Snap, crackle and pop

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (477 Words)

I’ve had a long-running back injury (a twisted vertebra in my lower back) which I’ve figured out how to manage through experience - a bit of stretching here, avoid certain types of activity etc. It’s a bit inconvenient but after a while you get used to living with it, and it’s not that painful most of the time provided I don’t go nuts.

However about 2 weeks ago, not long after getting back from LA, I was doing something quite simple (moving a coffee table back after a Rock Band session), when something in a completely different part of my back suddenly hurt really badly.  We had guests at the time, so I quickly took some painkillers and did a quick bit of my usual stretching upstairs, but that didn’t seem to work very well - I ended up just gritting my teeth most of the evening. While I don’t like the existing back injury I have, at least I ‘know it’ and how generally to cope with it, but this time it seemed different - like someone randomly knifing me in the middle of the back, just below the shoulder blades (et tu, Bruté?), rather than just by my right kidney like the old injury always was.

Stubborn git that I am, I gave it a couple of days of fairly frequent hot-poker agony before giving in and making an appointment to see the osteopath. I cancelled it once because it started feeling a lot better before the appointment came up, but then I wrenched it again while doing the grocery shopping of all things (damn you BOGOF offers, you basket-filling temptresses). Luckily I remained on my feet and avoided shouting the foullest obscenities in my repertoire at the top of my voice; no doubt the years of Brit cultural training to avoid making a scene at all costs - stiff upper lip and all that, what? - helped in that regard 😉

Anyway, I finally made it to my second osteo appointment today, although again it had started to recover quite well so I felt a little bit stupid; “that used to hurt like hell” doesn’t have quite the same impact after all. Luckily as a professional he could still tell what I’d damaged even without me yelping, so next came the expected ‘manipulation’ - which basically means ‘beatboxing with your bones’. This time the targets of choice were the Thoracic vertebrae and the attached rib heads, and they can clearly make some quite interesting sounds when properly motivated.

I’ll be sore for a while but with a bunch of new stretching exercises it looks like this one probably won’t be a long-term issue. It’s likely to be linked to the number of hours I spent hunched like a troll in economy class in the last month so hopefully it’ll prove to be a one-off.