are the best ways to deal with this.

    Next time you can sit down while administering "hug therapy" for your son.

    Get BACK in action soon.

    Best wishes!

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    1. Hi Jayadev

      I have not heard of Sciatica before.

      20 yrs? My God!! I realize that the statement 'Few people can empathise with you like I can ' is 100% true

      You end up walking multiple kilometers at any airport...The activities that you do and the attractive lay outs inside kind of prevents us from realizing that...

      Hope you are better now after that bad spell....And do share with us readers what additional stars you saw :)

      Take care and best wishes to you too!

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  32. That was bad. I know whats it's like. Thank God, you are better now and seriously it pinches like hell when someone says you are aging at 30. Thanks for those tips, I sit for 10 hours a day, I should plan some work out for me.

    Take Care,
    Saru

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    1. Hi Saru
      Thanks for the comments . Do stand and stretch every once in a while when u have to remain seated for long . Take care

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    2. I will follow this tip. :) Thanks!

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  33. Loved reading it because nowhere has the painful side of that incident reflecting in your writing. You have managed to make it such an enjoyable read.

    Please take care...and get well soon!

    BTW thanks for the tips and information that I have already started aging :)

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  34. Hi me

    Thanks for stepping in. :) such an evil statement that was about aging eh ? :D

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  35. So good to hear that you are doing good now! Many thanks for sharing those valuable tips, sometimes we do need someone to tell us the correct way to do things. Take care, Jaish and come back in full force soon!! :)

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