Back Pain: What I Did For Self-Care

Starting about a week and a half ago, I suffered the worst back pain I’d ever experienced. I had to be conscious of how I moved, slept, etc. I know a few people with chronic back pain and, frankly, I can’t even imagine how they cope with it on a daily basis. I don’t even know what I did to upset my back muscles so much; I just know that I never want to go through that again. Ever.

Octopus massager image
Helpful Purchase!

For a few days, my activity was severely limited. The first day, I had to call a neighbor to bring my son to work because I didn’t think it was safe to drive; the spasms were so intense that I was gritting my teeth until they passed. I took an Extra Strength Tylenol tablet every 4 hours to manage the pain and then I remembered that we had a hand-held massager we’d bought from The Body Shop in the U.K. Applying pressure to the muscles with the massager helped lessen the spasms, but I knew I needed a heating pad. I looked through the Wal-Mart website and showed my son the one I wanted so he would know which one to get for me. They didn’t have it in the store, but the one he and my daughter found instead was even better.

Heating Pad image
Awesome Relief!

I’m actually glad they found this one instead because it really did its job well. I put it in the microwave for up to 90 seconds and the heat really provided relief. Turns out, it’s not just for pain; it has a sleeve for warming hands and feet, too. I love it!

For a few days, I took Tylenol, applied heat and alternated between rest and movement, vowing to strengthen my core muscles when I got better. It made me realize that exercising core muscles is necessary to reduce the chance of back injury/pain. As soon as I was able, I did a couple stretches, being very careful to not overdo it. I stuck with stretches I already knew how to do {very important!} to avoid risk of injuring my back further. I’m happy to say that the pain is almost gone and things are getting back to normal…and boy, am I glad of that. Back pain is miserable and frustrating! I couldn’t get comfortable and I hated not being able to get anything done.

Back stretch image
Helpful Stretch #1

I’ve decided to give my back a few more days to completely recuperate before starting the work on strengthening my core muscles. I figure, 2 weeks ought to do it. I think one of the biggest challenges will be getting back into doing The Plank. I used to be able to do a minute, but methinks it’s best to work my way up to that again, considering the back pain I’ve experienced.

back stretch image
Helpful Stretch #2

If anything, the past week and a half has made me realize that self-care includes taking the time to nurse oneself back to health when pain or illness happen. We cannot afford to “shake it off and keep going” despite our bodies SCREAMING for us to slow down. Age has a lot to do with it, too. People who are older than me roll their eyes when I mention age-related health issues. Sometimes I forget that I’m 51 and my body doesn’t do what it used to do. It’s easy to forget when we get caught up in our lives but stuff like this reminds us that we have to work harder at maintaining our health as we age. We may jokingly “balk” at a healthy lifestyle, but it’s not a laughing matter when we’re plagued with health problems later on. Quality of life is important and something we can control by taking preventive measures, as opposed to the need for {eventual} rehabilitation.

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4 thoughts on “Back Pain: What I Did For Self-Care

    1. Thank you, Shannon! I feel *much* better now. I plan to start the core-strengthening exercises on Monday, as well as getting back to the walks in the park that I started a few weeks ago. I’m determined to be in good shape by the summer and before the grandbaby’s born. Goodness knows I’ll need my energy to deal with what’s ahead. 🙂

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