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On our backs - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
On our backs
Back pain has been coming back with a vengeance.

Was quite uncomfortable by the end of Matrix Reloaded on Tuesday, but attributed that to an unaccustomed combination of cinema seats (I don't often go to the pictures) and high-platformed boots (altering the sitting angle). However I continued to have twinges at work on Wednesday (I'm working at ProQuest again, freelance this time), and yesterday the twinges turned into full-on ouch, until by hometime I was in tears and willing to sell my soul for codeine.

Made it to Sainsburys and managed to get Ibuprofen (next-best thing), and then against my better judgement went to karate class. I'm supposed to be doing gradings on Sunday so I didn't want to miss a lesson; I figured maybe we could at least do some non-back-straining stuff. As it was we were doing judo-style throws... By the end of the hour, though, my back felt fine, and I decided that the pain must be psychosomatic in origin, possibly brought on by being back at ProQuest -- surely if it was an actual problem with the muscles, the throws would have left me collapsed in agony?

Last night, though, I was in such pain with my back (and feeling sick as well) I couldn't sleep properly at all. Tossed and turned for about 3 hours before finally taking more Ibuprofen, getting a hot water bottle, and going to sleep in the spare room so that I wouldn't wake sion_a so much. Still couldn't find any comfortable position but eventually sheer exhaustion made me sleep.

Woke up in agony, finally managed to find codeine+paracetamol tablets left over from last bout of back pain, took these and applied Ibuprofen gel to all the bits of back that felt like they'd been run over by a bus. Have dragged myself into work (and found a sensible chair) but had to beg a lift from sion_a as I didn't feel confident of being able to drive.

So now I have no idea whether the back pain is caused by physical strain or mental stress, or a combination of the two (stress-related tension causing physical strain, etc.), or what. Suspect that if I see the doctor I'll get the same useless result as last time -- doctor prods back, j4 says "OUCH!", doctor says "Yes, back is sore", prescribes Valium, and suggests buying Cocodamol OTC because it's cheaper than paying a second prescription charge. I can do that myself, I know my fscking back is sore, I can buy Cocodamol, and I've still got some Valium left from last time (and it screws up my sleep patterns even more).

Whiney whiney whine, yeah, I know. Will shut up now.

Current Mood: aching, tired, whiney

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Comments
julietk From: julietk Date: May 30th, 2003 03:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Doctors are shite for back problems. Try an osteopath? Unfortunately I don't know any to recommend in Cambridge, only in Ox & London.

Osteopathy is, however, the only thing that's ever gotten close to fixing my back problems. Depending on exactly what you were doing at karate, & exactly what's wrong with your back, it's possible that the stretching involved might have helped the muscles rather than hurting them, so that doesn't necessarily indicate that it's pyschosomatic. I've certainly found that some physical exertion helps, & some hinders, when my back's bad.

Most osteopaths will fit you in as an emergency if you tell them how bad it is - I'd definitely recommend it as worth a go.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 30th, 2003 03:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Try an osteopath?

How much is that likely to cost? I know in the abstract my health is more important than the money blah blah blah, but in the real world I just don't have the money for expensive private healthcare... :-/

Will have a look though. Thanks for the suggestion.

it's possible that the stretching involved might have helped the muscles rather than hurting them

True, I guess. It just seemed unlikely that lifting someone over hip/back would help...!
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: May 30th, 2003 03:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I had a pregnancy osteopath consultation (in Oxford) which was £30 for an hour but I suspect it might well be cheaper generally (as with weddings, you can add at least 20% to the price of anything tagged "maternity").

It was definitely worth the money though, even at that price. And because DH was there too he was given detailed instruction and notes on how to help alleviate back pain through massage, and has turned out to be a bit of a whizz. Do you know anyone who has done massage or is willing to learn (and that you trust not to cripple you)? It's counter-intuitive but stretching, pushing and pummeling can do wonders for (most) back pain. DH often thinks he's going to hurt me but actually it's a masochistic "the harder the better" case. Depends what you've actually got at the root of your pain, but if it's discs or sciatic nerve pain then a good bout of exercise/vigorous massage might be just the thing.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 30th, 2003 05:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you know anyone who has done massage or is willing to learn (and that you trust not to cripple you)?

simonb does massage very well, & did wonders for my back when it was really bad before, but I feel a bit awkward imposing on him for it. I believe he's been teaching sion_a to do some massage too, but sion_a just doesn't really seem to do it hard enough. (Oo-er.)

a good bout of exercise/vigorous massage might be just the thing.

Maybe I should just exercise more. Since I started driving I really have become a lazy lump of lard. :-/
julietk From: julietk Date: May 30th, 2003 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Varies between 20quid & 40quid (more in London :-( )- it's worth getting quotes (the first appointment may be a little more expensive than any future ones, because they need to take a case history). Some osteopaths have cheaper rates for unemployed folk (Lovely Tom in Oxford did). It might also be worth checking whether there's an osteopath college in Cambridge - I'm currently going to the British School of Osteopathy, where I'm seen by a student but with a tutor to check things, & that's way cheaper. Plus you get to hear them discussing the vagaries of your back which is kind of interesting!
From: kaet Date: May 30th, 2003 03:54 am (UTC) (Link)
When stuff was mentally going wrong for me, I had really bad back pain, in my mid to lower back, central. It was sometimes difficult to walk or sit, and lying was the best. Over christmas I spent much of my time lying on my bed texting people, :). It was caused by stress, causing my abdominal muscles to tighten and pull at my back. After I'd done something energetic it would get better because it releaved the stress caused by the adrenaline. The beta-blockers helped with that within hours, even though they didn't really have an effect on the mental stressedness. I know you may well have taken them before, and it's probably a different cause in your case, but it's just an idea.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 30th, 2003 05:09 am (UTC) (Link)
It was sometimes difficult to walk or sit, and lying was the best.

Sitting is horrible. Walking is actually better, I think it makes me straighten up a bit more; lying has the problem that I can't find a comfortable position to lie in. I often find it difficult to lie on my back anyway (it seems to arch too much so I can't lie flat) and I get uncomfortable for other reasons (it's a girl thing!) lying on my front. Alternating between back and front with hot water bottle underneath me was about the best I could manage this morning.

It was caused by stress, causing my abdominal muscles to tighten and pull at my back.

That's really interesting. I've been having some stomach pains as well with the back pain & have sort of assumed that they're either unrelated (I often get random stomach-aches & nausea) or that they're caused by the back pains (pain making me feel ill, or tensing the back muscles making the stomach go all weird) but it hadn't occurred to me that it could be the other way round.

(I've taken beta-blockers before, yes, and they helped a bit with the stressedness at the time, but not much.)

The whole health thing just depresses me so much though. I just don't want to even engage with it at all any more.
huskyteer From: huskyteer Date: May 30th, 2003 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Clearly you do have plug sockets in your spine after all and are only now becoming aware of them. Soon you will be able to leave the Matrix. Or do I mean enter it?
j4 From: j4 Date: May 30th, 2003 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Clearly you do have plug sockets in your spine after all and are only now becoming aware of them.

k3wl. (I did wonder if it was budding wings, but it's a bit low down the back for that.)

Soon you will be able to leave the Matrix. Or do I mean enter it?

Who cares, so long as I get the sockets and/or the sexy black clothes? :-)
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: May 30th, 2003 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
I have horrendous back pain a lot of the time due largely to bad posture, and the only person I know who is any good at massage is my mother, which isn't deeply helpful.

I can do feet, and backs to an extent, but I'm not very confident when something is actually wrong rather than just aching, that I won't make it worse. Also not much help to me.

Things which make it worse: lifting, sleeping funny, driving, public transport.
Things which make it better: hot baths, swimming, cycling, stretching.

Thing which fixed it for almost a month, albeit at the cost of the rest of my health: cycling a hundred miles with a heavy backpack. I'll understand if you don't try that one for yourself.
julietk From: julietk Date: May 30th, 2003 09:19 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll do your back, sweetie. Next time you're down here & in a place where it's feasible, anyway.
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