So guess who didn’t injure their hamstring???? This girl!!
I’m sure you are asking yourself, “Why LB, isn’t that a good thing not to have injured yourself?” Well, that’s if I didn’t injure myself. I found out yesterday that what I thought was a chronic injured hamstring is actually….wait for it…..an injured back. That’s right. BACK. Specifically a herniated disc at approximately the L4-5 level, possibly the L3-4 as well. How did I find this out? Let me entertain you. Or educate. Whatever. Someone is going to find this post useful. I just know it.
So, during one of my marathon stretching exercises I thought to myself, “Why in the hell am I so tight in my right hamstring still?! You know what, screw this. I’m going to a masseuse to get this bugger kneaded out…. Yo.” So I made some phone calls. My last phone call was to a good friend, who happens to be a physical therapist and who also happens to work at a chiropractic/physical therapy/orthopedic facility. Nice. Anywho, after hearing my symptoms (I.e. Sharp pain where my hamstring muscle meets my pelvis during a straight leg raising on either side; extremely tight right hamstring; pain in hips when sleeping; pain when sitting or driving) and (more importantly) the duration of my symptoms he came to one conclusion – I injured my low back. Well, naturally, I didn’t want to believe him. I was like, “That’s impossible! I was just stretching when I got the pain! I have no pain in my back whatsoever. It’s all coming from my hamstring. Sorry. You are wrong.” (Said the non-believer. Shun the non-believer. Shunnnnnn.).
I made an appointment and I dared him to prove me wrong….guess who was wrong: The arrogant attorney vs. the experienced physical therapist. Yeah. I was the Loser-Mc-Losertron in that epic battle of wits. How did he know? Well, he did some orthopedic tests. First he pushed on my hamstring ligament. No pain. He said if I injured my hamstring ligament, I would not be able to bear his fingers pressing on it. Secondly, I have no loss of strength in my hamstring. He pushed down on it two different ways and said that, if I was injured, I would not be able to push back. Let alone without pain. In fact, he said I am really strong for a woman my size. [Insert hand to pat the back here.] Then, of course, it was my reaction to when he touched my lower back in a certain area. Yeah. I jumped. There you have it ladies and gents – I have herniated a disc. For those who are unfamiliar, check this link from the Mayo Clinic and read up. Mine is more like a “bulge” then a “herniation”, which means that the contents of the disc are (most likely) not ruptured and are impinging on the spinal nerves. This is a good thing. A herniation that bad is extremely more painful and could lead to surgery. Boo. Surgery.
And for the record – this makes total sense. The General has been on my ass, well about my ass, for as long as this injury has lingered. According to my friend, the reason why my ass is pooching out during class is because the muscles in my lower back are protecting my spine. In fact, the reason why my hamstrings and turn out are not progressing, despite my constant stretching, is because all of the muscles in my lower back and hips are guarding the nerves that are being aggravated!!! Do you know what this means?!?! As soon as I get my spine in check, I should regain and even improve my flexibility even more!!! I am so excited that it’s not my lack of effort that is preventing my progress right now! I can’t help it – my body is just being a total boo-hole! I never thought I would be this excited to discover that I am handi-quacked.
So now what? The good news is that now I know the pain and tightness is not caused by a severe sprain in my hamstring, I can actually start treating the problem. Also, my friend says that my injury isn’t critical and after some treatment I should be right as rain in no time! Too bad I have been so stubborn; I could have been fixed up long ago. What can I say? I’m an “injury” beginner as well as a ballet beginner. I apparently have a high pain tolerance. That’s right. Don’t mess with me. I can take a punch. And a jab. Or maybe even a kick. Well, as long as it is not to my back. That could be bad considering I am a disabled person now. Ha!
As for the treatment, I am currently engaging in DRX (aka spinal stretching. Yup, ga-woss. This is what it looks like), electrical stimulation and massage therapy. According to my bro-seph, I just need to relieve the pressure off my spine and the tightness and pain should go away! Eventually, that is. I plan on going for treatment twice a week for the next three weeks. I am really hoping this will work. I am so tired of being I pain and I’m tired of being behind in class. This just has to be the solution. It just has to!!
What does this teach us? When you are “older” and an injury is taking longer then a couple weeks to heal, you should think about going to see a orthopedic facility for an evaluation. Hell, even a chiropractor will do (disclaimer: a reputable chiropractic facility is what I suggest that actually has a medical doctor that visits the facility to consult patients every week). The point is, even though we may be delusional at times, we are no spring chickens. After the age of 30, yes 30, our body starts doing crazy things. Take care of yourself and listen to what your body tells you. You will be glad you did. I know I am…. Finally. 😊😊😊😊😊😊